Commitment Phobic Entrepreneurs Settle Down at Flea Markets

November 9, 2022

Long-term lease requirements, uncertain economic conditions, shifting consumer behavior and many other factors have small-business entrepreneurs feeling uneasy, especially when it comes to making long term decisions about where and when to open and operate their business.

Flea markets continue to appeal to small business owners for a variety of reasons. The setup is ideal with a reliable location, little overhead and significant exposure to a large and diverse customer base. Space rental commitments can be as short as a day or as long as multiple years allowing for flexibility and opportunity to move around a market and grow a business’s footprint.

At the 15 flea markets owned by United Flea Markets, we have thousands of entrepreneurs running small businesses and selling everything from personalized jewelry to handmade clothing to boots and more every weekend. I could tell you why I think they choose to sell at the market, but I’d rather share it in their own words. Here are just a few examples from United Flea Markets sellers:

Pablo Zarco-Mendez has run Z-Apateria Mendez for ten years at Treasure Aisles Flea Market in Ohio. Launching his business at the flea market allowed him to start small and expand into a more significant business. Pablo says, “I like the big space and nice staff at the flea market along with the stability, exposure, and flea market support. It’s a great place for a small business to start.”

Sonia Reyes was looking for a short-term lease at an affordable price and struggled to meet the financial requirements to lock-in a retail space when she started her candle business 23 years ago. “I wanted to try my new business, but I did not want to have a long-term lease. The month-to-month commitment that Cole’s Flea Market offered was exactly what I was looking for,” said Sonia. She added that flea markets offer a high-volume of foot traffic and that she enjoys the in-person customer service that the flea market provides her.”

Ricarda Rodriguez says, “The flea market is a perfect place to start a small business because it offers a wide variety of different products, so sellers can get ideas of what to sell and improve their business.” She has been selling music at Mile High Flea Markets
in Colorado for over 25 years. It has allowed her to earn extra income while having the flexibility to try selling different products at competitive prices which has led to business growth.

Local flea markets are where entrepreneurial seeds are planted. They offer an affordable and low-pressure way to test and grow businesses.

Lastly, Small Business Saturday is on November 26, and offers a great reminder to consumers to lean into local. There’s no better place than the flea market to support hundreds of local business owners, all in one place.

Written by Rob Sieban, CEO, United Flea Markets