A flea market (or swap meet) is a type of street market that provides space for vendors to sell previously-owned (second-hand) merchandise. This type of market is often seasonal. However, in recent years there has been a development of ‘formal’ and ‘casual’ markets which divides a fixed-style market (formal) with long-term leases and a seasonal-style market with short-term leases.

There tends to be an emphasis on sustainable consumption whereby items such as used goods, collectibles, antiques, and vintage clothing can be purchased. Statistics have it that the United States has over 1100 flea markets that provide opportunities for approximately 2.25 million vendors conducting over $30 billion in sales.

Steps on How to Write a Flea Market Business Plan

  1. Executive Summary

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. is a registered flea market company that will be located in Saint Petersburg, Florida. We have been able to secure all the necessary permits for our facility. Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will ensure that all our flea market venues and facility meet international standards.

We want to build a business with a clientele base that cuts across people of different financial statuses. We have CRM software that will enable us to manage a one-on-one relationship with our customers no matter how large our customer base may grow.

Alex MacIntosh is the founder and CEO of Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc.

  1. Company Profile

a. Our Products and Services

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will establish an ideal flea market facility where dealers can display their wares and customers can visit to make purchases.

b. Nature of the Business

Our flea market will operate as a business where vendors can pick up membership and pay their subscription monthly, quarterly, or annually. We will also open our business to one-off vendors.

c. The Industry

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will operate under the flea market industry.

d. Mission Statement

Our mission is to establish a world-class flea market company whose venue will not only attract local vendors and customers but vendors across neighboring cities.

e. Vision Statement

Our vision is to become the ‘go-to’ flea market facility in the whole of Saint Petersburg, Florida.

f. Our Tagline (Slogan)

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. – The Flea Market Venue with a Difference!

g. Legal Structure of the Business (LLC, C Corp, S Corp, LLP)

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will be formed as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). The reason why we are forming an LLC is to protect our assets by limiting the liability to the resources of the business itself. The LLC will protect our CEOs’ personal assets from claims against the business, including lawsuits.

h. Our Organizational Structure
  • Chief Operating Officer (Owner)
  • Facility Manager)
  • Attendants
  • Customer Service Officer (Receptionist)
  • Security Officers
i. Ownership/Shareholder Structure and Board Members
  • Alex MacIntosh (Owner and Chairman/Chief Executive Officer) 56 Percent Shares
  • Emmanuel Caleb (Board Member) 14 Percent Shares
  • Danan Benson (Board Member) 10 Percent Shares
  • James Centerton (Board Member) 10 Percent Shares
  • Maria Lawson (Board Member and Sectary) 10 Percent Shares.
  1. SWOT Analysis

a. Strength
  • Ideal Location for flea market company
  • Highly Experienced and Qualified Employees and Management
  • Access to vendors and patrons
  • Highly Secured and Clean Facility
b. Weakness
  • Budget limitations
  • Inability to initially attract and retain big vendors players in our city
  • Inability to properly manage the off-peak season
  • A new business that will be competing with well-established flea market facilities
c. Opportunities
  • Saint Petersburg is a thriving location for flea markets.
  • Good support structure for the flea market.
  • Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets
i. How Big is the Industry?

The flea market industry can be considered to be a big industry. Available data shows that the United States has over 1100 flea markets that provide opportunities for approximately 2.25 million vendors conducting over $30 billion in sales.

ii. Is the Industry Growing or Declining?

The flea market industry is growing and this could be as a result of the covid19 pandemic that made loads of people lose their jobs or businesses.

iii. What are the Future Trends in the Industry

The flea market industry is changing, and players in the industry are improvising. No doubt, technology, and social media will change the landscape of the flea market industry going forward.

iv. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry? If YES, List them

Yes, there are existing niches when it comes to the flea market business. Here are some of them;

  • Street flea market
  • Indoor flea market
  • Integrated Platform
  • Market Segment Platform
  • Flea Market Segmentation By Application: (B2C, C2C, and Others).
v. Can You Sell a Franchise of your Business in the Future?

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. has plans to sell franchises in the nearest future and we will target larger cities all across the United States of America and Canada.

d. Threats
  • Competition from other antique dealers
  • Loans diminish profitability until they are paid off
  • The first year will be financially tight while we gain customers and pay off loans
  • Competition in the area could increase
  • Management of employees requires time, money, and efforts
  • Bad press as regards fraud perpetrated by some vendors
  • Government regulations
  • Continuously changing consumer demands
i. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Austin County Flea- Austin, Texas
  • Lincoln Road Antique & Collectible Market- Miami Beach, Florida
  • Brooklyn Flea – Brooklyn, New York
  • Rose Bowl Flea Market- Pasadena, California
  • Brimfield Flea Market- Brimfield, Massachusetts
  • Renningers- Mount Dora, Florida
  • Golden Nugget Antique Market- Lambertville, New Jersey
  • Melrose Trading Post- Los Angeles, California
  • Alameda Flea Market- Alameda, California
  • Long Beach Outdoor Antique & Collectible Market- Long Beach, California
  • Texas Antique Weekend- From Fayetteville to Carmine, Texas
  • Treasure Mart – Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Mowers Saturday Flea Market- Woodstock, New York
  • First Monday Trade Days- Canton, Texas
  • Georgetown Flea Market- Georgetown, DC
  • Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market- Shipshewana, Indiana
  • Springfield Antique Show & Flea Market- Springfield, Ohio
  • 127 Corridor Sale- Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee
  • Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market- New York City, New York
  • Chelsea Antique Garage/West 25th Street Market- New York City, New York.
ii. Is There a Franchise for Flea Market Business? 

No, there are no franchise opportunities for flea market business.

iii. Are There Policies, Regulations, or Zoning Laws Affecting Flea Market Company Business?

Yes, there are county and state regulations for a flea market business. Here are some of them;

(A)    Flea markets shall be permitted only in nonresidential zoning districts or as conditional uses in the Business-2 Districts as defined by the city zoning ordinance.

(B)   Off-street parking shall be provided at a ratio of two spaces per vendor table, exhibit, display, or area. Absolutely no off-site parking or parking or parking in the right-of-way shall be permitted.

(C)   Flea market operators must have the appropriate business licenses and permits from the city zoning and business license offices.

(D)   Flea market operators shall provide sanitary conditions at all times. Permanent restrooms or port-a-johns shall be provided. Running water must be available. Food vendors shall apply for and receive all appropriate health permits from the County Health Department.

(E)   Flea market operators shall maintain at all times a current list of vendors that are renting space within the flea market area. This list shall include the name, address, and phone number of the vendor, location (or booth) at which the vendor is located, and type of products or material being sold by the vendor. This information shall be kept by the flea market operator for one year. The flea market operator shall make the list available for inspection by the Zoning Officer as well as law enforcement agencies at any time during hours of operation.

(F)   Flea markets are allowed to operate only three days a week.

(G)   Flea markets shall operate only during daylight hours.

(H)   Flea markets shall comply at all times with all state and local laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, Health Department regulations.

  1. Marketing Plan

a. Who Is Your Target Audience?

i. Age Range

The age range of people who we look forward to doing business with is between 18 years and above.

ii. Level of Educational

We don’t have any basic educational qualifications for those we are targeting; everyone will be welcome to do business with us.

iii. Income Level

Anyone who can afford our membership (vendor) fee or who can make the purchase will be welcome to our flea market.

iv. Ethnicity

There is no restriction when it comes to the ethnicity of the people we will welcome to our flea market company.

v. Language

There is no restriction when it comes to the language spoken by the people we will welcome them to our flea market company.

vi. Geographical Location

Anybody from any geographical location will be welcomed in our flea market company.

vii. Lifestyle

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will not restrict any vendor or patron from our flea market company based on their lifestyle, culture, or race.

b. Advertising and Promotion Strategies
  • Host Themed Events That Catch Attention.
  • Tap Into Text Marketing.
  • Use FOMO to Run Photo Promotions.
  • Share Your Events in Local Groups and Pages.
  • Turn Your Social Media Channels into a Resource
  • Develop Your Business Directory Profiles
  • Build Relationships with Other Businesses in Your Area
i. Traditional Marketing Strategies
  • Marketing through Direct Mail.
  • Print Media Marketing – Newspapers & Magazines.
  • Broadcast Marketing -Television & Radio Channels.
  • OOH, Marketing – Public Transits like Buses and Trains, Billboards, Street Furniture, and Cabs.
  • Including direct sales, direct mail (postcards, brochures, letters, fliers), print advertising (magazines, newspapers, coupon books, billboards), referral (also known as word-of-mouth marketing), radio, and television.
ii. Digital Marketing Strategies
  • Social Media Marketing Platforms.
  • Influencer Marketing.
  • Email Marketing.
  • Content Marketing.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC).
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing.
iii. Social Media Marketing Plan
  • Start using chatbots.
  • Create a personalized experience for our customers.
  • Create an efficient content marketing strategy.
  • Create a community for our audience.
  • Gear up our profiles with a diverse content strategy.
  • Use brand advocates.
  • Create profiles on the relevant social media channels.
  • Run cross-channel campaigns.
c. Pricing Strategy

When working out our pricing strategy, Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will make sure it covers premium, skimming, economy or value, and penetration. In all our pricing strategy will reflect;

  • Cost-Based Pricing
  • Value-Based Pricing
  • Competition-Based Pricing.
  1. Sales and Distribution Plan

a. Sales Channels

Our channel sales strategy will involve using partners and third parties—such as referral partners, affiliate partners, managed service providers, marketplaces, or value-added resellers—to market our flea market company.

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will also leverage the 4 Ps of marketing which are place, price, product, and promotion. By carefully integrating all these marketing strategies into a marketing mix, we can have a visible, in-demand service that is competitively priced.

b. Inventory Strategy

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will operate an inventory strategy that is based on a day-to-day methodology for ordering, maintaining, and processing items in our flea market facility and warehouse. Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will make sure we work with “Just-in-time (JIT) inventory” – (JIT involves holding as little stock as possible, negating the costs and risks involved with keeping a large amount of stock on hand.)

c. Payment Options for Customers

Here are the payment options that Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc.  will make available to her clients;

  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
  • Payment via bank draft
d. Return Policy, Incentives, and Guarantees

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will operate a no refund policy hence we will not provide compensation for purchased products or services (membership fees inclusive).

e. Customer Support Strategy

Our customer support strategy will involve seeking customer feedback. This will help us provide excellent customer service to all our vendors and patrons, it will help us understand their needs, experiences, and pain points. Regularly, we will work towards strengthening our Customer Service Team and also Leverage Multi-Channel Servicing as part of our customer support strategy.

  1. Operational Plan

Overall, we plan to expand our revenue by 50 percent in the second year and the plan will include a marketing, sales, and operations component. The operations component of the plan would include organizing regular outdoor flea market activities at the local and state level and attracting vendors and customers. These strategies will enable the firm to boost our service offerings and support revenue growth.

a. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Flea Market Company Business?
  • The business is open for the day’s work
  • Vendors pay to secure their space and tables
  • Access fees (gate fees) are collected from customers
  • The sales kick-off
  • Administrative duties are carried out
  • The facility is cleaned and arranged
  • The business is closed for the day.
b. Production Process (If Any)

There is no production process when it comes to flea market business.

c. Service Procedure (If Any)

When a flea market is opened and everything is in place, they will either choose to welcome vendors based on membership or via payment of gate fee. They are assigned to their booths or table and customers are ushered in to make purchases.

d. The Supply Chain

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will rely on trusted agents to help us attract vendors to our city and we have been able to establish business relationships with dealers in different merchandize and antiques et al.

e. Sources of Income

A flea market’s revenue comes from taking a percentage of vendor sales. For this reason, we will choose vendors with the best-selling flea market items. Some of the best-selling flea market items include jewelry, furniture, crafts, and vintage goods.

Please note that we can also earn money by charging a gate fee, parking fee, having an onsite ATM, renting equipment, and providing shoppers with delivery services for the large items they buy. Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will charge vendors between $3 and 10 dollars per square foot per day. That means a single 10 X 10 space will cost between $300 – 1000 dollars daily.

  1. Financial Plan

a. Amount Needed to Start your Flea market company Business?

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. would need an estimate of $250,000 to successfully set up our flea market in the United States of America. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all staff for the first month of operation.

b. What are the Costs Involved?
  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $7,300.
  • Marketing, Branding and Promotions – $5,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500.
  • Insurance – $5,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $100,000.
  • Other start-up expenses include commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($2,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
  • Start-up inventory – $25,000
  • Counter area equipment (countertop, sink, ice machine, etc.) – $9,500
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $4,750
  • Furnishing and Equipping – $30,000
  • Website: $600
  • Opening party: $3,000
  • Miscellaneous: $2,000
c. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will it Cost?

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will not build a new facility for our flea market company.

d. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running a Flea Market Business?
  • Vendor permits
  • Cost of toiletries
  • Utility bills (gas, internet, phone bills, signage and sewage et al)
  • Maintenance of facility
  • Salaries of employees
e. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Operating Officer (Owner) – $45,000 Per Year
  • Facility Manager – $30,000 Per Year
  • Support Staff (Attendants)- $25,000 Per Year
  • Customer Service Officer (Receptionist) – $24,100 Per Year
f. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Flea Market Company Business?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Product/Service?

It will cost $15 to sell on Fridays in our flea market and $30 per day on a Saturday or Sunday. If a seller is selling new merchandise, then we recommend a $40-space on a Saturday or Sunday which are located in the first two aisle ways inside the entrance.

b. Sales Forecast?
  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $250,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $350,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $550,000
c. Estimated Profit You Will Make a Year?

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. is projecting to make;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $125,000 (50% of revenue generated)
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $187,000 (45% of revenue generated)
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $350,000 (45% of revenue generated)
d. Profit Margin of a Flea Market Company Business 

The profit margin of a flea market business is not fixed. It could range from 15 percent to 25 percent depending on some unique factors.

  1. Growth Plan

a. How do you intend to grow and expand? By opening more retail outlets/offices or selling a franchise?

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. will grow our flea market company by first opening other outlets in key cities in the United States of America, and Canada within the first five years of establishing the business and then will start selling franchises from the sixth year.

b. Where do you intend to expand to and why?

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. plans to expand to Addison, Michigan, Canton, Texas, Brimfield, Massachusetts, Atlanta, Georgia, Pasadena, California, Springfield, Ohio, Henderson, Colorado, Round Top, Texas, and Rogers, Ohio. The reason we intend to expand to these locations is the fact that these locations have a robust and thriving flea market. Internationally, we plan to expand to Canada.

  1. Exit Plan

Saint Petersburg ® Flea Market, Inc. intends to build a family business hence our exit plan will be family succession. For that reason, the founder Alex MacIntosh is already grooming his son Anderson MacIntosh to take over from him. Anderson MacIntosh is at the moment being groomed to go through the company’s employment process without any bias.