The current economic slowdown and rising unemployment are spawning a new group of entrepreneurs. Among them are jobless people setting up booths in flea markets. Many use the space to dispose of sellable items they no longer need, making the opening efforts a kind of expanded garage sale. Having pocketed the rewards and tested the ground, many of these people are turning professional, seeking a steady stream of products to sell on a regular basis.
Trader Marc, a 318,000 square foot indoor venue in Fort Mill, SC, opened in late July with 70 vendors. According to published reports, many vendors were on the unemployment rolls; others are retirees who found their savings declining. Trader Marc' management is marketing space as a small business opportunity. A 66 year old retiree, for example, sells jewelry and women's accessories with a goal of earning $1,000 a week. A recent college graduate who has yet to find a full time job is selling women's and children's clothing.
The market is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. According to its website, the weekend cost for a 10 by 10 foot enclosed booth with one table begins at $65. Cost for a corner enclosed booth with one table starts at $78, while the opening charge for a 10 by 10 foot space with a table only is $20 per day, or $59 for a weekend.
As part of the Mount Olive Baptist Church job seeker ministry in Hackensack, NJ, more than two dozen out of work church members set up flea market tables on Saturdays. These entrepreneurial efforts come at a time when many flea markets are attracting more shoppers. While the vendors seek to make income, the shoppers seek bargains.
Information in this article was edited from stories on North Jersey.com and The Herald of Rock Hill's (SC) heraldonline.com.
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