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How to sell at What Cheer Flea Market

The What Cheer Flea Market is a must-visit event for anyone who loves antiques, collectibles, and unique finds. Named as one of the 11 don't-miss flea markets in the Midwest, it offers a wide array of items that cater to various interests and tastes.

What's on Offer?

The flea market is a treasure trove of items, including:

  • Antiques
  • Military Memorabilia
  • Collectibles
  • Old Tools
  • Primitives
  • Post Cards
  • Glassware
  • Stamps
  • Coins
  • Jewelry
  • Furniture
  • Baseball Cards

And much more! It's a place where you can find unique and rare items that you won't find anywhere else.

When and Where?

The What Cheer Flea Market takes place at the Keokuk County Fairgrounds, located at 13061 170th Street, What Cheer, IA 50268. The gates open at 7:00 AM each day, with some dealers starting to close at 4:30 PM. However, the gates do not close until all the shoppers have left.

The flea market is held several times a year. In 2023, the dates are:

  • May 5, 6, and 7
  • August 4, 5, and 6
  • October 6, 7, and 8

Admission for Thursday is $5.00, for Friday and Saturday is $3.00, and admission for Sunday is free!

Why Visit the What Cheer Flea Market?

The flea market is not just a place to buy items; it's an experience. With an estimated turnout of 5,000 to 20,000 visitors and 100 to 500 exhibitors, it's a bustling event where you can meet people, discover new items, and enjoy the thrill of finding a hidden gem.

Interested in Becoming a Vendor?

If you have items to sell, you can become a vendor at the What Cheer Flea Market. The rental cost for a stall is $55.00. You can register on the official website of the flea market.

the What Cheer Flea Market is a fantastic event for both buyers and sellers. Whether you're a collector, a bargain hunter, or just someone who enjoys the unique atmosphere of a flea market, it's an event you won't want to miss!

What Can I Sell at a Flea Market to Make Money?

Flea markets are vibrant hubs of commerce, brimming with unique finds and potential treasures. If you're considering becoming a vendor, it's essential to know what items are likely to yield the highest profits. Here are some top-selling items that can help you make money at a flea market.

Antiques and Vintage Items

Antiques and vintage pieces are popular items to sell at flea markets. They’re usually well-made and more unique than modern mass-manufactured items, making them desirable to those with an eye for the unusual. From artwork to kitchenware, stocking quirky antiques can stand out at a flea market and draw traffic to your stall. What’s more, antique items can also be seen as an investment as they can appreciate in value over time.

Handmade Crafts

Just like antiques, the unique nature of handmade crafts makes them fantastic items to sell at a flea market. Many people appreciate the personal touch and care that goes into making handmade pieces and are willing to pay more for them. Flea markets often attract people looking for something special, different, and not found in big stores. They also provide an opportunity for customers to interact directly with the artisans or crafters, which can add an extra layer of appreciation and connection to the purchase.

Items of Clothing

Clothing is a big seller at flea markets, as you can often find higher quality garments for a more affordable price than on the high street. Discounted items of clothing are a huge magnet to potential shoppers, especially since flea markets may have unique or vintage clothing items that are not available in traditional retail stores.


Flea markets are a haven for collectors, especially as you can often find rare or hard-to-find items you can’t find elsewhere — from first-edition books to music merchandise. Collector items also evoke nostalgia for many people as they have sentimental value due to their history and cultural importance. This nostalgic factor can help drive up the price of collector items as people are willing to pay more for something that evokes emotion within them.

Unique Furniture

Furnishing a house with brand-new furniture can be expensive — especially if you’re trying to keep up with trends and styles in interior design. Flea markets offer customers an alternative source of unique furniture without having to pay the full retail price. Shopping at flea markets allows you to save money while still creating a beautiful space filled with interesting pieces.

What's Trending at Flea Markets?

Flea markets are bustling hubs of opportunity where vendors transform everyday wares into profits. Understanding what resonates with flea market shoppers can dramatically impact your bottom line. So, what's trending at flea markets? Let's dive into the heart of the matter.

Understanding What Sells at Flea Markets

Small business owners and entrepreneurial vendors understand that success often hinges on having the right product at the right place and time. But when it comes to flea markets — bustling epicenters of old and new, rare and common, trendy and nostalgic — discerning the “right” product can be challenging.

Flea markets aren’t your typical retail venue. They cater to a diverse audience, from treasure hunters to budget-conscious shoppers and everyone in between. This unique shopping experience demands a different breed of merchandise.

Top 20 Best Things to Sell at Flea Markets

Here are the top 20 best things to sell at flea markets:

  1. Vintage Clothing: Unique styles, sustainable appeal. Source from thrift shops or estate sales. Highlight era, maintain good condition.
  2. Handmade Crafts: Creativity, craftsmanship. Source from craft fairs or self-made. Reflect time and materials in pricing.
  3. Antiques and Collectibles: Rarity, history. Source from estate sales or online auctions. Consider rarity in pricing.
  4. Furniture and Home Décor: Vintage charm, budget appeal. Source from estate sales or auctions. Price based on condition.
  5. Vinyl Records and CDs: Tangible media appeal. Source from yard sales or personal collections. Group by genre or artist, price competitively.
  6. Costume Jewelry: Affordability, variety. Source from estate sales or personal collections. Create eye-catching displays, price reasonably.
  7. Handcrafted Soaps and Candles: Artisanal appeal. Source from homemade or locally sourced. Beautiful packaging, offer samples.
  8. Artwork and Prints: Local support, unique décor. Source from local artists or self-made. Creative display, offer a range of prices.
  9. Children's Toys and Games: Family appeal. Source from yard sales or clearance aisles. Clean and organize well, meet safety standards.
  10. Electronic Gadgets and Accessories: Tech-savvy appeal. Source from personal upgrades or liquidation sales. Test items, offer short-term guarantee.
  11. Books and Comic Books: Wide appeal, nostalgia. Source from personal libraries or thrift stores. Organize well, consider bulk pricing.
  12. Plants and Gardening Supplies: Seasonal appeal. Source from local nurseries or self-grown. Healthy presentation, offer care tips.
  13. Sports Memorabilia: Sports enthusiasm. Source from estate sales or online auctions. Price based on rarity and condition.
  14. Kitchenware and Small Appliances: Budget-friendly, practicality. Source from estate sales or thrift stores. Clean thoroughly, test appliances.
  15. Tools and Hardware: DIY appeal, bargain hunting. Source from personal upgrades or clearance sales. Ensure functionality, price based on condition.
  16. Pet Supplies: Pet owner appeal. Source from lightly used items or pet store overstock. Clean, safe and well-displayed.
  17. Seasonal Items and Decorations: Festive appeal. Source from clearance sales or personal inventory. Time sales correctly, competitive pricing.
  18. DIY Kits and Hobby Supplies: Crafters, hobbyists appeal. Source from craft store overstocks or personal excess. Organize neatly, reasonable pricing.
  19. Gourmet Food Items and Local Produce: Food lover, health-conscious appeal. Source from local farms or self-made. Follow health regulations, offer samples.
  20. Health and Wellness Products: Health-conscious appeal. Source from overstock sales or homemade items. Attractive display, provide product information.

Tips for Successful Flea Market Vendors

To be successful at flea markets, consider the following tips:

  • Create an inviting booth: Your booth is your storefront. It should be clean, organized, and inviting. A well-arranged display with clear signage can pique shoppers’ interest and guide them to products they might like.
  • Cater to your customers: Understand who your customers are and what they want. Tailor your product selection, presentation, and pricing to meet their preferences and needs.
  • Master your pricing strategy: Pricing is a delicate balancing act. It needs to be competitive enough to attract shoppers yet profitable for your business.
  • Invest in quality merchandise: Quality sells. Regardless of the product type, ensure what you offer is in good condition and worth the price.
  • Rotate your stock: Keep your booth fresh and interesting by regularly rotating your stock. This gives repeat customers something new to explore and increases the likelihood of sales.
  • Be prepared for different payment methods: In today’s digital world, being able to accept various payment methods, including cash, cards, and mobile payments, is crucial.

What Not to Sell at Flea Markets

While a vast array of products can thrive in the dynamic environment of a flea market, some items might be more trouble than they’re worth for vendors. Overly large or heavy items can be burdensome to transport and set up, and they may discourage buyers who weren’t prepared for heavy lifting. Perishable goods with a short shelf life pose another challenge. While fresh produce or homemade treats can be popular, they also come with the risk of spoiling if not sold swiftly, leading to potential losses.

Selling counterfeit or knock-off items is a clear no-go. Not only does this erode trust with customers, but it can also land you in legal trouble, as selling counterfeit goods is illegal. Items that are in poor condition or broken are unlikely to attract buyers. As a vendor, it’s crucial to ensure that every item you sell is in good, functional condition, offering real value to your customers.

By steering clear of these less suitable items, vendors can maintain a high-quality offering that keeps customers coming back for more. It’s important to assess the practicality, legality, condition, and market demand of items before including them in your flea market inventory.

Understanding what's trending at flea markets can help vendors tailor their offerings and marketing strategies, leading to improved sales and customer engagement. Grasping these nuances is key to navigating the vibrant, ever-changing tapestry that is the local flea market.

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