Clement sent this in-
I used to sell jewelry at the flea market in California. Specifically, silver jewelry. Along with about 10 other vendors.
That’s a problem in a crowded market with limited circulation of people interested in your jewelry. So, I had to think on my feet.
I partnered with some of the other vendors, so they would refer me some of their customers. What we’d do is, I would offer to buy them lunch for every 10 people they sent me, which cost them nothing to do.
Markup on silver jewelry is good. Actually, great. You can almost double your money on most pieces.
I’d try to target the vendors that sold mainly stuff that women would be interested in, like cosmetics, fashion sunglasses, essence oils. Stuff like that.
You’re probably asking why they would send me their customers, right? Well, for one, I’d buy them lunch that day, once they sent me 10 customers. That’s like $6-$8 at the flea. But, they had to give my card out to people to come purchase from me, with a 20% discount on the back of the card, signed by me.
The average piece of jewelry I sold was $12.95, with some people buying more than one piece, because I would offer discounts on top of the 20% for more pieces purchased. As well, some pieces were above the $12.95 price. I ended up with $10.35, after the 20% discount, if they only bought 1 piece. I’d offer 2 for $20.
5 X $10.35=$51.75 – $8 for lunch = $43.75
The jewelry cost me roughly $5 per piece, so I was left with $18.75 after expenses, assuming I had to buy lunch. Some days I’d make $200-300 on a busy day.
The sweet part? Everyone who bought got 2 extra cards with another 20% discount. They gave them away to friends and family, getting me extra business that didn’t cost me anything.
After 3 years of that, I decided to sell the business. I had contacts, clients that shopped regularly, and inventory. I struck a deal with a friend of mine who was watching my business grow from the start.They liked buying operating businesses.
They had a landscaping business and they ended up trading me a ton of landscaping work and lawn maintainence for a year. They made out well, as the traded value on their side was less than the declared value for me. But I didn’t have to lay out cash, and my home’s value increased more than what my jewelry business sold for.
Plus I got to sell the jewelry to them at cost plus 25%.