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Post Info TOPIC: Does anyone sell at flea markets/bazaars/fairs?


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Does anyone sell at flea markets/bazaars/fairs?


Obviously, you have to have a registered business which is most likely done in your state of domicile.  But what do you do if you're an itinerant vendor working out of many states?  do you need to register your business in every state?

 

Thanks,



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Cheryl, I would guess not, there is probably some type of waver that reciprocates state licensing for individuals who operate on the show circuit. That being said I would not be surprised if out of state vendors had to pay a fee that in some round about way gets stolen by some state agency....

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Every state I've been in cheryl seems to have some type of collection system.........depending wich your dealing with some give you a time limit to register.....some collect a fee....some flea markets , fairs and shows carry a blanket permit and collect a percentage of sales.

 

 

 

 

alot of homework goes into this one.........would always sugest calling the market or fair prior to making plans to attend........there is several national listing books that list each flea market its attendence.....and contacts

I do alot of marketing and shows on the road.....



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There use to be and maybe still is a book called Flea Market Directory. I have not done many markets since the mid-90's, it seemed the best ones were near metropolitan cities. The local small town events did well if you catered to the basics of living; fruits and vegetables, outdated food and dented canned goods, sometimes used small appliances and kiddie toys.

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The largest Flea market directory out at the moment is...."Clark's Flea Market guide"....this is updated alot and I use it to preplan trips to find the larger markets with high foot traffic and to schedule around doing fairs and craft and rallie's

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

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My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Thank you all for your replies. Much appreciated, but we've gotten a little off topic. What I was asking was whether it was necessary to register your business (as a new business) in every state in which you sell items (whether at a flea market, holiday craft fair, church bazaar, state fair, etc.) for purposes of collecting sales tax.

Thanks!

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some local municipal cities and towns require you get there lic. it will differ from area to area. some dont require it others will......just prepare for it...

there is no set in stone rule , your lic. is only reg with your home state and with a federal tax ID. each state and town has its own laws on how it will collect its revenue...


Live Free & taxed to death !!!!!!!


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We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Thanks very much, Mike!  I think that's the answer I was looking for.  Bottom line: do homework first!



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2008 DRV MS 36TKBS3 (the CoW: Castle on Wheels), 2005 Ford F550 hauler (the Bull)

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Most states allow you to sell at these type of events several times a year without having to get a sellers permit. You'll need to check with each state, city & county you sell in to be sure. Most event coordinators show the requirements on the application form for renting space or on their website

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Cheryl,

Last year I set up at fleamarkets at least 3 days a week and in 9 different states and was never questioned by state or local tax folks.  A few venues ask for your "tax number" when reserving or renting a spot.  Some folks at markets, like Hazen, PA, just make up a number or "steal" one from a displayed vendors license to use when filling out the paperwork. 

Shows and festivals are more likely to require the sales tax "ID" or "vendor's license" than flea markets.  Some large flea markets, like Shipshewana (sp), IN do require one to rent a spot.   Indiana seems to want you to start a buisness in the state to register. Many (most?) markets in Indiana do not ask for the tax number.  I understand only one of the markets in or near Friendship, IN requires it.

There are always exceptions to general rules.  A little dinky  flea market at a drive in theater on the south side of Columbus, OH seems to checked at least monthy by the sales tax folks.  Their office is just up the road.

Clark's Fleamarket guide is about the best source for fleamarkets.  But don't believe the traffic figures- some are downright lies- the others are just exaggerated.  Two online sources for markets, events, and shows are:

http://festivalnet.com/index.html?fn02032

and

http://www.eventcrazy.com/

I know some vendors that swear by those two sites for listings.  Then they call around to find someone who knows about the event or just take a chance it they have an opening in their scedule. 

I haven't been to all that many states but I've never seen an official statement giving a grace period where a tax license is not required.  For instance, at a stationary engine show in WV last year the tax folks came around to collect.  A few full time vendors I know won't do that show anymore.  From the dollar figures I heard, there must have been a fine built in.  They feel it's not worth the paperwork hassle for only one show in that state. 

Larger Michigan markets have the tax paperwork available to send your collected sales tax to the state.  I just use those "temporary" forms when in MI.   Most TN markets "sell" the required state sales tax license.  By the way, as a vendor, TN would be my first choice for a domicile if there was a full service forwarder there.

I guess I'm reiterating, by giving examples, that you need to do your homework.  BUT that does not mean through the individual state's web sites or even talking to the shows.  The shows can give you some information but won't tell you "nobody ever checks".  You need to talk to other vendors.  I do a couple of shows/ markets where I know I won't make a lot of money but I meet several full time gypsy vendors. It's the other transient vendors that know the real rules at any given market.  If I'm headed south from Ohio, I always stop at Treasure Aisles and/or Caesar's Creek north of Cincinnati to get the latest "reports" on markets near the interstates through KY.  If you email or call the state of KY, they tell you a transient must get a one time license for each event or flea market at a local tax office a week early.  I think it was $7 three or four years ago.  And all you have to do is drive over, get the permit and cool your heels for a week.

There is no web site with good information about the "real" rules.  For instance no web site will tell you that the PA state police set up temporary weigh stations on the roads leaving the Cool Spring engine show this past spring.  And even if you're not overweight- do you have commercial tags?  Are you supposed to have them?  I do have a PA tax ID but I'm not going back to that show in October even though I did well and met a lot of people.  It's a can of worms I don't wish to open.  I can do as well elsewhere.

You need to talk to real full time transient vendors face to face.  The internet doesn't work well for this.  I know several transients that do very well while flying completely under the radar. Unless you're introduced or they see you frequently- they won't tell you anything useful.  Several weeks ago I ran into a gentlman I hadn't seen since February in southern TN.  It was "old home week".  I wound up with a whole notebook page list of "laid back" or gypsy friendly markets in KY, IN, and MI and leads on a couple of wholesalers.  He was friendly in February but wasn't sure about me until he saw me hundreds of miles away and 2 states up.

Oh, don't forget income tax.  I file in several states.  You probably should file in every state in which you report sales tax.

Good Luck, this is easier than it sounds and FUN.

fleamarketeer

Edit by moderator: Activated links.  Terry



-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Wednesday 26th of September 2012 09:25:20 AM

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Ditto:..................It does work Cheryl , Ive been showing for years and there are alot of simple steps you learn to keep out of trouble. Its just a little trial and error and collecting as much info as you can....it will also depend on your type of Vending and type of showing your planning on.........also as you get going you might find yourself traveling in a carravan of others doing the same and the knowledge gets greater...


Hope to see you out there...............................the best part part of doing is the dream of getting there and the enjoyment of being part of it!!!!!!!!!

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We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Cheryl - every state seems to vary in their rules. We do art shows in the Western US. Some states like WA & CA require a tax ID and/or a reseller permit, you have to include this on every application you submit. ID doesn't require an ID, if you show up as an out of state vendor you are handed a tax form to complete and mail within 14 days at the end of the show. I find that I have to check each individual state's department of revenue site. Rules seem to be changing quickly right now as states are trying to find ways to increase their revenue anyway they can.

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I have heard of some communities that only allow you to have 3-4 yard (garage) sales a year and want you to collect sales taxes on what you sell. You have to register with the local county court house to have the sales. Guees that is why I live in an RV and travle to seasonal jobs.



-- Edited by PIEERE on Wednesday 23rd of January 2013 06:55:25 PM

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Too bad it seems like we all need a "license" to survive, as if selling at a flea market is making anyone rich.

 

no



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Hina wrote:

Too bad it seems like we all need a "license" to survive, as if selling at a flea market is making anyone rich.

 

no


It's getting to be that way. 

I know you're in the northwest but some of the southern states are easily satisfied.  Mississippi and LA only require you to fill in an envelope and leave it with the flea market owner.  I've never been asked for ID just my name.  Ummm... I'm ah, Lucky Mike Pieere, ya that's it!  And then there are always variations on "Fleecin Marks" but that's more a carney answer.

I did meet a local "tax man" at a MS market.  But he was there to buy not mess with people.  He asked if I had any gold or silver and how I was doing.  The other vendors had warned me he'd probably be there. 

Just a hint, I never tell ANYBODY I don't know very well that I'm doing good at a market.  And exact dollar figures are seldom if ever mentioned except to your closest friends.

fleamarketeer



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as you get out there you will know the places to sell and not to sell........marketers talk,and take care of the ones they trust........you can actually be in the same town and have the tax man hit one market all the time and never drive cross town for the other!! ...........and there are alot of different venues to sell in

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My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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I'm a bit saavy to selling, seems like if I mix in some yard sale stuff, like my old shoes and misc. junk, that might also keep the tax man moving on.

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I have done mostly larger art/craft shows and festivals for many years, the Promoter normally takes care of the license's and permits, etc...state tax is another thing, they usually around with the paperwork and you send that in after the event, each state is different. One of the best sources for events is www.festivalnet.com. Hope that helps.


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Taxes, bah, hum bug.

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Hina - totally agree!! bah humbug, just finished taxes, not happy with the results and I know next year will be worse when we are debt free, hadn't really thought that part through too much, but I still think the "freedom to move about the country" will be worth paying a little more in income tax.

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BTW, one more note on selling at fairs, markets, etc. Check the state's income tax requirements if you have your business registered as an LLC or any other form of corporation besides a simple sole proprietorship. An artist friend of ours from AZ just got an unpleasant surprise, it seems that if you earn income in California and are registered as an LLC, they nail you with at least an extra $800 tax bill. He only participated in 2 art shows in 2012 and is getting hit with a hefty tax bill even though he is not a resident. Not sure of all the details since we're not an LLC but may be something you need to consider if you want to sell in California.

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Yeah, I know about the California LLL... I had applied, thought I had one, then got a letter saying they changed the forms, and I really didn't have an LLC. confuse I guess it's all good, though, one less tricky tie for me in California to undo.

I was reading an article about NBA players and how tricky their taxes are, because they play games in every state, thus, they owe income tax in every state. I have been thinking, setting a flea market route through the states with no income tax might be the way to go! biggrin



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your income tax will be based out of your home state.......your Sales tax will be based out of every state you declare

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My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Mike,

It varies.  Years ago, when we lived in the Oklahoma Panhandle, we lived in Oklahoma.  However, Jo had a weekend job in Elkhart, Kansas.  She always had to pay Kansas income tax as well as Oklahoma.

Terry



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Ok, I have another question concerning statistical / demographic studies. DH and I are considering changing careers and thinking of earning a living on the road selling at festivals, street fairs, bazaars, and similar venues. Naturally, finding the best product is the hardest thing! We don't want to sell food (actually, we do, but it's not worth the hassle with the local health depts). It needs to be something that doesn't require a large inventory, and something that has sales potential Anywhere USA -- ie is not limited by culture or weather (ie can't do temp tattoos where people wear coats, and won't sell scarves where it's warm!). Obviously, needs a lot of impulse appeal. I think it should also be very unique, so we want to steer away from t-shirts and jewelry.

What I'm looking for is a study (or information from you guys who do these fairs) -- what is the makeup of attendees (mostly families, mostly teens?), what types of items do they typically buy at these fairs?

Thanks!

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This isn't scientific, but it seems like pet supplies might be popular, especially unique things at a good price, like cute sweaters. Seems like the same would apply to children's stuff, like cute little princess dresses, and dress up costumes. And on the Dollar Days website, they say socks sell well.

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Cheryl,
not sure if this will work for your situation, but it might give you some ideas. A few years ago we met a couple at an art fair, the "hand made" art was in one part of the park, the buy/sell products in another area. One of the couples sold wind spinning devices that they ordered from a company in MN. At the end of each show, they looked at their inventory, placed an order to backfill whatever they needed and ordered it to be dropped shipped to the UPS store closest to their next festival. That way they didn't have to carry as much inventory with them and they had the week off between each show. We had a bit of envy over their life style since we spend the weeks between showing making our products.

Demographics vary greatly. Tourist areas we are more likely to see mostly families, sometimes 3-4 generations. Fairs / Festivals in downtown or close to downtown locations attract a very wide variety of participants.

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Cheryl...............I'm presently working the New England markets & spring fairs.......normal clientele is mixed with the higher numbers being older families and over 40

suggestion on selling is to go to a few with your ideas in mind....then see how much of that idea is for sale.......problem with markets and shows is if some one see's an item selling "hot" they will be back next week to sell it themselves and you end up with the dealers flooding the market


old best sellers that would do good if brought back

Time out kids
wood toys
nature type lamps & settings
cast iron cookware and lodge type Americana
Blankets always sell well along with bedding

I personally am selling routed wood signs made on site and small tables and shelving made on site to order...(doing well,I might add)

I find if you can turn your craft on site...people watch and buy !!!

On Site Crafts

towle painting & Steciling.....personalized americana type signs do well

jewelery crafted on site with a decent display of premade for sale

glass works


I guess the best is to reseach a few ideas and feel free to PM me and ask what I see out here and if it will work!!!
hope to see you out here

Mike & Nikki

smithing of metals.......



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My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Mike - do you sell at the same markets or do you go to different ones? My plans are to space them out, maybe 2 a month, and in different states or parts of the state. I did kind of figure anything personalized AND anything done on site would work well (over 30 years ago, DH and I made sculpted sand candles which required a blow torch to sculpt, and then dipped candles, both of which we sold at craft fairs. Long story why we quit, but I guess in our close to retirement years, our hearts want to go back in that direction, this time taking our home with us!). I will PM you with an idea I have. I would love to sell wrapped candy (like those huge lollipops) but I'm not sure how I would store it; I'm not sure how often it'll be cool enough in the storage area not to melt.

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I do different markets and shows....according to size and traffic volume.....if it is a good market I will do 2 weekends depending on the area and how long i want to play tourist durring the week and what else can be profitably scheduled.

as far as cold storage a small freezer with blue ice or aluminum spacers will do really well to keep things cool during travel and not take up much space!!......when you park for the nite it can be turned back on to hold its temp

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

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We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Cheryl - in an earlier question you asked what sold well at these shows. Have you walked any shows lately? If you're looking for ideas take a few weekends and walk some shows, see which booths are always crowded and see which ones don't receive very many visitors.

Lately, at the shows we participate in, any type of garden art seems to sell really well. It appears many Americans have filled up their interior walls and are decorating outside! I also find that people with unique, or fun pet things, seem to always have a crowded booth, often with those silly little dog strollers. Pet stores were one of the few areas of the economy which experienced growth the last few years, we just have to pamper our furry babies (and yes, I'm among those who have an awesomely spoiled feline).

I know you mentioned you didn't want to deal with health dept rules across multiple locations. Not sure if items that are pre-packaged have the same rules, but the booths that sell specialty dip sauces, BBQ sauce, speciality olive oils, etc. always seem to be crowded. Not sure how much they sell vs. people who are looking for free samples.

If you're going to aim for the shows that attract families, it seems there's always a lack of booths that interest kids.

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I recently discovered an online venue, a sort of eBay for artists and crafters: http://www.artfire.com/



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I think I've seen this site mentioned here on RV Dreams, but it hasn't been mentioned in this thread.  Check out....

Etsy

Terry



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Etsy is supposedly only for hand crafted, however, seems to have been "hijacked" by importers more recently, especially in the jewelry category. Our biggest issue with Etsy is that there are way too many hobbyists out there just trying to recoup their materials expense that they aren't charging anything for their time.
Personally for us, selling on Etsy would be selling at less than wholesale, not exactly a financially sustaining endeavor.


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Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

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I appreciate all the great advice everyone has offered! Thanks!  Here's another question....

Do any of you use a canopy for outdoor shows?  Are there any adjustable models?  All I can seem to find are 10 x 10 or 20x20 and a few other fixed measurements.  Do most places offer a standard 10 x 10 space, and if not, what do you use for cover outdoors?



-- Edited by cherylbrv on Friday 19th of April 2013 02:42:01 PM

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Thanks, Ruth.

I"ve never used Etsy myself, but had heard about it.  It's good that you told us how it has changed, or in some other way, may not be a viable resource for our participants.

Terry



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The biggest sellers at the events we sold at were the new "AS SEEN ON TV" type products. The folks offering the latest in kitchen gadgets, tools, cleaning devices or health related seemed to be selling the most volume of products.

Impulse buying is what you want to generate. If you have the latest gadget to offer and catch someone's eye with a great demo of the product, that's when the money will roll in.

I offered a tool and it got so busy I had to have someone with me to collect the money and hand out the product.

Eventually, the tool stopped selling well because the market became saturated. That's what happens if you continue to sell the same product(s) at the same events month after month. You need to move on to other events or offer other products. Can't put all of your eggs in one basket.

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"Small House, Big Yard "

"May the FOREST be with you"
Alfa See-Ya 5'er and 2007 Kodiak C4500 Monroe

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