Donald Wolff: A Perfect Storm-The Flea Market

Donald Wolff's Perspective

The first annual Small Business Saturday Event occurred the day after Black Friday in November 2010. Nationwide, awareness of small businesses was brought to the forefront and consumers were encouraged to shop at local, neighborhood shops. 

Here are three interesting facts about small businesses:  First, for every $100 spent at a small business, $68 returns to the local economy. Over the last decade, 60% to 80% of new jobs were generated by small businesses.  Third, small businesses employ half of all private sector employees.  Now take a step back and look a Flea Market.  It is the ultimate small business.  It is where anybody can start his or her own business – true entrepreneurship.  For centuries worldwide, flea markets and other forms of outdoor markets have been and continue to be commonplace and the main avenue of doing business. 

Wolff’s takes great pride in being able to offer an opportunity for anyone to start a business at a very affordable cost.  No need for a long-term lease and other overhead expenses including advertising, utilities, security, maintenance, and so on.  The traffic generated to a vendor's booth could not be replicated at any corner strip mall.  We bring 1000’s of shoppers “to your store”. 

While we play a part, the rest is up to you. Why are vendors successful?  The reasons are varied of course, but over the years I have seen a few possible reasons for success.  Thriving vendors take their role as a small businessperson seriously.  They are courteous and pleasant to their potential shoppers and offer one-on-one help—a welcome advantage over big box stores. They have possibly found a “niche” and offer fresh, varied, unique, desirable and competitively priced merchandise for sale that also allows for some “haggle room”.  Shoppers of course like and sometimes expect to bargain.  Vendors are prepared to sell, which includes having change, bags, etc.  They also offer solutions and stand behind their merchandise when someone returns with a concern over a previously purchased item.

Flea Market business is up across the country for many reasons.   Of course the economy has an influence.  In tough economic times, some people need to make extra money (vendors) and many others simply need to save money (shoppers).  What a perfect storm – A Flea Market. 

Wolff’s is a member of the NFMA (National Flea Market Association) and is in constant communication with other markets throughout the U.S.


  1. Very good points. A flea market allows entrepreneurs to start without capital investment. I know this because I have an Masters in Entrepreneurship.


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