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"Flea Market Payment Options" Topic

24 Posts

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Lucius24 Sep 2021 12:21 p.m. PST

I'm going to try to get rid of a serious amount of stuff at the MillenniumCon flea market, in preparation for a move next year. I've never sold at a flea Market before – this will be my one and only outing.

Besides cash, what payment options are commonly seen/expected in convention flea markets these days? PayPal? Venmo? Zelle?

skipper John24 Sep 2021 12:36 p.m. PST

I love Zelle, it is instant! You'd think it would work perfectly for flee market transactions. Excellent idea!!

Royal Air Force24 Sep 2021 12:40 p.m. PST

You may want to check with the con rules first, Historicon bans electronic payment methods. "You cannot accept credit, debit card payments (to include PayPal), or any other form of electronic payment. You may accept barter, cash or check."

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Sep 2021 1:26 p.m. PST

Not sure about flea markets, but Paypal will let you take credit cards if you go that route…

Lucius24 Sep 2021 2:19 p.m. PST

Thanks RAF. I didn't even think of that.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2021 3:56 p.m. PST

I'm still receiving checks in flea markets--and I have never had a flea market check bounce. But be sure to price in whole units, and to bring adequate change. In the US, no price is under $1 USD, though that might buy you several of something, all prices are in whole dollars and the change pouch always starts a convention with 12 $5 USD bills and 40 singles.

Be sure to mark everything. This lets a customer show you his purchase and give you money while you're talking to someone else. If they can't immediately find out how much an item is, they'll mostly just move on to the next table.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP24 Sep 2021 4:28 p.m. PST

I'll second the advice above. I always bring a fatter bank and include some tens and twenties because I inevitably get the guys who want to pay with fifties and c- notes.

If the con allows e-payment, I would accept Venmo, Zelle, PayPal and Apple Pay. I'm at a toy soldier show right now and while everyone brings cash, most buyers under 50 seems to ask for one of the above for large purchases.

huron72524 Sep 2021 5:52 p.m. PST

What!? There are people under 50 at the Chicago Toy Soldier Show?! Sweet.

snurl124 Sep 2021 10:00 p.m. PST

The first buyer will want to break a 100 dollar bill. Every. Damn. Time.

Lucius25 Sep 2021 4:37 a.m. PST

Thanks to all!

I did email Milleniumcon to ask about it.

And I'll mark it all.

Cerdic25 Sep 2021 6:17 a.m. PST

Checks!!! You've got to be kidding?

I can't even remember the last time I wrote a check. I don't think banks here even issue checkbooks any more…

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2021 7:29 a.m. PST

@snurl1 for a $20 USD purchase. That's why I'm always prepared to help people give me their money.

@Cerdic they're pretty much confined to the older folks and the severely tech averse. I don't mind them if it helps a sale (see above). I can use mobile deposit on my phone, the irony of which is not lost on me.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2021 8:14 a.m. PST

As a frequent flea market shopper, I always bring a lot of ones and fives and few tens and twenties.

You're welcome.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2021 8:55 a.m. PST

Not all heroes wear capes.

Royal Air Force25 Sep 2021 1:44 p.m. PST

Good luck on your sales.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2021 3:10 p.m. PST

Cerdic, checks are not common at the big HMGS-Formerly East conventions, but the Seven Years War Association Annual Convention is another matter. They're so far out of step with the 21st Century they're polite to each other, don't play loud music in one another's eardrums and keep profanity to a minimum.

If age and finances force me to cut back, the SYWA will be the last convention standing.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2021 6:45 p.m. PST

When I sold a large collection of a friend's estate, I took along empty boxes to help customers take more than a handful of figures. My son, a born salesman, would convince many folks to fill up their box.

I use Uline boxes, for the sale and figure storage


Al Swearengen27 Sep 2021 7:35 a.m. PST

Why does the con forbid electronic payment??

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Sep 2021 10:45 a.m. PST

While I do use mostly cash when I go to UK shows I too would be genuinely interested to know the reason(s) for not allowing electronic payment. We did have shows in the UK where the signal was so poor it was almost impossible but I haven't seen that happening recently.

Lucius27 Sep 2021 6:15 p.m. PST

I did hear from one of the MillenniumCon organizers. Electronic payment is fine.

Long live Round Rock, Texas!

Mirosav27 Sep 2021 7:22 p.m. PST

I think originally it was interpreted as a sign of a ‘professional' vendor. Now that electronic payment methods are so widespread in daily life I think that policy is due for a reassessment.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2021 7:27 p.m. PST

Once upon a time, the flea markets* at HMGS-E cons were plagued with professionals. I remember guys who had folding display cabinets, spin racks, etc. Always tons of new or near new product too. The dealers rightly complained. So, they instituted a slew of rules (viewable on the HMGS site) governing all aspects of the flea market process. No displays for example, which includes putting one box on top of another. The original ban on credit cards was expanded to any electronic payment.

Now, that may have made sense even 20 years ago but is absurd now. America is a long way from being cashless, but payment apps are ubiquitous and are not just a tool for businesses.

*Wally was alive so it was still a flea market

TSD10127 Sep 2021 7:38 p.m. PST

Now, that may have made sense even 20 years ago but is absurd now.

Don't expect change any time soon. Look how long it took them to move into the modern age and do online voting for BOD members. A group of us went to one HMGS meeting and it was an eye opening experience as people actually railed against moving the organization forward into the 21st century and use a trusted 3rd party vendor to conduct online voting.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2021 6:01 p.m. PST

Returning to this topic with some personal experience from last weekend's Chicago Toy Soldier Show. Relevant in that it's very similar to a flea market in that most of the traders are either people selling from their collections or running a verycasual side business/tax write-off. Also, there is only one day of a "floor show", but several days of room trading prior.

I did two days of room trading and the full day on the floor Sunday. Overwhelmingly cash, as was expected. Apparently it's very much part of the show demographic. I took four personal checks. Of the six electronic payments I accepted, every one was…Zelle. This surprised me, as I expected it to be Venmo or PayPal. The best part is it's free and the funds are instantly in your account. I'll be at the Columbus Toy Soldier Show on Oct. 17, so I'll be interested to see what the breakdown there will be.

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