3 Tips To Making Money Selling Homemade Foods At Flea Markets

If you want to make some extra money by selling homemade goodies at a flea market this summer, then that is a great idea. Flea markets are booming in the warm summer months, and if you sell a good product at a good price, then you can have fun while making extra income by working just a few hours a day every weekend. Follow these tips for getting started, and you can then look forward to a prosperous summer. 

1. Make Sure Your Product Is Allowed To Be Sold At The Market

Every flea market has differing rules when it comes to edible items they allow you to sell. Some flea markets have concession stands that sell certain foods already, and they don't want vendors that compete with concession sales. You also need to look into your state's laws regarding homemade foods, called "cottage laws". Some states require you to register with the health department before selling homemade goods, while some are more lax and simply require your foods to meet certain requirements. 

For example, the Cottage Laws in Ohio do not mandate any licensing before you sell specific types of food at flea markets. The state does have strict requirements of what can be sold and how it must be packaged and labeled, though.

Another state, California, also allows specific food items to be sold, but only up to a certain sales threshold of $50,000. You must also register with the Health Department before beginning sales and take a food handler online course within a few months of beginning operation. 

Look up your specific state on the website to see what the requirements are for you before you decide what to sell, and then complete the necessary registration if necessary. 

2. Start Preparing Product Packaging

Before you begin making your homemade goods, be sure to purchase the proper packaging for them. The cottage laws may dictate that they must be stored in air-tight containers, but each state also differs in packaging laws. Every state does have labeling requirements, so you must have proper labels made that contain all of the necessary information that the state requires on them. 

Most labels must have the following:

  • The name of your product. 
  • A disclaimer that the product was produced in a home. 
  • Your business name and address. (This can be your home address.)
  • Ingredient list in descending order. 
  • The weight of the product. 
  • A statement of allergens that are present in the product, such as nuts, dairy and/or wheat. 
  • Your health department registration number. (If your state requires it.)

These are general basics needed on most package labels, but refer to your specific state in the guide to make sure your labels meet requirements. 

Once you have the basic product information on your label, you can then choose a fun, eye-catching graphic that fits the product. For example, if you are selling homemade jam, you can make your jam look more enticing by placing a photo of a big ripe raspberry, strawberry, or blueberry on the label. If you really want to make sure your customers remember you next year, work with a label manufacturer create a unique logo to place on your product labels that they cannot forget. 

3. Purchase Your Table And Items To Create Your Display

Most flea markets require that you bring your own table, so purchase one that meets market requirements and is sturdy, yet lightweight. You will likely have to take it home with you every evening, so you will regret it if you purchase a table that is too heavy. 

Also, remember that you need to create a nice display and not just line your product on the table haphazardly. Purchase display shelves that allow you to not only place your items directly on the table, but also at eye-level, so your items catch eyes as customers are passing. A few eye-catching decorations, like over-sized fruit decor if you are selling fruit jam, can really help bring customers to your table. 

Selling homemade goods at a flea market this summer can help you bring in some extra cash while having fun at the same time. If you love to cook, then you can turn your passion into cash easily. Follow these tips to make sure you prepare properly, and you can then look forward to a smooth-sailing operation at the flea market.