How to Make Money as a Street Vendor
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Let's face it, not all of us are cut out to get up at 5:00 a.m., dog it out in a
traffic jam, be bored to tears for eight hours while kissing bosses butts, and then
dog it out in another traffic jam, just to repeat the same thing the next day. Some
of us just can't live that life style. In most big cities, there is a vibrant business
community happening right on the street. If you're interested in taking part in it,
here are a few quick-to-learn guidelines to help your business start on the right foot.
Choosing What to Sell
Sell Something You Have
Select something to sell that you enjoy and that there is a demand for in your city.
What is hard to find? Do you have wholesale access to something on the cheap
from which you might profit? Used books, newspapers, and zines are often sold on
the street. This is something you can purchase at yard sales or Goodwill stores and
mark-up for sale at Farmer's Markets or high-traffic street fairs. Or, if you've got a
mile-long book collection, it could be a fun way to clear out the old and make
some money for new purchases.
Antiques and novelties can likewise be purchased cheaply at yard sales and second-hand
stores, then marked-up for sale outdoors. Acquired a porcelain doll collection from a
relative that you've got no room for? Sell it to someone who does!
Firewood is always a useful and necessary sale item in rural areas or near campgrounds.
If you have a supply, selling firewood can be as easy as putting a sign in your driveway.
Fruit and other produce is commonly sold at roadside stands and farmers' markets. If
you've got an apple or cherry tree whose fruit always goes to the birds, it may be a
good idea to package up your produce and sell it. In rural areas, it's also common to
put out produce like peppers and eggs with a collection jar, operating on the honors
system. It can be a good way to get rid of excess produce your family can't eat, and
make a little money while you do it.
Sell Something You Make
Have an artsy compulsion that results in a lot of stuff? Start selling it!
Pottery is often sold at farmers' markets and street fairs. It goes well alongside food
products, but is also versatile enough to sell alongside paintings and other art. Sell
cookware, cups, pots, and vases as well as small sculptures and clay novelties.
Paintings and photographs are often popular items at outdoor markets. In high-traffic
areas, a striking visual sells itself. Learn to price accordingly, as most people don't
carry lots of cash around, even at street fairs. Consider offering deals for multiple purchases.
Jewelry, especially around holidays, is something everyone wants to buy - either for
themselves or for a loved one. Around Christmas is a safe bet, but jewelry is a popular
birthday item as well, so stay out there!
Screen-printed t-shirts that you can make on and order-by-order basis are a safe bet
for music festivals. Allowing people to decide what to put on their shirts cuts down on
the work you do before hand, but make sure you bring enough supplies to keep up with
demand at the event.