I Opened for Business Early
Black Friday shoppers cull their holiday shopping into one day to save money in a big way. To catch the serious shoppers before they spent their money elsewhere, I would open my flea market store at 4:30 a.m. on Black Friday instead of 7 a.m. This way, I would have everything set up before the first 5 a.m. Black Friday shoppers arrived.
Black Friday Early-Bird Coupons
I created a homemade flyer with early-bird coupons especially for Black Friday. Starting with 50 percent off at 5 a.m., I progressed incrementally to 10 percent off that ended at 10 a.m. The early-bird coupons encouraged shoppers to begin their shopping spree at my store, before they spent the bulk of their money elsewhere. I distributed the flyers to shoppers starting around Halloween.
Cyber Monday Coupons for my Non-Cyber Business
Though my flea market business did not stem from the Internet, I cashed in on Cyber Monday shoppers by creating a special coupon for that day. Anyone who made a purchase on Black Friday received a coupon for 10 percent off a Cyber Monday purchase.
I Hired Help for the Day
I asked a friend to come help in my store for the day. She took a day off from work, but the pay I offered her was higher than the income she gave up. This extra pair of hands kept the shopping experience smooth for customers. No lines formed, and I lost no business from customers who were in a rush (as Black Friday shoppers always are).
On-the-Spot Gift-Wrapping for a Small Fee
For a small investment, I bought gift-wrapping bags in bulk. This made gift-wrapping a breeze. I sold each bag for $1 to shoppers who were interested. Some who were in a rush just bought the bags from me (to gift-wrap their items themselves), in which case, I offered 50 percent off the price of the bags. In either case, I made a small profit on the bags and offered my customers a convenience they wanted.
Encouraged Bulk Spending
Knowing that Black Friday shoppers run on a tight schedule, I made it easy for them to complete many of their purchases at my flea market store. Though I specialized in a two-piece children's set, I offered it in a wide range of colors and sizes. I also increased my stock of the most popular sizes (medium and large). Finally, I offered Black Friday gifts for shoppers who spent over certain amounts to further encourage bulk buying.
Supplemented My Stock During the Day
Throughout the day, I opened stock boxes to supplement my store with new colors and patterns. I wanted to create a feeling of vitality that would match the excitement of my Black Friday shoppers. Buyers would revisit my store and buy more as a result. This also kept my store looking well-stocked and inviting, even after the early-bird shopping rush.
After-Holiday Returns or Exchanges
I advertised my return policy clearly with a big sign. Though uncommon in a flea market environment, I offered returns or exchanges after the holidays, so long as the garment was unwashed and looking new. This made it easier for shoppers to buy gifts. With every purchase, I included a business card with my store's name and location.
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