Monday, March 26, 2012

A flea market Sunday

Yesterday, C had a first-hand experience of entrepreneurship. A few weeks ago, our residents' association announced their plan to organise a flea market/bazaar and C got excited when I told her about it. She said she wanted to earn some pocket money by selling something, so we registered ourselves to take up one stall at a mere RM5 token fee.

Then we started thinking about what we could sell -- her pre-school level story books that she's outgrown? Food? Handmade craft items? We decided on food because her books were too precious for me to part with, and we're not good at craftwork. So food it was, but what kind? Since it was to be HER 'business', I wanted her to be involved in it as much as possible, with us helping. So I suggested something simple which didn't involve much cooking and we finally settled on selling marshmallow pops.

She wrote the shopping list for me and I went to the supermarket to help her get the items. Then ACE worked together to make the marshmallow pops the afternoon before the sale. We made 93 sticks altogether. We could have had a few more sticks if we didn't gobble up some of the marshmallows ourselves along the way!

Marshmallow pops

Miss Camera-Shy at her stall

After setting up our stall between 9 to 10am, we sat and waited for customers. As it was a hot and sunny Sunday morning, the neighbours were a little slow, trickling in around 10.30am. Most people walked around the stalls, just browsing. To ensure we sold as much as we could, I told C to be more vocal to tell people what she was selling. So she rolled up a piece of paper like a loud hailer and started peddling her ware. Then I told her to walk around with the marshmallows and approach the people to ask them to buy.

The bazaar was for four hours. After two hours, we broke even. The afternoon was getting too hot and humid and C asked if she could go home. I told her she could only after she finished selling her marshmallows. I'm glad she stuck it out and started walking around again trying to get people to buy her goods.

By the end, she sold 85 sticks, gave away three sticks to the little girl at the stall next to ours, and took home the last five sticks. C counted her takings, deducted the cost and came away with a 53.3 per cent profit. Not bad for a first-time job I'd say.

I also managed to sell extremely cheaply some old, but 'new' i.e. unused items we had lying around the house, like aromatherapy items and tea sets. I also gave out brochures about this powerful antioxidant concentrate  ACE has been consuming for the past six months and found it helps greatly with our joint pain, allergy symptoms and digestive ailments like constipation.

Other foodstalls sold pasta and pizza, cupcakes, cookies, and lemonade, or promoted some slimming teas. There were stalls which sold used household and children's items, toys, and handmade jewellery. A stall beside ours offered air-conditioner servicing services.


Free samples of pizza, pasta and mushroom soup 

Handmade jewellery

All in all, I think it was a good hands-on learning experience for C. Besides experiencing the act of selling, we had also briefed her about cost, profit, loss, pricing and marketing.

Check it out here on how to make marshmallow pops.


Honey4Boyz said...

Well done!!!!!!!! Should do more of tis...let me know if anything like tis we can also participate. And u must share how u made the marshie pops - looked so yummy.

Anna said...

Hi Cheryl, thanks for commenting. This is the first time our RA organised this. I believe it's open only to residents to operate the stalls although we welcome customers from outside. If you're interested/serious about selling at a flea market, there are some malls like Amcorp (very established weekend flea market scene), Pearl Point (not sure if they still do) and The Curve where you can do so :)