Welcome small business owners and creatives! We're so glad you're here. At The Cleveland Flea, we're not just a market, we're a community of dreamer-doers. And we don't just sell space, we sell the opportunity for growth, for camaraderie, for evolving. We provide a platform for you to start, launch and grow your creative business in the way that works best for you. Whether you run a side hustle and have limited time or you've taken the leap and are looking to expand, Cleveland Flea markets offer monthly milestones for you to get to know your creative business better. In addition to bringing together the best makers, small-batch producers, vintage vendors and treasure hunters, we also have the best shoppers! We've been careful to market in a way that draws your dreamiest clients toward you– people who are raving fans of Cleveland's handmade, high-quality, unique, creatively-presented items and experiences.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
The April flea booths go on sale March 1st and are first come, first serve for vendors who are accepted. The cut off date for acceptance as a "full season pass holder" AND for acceptance to the April flea was February 15th. If you are interested in being a vendor at the May, June, July, August, September, or October markets, then you can still apply, but you will not hear back regarding acceptance or denial until approximately 8 weeks before each market date.
So are you interested in becoming a vendor? Please review the FAQs below before you submit your application!
VENDOR APPLICATION FAQs
What's included with your booth purchase?
The Cleveland Flea is a small business incubator that draws thousands of Northeast Ohioans to lesser-known neighborhoods in the city to shop curated vintage, culinary all-stars and the most talented makers in the region. Here's what you get by making a commitment to join us this season:
- Your booth space - An opportunity to create your own pop-up shop within an engaged community of like-minded businesses and shoppers.
- Inclusion on our vendor list (and map if you are a Full Season Pass holder) featured on our website for each Flea.
- Networking opportunities. The ability to meet and connect with some of the greatest movers and shakers within the community.
- Potential social media features.
Vendor Types / Categories
- Handmade / Maker
- Food (stand / truck / trailer)
- Farm stand/produce
- Experiential + Interactive
Booth Sizes and Pricing
5' x 10' | $250 | Shared Booth
10' x 10' | $300 | Single Booth | Handmade / Food / Small-scale Vintage
10 x 20' | $450 | Double Booth | Handmade / Food
10 x 20' (large-scale vintage) | $300 | Large-scale Vintage
Food Truck / Trailer (up to 15' x 35') | $325
Full Season Pass | $2,000 (10' x 10' booth / large-scale vintage)
Full Season Pass (Food Truck / Trailer) | $2,175
Partial Season Pass (3 markets) | $850
Application Submission and Notification Dates
Accepted APRIL & FULL SEASON PASS vendors will receive their acceptance letters by February 15th. At that time, no new vendors will be accepted as FULL SEASON PASS vendors. Having said that, we have a rolling application process that allows us to continue to add new and interesting vendors throughout the season to fill all of our remaining spots. The application stays live on the website throughout the season and we check it once a month for updates. Any newly accepted vendors will purchase their booths on the days listed below - the same as everyone else. Please note that those who are not accepted into the 2018 season will also receive notice by February 15th.
If you're an accepted Full Season Pass vendor, when you purchase your booth, you will fill out a small form that will allow you to indicate your top booth choices. As always, there are no guarantees, but we will do what we can to honor your requests. A Full Season Pass for the 2018 season for everyone except food trucks (without upgrades) is $2,000 and includes all 7 markets. You will remain in the same spot all season. Purchasing all markets at once saves you $100, guarantees your same spot, and allows you to be done with booth sales for the season.
Accepted Partial Season Pass vendors (3 markets) and Month To Month vendors will have one day to buy the market(s) of their choice prior to the start of the season. Booth spots are first come, first serve. Partial Season Pass and Month To Month vendors will be assigned a spot. You do have the option to upgrade by indicated that you would like a high traffic zone or corner booth by purchasing one of the limited "booth upgrades". You are welcome to purchase as many markets at you like on each booth sale date. You are accepted to all of them if you received and acceptance e-mail and it's your choice which ones you choose to participate in. You can pick one or two if you are a month-to-month vendor or just get one for now. If you are a Partial Season Pass vendor then you need to pick at least 3 but you can purchase more if you like.
You will get an opportunity to purchase a booth 6 weeks prior to each event. Booth sales will only be live for one day, and will be first come first serve. This is why we encourage everyone to snag what they want on March 1st for the entire season to ensure you can participate in every market you want to be a part of. See Booth Sales Dates for more info.
The Cleveland Flea is a juried event, and we review each application thoughtfully. We jury each application according to the overall brand that we look to maintain at each Flea. It's very important to us that small business owners in our city are supported and we understand that feedback is an important part of the process towards growth.
As a successful flea market who receives close to 500 vendor applications each outdoor season (but can only accept around 170 a month) and sees up to 10,000 shoppers at each event, we have a brand presence in the community that we have to maintain.
We are known for being:
- innovative/cutting edge/trendsetting
- a creative hub
- an exciting and adventurous experience
- a launchpad for small businesses
As such, we have a list of criteria we look for when jurying vendor applications. That list includes but is not limited to the following questions:
- Is this vendor committed to being their best?
Do they have a website? Do they have a presence on social media? Is there packaging/labeling/setup appealing to our shoppers?
- Of all of the vendors of this type that we've seen, is this one of the best?
Does this vendor fall into the top 10% of candle vendors (for instance)?
- Did this vendor get all of their information to us in a timely manner?
Did they apply on time? Did they buy their booth on time? Did we have to follow-up on missed parts of their application? Did they include photos? Were any of their links broken?
- When this vendor shows up at our market, will they set up a booth that's gorgeous?
It may be simple, but will it be designed well and be inviting and exciting for our shoppers or will it just be a simple table with little thought put in to set-up or signage?
- Do we have too many of the same vendors?
We have to make sure we don't accept 5 donut vendors, for instance.
- Will this vendor offer something unique that others are not offering?
- Does this vendor have "the cool factor"?
In other words, will they show up in a modern, cool, cutting edge way that's in line with our market or is their product outdated, not of high quality, or inconsistent in some way.
- Is this vendor handmade, vintage, or food?
We do accept a few vendors who sell items that are not handmade (such as small boutique vendors) but we do not want our market to be flooded with this type of vendor. In addition, we don't accept any franchises.
- Does this vendor excite and inspire us?
If they sell items that can be found easily (and cheaper) at local box stores like Target then it's likely not a vendor that will be a great fit for us. We want to showcase beautiful, handmade, HIGH quality, made-in-the-US vendors as well as vintage vendors who source fashion-forward products and have a great eye for design.
If, while reading this list of criteria, you thought to yourself, "I think I check all of the boxes. I'm a serious business owner with a special, cutting edge brand that's unique!" ...Keep scrolling and submit your application!
Booth Sales Dates
March 1st | for partial season pass holders & month-to-month vendors who want to snag their ideal months and know they are set
March 30th | for participation in May's market or any markets after May that you have not yet purchased
April 27th | for participation in June's market or any markets after June that you have not yet purchased
June 1st | for participation in July's market or any markets after July that you have not yet purchased
June 29th | for participation in August's market or any markets after August that you have not yet purchased
July 27th | for participation in September or October's market - the final market of the outdoor season
August 31st | for participation in October - the final market of the outdoor season
Refund + Cancellation Policies
Vendors are required to sign an agreement when purchasing a booth spot. The booth spot fee is non-refundable except as otherwise provided herein. If a vendor fails to show up at the Flea that a booth spot was purchased, it is at The Cleveland Flea's discretion to terminate the Vendor Agreement.
Vendor must remit the booth spot payment to The Cleveland Flea by the method and by the date to be specified on the Offer E-mail and/or Vendor Packet, should you be accepted.
Business Tax + Permitting
Here are the things you'll want to do after you fill out your application & once you've been approved to sell at The Flea:
- TAXES. We know taxes aren't all that fun, but alas, they are a necessary evil and you know what? Paying taxes means we're legit! We're legit small business owners who are making CASH. It's alllll how ya spin it, friends.
- VENDOR'S LICENSE
Transient Vendor's License
You sell things in Ohio, but you move around. So, even if you have a brick and mortar, you'll need this if you sell outside of that.
Each person with a fixed place of business in Ohio from which taxable sales are made. Vendors must have one license for each fixed place of business. License is issued by the County Auditor.
- (VINTAGE VENDORS ONLY) SECONDHAND DEALER'S LICENSE
(FOOD VENDORS ONLY) HAZARDOUS MATERIALS PERMIT
If you are using charcoal or propane, you'll need to do a few more things than the other vendors. It's the price you pay for being so damn HOT!
Be sure that you've gone through hazardous materials training and have a certificate to prove it.
Visit the Fire Department at 1645 Superior Ave. to fill out an application for temporary storage of hazardous materials.
Bring the app over to Tyler Village for a signature from the property owner.
Submit all of those materials and the city's application fee to the Fire Department THREE WEEKS BEFORE the Flea.
E-mail proof that your materials have been submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org at least one week before the event.
(FOOD VENDORS ONLY) HEALTH DEPT. CHECK-IN Contact the Cleveland Health Department about what is required of your own business if you are selling food of any kind, and you will need a permit from them.
This is REQUIRED to sell food at the flea or you will risk having the health department shut you down on the day of (yes; this has happened!).
In addition, if the health department does shut you down because you do not meet their requirements, then it is likely that you will lose your right to participate in future Cleveland Flea markets.
Please check this off your list FOUR WEEKS BEFORE your first market and e-mail us with the appropriate information to let us know that you did at email@example.com with the subject titled "Your Business name - Health Department Approval".