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December 03rd, 2020

2nd chance flea marketLisa and Mike Spoores, owners of 2nd Chance Indoor Flea Market, along with J.J. Pendley, show some of the Christmas items available at their new business. L&T photo/Robert PierceROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times


A flea market is a type of street market that provides space for vendors to sell previously-owned or second-hand merchandise. 

This type of market is often seasonal. However, in recent years there has been the development of ‘formal’ and ‘casual’ markets, which divides a fixed-style market (formal) with long-term leases and a seasonal-style market with short-term leases.

Now, Mike and Lisa Spoores are opening a permanent flea market in downtown Liberal, and its name fits the merchandise the couple hopes to sell.

Mike said at 2nd Chance Indoor Flea Market, located at 201 N. Kansas near the intersection of 2nd and Kansas, vendors rent spaces and set up their own spaces, with the Spoores selling the vendors’ merchandise for them.

“We give them an opportunity to set up their own little store within our store,” he said.

Among some of the items suggested for vendors to sell are electronics, tools, games, furniture, knives, jewelry, crafts, collectables and household items. Mike said many other items can be sold at the flea market as well.

“This is family oriented, and we want to maintain the integrity,” he said. “We don’t want any type of pornography or anything like that, no tobacco or alcohol items. Other than that, as long as it’s in good taste. We are a Christian  family, so we obviously don’t want demonic influences.”

2nd chance old

The Spoores moved to Liberal about two months ago, and before coming to the community, they sold many of the items they owned. Mike said that experience was part of the inspiration behind the flea market.

“We got out here, and we thought, ‘We’ll just pick it up here,’” he said. “There’s no place here to buy things unless you want to buy it new, and a lot of people can’t afford new. This’ll give them an opportunity to buy good secondhand merchandise.”

Mike said the merchandise seen at 2nd Chance will change constantly.

“As we sell, we’re out looking for more merchandise all the time, so we never know what’s going to end up coming in,” he said. “With different dealers, we don’t know what they’re going to bring in. In our past flea markets, we’ve had things ranging back from the 1700s all the way to the current. You just never know literally.”

Those wishing to rent a booth can stop by the business.

“We rent spaces out,” Mike said. “We’d be happy to rent them a space, and they can set it up the way they want it and bring in what they want.”

For now, 2nd Chance will be open daily, starting Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“As time goes, we’re going to take two days a week off,” Mike said. “We’re just not sure what two days. It’ll be the slowest two.”

The building that houses the flea market is the former home to a few other local businesses, including Stanfield Printing Company, Memas and Wilkens Catering, and Mike said the area of town seemed just right for a flea market.

“The location meant a lot because it’s right on the corner,” he said. “It’s the only white building. It stood out. It just caught our eye.”

The flea market at this time will take place on the building’s main floor, with about 7,300 square feet there. The building has another 6,000 square feet upstairs and 7,300 square feet in the basement. For now, Mike said sales will take place on the main floor.

“As time goes on, we have plans of opening the upstairs,” he said.

Just before 2nd Chance was moved into the Second Street location, the building was home to Wilkens Catering, and Mike said there was not much in the way of renovation work before the upcoming opening.

“A lot of it was already done,” he said. “We really didn’t do much remodeling at all. We did a lot of cleaning. We are going to remodel the upstairs.”

Mike explained some of the work that will need to be done upstairs.

“It needs partition walls built all the way across, new lighting,” he said. “There is no lighting basically. We’re going to have to put some type of barrier around the bannister that’s up there to block off this drop ceiling or remove the drop ceiling and put lights all the way up, which is an option. It’s about an $8,000 difference in costs. We have to play that by ear.”

Though the Spoores sell the merchandise at the flea market, vendors get most of the money from the sales.

“They rent the space,” Mike said. “We sell the merchandise for them. If they have a tax permit, we take a very small percentage like 6 percent. If they don’t have the tax permit, as we sell it, it’s as if we’re selling our own merchandise, so we have to pay income tax on that, so the percentage is higher. The 6 percent covers things like credit card processing, advertising, things like that.”

Though 2nd Street officially opens Sunday, spaces are already being rented for the flea market.

“Spaces start at $25,” Mike said. “They go up from there depending on size.”

Mike said the prior experience of running a flea market adds to the excitement he and Lisa have to get the Liberal location started. 

“We’ve done this before, and it’s fun,” he said. “It’s fun for us, fun for the customers, fun for the dealers. We’re very light hearted people. We want to keep things light hearted.”

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