MOULTRIE -- Adventurous consumers take note. Colquitt County will soon boast an indoor flea market that should generate more traffic into the county.

Treasure Chest owner Gene Harrell bought the Triangle Ventures building (part of Destiny Industries) on about four acres of property at 1725 Pavo Road. He's selling all his buildings in town except the one on the downtown square, and he's moving much of his current merchandise and items he's scouted just for this venture to his 45,000 square foot warehouse. In about a month, Harrell expects to open the warehouse as a flea market and auction house.

The intent, he said, is to attract people who would ordinarily want to have a yard sale but have reservations about strangers coming to their homes and tromping through their yards, or they may simply not have enough stuff to justify the trouble of making signs and setting up, or they may live in an out-of-the-way place the country.

"The seller would get more people to look at his merchandise and the buyer would have more things to look at and doesn't have to drive all over the place," he said. "Everybody wins."

Harrell plans auctions on Friday and Saturday nights for items left over from the week.

"We're trying to make it community oriented -- to give the community a place to buy and sell items," he said, adding that a well-run flea market will attract people from far and wide, especially enthusiasts hooked on the thrill of a bargain.

"A lot of people will walk in and see what it is. A 'junkie' will walk in and see what it could be," he said. "Sometimes I think it took a junkie to find out that cow manure was good for growing vegetables."

Concession stand space is available. The flea market will be a good forum for crafters as well, Harrell said. Community service groups will be able to set up booths for bake sales or other fund raising endeavors.

Fifteen years in the "treasure" business, Harrell, 64, hopes to also attract a variety of new merchandise and specialty vendors, though much of the warehouse space will be dedicated to Treasure Chest wares, including an extensive selection of used furniture.

"You can't imagine anything we're not going to sell out there," Harrell said.

Tables at the flea market will be available for $4 a day. Long-term vendors can rent space at a more economical rate, he said.



To contact reporter Lori Glenn, please call 985-4545 ext. 224



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