To Market To Market

I’m such a huge fan of small creative business’s kicking off at the local markets. Not only is it a great way to test the waters with your ideas, but as a shopper I love, love, love heading to the markets and hoping to find something that just makes me melt as the creativity that went into it is just brilliant!

So if you are venturing to the markets for the first time here are some of my tips for hopefully a hassle free day

  • wear comfortable shoes, or if you have to wear heels wear your low flat shoes to do your set up in and then swap to your heels like 5 minutes before the markets starts. Don’t forget at most markets your feet are hidden behind your table and after you’ve been standing for hours the comfortable shoes are so well worth it!
  • try and take a chair to sit on, even if you only get to use it for a few moments it can be a lifesaver.
  • get all your change in $5 notes. No one minds getting a few $5 notes as change and it just makes it easier on you.
  • make all of your prices nice round easy numbers so the maths isn’t too hard when your surrounded by customers.
  • do be prepared with enough change, most customers will pay with $50 notes so on the weekday before the markets go to the bank and get a float ready. Don’t try and make do with whatever is in your wallet. If you can’t make change you will lose sales.
  • Always know where the nearest ATM is and be able to give clear concise directions on how to get there.
  • Do use a small bag/ bum bag/waist bag/ to keep your cash in. Keep it close to you at all times.
  • If your doing complicated wrapping/packaging either have 2 people on the stall at all the busy times or simplify it for when you are on your own.
  • If your selling something people will wear do have a mirror they can use, even if it is only small it really helps make the sale.
  • If your on your own at the markets make friends with the person at the stall next to you so if you need to duck to the bathroom someone is keeping an eye on your products.
  • Be prepared that you may not get a lunch break. Suggest small foods like almonds, grapes, muesli bars and water. You don’t want something that is either messy or takes ages to eat. Nothing says non professional like chomping away on food while trying to convince people to buy from you.
  • Umbrellas, hats, shade tents etc are all a fantastic idea. I like a pretty umbrella as it can double as both sun and rain protection.
  • At outdoor markets I like to keep a cheap large plastic tarp under the table. That way if it rains you can quickly throw it over your table and protect the product. Try your local $2 shop you can normally pick one up there
  • If your selling clothes do try and have some kind of a change room. If the markets has a change room on site be careful about how many pieces you let people take with them as it’s an easy way for shoplifters to nab pieces.
  • Do keep your business cards out so people can get in contact with you after the markets.
  • Lastly do tell people you are going to be at the markets. Twitter, facebook, your blog, your website, email all your friends, get the word out there and help drum up some sales for yourself!

Have fun at the markets!

Anyone else have any extra tips to add? Leave a comment to share your best tip!

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5 responses to “To Market To Market

  1. My tip is have your tablecloth ready. You should be able to get measurements from the market organisers. I use black drill as it’s reasonable cheap and just did a hem along the cut edge. You don’t have to but it looks nicer.
    Depending on what you’re selling I also think a sticky roller comes in handy to remove fluff and stuff from your table cloth and product.
    If you’re looking t getting a mobile Eftpos machine it costs about $55 month with Commonwealth, after initial admin fee etc.
    Do up a bio about yourself and your business and put it in a pretty frame on your stall, looks professional and lets people know what you’re about.

  2. I have my first market stalls at paddington markets this weekend so all these tips are great, especially about change and atm locations. my only problem now is a changeroom… any suggestions on how do get around this with a tiny 2.4 by 1 stall size? I’m selling leggings so i’m thinking people will want to try them on before buying….

    • Hi,

      Congratulations on getting into Paddington markets!

      Check with the market organisers as they may have a common dressing room space that all stallholders can use. If they do decide early what your policy will be.

      – how many pieces can they take to try on
      – do they need to leave something with you so you ensure they come back and don’t take your product
      – what to do if it comes back marked/ruined

      If you don’t have space for a change room and they don’t have one then be the best salesperson ever who knows exactly what size their product is and what shapes of people are what sizes. Do your research on sizing, try not to call anyone fat and be good at telling people what size you think they should wear.

      Good Luck and pack an umbrella/have a wet weather plan as if the weekend is as nasty as today it’s going to be very soggy.

    • Hi,

      Congratulations on getting into Paddington markets!

      Check with the market organisers as they may have a common dressing room space that all stallholders can use. If they do decide early what your policy will be.

      – how many pieces can they take to try on
      – do they need to leave something with you so you ensure they come back and don’t take your product
      – what to do if it comes back marked/ruined

      If you don’t have space for a change room and they don’t have one then be the best salesperson ever who knows exactly what size their product is and what shapes of people are what sizes. Do your research on sizing, try not to call anyone fat and be good at telling people what size you think they should wear.

      Good Luck and pack an umbrella/have a wet weather plan as if the weekend is as nasty as today it’s going to be very soggy.

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