I have been trading at the markets for about 4 years now, I have found its a great way to meet customers, sell my products and promote my brand, Spindrift Collections. Markets have a great community of fellow stallholders and its a super fun day if you can get past the crazy the early starts! With Christmas fast approaching now is a great time to be trading through a market stall with so many people these days enjoying buying locally.
So here are my 8 STEPS to ROCK your market stall like a local boss;
Visit your local markets and work out which ones would suit your style or products. I have to admit I didn’t actually so much of this when I started, I just dove straight into the deep end and started doing the markets – some of which didn’t really suit my product and if I had actually taken the time to research prior it would have saved me ALOT of time! Check out the local markets in your area, the price points of each market, and what style of products seem to be selling well.
Applications to certain markets can actually take a little while, so it’s worth having all your company information and great images ready, so it makes each application easier. When I started, honestly my application information was pretty bad, my images were not great and I didn’t look very professional at all. It’s worth taking the time to get together everything to make your application stand out. But also don’t get disheartened if you don’t get in the first time you apply, it sometimes takes a few applications before they might say yes and they select and curate their stall holders for all sorts of reasons, so sometimes it’s got nothing to do with your product, it might just be that they already have too many jewellery brands. In the early days of Spindrift, I used to get very upset when I got a rejection email, but now I take it as a learning curve.
Stall set up is super important, you want to stand out from the crowd and catch people’s eye as they walk past. Having a really nicely styled stall that’s on brand with your product will really help you to maximise sales. To start with your set up doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. Start getting together props and things that you can style your stall with. Try and think ‘out of the box’ with this and don’t be afraid to use things you might already have. The key items you will need are some signage, payment system, a table, cloth, shade/rain structure and things to make your displays look fantastic. Take a look on Pinterest for ideas and inspiration on display ideas. I really recommend that you get yourself a method to take card payments. There are lots of inexpensive systems like Paypal here, alongside the standard eftpos systems. In my experience 80% of my sales are through my Eftpos system. I delayed getting eftpos for way too long, as I was worried about the cost, but after I got the machine, my sales increased so much it paid for its self over and over again.
The markets are a place where you need to be super organised, you have very limited space and often need to take a lot of different things. You don’t want customers waiting whilst you dig around at the bottom of a box for something (yes I’ve been there)! Plastic tubs with lids are a great way to keep things organised and dry if it rains (and yes again I’ve been there and lost stock due to rain), invest in or borrow a sack barrow or trolley to wheels your items to your stall, it makes things SO much easier and take a bungy cord/rope with you to tie things down to prevent it all slipping off your trolley and onto the road (yup I’ve been there too, red faced and flustered with all my stock blowing down the street, it’s not cool!). Organise your stock into colours, sizes, shapes and work out how much do you think you might sell and then take double that, you don’t ever want to be left with an empty stall if you have a great day of sales. Also take with you a little ‘just in case’ box, with things you can use to fix anything that goes wrong, with tape, rope, scissors, a tarp in case of rain, a bin bag, suncream, bandaids, etc.
Most markets require you to have public liability insurance, so make sure you get this sorted just in case your stall set up blows over onto the road (yes I’ve seen this happen – luckily it wasn’t mine, thanks to my sandbags & ropes), it’s not expensive or complicated, but vital for trading at a market. Some markets also offer the option of buying the insurance as part of your stall cost. I also have chosen to have product liability insurance, but this is not always compulsory for markets.
Prior to the big day, write yourself a checklist of everything that you need to take to the market and work out the timings! I figured out the hard way, that a market checklist is super important, I once took my whole stall set up to the market only to realise I forgot my actual stock, so I had nothing to sell! Luckily a quick look on Airtasker found me someone who collected my stock for me and delivered just in time to set up! Phew! But being organised in the morning is very important as often you will be up at ‘crazy ‘o’clock’ so you may not be as bright and on the ball as normal! Also make sure you are aware of the ‘bump in’ times and give yourself enough time to set up your stall with time to spare.
Sales & Marketing
Work out what your ‘one liner’ sales pitch will be, practice it on anyone who listens and make sure you know the answers to any questions people might ask you about your products. I find its best to start up a conversation first to make people feel comfortable and give customers space and time to browse. Make sure you smile and look welcoming and don’t hide in the back of your stall! The markets are a great place to do some marketing even if people don’t buy, so make sure that you organise a method of signing up people to your mailing list, encourage them to follow your brand on social media and give your ideal client ‘avatar’s’ a business card of something to take away with them to direct them to your site afterwards. I see a huge spike in my website traffic each evening after a market, so it obviously works!
Don’t get disheartened if you don’t sell much on your first market or any market for that matter, I have been doing markets for years and some days are just not that great for sales, there seems to be no rhyme or reason for it, but you just have to think of it all as great advertising, you never know who might have taken your card or who might talk to about your products to someone else. I once did a very small market which was very lovely but extremely quiet, I didn’t sell much that day, but then 2 days after I got a call from a new stockist asking to stock my products as they had seen me at the markets, so you just never know. They ended up placing a very big wholesale order! The most important thing is to ENJOY yourself, markets are such an amazing way to chat to customers, get direct feedback on your products and there is always a great community of other stallholders at each event, I’ve made some amazing friendships over the years at the markets, so enjoy it!!!
More About Spindrift Collections
Spindrift Collections creates jewellery and accessories designed to inspire your wanderlust for places not yet explored. All our pieces are timeless, unique and crafted with love. Wearing Spindrift allows you to keep a piece of the ocean with you, and your next adventure just around the corner. By choosing Spindrift you’re also choosing to work with us towards a better future. Wherever possible our collections use only recycled, recyclable and sustainable materials. We are committed to achieving a fully traceable and sustainable supply chain, ensuring that our products are as beautiful on the inside as they are out. Spindrift is more than just a collection of jewellery and accessories, each piece is intended to spark a journey, embrace a memory and tell your story.
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