How to run a successful market stall
The Market Stallholder

How to Run a Successful Market Stall

Our most popular post last year provided advice on how to run an enjoyable and successful market stall.  For those just starting, or thinking of starting, a market shop business, here it is again, with a few additions.  Hopefully this will help you on your market stall journey!

It’s a new year and you’ve decided to take the leap and start attending markets to sell the gorgeous products that you are so passionate about … (or you’ve been attending markets for years).

You’ve applied for a stall at your favourite market and spent the last few months creating, baking and growing your products and preparing for the market.  It’s now market day and you’re so excited to finally showcase your handiwork to the local community, but a little bit nervous about how the day will work and whether your day will be successful.

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your market experience:

(1)  Be Prepared and Organised

  • Write a checklist of everything that you need to take to the market and cross them off the list as you pack.
  • Pack during the week before the market to ensure you have everything you need for market day.
  • Do a “dummy run” to make sure your load will fit into your car!
  • Find out the size of your site and set up your stall at home so that you know how it will look on market day.

Depending upon what you sell and the type of market you are attending, your list should include a gazebo and weights (if outdoors), table/s and a chair (if needed), table cloths, your products and props, a float and your market “tool kit”.

What is a ”tool kit”?  Your tool kit will contain all your bits and bobs that will help you throughout the day including:  a notebook, pens, scissors, tape, pins, calculator (this may be on your phone), price list, sunscreen, hat, jacket (during the cooler months), lipstick/lipgloss, panadol, tissues, water and healthy snacks for the day, tools for putting your props together, your business cards and flyers, a bag/box for your rubbish.

(2)  Set up your Stall Professionally

Set up your stall in a stylish and professional manner.  Make your stall appealing to customers: use props, think about the layout of the stall, do you really need tables in a U shape?  Could you sell your products without the traditional table set up?

Use tablecloths to cover your tables, hide your boxes under your tables so they are out of sight, have a banner printed with your business name.

Use props such as a mannequin, mat, hat stand, clothes rack, mirror, bunting, baskets, hay bales, plants, display racks.  The ideas are endless.

(3)  Smile, Smile, Smile …..

Be happy, friendly and smile.  People are more likely to approach your stall if you smile and show interest in the customer (without being overbearing)

(4)  Avoid playing on your phone

There’s not really much more to say here.  Don’t play on your phone if you want people to approach you.  You need to look interested in what you are doing at all times.

(5)  Stand, don’t sit down

I know markets can be a long day, but try to avoid sitting down.  Customers are more likely to approach your stall if you are standing and engaging with the market crowd.

(6)  Consider using an Electronic Payment system

The most common feedback I receive from market customers is that they would have spent more money at the market had more stall holders offered electronic payment!  Market customers often underestimate how much cash they’ll need at the market or they see something that they desperately need/want, but don’t have the cash and the stall holder doesn’t offer electronic payment.  Electronic payment isn’t for all stall holders but it’s certainly worth investigating.

(7)  Take a Large Float

Take a large float of small notes and coins as it’s almost guaranteed that your first customer of the day will want to pay for their small purchase with a $50 note!

(8)  Have Market Day Specials to entice customers

Think about having a market day special to encourage customers to approach your stall and to promote your products.  Find out if the market has a theme and link your special to the theme of the market. For example, at River & Wren we theme our birthday and christmas markets and encourage our stall holders to offer a market day special celebrating these themes.

(9)  Use the day to promote your brand

Attending a market is a wonderful opportunity to put your brand in front of a large number of people.  Hand out business cards and flyers promoting your business.

Often people will look at your products and talk to you at the market but your sales will come after the market, or at the next market.

(10)  Promote the market to your database, social media and friends prior to the event

Make sure you let everybody know that you will be attending the market: your friends, family and work colleagues and on your social media networks.  We prepare event images for River & Wren stall holders to use on their social media to promote their attendance at our market.

Market stall

The event image that we will be circulating to stall holders attending our market on 5 March 2017.

(11)  Smile, Smile, Smile

Did I mention how important it is to be happy and smile and engage with the market crowd?

Hopefully this information will help people new to the market community, though for many stall holders this information will be second nature.

Do you have any other tips to help make a market day enjoyable and successful?

Comments (4)

  • Thank you so much!!! This is invaluable info! Hopefully I will get myself organised enough to make a market this year! Xxx

    Reply
    • You’re very welcome Felicity! Glad you found the information helpful.

      Reply
  • So many great tips! I have done some markets with my cousin’s biz and its a long day. I think anyone who does it every week is a legend.

    Reply
    • Thanks Bron! And yes, market days can be very long. I agree that people who do markets every weekend are amazing. I run a market bi-monthly and that’s enough for me!

      Reply

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