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Holding a market stall - first time tips?

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#1 JomoMum

Posted 29 March 2018 - 11:53 AM

I’m going to attend my first market soon and was hoping for some advice and tips on what to do/not to do!

Things like setting up, how to display etc. Anything you think might be helpful?


#2 born.a.girl

Posted 29 March 2018 - 12:11 PM

Will you be indoors or outdoors?   If outdoors, covered?  Are you provided with a trestle/table, or do you have to take your own?

A few tips:

* Have prices clearly displayed

* Don't use any coins lower than 50c  (e.g. make your prices $14.00 or $14.50, not $13.95, $13.40 etc.)  

* Use a bum bag for your money, making sure you have a less obvious place to put larger notes.

#3 Greatmum

Posted 29 March 2018 - 12:28 PM

have shade if outside. prices on everything definatley bum bag do not leave any money laying around ever.

have plenty of stock. have bags to put product in. have business cards leafets etc

#4 Ozquoll

Posted 29 March 2018 - 12:36 PM

My tips:

Look friendly and have a chat with customers! I once overheard some people holding a stall moaning that no-one was stopping at their stall....I could have told them why - they’d been b**ching about people they knew for at least five minutes that I’d been in earshot of them, and they just looked like mean people 👎

Make it easy for people to get to your stuff. My local trash’n’treasure market is held in a car park, with each car spot being one stall. Sometimes people will set up the stall with a table across the front of the stall, and clothes racks or other stuff at the back, which forces people to kind of squeeze round the table to get to the stuff at the back. Most people won’t bother doing that, so you lose sales. Much better to set it up with the table down one long side and the clothes rack (or whatever) on the other side, and let people walk down the middle.

If someone asks you to hold something while they get money from the bank, hold it for no longer than 15 minutes. If they haven’t come back after that, put it back out on display because they ain’t coming back. It’s surprising how often people will do this. I also once had someone ask me to hold something while they got money, then try to bargain it down “because the market’s nearly over”. Nice try buddy!

#5 Ozquoll

Posted 29 March 2018 - 12:37 PM

Contra PPs, I don’t put prices on things because I know some people love to haggle and others never haggle - I adjust my starting price based on whether I think I’ve got a haggler or not.

#6 SnazzyFeral

Posted 29 March 2018 - 12:42 PM

Set up payID/fastpay so people can pay by card if you don't have eftpos

#7 Rowenas necklace

Posted 29 March 2018 - 12:45 PM

If someone buys something big from you and says they're getting their car to pick it up, get their number. Often the buyers (who have already paid) will take their time coming back, and the sellers are stuck waiting around for them.

Getting their number means you can communicate with them to ensure they get their item and you get to go home.

#8 Let-it-go

Posted 29 March 2018 - 12:54 PM

To me, people at markets don’t NEED anything.  You are not there with a set ‘ I want to buy a dress/cheese etc’ in mind because often don’t know what’s there.

So selling is a useful skill.  So be passionate, friendly and offer suggestions.  I don’t know what you’re selling but if it’s food, make suggestions on how to serve it, what to cook it with, even maybe print up some recipe cards.  If it’s jewellery then make sure you have a decent size mirror, you might have a suggestion on what would look better on them, what to wear it with, what type of occasion etc.  For food, I would offer tastes.

Yes, some people do want to be left alone and the skill is picking them but also engaging them.  Rather than ‘how can I help you’, you might say how lovely the day is or are you having a nice time.  Zero response, well move on.  But some people love to chat, they want to be told what to wear, what food to taste etc.

I can sell ice to an Eskimo :ninja:.  But my skill isn’t hard sell pushiness, it’s engaging passion, it’s loving what I sell, believing in it and only selling what I truely think that person would like.  Being genuine and friendly is a wonderful selling tool.

Edited by Ice Queen, 29 March 2018 - 12:57 PM.

#9 born.a.girl

Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:01 PM

View PostOzquoll, on 29 March 2018 - 12:37 PM, said:

Contra PPs, I don’t put prices on things because I know some people love to haggle and others never haggle - I adjust my starting price based on whether I think I’ve got a haggler or not.

No prices, I walk straight past.  I loathe haggling, and I CBF wasting my time asking, especially if the stall holder is talking to someone else.

It also depends what the OP is selling.   It may well be things where haggling's never been done.

#10 seayork2002

Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:10 PM

Label/mark everything and if you want eg $10 then mark it $12. And small things 3for$10.

And some people like to be left to look and choose not hassled.

#11 hills mum bec

Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:13 PM

Definitely have prices on display, if I can’t see how much something is I’m not going to ask.  As PPs have mentioned, you will need to “sell” your products, they don’t always sell yourself.  My DH runs a market stall (his regular job is in sales) and he will come home from most markets with no stock, I did the market by myself last weekend as DH was interstate and I sold half as much as he does.  I’m not the type of person who is comfortable engaging with strangers and starting up conversation and that is the difference between selling out our stock at the markets & coming home with half of it unsold.

#12 limakilo

Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:22 PM

Enough change, enough movement space for customers so they aren't all crowded.

#13 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:35 PM

A friend increased her sales 10x when she got the ability to take cards. People who would have previously bought one item would buy 3.

#14 Ozquoll

Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:42 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 29 March 2018 - 06:01 PM, said:

No prices, I walk straight past.  I loathe haggling, and I CBF wasting my time asking, especially if the stall holder is talking to someone else.

It also depends what the OP is selling.   It may well be things where haggling's never been done.
It would be helpful to know what/where OP is selling. I have done most of my market stalls at trash’n’treasure markets, where very few people price things.

#15 born.a.girl

Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:51 PM

View PostOzquoll, on 29 March 2018 - 06:42 PM, said:

It would be helpful to know what/where OP is selling. I have done most of my market stalls at trash’n’treasure markets, where very few people price things.

Agree there's a big difference between one type of market and another.

The one that comes to my mind was a stall of handmade funky clothes, at the Maker's Market at Heide Gallery in Melbourne.

There were quite a few different types of clothes, they were clearly not bargain basement type offers, and I honestly CBF going through each and every group and asking the price.  I had no idea whether we were talking $50 or $150. She was talking to someone else and I just walked off.

It clearly wasn't something I absolutely had to have, but what ever is?

#16 Soontobegran

Posted 29 March 2018 - 06:53 PM

Depends on the type of market and it's demographics, it also depends on what you are trying to sell and whether it will meet the market.

I hate no prices and will only haggle on second hand, I will not haggle on items of art work/hand made etc.

If you are selling second hand you have to ask yourself whether you are going to be happy packing everything up and taking it home or selling it for $1.
People want bargains and just because something was worth lot of money a couple of years ago does not mean people will pay top price for it.

Clean, cheap and priced either individually or in boxes and bins sell best. Nice pieces displayed separately is good.
Some of the filth I see that people actually ask money for astounds me.

Bum bag....change...bags and water for you to drink.

Good luck.

Edited by Soontobegran, 29 March 2018 - 06:55 PM.

#17 Flaxen

Posted 29 March 2018 - 08:45 PM

I will also keep walking if theres no prices.
I hate asking for prices. So awkward.

#18 JomoMum

Posted 29 March 2018 - 09:24 PM

Ooh thanks everyone. Some very useful tips I hadn’t considered.

Yes I will definitely have prices. I’m selling ready made plaster painting kits with the plasters, brush and mini paint pots in different combos and sizes right up to bulk 20 piece sets in small boxes and DIY party packs. So I will definitely have a table at the front for display with prices and then extra stock on perhaps a side table. I’ll be going to smaller markets that mainly produce hand made goods and foods and in areas where I feel the demographic is more suited to buying what they want, not just need. None of the stalls do second hand goods.

I’m definitely going to have a POS device of some kind so that I can take cards. Even I am like that and more inclined to buy more and just put in on the card lol.

I’m definitely comfortable striking up conversations with people, especially people with kids which will be my main demographic. Learning to discern the ‘leave me alone to look’ type may take some practice though.

#19 born.a.girl

Posted 30 March 2018 - 11:34 AM

Unless you've got different sizes of the same kit, line up your wares according to price.

When people walk up to a stand, their minds are often elsewhere.  At retail stands, they can ask the most bizarre questions (and I'm sure I've done the same to them).

Fortunately most of my work in that regard was at Trade shows, which is another whole level of crazy, although we did do about ten Harvest Picnics, and Melbourne food and wine shows.

I remember now, you were talking about your business name.   Do you want to get people's email addresses, if they want to be kept updated?   Make sure you've got one of those clipboards that people can write on standing back from the table, rather than allocate table space to it.

Have the extra items under the trestle/table at the same spot as one the table if that's possible.  It means if you've got five people there at once, you don't spend several minutes fishing around for the item.

Good luck.

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