Selling your wares at craft markets is completely brilliant... you are surrounded by handmade goodness all day, you chat to like-minded people, meet customers face to face (online is nice, but real life is nicer) and hopefully make a little money too. If its your first market however, it can be nerve wracking and the weeks leading up to the event can be spent worrying about pretty much everything!
Get making! You don't want to be caught short on the day. Have a good mix of items at different price points if possible. If you have seasonal products, think about what could potentially sell well on the day. For example, christmas markets are great for small things people can pick up quickly for gifts, think if mother's or father's day coming up.
You must do a practice set up. Seriously, physically measure out your allocated space somwhere at home and display your products as you would on market day. See exactly how much stock you can fit in and the best way to display each item. Don't just shove as much stock in as you can, think about the space and the best way to show off your wares. If you have too many things or too much variety, think about concentrating on just a few and showing them off to their absolute best.
In terms of display, simple things can be very effective. Ensure you have a nice cloth over your table in a colour that suits the look of your items. Plain black or white is always a safe choice, but choose something that suits your items. An effective display often has a bit of height at the back which adds interest for the eye and lifts things up off the table to eye height. Choose quality containers and stands that fit your space and allow easy access for customers. You don't need to spend a lot of money, head to the op-shops for some nice bowls or the recycle yard for some props, even the $2 shops can yield some practical items.
**Do note that nothing can be attached to or leaned against the walls at our market in the Town Hall. This is an absolute!
Have business cards or brochures within easy reach (and plenty of them!). People may not want to make a purchase on the day, but give them a way to follow you up, such as an email address, website, etc. A small sign with your business name clearly displayed is essential.
Prices must be clearly displayed for every item. Customers shouldn't have to ask and you don't want to lose a sale because of something so simple!
Also think about the packaging of your items. A clear cello bag or a nice label can really make a difference to the look of a product and can add an extra level of professionalism to your work too. Have some nice bags available to pop things in when people make a purchase.
Have a good float to make change. Allow for the first two customers of the day giving you a $100 or $50 note for a $5 purchase. It happens! Think about the cost of your products and how you'll generally be making change, allow for this when organising your float.
Keep your money safe! Wether you choose a money box or apron or whatever to keep your money in, do not turn your back on it. We've heard too many awful stories of people losing an entire day's takings because they looked away for just a minute.
Bits and pieces - calculator, sticky tape, scissors, extra product packaging, spare pen, pegs or bulldog clips, water bottle, snacks, tissues or wipes.
Smile! Please. Nothing worse than a sullen stall holder oozing generally unfriendliness. Keep in mind that the impression we get of you at your stall is the impression we take away of your business. Be approachable and enjoy yourself! Take an extra minute to chat to customers when you have time, take the opportunity to talk to your stall neighbours and network a little bit if you can. Research who else will be at the market and support other handmade businesses too.
And remember... It's not just about the sales! Every market is also about you advertising and marketing your business, getting you name and products in front of people's eyes. You never know who will pick up a business card and contact you later. Many shop-owners go to markets to seek out new and original wares for their store and may contact you about becoming a stockist. There's a lot more to your stall on market day than the sales you get.
Flickr - do a search for market stalls or craft fairs and you'll find a billion images of all sorts of displays. Great for some inspiration! Don't copy... inspiration.
I hope you've read something useful and can take away a few things to think about. If you'd like to add a tip or trick of your own, or know another great link with some advice for market sellers, do email us the details and we'll add it to this page if it's something we haven't covered.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments too.
Now go make stuff!