How to Make Money at Markets
Though it takes a lot of preparation and effort, it is not impossible to make a living selling your home made or home grown goods at markets. Farmers and crafts markets have skyrocketed in popularity as a way to sell fresh produce, interact with the community and introduce special items that may not be available in supermarkets and shopping malls.
With a bit of effort, you can ensure that your market stall becomes a successful and rewarding business. Here are our top tips for generating income at markets and fetes.
9 Tips on Selling Your Goods at Markets
1. Make a checklist
It is always prudent to be organised but keeping a checklist of everything that is required and ticking it off the night before will save you a lot of last minute hassle. Consider not only the wares and produce but also transportation and the stall itself.
As you become more experienced, the temptation to skip the checklist will be great but get into the habit of doing this every time to avoid mistakes.
2. Interact with other stalls
A little healthy competition never hurt anyone but be sure not to let that overshadow the community spirit. Make a point of introducing yourself to the neighbouring stalls and making friends with people as early as possible as not only will this make your day brighter to work next to friends but then you will also be covered in case of a bathroom break or emergency.
Don’t forget that this will be expected of you in return also!
3. Consider sharing the load
Do you have a good friend or partner who is interested in participating in the farmer’s markets? Consider taking them on to help you out with the stall. Obviously, this will mean a share in the profits but will also mean sharing in the labour and having someone close by to help can be extremely motivating.
Likewise, if they specialise in something that can give your stall an edge such as if they are accomplished at baking, make handmade jewellery or soaps; you can combine forces and differentiate yourselves from everyone else. Speaking of…
4. Decide what you’re going to sell
It’s pointless to be another fresh fruit vendor in a sea of alike competitors as there simply will not be enough customers to go around. If you have to sell fruit, differentiate yourself somehow from the rest such as offering fresh fruit smoothies or running a small cooking demonstration with a fee.
You have to give customers a reason to choose your stall over a competitor’s. Likewise, if the market allows the sale of other goods and not just fresh produce, consider adding a separate section for things like jewellery or soaps and lotions.
5. Get to know the owner of the market
In the same principle as getting to know your fellow market stall holders, you should make the effort to get to know the market organiser. Firstly, they will inform you of the rules of the market and any further information on location, insurance, customer base and any seasonal fluctuations.
With some markets, you may be required to sit through an interview to prove that you will be a productive member of the community so make sure to present yourself as confidently as possible to sell your business and your products to the owner before you sell it to the customers.
6. Plan your setting
Presentation is key with a great number of businesses and a market stall is no exception. Decide how you want your setting to look – will it be a stand, a tent, or will you be working out of the back of your trailer?
This can largely depend on the size and location of the market as well as any regulations they may place on individual stalls but there is plenty of room to be creative and make your stall stand out. Consider all the practical and purely aesthetic items that you may need and make sure to allocate space and funds for both.
7. Be prepared before the day
It is going to be impossible to sort out all the necessities on the day so make sure you are packed and ready the night before so that you are able to simply roll out of bed, get in the car and drive to the market. If you are baking, there may be an exception if you are willing to wake up extremely early to make your goods fresh and drive straight there.
Make sure that all of your fresh produce is adequately packed, protected and refrigerated if required – ready for quick loading. Apart from your product, make sure that the car is fuelled and ready and consider how much change you will require on the day. Allocate time to go to the bank the day before to be adequately prepared.
8. Wake up early
Most farmer’s markets occur on Saturdays and Sundays and attract a number of early risers so be prepared to rise even earlier than that. Make sure to go to bed at a reasonable time to get plenty of rest as you will need it for the busy day ahead.
9. Engage the community
Part of the fun and experience of running a stall in a farmer’s market is interacting with the customers. Be friendly and courteous, remember to smile and be prepared to talk at length about your wares, how wonderful your produce is and your passion for what you do. Sell yourself and your product and you will keep customers coming back and the income flowing.
Running a farmer’s market stall requires a lot of effort but is always a great day out for the vendors and the customers. Hard work, persistence and a careful consideration of the tips mentioned above will give you the best ammunition to keep your customers returning and generating a substantial flow of income.