After an amazing response to Dani’s post in our group I thought I would put together a Blog about markets.
I love and hate markets all at once. It’s such a rollercoaster. You get such an assortment of customers from the ones loudly claiming to all within earshot how everything is too expensive and you can get it for $5 at Kmart. To the beautiful ones who fall in love instantly and become life long customers.
You can sell a million things or nothing.
Definitely ups and downs.
So I thought I would out together all the hints and tips and add my own thoughts as well
- Write 2 lists.
Seriously. Sit down and write out what you need to pack for your stall every last thing you will need to pack. You will thank me for this when you don’t have to ring someone to bring your chair…
And write another list of how much stock you want to take/make. Really look at what sells online for you, but also think about things that you enjoy making over and over. And finally the things that POP on a table, that will make someone do a double take or actually come over. Trust me that’s one of the hardest parts.
- Snacks and water.
Seriously. You can easily eat through any profit you have made without even noticing. Or if you enjoy the easy access to coffee (guilty) make sure you take a snack/coffee kitty separate to your stall money so you have a limit set. Markets can be long and boring. You will want to snack.
- Money, Money, Money.
Don’t have a card machine – you’re going to lose customers. Don’t have cash float – you’re going to lose customers.
Card machines are pretty cheap and easy to get your hands on these days. You have the Paypal one which means the funds will go into your Paypal, Shopify offers one which you can connect to your online store to take the stock of your website as you sell it at markets. Square is available too. Do your research and find one that would for you. These days it can make a massive difference to your market sales.
And a cash float, believe it or not there are still those that prefer cash. Or young people who have their pocket money. Or older folk that like to see the cash in their hands and find it easier to budget that way. It takes all sorts. So make sure you accommodate for all sorts.
If you go in to a market thinking that it is an advertising tool. You can’t lose. It’s the perfect way to get your brand out to the world. You may not make that sale right now.. but odds are if they showed interest they are going to go home and look you up. Make sure you have business cards with all the vital information on how to find you on there. The easier you make it for people the more likely they will stick around. If I just have the name.. and I have to google you and find you amongst the other people with similar names, much like others I will put it in the too hard basket. Have a QR code you can print out and stick up even better. Where do you want the traffic to go? Do you want to build your followers on Facebook or Instagram? Straight to your website? That’s where the QR code should take them.
AND I CAN’T STRESS THIS ENOUGH make sure your labels are on your products and packaging. They actually bought from you and you send them of with three scrunchies and a plain brown paper bag. They love the scrunchies and want more but just can’t remember that business name. NO. Get yourself some stickers for those bags. Print some hang tags. NAME EVERYWHERE.
Seriously. DO NOT use that old, leave off the price it so they have to talk to you, or be scared the price will scare them away. I will not only leave if I can’t see a price, I will be mildly annoyed. Several reasons.
People know what they can afford. They don’t need to be embarrassed asking for a price then having to put it back its upsetting for them and you
Some people aren’t there for a chat. They want some yummy handmade goodness but maybe aren’t up to the people-ing for many assorted and varied reasons. Price your product. Make it clear. And don’t be embarrassed about the pricing I am sure you put a lot of thought and math into figuring the prices out. Your makes are beautiful and your time is worth it.
- The Set up
Now I can not stress this enough, this is valid if you have a farmers market stall or a handmade market stall. YOUR DISPLAY IS EVERYTHING.
Say it with me
YOUR DISPLAY IS EVERYTHING.
Make sure it looks amazing. You want it to stand for your business. The way you package and display your goods seriously will make the difference between a sale or not.
You are representing your business. So the way your stall is set up is as important as your website landing page or your photos on etsy. Get your arse on pinterest today. See the amazing set ups what smart ways have people displayed their stock? How can you adapt it to your own? There are always cheap and easy ways to make it look good it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Get creative.
Image by Sewandtell handmade (found on pinterest)
These days most venders will actually require you to show that you have your own business insurance. You can actually get a slightly cheaper one just for markets from a few insurance places. Shop around. Ask other people who have insurance who they have gone with.
- Customer service
Make sure you acknowledge people who have come over. Service with a smile. Literally that’s all it takes. You can add a hello or whatever you want. But acknowledge the person. There is nothing worse than a Stall holder deep in conversation with another stall holder and you having to try and get their attention to buy their product. Generally people will put the thing back and leave. You are there to sell your products and get your name out to the public. What sort of image do you want to put out to people.
- Would you like fries with that?
Have an item or two that is cheap and easy. Easy for you to sew. Cheap enough to lure people in. Or add to a sale. Things like scrunchies kill it in this regard. I used to have Lego stud earrings and hair clips, both I would make in bulk. And they were the fries. The purchase that parents would say yes to their child for (first question they will ask their child.. how much is it? Before they even walk over to see it.. ) Then suddenly you have an adult also checking out your wares. Or maybe you offer it when they are finalising their purchase.
They will bulk up a stall and honestly some days that may be all you sell. BUT they went home with your business card in the bag or the sticker on the bag and had a great experience with you so the odds are better they will look you up when they get home.
I hope this Helped. I could go on and one with it.. what exactly you should bring for your stall but ever business is different. Write your lists. Be prepared and you will have an amazing day!
Most importantly HAVE FUN!
What would you add to this list?
A beautiful personal account from my admin Leanne about how sewing has helped her.
Disclosure: Mentions of pregnancy loss, mental health illness and suicide and just a little swearing
A review from a long time strike sewer
our Beautiful Eirinn
the continuing journey....