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I hope this is in the right spot. Couldn't see the subject anywhere else. 

Attending regular markets is a great way to get yourself known and to sell your products,   as I have done for the past 17 years.  Its also great for those that are just starting out, its an alternative to selling on-line. Some may even combine the two concepts and do both. But  I soon learnt from  my mistakes, what works , and what doesn't ,   and it does take a while to learn which ones are viable . There was no such thing as social media , so  lot of my time was trial & error...and asking  a lot of questions.

In the early days starting out,  I made a rookie mistake, I bought a cheap flimsy  3x3 gazebo from a hardware chain...its was crap . It folded like a piece of paper  after a bit of a strong breeze.    The second one was OK for a while ,  stronger, but not water proof.  I then invested in a good quality  reputable brand water proof  gazebo, and popular with most marketeers , which is what I 'm still using today. Easy to get replacement parts & accessories for too. 

In Australia , its pretty much compulsory to have public liability insurance at nearly all  events, especially outdoor events, very few that don't have it  . I've lost count the amount of gazebos that have literally blown away because the vendor hasn't secured their gazebo properly, or at all, nearly taking out a few patrons as a result, and potentially damaging the stall & their stock  next door. . Thats a massive insurance red flag, and a big no no !!!  All organisers stipulate that all stall holders must have public liability insurance. They may also  stipulate that your stall has to be secured.  Some let you pay a bit extra and go on their insurance, but its best to have your own.

 But its also up to the organiser to decide whether to cancel or not  due to bad weather , and up to the vendor to decide whether to attend or not .

If in doubt, don't go !!! Its not worth the risk ,  injury, or your pubic liability insurance.  I'd rather lose my stall fee  & sales, than potentially  cause injury, and damage my stock !!

So, you decided to attend your first market? A few simple basics, from my own experiences & mistakes.

  • do some  prior basic market research, check & chat  with  the organiser, and chat with other vendors get a 'feel' for the venue, get  feedback,  check fees, schedules , conveniences  , viability,  set up times, set down times,   stall locations, vendor parking  etc.  What equipment are they using?  You may hear of other events, etc. 
  •  Public liability insurance is a must( Australia) 
  • Get a good strong quality brand gazebo, with sides ( optional)  and any other accessories to keep  unwanted prying eyes out & added security and Mother Nature, and good strong tables  and somewhere to sit :) 
  • Weights  get more than you need. Some venues allow you to keep your vehicle near the stall, use that as a weight as well .  Metal pegs can also be used on grass venues.  Also weights  and/or clamps to keep any spinners, displays etc.   from toppling over in a breeze, and potentially causing injury. 
  • Food & drink:  you can buy food  & drink at the venues which eats  into your profits real quick  ( pardon the pun), or,  take your own. I take a portable gas stove and a billy ( bush kettle), water,  coffee or soup, and sandwiches.  You're there to make money , not spend it . 

While we can't control Mother Nature, we can take some simple steps to make markets so much nicer and to not ruin your day. 

Happy Marketing :specool:

HS

 

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Great information @Handstitched.  When doing shows, etc. we also bought a 12 volt Marine battery and connected a power inverter and charger to prevent having to "purchase" power at the venues.  Cost was around $200, but some of the venues charged as much as $50 a show.  We ran sewing machines using it.  I am no electrician, but was simple enough to make and strap onto a lightweight, fold up dolly.  Kind of like having a generator without having to refuel or make a bunch of noise.  Also usable in inside markets.

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Handstitched, Thanks for some great ideas and advice.

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great info!! :)

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Thanks for that  :)

I just hope it helps, especially those that are just starting out.  I've seen so many 'newbies' getting it so wrong, some just give up out of frustration..  Its just good manners for me to help them, rather than watch them struggle with their gazebos. A practice run the day before is good idea. 

I should also have mentioned, check for power and accessibility  as @PastorBob pointed out,. Some venues charge extra for power.  

While most vendors take cash, a  lot of  marketeers these days  now have wireless/ portable  EFTPOS  systems . I have a Square Reader, with a separate mobile phone.  I take a back up battery ,  its a hand held jump starter, that can be used for  starting cars etc. It has jump leads,   different adapters for different devices, and USB ports , and its no bigger than a small lunch box. I'm in the habit of charging everything the night before  . 

The  wireless signals in some regional areas ( Western Australia), is sometimes lacking, so depending on the event,  some organisers get a ' booster tower' .

As for cash, get a float,  have so many notes, coins etc. on stand-by for giving change.  Theres nothing so annoying as customer giving you a $100 bill ...or the stall holder next door that keeps asking if you can change a fifty . That can be annoying . 

O'h, and keep your cash float  & EFTPOS devices  out of sight .Common  sense really. I keep everything in my shoulder bag. 

Some stall holders have lost their entire days' takings , because they got a bit complacent. 

HS

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