Sunday, 19 January 2014

Choosing Markets!

I have been attending craft markets, craft shows and expos all over the country for 2 years and I can tell you there are so many markets up and down the country! Sometimes it's hard to decide which ones to do or not to do.
Here is a little insight as to how I choose which markets I do.

Finding Markets.

Word of mouth: From both customers and other stall holders, sometimes when I am at markets people will say to me are you going to 'FILL IN NAME OF MARKET HERE' and I will go home and look it up and book it. Other times my market neighbors and I will share information on recent or upcoming markets.

Google: Good old Google! Type in craft market with your area and see what it comes out with! Sites like Eventfinder are also great to see what's on around you.

Invitation: Because I have been doing markets for a while now sometimes market organisers will get hold of me and invite me to attend their markets. Which is great because it takes out the work of searching for markets!

Facebook: Networking is a great way to find out which markets are on and which ones are worth doing. Either by using Facebook groups or there are some Facebook pages dedicated to letting business owners know what markets are on!

Choosing which markets to do.

Choosing a market is sometimes the hardest decision to make, there are so many factors that I consider when booking a market here are some of them.

Do your research: Once you find out about a market do your research! Find their Facebook Page if they have one. Do they have photos of the last market they held? Does the market look busy or is it 3 people in an empty hall with trestle tables!
Ask the organsiers what turn out they are expecting, what marketing they are doing and how many stall holders are going to be there. Are they making sure the market has a wide range of vendors? If you sell jewelry you probably don't want to attend a market where 25/30 stall holders are also selling jewelry! If they have a stall holder list on their website or Facebook page take a look at their Facebook pages, even reach out and introduce yourself to them and ask them if they have done that particular market before and how they liked it. (Do this via direct message not a public message)
You also need to look at what demographic the market is aimed at- If you sell baby related items and the market is aimed towards people buying fresh produce it may not go as well as if you had chosen a market aimed at mums and bubs!

Weather: I'm not going to book an outdoor market in the middle of winter unless it is going to be a great turn out no matter what the weather is. No one wants to be standing in the wind and rain for 8 hours for nothing! 

Travel: Not an issue when you are doing local markets but once you start to travel further afield  your travel costs do have to be factored into your costs of the market. Petrol, parking, accommodation, these are all things that must be considered. For me as a mum this also means making arrangements for my daughter to stay with her grandparents.

Stall Costs: This only really comes into play when you are doing big markets, spending $10-$30 on a stall is very low risk spending $300 (sometimes with travel costs added as well) is of much higher risk. But you know what they say with big risk comes big reward some of the time! 

Final Word.....

It is important to remember that every market is different to every vendor, your neighbor might have a fantastic day and you may not. There are no guarantees at markets, you could walk away out of pocket be prepared for that, but also be optimistic that you are going to have a fabulous day! If you don't chalk it up to experience and and marketing. A PR company would have charged you a lot more to expose your brand to that many people who may or may not buy from you. 
Everyone has good market days and "I wish I had stayed in bed" market days that is the nature of this business!
If you really want to make a good go at it you have to give everything a shot! Especially the local ones that don't have many overheads associated with them. Markets can be a lot of fun and a great way to meet your customers and other small businesses that are in the same position as you. If you do have a bad day at a market don't let it discourage you try a different market!

Good luck with your market adventures, I can honestly say they are something I look forward to the most and one of the things that has made the biggest impact on my business!

Robin x


  1. Fabulous advice! Im very new to the market scene (I have only done one small one) and these tips are great :) Thanks x

    1. Thanks Emma this advice comes from pure experience! It take a while to get your market groove and find out what works for you but keep it up and I am sure you will do well! Keep an eye out for other posts in our market series!

  2. Great article. I have found markets very hit and miss for me.

    1. Thank you Louise! Keep a look out for other posts in our market series!

  3. Great article. I have found markets very hit and miss for me.

  4. Awesome read Robin! Thank you

    Ange x

    1. You're welcome Ange! All the best with your first market might see you there!


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