If you’ve started a small online business and want to test the waters, without committing to a brick and mortar lease, markets are a great way to go. They can expose your business to a completely different customer base, and further brand awareness.
The most important consideration is selecting the right market for your products. Always pay a trip to the market you intend to sell at before committing, paying attention to both the current stalls and the type of customers who frequent it. Don’t be afraid to ask stallholders questions, as they can offer unique insight.
Presentation is just as important as the products:
- Make your store eye-catching by adding decorations like bunting, fairy lights, furniture, fresh flowers and customised signs. You need not spend a fortune, as great pieces can be picked up second hand, and stores like Typo have a great range of affordable decorations and signage.
- Don’t lay all your products out flat on the table. Having displays at a range of heights keeps the customer looking for longer, and is much more inviting. You can try stacking small vintage suitcases or books to create levels. Draping smaller items, like jewellery, over photo frames and mirrors is another great way. The more creative the better.
- Ensure that the look of your stall is fitting for the kind of products you sell, so you’re attracting the right customer.
- Pricing should be easily visible, both on tags and signs.
- Use blog posts, Facebook and Instagram, to get the word out a few weeks before the market. As an online business, this is a unique opportunity for your customers to try out the products in person.
- If possible, try to offer more than one payment type, and ensure you have enough change.
- Stock extras of items you know to be popular, and if you sell clothing, make sure there’s at least two of every size and colour.
- Don’t go it alone; bring an employee if you have one, or a friend/family member to help out.
- As most markets are outdoors, you should have a plan B in case of inclement weather, such as side sheeting for your gazebo.
You’re a direct representation of your brand:
- Always make an effort to smile and look friendly, even to those just passing by, and greet everyone who stops to look.
- If you have time, chat with potential customers, as well as your fellow stallholders.
- Just like your stall decorations, your outfit and personal styling should align with your brand.
Don’t make it a one-time thing:
- Have flyers and business cards within easy reach.
- Try putting a flyer with a discount code for your online store inside bags.
- Put out a newsletter sign up list with a pen.
- Encourage customers to post photos of themselves with their purchases to social media. For extra incentive, you could promote a competition such as ‘best customer selfie’ with prizes.
Last, but certainly not least, if you’re going to make markets a regular thing, or are considering opening your own store, it might be time to start thinking about a point of sale. Please get in touch via our enquiry form for a quick consultation to discuss your options.
To help get you started, we’ve compiled some popular markets by location:
Sydney Rock n Roll and Alternative Market: A fun day out for both visitors and stall-holders, with live music, food and drink. Perfect for new and second-hand vintage/retro/alternative fashion and jewellery, records, and mobile hair and beauty.
Paddington Market: This long-running market attracts artists, local fashion designers, craftspeople, and jewellery makers.
The Rocks Markets: Set up in a beautiful location, attracting locals and tourists alike, you’ll find local fashion designers, unique Australian homewares, candle makers, jewellers and kids clothing stores.
100 Squared: If you’re ready for a little more commitment, you can try your hand at this emerging designers market, situated inside Westfield Sydney and Westfield Bondi Junction. ideal for local fashion designers that are ready to take the next step, they offer a variety of short term leases.
Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne
Finders Keepers Market: Hugely popular, especially with the 18-30 crowd, they feature independent makers such as craftspeople, fashion designers, jewellery makers and printmakers.
Queen Victoria Market: The largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, here you’ll find a large variety of stalls from fashion, candles, beauty, toys and homewares to stationery, technology, hardware and food.
Esplanade Market St Kilda: Held on the esplanade near the iconic Luna park, they give a temporary home to stalls with handcrafted goods and local designers, as well as artists.
Boutique Markets Portside: Best suited to hand made and high-quality design and craft goods.
South Bank Young Designers Market: Unique jewellery, homewares, art, fashion are right at home at this market.
Moonlight Markets: These markets are growing quickly in popularity and offer stalls to food outlets, children’s wear, fashion, art, craft, homewares and jewellery.
The Market Shed on Holland: Set in a light-filled and spacious former motor engine factory, these markets focus on food and produce vendors of all varieties.
Hand Made Market: Showcases over 220 local designers, and even has a gourmet food hall.
Perth Home Grown Market: A sustainable living market with a spotlight on homemade wares and wholesome produce.