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How do I find the right markets and events to sell at?

Traders- Hints & Tips

Read our Top 5 most asked questions from people trying to find the right events to sell at.

Meeting Makers at the Cornwall Shop Small Market, Duchy Fairs

As a directory of markets and their stallholders, the team at Pedddle are often asked how makers find the right markets and events to sell at. Different markets are right for different kinds of small business, be it a craft business, solo artist, food seller or candle maker.

If you’ve asked ‘How do I find the right markets and events to sell at?’ recently, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 5 most frequently asked questions, so that you can find the right kind of markets and events for you.

Pedddle members get access to one-click applications for many of the markets and events listed on Pedddle. We make it easy for you to apply to them. If you want to find out about other benefits of becoming a Pedddle member, click here.

1. How do I find the right markets and events to sell at?

This is where Pedddle comes in. Our website is a directory of markets and the stallholders that sell at them, all over the UK. You can use our site to research the types of markets out there and the specific areas or counties that you want to sell in. Research really is the honest answer, and you can do that in the comfort of your own home before you venture out. Word of mouth is also great – ask other stallholders or fellow makers that you know about their experiences.

Get out to a market! Do your homework first and then visit the ones you think could be right for you, as a customer, to get a feel of what the market is like and find the right demographic for your crafts or products. Don’t be shy when you get there! Chat to other people visiting and more importantly chat to stallholders – they’ll have useful information and feedback which will help you decide if it’s the right market for you.

Then just go for it – apply to the market, and we’d always say try it three times once you are accepted. It may not go well the first time but it’s about building up your visibility, for word to spread about you and your business, and for customers to gain trust in you and your brand. You need to attend at least a few times so that people get used to seeing you, so don’t only try it once and give up! Market selling can be for every business, it’s just about finding the right ones for you.

If you’d like to sell at online markets, click here to see what’s on Tresstle, the market events platform.

2. How do I prepare for my first market?

Click here to read our blog about preparing for your first market. If you’ve only recently set up your business and are considering selling at markets in future, this blog on setting up a new business might also be useful.

Again, research always helps. If you visit before you decide to exhibit at an event or market, look at other stalls to see how much space they have, how they have laid their stall out, what kind of signs they use and how visible they are. Look at banners they use and see how visible their brand name is – this blog on banners may be useful. Take a note of things such as the weather, and whether you’d need waterproofs to protect a stall.

We have checklist you can use. Don’t forget to take small change, bags or a flask to keep you warm – preparation really is the key to success! The last thing you need to be doing before you sell for the first time is panic that you’ve forgotten something.

3. I’m quite shy and nervous – how do I help myself?

When you make your own products, it’s very easy to be emotionally attached to them and imposted syndrome can often creep in. To overcome shyness or self confidence issues, we recommend taking yourself out of your comfort zone – you have got this! You don’t have to become something you’re not, but if you’re confident in what you’re making and selling, customers will see that confidence shining through and be confident buying from you in return.

It’s like anything else in life – the first time can be daunting, but the more you do it the easier it becomes and the more confidence you’ll gain along the way.

Take baby steps. Chat to people about your stall and your products. If you make your products you’re bound to know a lot about them – talk about how they are made, why you make them.

You could even be arranging something on the stall whilst you’re talking to people – describe what you’re doing while you’re doing it and small talk with strangers will become much easier. Above all, don’t forget to smile! A smile is always welcoming and will make you and your stall more approachable to customers. Don’t sit on your phone, make sure you welcome people in and look approachable.

4. I’ve been trading for a while, but I want to raise the stakes higher – what should I do?

Take a risk and mix it up a little! Try new markets, perhaps go a little further afield to literally test the market elsewhere – you never know where trying something new may take you. Different areas of the country attract different crowds, and it may be that your products or style are an ideal fit for a certain county or part of the country – but you won’t know until you try!

Do you have a good digital reach? Are you maximising your potential online? SEO (Search Engine Optimsation) will boost your visibility online. Click here to read more about it. Online stores, your own website, guest writing blogs and registering as a member on Pedddle can all help boost your SEO and online visibility. If you can be easily found online, it’s also much more easy for customers to discover you in person, and this will help you to grow your brand.

5. How do I measure success?

How do any of us truly measure success? It depends what is truly important to you. The ‘success’ of your business is always a difficult one to gauge, and we often feel a little knot in the stomach when somebody asks ‘how is your business going?”.

Many stallholders often develop their business as a hobby or a side hustle, and to make a little money is just a bonus to displaying their art. This is absolutely ok, and is still a ‘successful’ pursuit in doing something you love. Some people deem ‘success’ as making their side hustle a full time job.

Business success is often measured by your bottom line, i.e. how much profit you’re making, but success can be measured by much more than that. Think about how many repeat customers you’re getting, how much engagement you’re getting on social media, or how many email addresses you’ve managed to capture for your new newsletter. If you’re getting great feedback, new and returning customers, and online orders, then you’re on your way to increasing that bottom line already.

However, success can be in whatever form your goals are, whether that’s launching a new product line, selling something that you’re passionate about, gaining new social media followers, or making a little extra money. Success is whatever you want it to be!

If you do want to increase your profits, this blog on product pricing is useful. Don’t forget, Rome wasn’t build in a day and neither is any good, solid or ‘successful’ business!