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How do I know which craft markets are best for me? 15 questions to ask…

Traders- Hints & Tips

Our top tips on working out which markets you should sell at!

Leeds, Briggate Stallholder

How do I know which craft markets are best for me? This is such a difficult question to answer as it all depends on many variables.

Things that can affect a market are the venue, lighting, other activities taking place (football matches for example), the weather (good or bad!), the event promotion, location and demographic. But sometimes a market can just be great and other times it’s poor, and there isn’t always a reason!

Research is key, but even then it can be unpredictable. Sometimes you just have to suck it and see!

However, there are things you can do to try and align a market with your business and our founder, Nicki, has recorded a video all about it. Click here to watch.

In the meantime, here are 15 questions to ask, to work out if an event will suit you and your products.

How do I know which craft markets are best for me?

We always suggest that you visit a market before you sell there. This way, you will get a real feel for the place; the atmosphere, the footfall, the venue, the products and so on.

Knowing your audience is vital, so this way you can see the types of shopper there, and check out your competition too!

Speak with stallholders about how their day is going and whether sales are good. You could even ask how the access and set up process was, what parking was like and so on. These things are all important to know when it comes to setting up your own stall.

However, a busy market doesn’t always mean sales! Sometimes you have to just give it a try yourself. It may also take a few goes – one market isn’t representative, you’ll need to sell there a few times to really see what it’s like.

15 questions to ask at a market

1. What is the venue like? Is it a traditional village hall, an inner-city quirky venue (like a Lush pop-up which can attract a trendy crowd!) or a shopping centre? This could tell you a lot about the audience it will attract, and the ‘style’ of market it will be. What is accessibility like? How many stallholders can the venue hold?

2. Who exhibits there? What kind of stallholders does it usually attract? Are they a similar quality to you / your products? How many stallholders are there, and are they varied in their products?

3. What sells there? Is food available? This will affect how long people stay for. What kind of things are on sale, and do people have offers on them (such as discounts for multi-buys). What are the price points of different products – both top and bottom pricing?

4. Are there other activities on offer? Things like live music, face painters and activities for children could make all the difference in the type of market visitors and how long they stay for. The longer they are there, the more time they have to make purchasing decisions. However, this may not necessarily work on your favour, as sometimes it can be better for your sales if customers make a snap decision.

5. What is footfall usually like? Are visitor numbers in the hundreds or thousands? Bigger isn’t always better. Think about what you would feel comfortable with and how much stock you have the capacity to make beforehand.

6. When does the event take place? Look up what else is in the area and if anything is conflicting, i.e. football matches, family fun days and so on. Wedding fairs happen at certain times of year, and may or not be useful if related to your products. September sales are often aimed at Christmas products. Think about when your ideal clients are most likely to buy so that sales or orders are more likely.

7. Is this event indoors or outdoors? Is it in a special venue and location or in a specially created venue? Is food available? Are gazebos or shelters provided, or do you need to bring your own stall covering? How could the weather potentially impact the success of the event?

8. Where is the fair? Is it easy for you to get to, or do you need to find accommodation? What is the parking situation for both you and visitors? Where can you unload stock? Is there convenient public transport? Pedddle allows market pages to enter details of their venue accessibility which can help with this.

9. What type of stand would you get? Do you need wall space or a corner space? Do you need electricity? Would you be at the front or back of the event? The latter is often far quieter, but if you have bigger products this may be better for displaying them. Do you need extra space for your presentation stands (such as jewellery cabinets), or is anything provided like this?

10. What are the costs? This is not just about the cost of your stall itself, but check that you don’t need to pay any extra commission to the event host. This is rare but could happen, so check those T’s and C’s! Do you need to pay anything extra for lighting, electricity, banners or gazebo hire?

It’s also worth factoring in whether you’d need to stay overnight near the venue, fuel or transport costs of getting to the venue, and suchlike.

11. Is it a one-off event, or does it run for multiple days? This again factors into event costs as above, and may help you do a total cost breakdown.

12. What promotion do the organisers do? What is their social media presence like? Have they got a good reputation with buyers or can you see any online reviews? This is why we love a review! People look at them more than you may think. Where do the organisers publicise and promote their events? Do they attract the right audience for you?

13. Do they offer any special deals, support or extras for first time exhibitors? It’s worth asking the organiser this, or if they offer any special benefits to newbies i.e. a prime position, extra training or support. What will they do to promote you to potential buyers and press? Will they offer training or PR strategies for new exhibitors? Do they showcase you on their socials?

14. Can you definitely sell at this market? Some events receive far more applications than they have stands, prioritise their tried-and-tested makers, or may just want to get newbies in. Make sure that you know in advance what your chances are or if you can be waitlisted for the next event if you don’t get through.

15. How much does entrance cost for market visitors? Is this a free-to-enter event, or is it ticketed? A ticket price can put some visitors off, but does tend to guarantee a certain amount of footfall AND intention to spend time there (ideally buying!).

You may also be interested in what an average market stall costs. Click here to find out!