After working 10 months on a cruise ship I didn’t think I would want to spend another day standing and promoting on my feet all day, not until I started making jewellery and loving it! These early starts are defiently worth it and had so much fun that I thought I would share some helpful tips I found useful during my experience.
To start – a few not ideals:
Not all days are good days, and not as productive as you would have hoped. When this happens don’t pack up early – it doesn’t look good and you just never know when a sale can strike.
Talking badly of organisers, customers, the market, weather, etc – is not nice to hear nor good energy when you are doing your best and everyone has their own perceptions of success and enjoyment. You can’t control turn out, people’s attitudes, or weather…you just need to make the most of your day and have fun.
Leaving your stall for an extended period of time is a no-no – if you need to step away for a quick bathroom break or a little peruse at other stores that’s fine. If you can ask your neighbor at the market to keep an eye on your stall (that works both ways) that’s even better.
If you are away for a long time you don’t know if your products have been stolen, missed out on a sale, or even building up a rapport with a potential customer or new friend.
Stand behind your pricing and know your worth and don’t drop prices when people aren’t buying. I did this at my first market and the lady came back 30 minutes later and was surprised to see I changed my prices as she would have purchased at the original price. You know how much time, effort, and love went into making your pieces, believe it’s worth it!
Okay, so I am fairly organised and am the person that reads a menu online before going to a restaurant so making sure you know all the details such as set up times, where the market is, roadworks on the way getting there, the weather, parking details, etc is crucial. Organisers have so much to think about on the day that having to answer questions when they have emailed the information can get a little tiresome. Even if you haven’t read through all the details at least have it handy on your phone.
You will have been given the dimensions of the store size so setting it up prior at home is super helpful so you know what size you have to work with and how it looks set up all nice and pretty. You can also take a photo so if you are a little late to set up or nervous because it’s your first market (this was me) you know exactly how you want your store to look and think of it as a shop front…because for the day, it is!
Also, pack the night before or a couple of days before so you know everything fits in.
Test your equipment and make sure everything is in working order – POS system, iron (you don’t want on the day to go over your table cloth and then realise the iron broke and left a big black mark on it and you have to maneuver and hide it – just saying)
Have clear signage of your POS system and enough money in your float to give change.
Have a price list or pieces individually priced (can save a little awkwardness of asking prices)
Always stand to the side of your stall or behind (if you have to) and try not to sit too much you are there to assist, showcase your beautiful pieces and interact and build relationships with your other makers and customers.
Bring a little First Aid kit just in case and also a portable charger, batteries, tape, pens, water, and snacks that you can quickly eat and are not too messy.
Don’t be shy hand out those business cards and interact with people and always say hello to anyone walking past and open-ended questions.
Do a stock count prior so you know how much product you are taking with you on the day and what you have sold.
Do peruse other stores and introduce yourself, if you can try and buy a piece from a stall you like, it’s nice and you can build rapport/ network.
Possible market day specials are a great idea and have email sign-ups for people to join.
If you are a regular at a particular market and there every weekend offering custom made orders for customers is great. I did this once for a lovely couple who needed two bracelet sets for twin girls – it was such a great feeling!
If you can bring someone with you who can stay for the day or a few hours to get the coffee, keep you company, mind the store if you need the bathroom or meet other store holders is a great help (thank you mum). With this remember that the person you bring is representing your brand so make sure they are wearing your jewellery, know your products, and personable!
Having wholesale price lists are great, you never know who is scouting for their shop front and looking for new talent!
At the end of the day, you are there to gain exposure and have fun, meet new people, telling people about your story, and how you got to where you are. Just relax and enjoy (much easier said than done when it’s your first time selling your own product and not a skincare range), also try and have measurements of success other than selling like having a certain amount of business cards you want to hand out, people signing up to your email list, meeting one other store holder or even just putting yourself out there and showing up when you might not want to after working a full week of work.
I hope these tips have helped and would love to know if you have any other helpful tips or your experiences!