Market season is upon us (yay!) and it’s great to be able to be a vendor at the various markets around the city again. I have been a vendor for many markets and events, and it has been an ongoing learning experience for me, especially with the pandemic. Hand sanitizer has been a must have ever since.
So, here are some tips I have learned over the years, that are sure to come in handy!
Do: have a till/cashbox ready with at least a float of $100 and if you can, invest in a Square credit/debit reader.
Don’t: be on your phone while at the market, especially when customers are approaching.
Do: research the market you want to participate in. This includes who their audience is, their theme, location and how successful vendors have been in the past.
Don’t: be late for your set up time. Remember that others are also unloading and markets want to be able to be open on time for potential customers.
Do: plan out your product set up for your table or space and make sure to have prices displayed on either the item or on a board. Also make sure you have enough products to last you the day so you can replenish if you make a lot of sales.
Don’t: tear down early. This looks bad to those running the market. They may see you tear down early and decide not to ask you to come back. Even if you feel like you didn’t do well during the market, tearing down can hinder opportunities at future markets as well, as representatives could be there. You may also lose a potential last-minute customer.
Do: bring heavier items to hold down tablecloths or lighter items in case you have a booth outside. Tent walls can help with this on windy days, along with small rocks or clamps. I have even tied the edges of the table cloth around the table legs to secure it.
Don’t: spill into other spaces; try to keep items and displays in your area and respect the vendors around you.
Do: have your business cards ready and visible for potential customers. You may get some customers who don't have enough money on hand and want to buy an item at a later date or want a custom order.
Don’t: be pushy with customers. Saying hi to a potential customer is cool, but be mindful of their vibe. You may get a customer who is totally great with a conversation about your products, but some may just need time to look, think and process. I’m a customer that just wants to observe first before asking questions and when someone gets pushy with me, I feel pressured.
And there it is, my tips to help you start off your art market season! I hope your next vendor experience is a fun and successful one and that you enjoy every minute of it.