I am prone to freaking out. I am also prone to writing lists to help alleviate the stress and energy-drain associated with freaking out. When I realised that a market was fast approaching and was feeling totally unprepared, I wrote myself a list. This list contains all of the things I need done and packed to make the whole market experience as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. I've sold at a few markets and although I'm definitely not a pro, I've had people reach out to me recently asking if I could share some tips. With this in mind, I thought it could be helpful to share my market stall checklist online.
Please note that this list is for an indoor market. If you're displaying outside you'll have a few more things to pack.
I've expanded on some of the areas listed, others like water and snacks are pretty self-explanatory.
Your amazing products
I try to bring along with me 5 times the amount of products I aim to sell (although this number will probably be different for you). After doing a couple of markets you'll find what works for you. It's taken some time but I've been able to work out what sells, what doesn't, what draws people in and what people end up buying. Full disclosure, this time around I've failed at making 5x my stock, so my plan B is to take down customer details and post items to them when I get them made, or at least point customers to my website and to my newsletter list to get first dibs and VIP access to products as they arrive.
Table and tablecloth
Many stallholders choose to use their own setup, so a table might not be applicable for you, but if it is, here are some questions to ask yourself: Does the market organiser supply a table? Do you need to bring your own? What size? Does the organiser want you to only use a white tablecloth or are you able to bring a colour that sets off your display?
Props, displays and price tags
These are all important in creating a personalised look and feel of your stall. These elements also make it easy for the customer to know what you're all about, your price point and quality of work.
I may change things up from stall to stall but always make sure I have a mirror (for people to try on jewellery), wooden props and a vase of native flowers on my stall.
Tools for minor repairs
These will be different for everyone depending on what you sell and what your set up looks like. My toolkit includes some flat-nose pliers, round-nose pliers, microfibre cloth, blu-tac, sticky tape, card stock for writing any extra signs and an extra pen and pencil.
I use the Paypal Here App on my iPad for card transactions, which make up about 60% of my transactions. It isn't ideal as I don't have the Paypal card reader, making transactions slower than I'd like. This is a business purchase that just keeps slipping until the next market comes up and I leave it too late, but I've just got to do it! In a perfect world I'd also have the card transactions hooked up to my online store so that I can better monitor inventory. Obviously this is an area where I fall short and really short work on rectifying.
Phone and cordless charger
My not-so-trusty phone but oh-so trusty cordless charger (emphasis on the cordless as you probably won't have access to a powerpoint) have definitely helped me out at every market I've been to. From calling my partner to deliver more snacks to getting back to a customer on Facebook who wants me to hold an item for them, my phone has been an ally in market situations.
I hope that helps! Please let me know if there is anything I've missed or any area that needs more explaining.