What I’ve Learnt about Markets…

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This week I had another market weekend…

Mr Flutter is away so it was a long weekend doing all the heavy lifting myself (seriously who’s bright idea was it to have my work room down stairs!). As I write this I practically need toothpicks to keep my eyes open I’m that tired, so lets make this brief…

Yesterday was another stint at the Wellington Underground Markets…

underground marketunderground market 2 (Large)

Which went extremely well. I had an extremely good morning and made my stall fee back in the first 15 minutes. Talk about satisfying!
Then it died off for me considerably in the afternoon despite the fact there was still good traffic through the market. I think my target market tend to head home for the afternoon, so that their children can nap.
Overall I did slightly better than last time. Consistently good so I’m happy.

Then today was the Local Mum’s Market, a new market that is trying to get itself established in Wellington…

mums market 1

mums market 2

 

If I’m honest that was not so good at all!

The shopping was great (I spent more than I sold!) but the foot traffic was terrible. Worse than terrible really.
If it is to be a successful venture in future it will need to have a LOT better marketing and also more organised administration. It would also benefit from being in a more central location because personally I think it was set too far in suburbia…

At the beginning I was actually afraid that I wouldn’t make a sale, but luckily things improved. I “made rent” and I came home with the same float I went with, despite spending quite a bit of money Christmas shopping at other stalls. So it could have been a lot worse!

It was certainly a learning experience for me. It’s a shame that was the case because the calibre of the stalls was really high and I think if it was in a better location with much better marketing it has a lot of potential for the future. I bought some great gifts at least. Nice to support other Mum’s in business rather than my local chain stores!!

So, after a month of markets this is what I’ve learned so far…

payclip**  having credit card facilities is great and my payclip I got last week is a.w.e.s.o.m.e!
It is a little device that plugs into my smart phone and you push the cards in just like you would an eftpos/debit machine. It worked like a charm and was dead easy! Well worth the $10 per month I pay, even if it did mean I had to open a bank account with another new bank. It is much, MUCH cheaper than a mobile eftpos machine so I would highly recommend looking into it if you are also a small business requiring credit card facilities. The merchant fees are quite high at 3.5% but I think it’s still worth it. I’d have to make a huge amount of sales before the merchant fee costed me more than an eftpos machine.

**  Skirt and top sets are officially my biggest seller. That is over all the markets I’ve ever done, they have been the best seller every single time! The skirt is my skirt pattern and I just do a simple applique top using my applique tutorial. They are extremely popular.

**  It is good to have some low cost things e.g. my children’s rings that I sell for $3 or my hairclip sets that I sell for $5 as high turnover items. Generally everybody can find a few dollars and those things end up paying your stall fee.

**  The thing that draws everybody’s eye to the stall is often the thing that doesn’t sell and sits there week after week. Seriously if I had a dollar for every time someone went straight to this particular dress I have or a particular skirt, gushed over how adorable it was then put it back and bought something entirely different, I’d be rich. I have yet to figure out why that is. But it happens every single week. It doesn’t really matter what draws their eye in at the end of the day, I just find it funny.

**  I could benefit from being more active at signing people up for a shop newsletter and obtaining a way to have future contact with my keen shoppers. Because there are a lot of admirers who aren’t necessarily able to buy that day, or who want a size I don’t have made etc. I should be more proactive at building a database and utilising this in future.

**  It is important to take many layers of clothing and several pairs of shoes. Because it is not nice to be standing there either too hot or too cold and in wet/uncomfortable/too hot/too cold shoes. It’s the small things…

**  I need to work on my lighting and my signage. That’s it really – those things just need improvement.

**  Suitcases with wheels are awesome for transporting stuff. I like them better than using a trolley and containers. It means you don’t have to lift a thing. Especially great if it’s a hot day because who wants to start the day all hot and sweaty from lifting heavy things.

And that’s probably enough for now.

I am going to do a market day checklist soon, but that is what I’ve learnt to date.

Blog ending

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds good. The other thing with a database of your own is that you can encourage clients to come to those new and less known markets, perhaps helping with the marketing there too without much work at all.

  2. I think the most important thing you/others need to learn when doing craft fairs is that people not buying your stuff does NOT mean your stuff isn’t good. In fact, it’s probably the opposite. They probably think it’s the best thing ever but, sadly, lots of people just don’t have the money today to buy the things they’d really like to buy.

    Crumbs, that’s a serious comment for a Monday morning! :O

  3. I’m so with you on many of these! I need warmer shoes and a suitcase with wheels has saved my back/legs more than once. Keep up the fantastic work – your stall looks gorgeous.

  4. Yay for you having such an awesome start 🙂 some markets are better than others and you’re obviously learning alot! Although the eye-candy doesn’t always sell it is what draws people to your stall and you may end up selling something else instead. Good to have a range! Go you!

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