The actual layout of a market stall is one of the biggest struggles new market stall holders face. Especially when going from selling online to selling in person. There is more to consider than just how much stock you can fit on the table. We’ve written a few tips. This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but it should get you on your way!
We are all creatives, but there is a big difference between knitting, drawing, or sculpting, and designing a layout. Luckily you don’t have to just sit there staring at a blank table waiting for a bolt of inspiration to hit.
Get out there and look at other stalls - This has more than one benefit. You can see what sort of things draw your eyes. You can also work out styles of displays you like and will work for your product. Obviously we are not encouraging you to copy other people’s displays, but rather work out what works for you and your business’ aesthetic.
Pinterest - When I was trying to work out how to display headbands, I wasn’t really finding anything I liked. Everything looked a bit too organised and shop-like for my slightly haphazard style. So I took to looking at pinterest. This helped me look at things outside my local area, as well as find tutorials on how to make things. And as most crafters will tell you, why buy something in the store when you can spend an afternoon and probably twice as much money in materials making it yourself!
Just laying your stock flat on the table may be the easiest solution, but markets can get quite busy, and it is unlikely to draw the attention of people walking down the middle of the row. You want people to be able to see your items from where they are standing, to draw them in. Having things at different heights lets you also display more stock, and things at eye level are always going to draw more attention, so bear that in mind when you are laying things out. You want your signature pieces where they will grab the most attention.
Another benefit of a display that rises off of the table means you can put those things you need for running a stall like extra business cards, bottles of water, and your Square card reader or other belongings behind them, in easy reach and where you can see them. It also means you can put your business name up where people will see it!
You don’t just have to buy a set of shelves and put your items on it like a store. The Made Local markets are for crafters, so get crafty. There are a whole range of items out there to use. Suitcases, apple boxes, and for the budget conscious (Which I know is most of us) simple boxes covered in fabric make great risers!
Also, add some decoration! Add colour. Help draw people’s eye to you. The market scene is just as competitive as Etsy, and you need to work just as hard to make sure that you stand out.
As we said in our guide to first time stallholders, laying out your stall ahead of time is so important. This goes double for when you are working out your displays. The way we think things will go in our head is not always the way things look in real life. It also gives you the chance to ask the people around you like family members, housemates and friends to give you their opinions. A second pair of eyes can often make all the difference.
This is actually the first in what will be a few blog posts as we start getting excited for this year’s Etsy Made Local Melbourne market. I plan on covering a few different topics, like Stalls and Displays, Picking the right market, Cash handling systems, and more, but I thought we would start off with some good old fashioned general advice!
For those of you who have only ever sold your creations online, the thought of a market can be both exciting and daunting. The chance to reach all new people is one you don’t want to pass up, but selling in person comes with a whole different set of challenges, skills and equipment needed. I spoke to our members who have done not only the Made Local Melbourne market before, but other markets about what advice they would give to first time stall holders.
Engage with your customers, both current and potential!
Anyone who has done any sort of marketing, or run any sort of business will tell you that engaging with your customers is important. There are things you can do both on the day, and before hand to help sales, all of which cost you nothing, but can make all the difference.
Plan Your Stall Ahead of Time
I am a hyper organised person, but not everyone is like me. There are a range of things you can do ahead of time that will make your setup a much smoother process on the day. And feeling like you are organised is going to help alleviate some of those pre-market jitters.
Cash Handling Tips
Cash handling (and eftpos) is a huge part of stall organisation.
Take care of yourself!
One of the biggest struggles of the self employed is making sure that we have time for ourselves. This is especially true at busy markets!
I could write pages and pages on holding a stall for the first time, which is why I will be doing a series of posts. But for now, this is a good starting list. What is something you would tell first stall holders? Or what is something that you are nervous about as a first stallholder?