Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Market Week Part 2: Choose a Suitable Market

Craft Market Post 2 Pic


Its Market Week at the CHA!

This week is ‘Market Week’ where we share the combined knowledge, experience and expertise of many people connect with the CHA; from members contributing their thoughts on the Discussion Thread, to sellers who are known for their outstanding visual merchandising and other friends of the CHA who have more than 2 cents worth to add.

Choose a Suitable Market

There are many markets to choose from in each state, but which one is right for you? Use a directory (such as the CHA Handmade Directory) to check out the different markets on offer, and start by visiting their websites to get a feel for who they are: the type of clientele they attract, what products are sold at the market, and who the event managers are. Send them an email if you don’t see the information you are after.

Questions to consider:

  • What type of market is it and is it in line with your marketing strategy? Will it help or hurt your reputation to be seen there?
  • How many people regularly attend?
  • What type of people frequent the market; and they your target market?
  • How well established is it?
  • What sort of reputation does the market have with people in the industry?
  • How well is the market advertised? What sort of media coverage and marketing activity can you hope to benefit from?
  • How much does it cost to be a stall holder and how does the cost compare with other markets? What do you get for your money?
  • How frequently is the market run and do you have to commit for a minimum period of time?
  • Is there a waiting list to gain space as a stall holder?
  • How far do you have to travel to get there?
  • Can you access your site with your car easily? Is there lots of free parking?
  • Is it inside or outside, and do you have a marquee?
  • Does it offer power, tables, marquees and other equipment if required?
  • What insurance coverage do they provide; and can they help you purchase insurance just for the event?
  • Will you be offering the same stock as everyone else, or will you offer something unique yet complimentary?
  • What activities will be there as a draw card to the event: i.e. live music, food stands, kids activities?
  • What is public transport like to the event?
  • How much will it cost you to be there when considering stall holder fees, insurance, petrol etc?

If you have found a market which you think meets your needs, then it is time to go shopping.... that is, visit the market first as a customer. Pay attention to what is going on:

  • Is it busy or quiet?
  • What times of the day seem to attract the most visitors?
  • Are people buying?
  • What are they buying?
  • Who is selling?
  • What are they selling?
  • What sorts of prices are items marked at?
  • Can you compete and still make a decent profit?
  • What is the vibe?
  • What role is the weather playing?
  • Is the area exposed or sheltered?
  • What are facilities like?
  • Does it meet your expectations?
  • How many tables of stock do people typically have?
  • Do they have marquees?
  • How are they merchandising their stalls?
  • What works?
  • What doesn’t?
  • Is parking and public transport sufficient?

Take the opportunity to talk to the current stall holders and get a feel for their impressions. Don’t be shy! Tell them that you are considering becoming a stall holder there and ask their opinion! Most people will be very happy to share their experiences and knowledge with you.

Then, there comes a point where you have done all the research you can, and you need to take a (small) leap a faith. So when you’re ready, take the plunge and make the booking! Just make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to make preparations and get your stock ready. So find out when the next few markets are, and choose a date in the future that gives you enough time to prepare, but also has a sense of pressure to ensure you work efficiently towards that market date!

Remember; the first market is always the hardest because it is unknown. But you have done your homework, and you know what your goals and expectations are. So its time to get preparing!

Cheers, Chicken

Next post: Top Tips with Seller Sweet William

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