Monday, July 16, 2012

{Guest Blogger} Craft Market Checklist

Making a list and checking it twice

Following on from our wonderful series on Craft Market Visual Merchandising, I thought it would be only fitting that we update our Market Checklist. I also approached Rachelle from Rachelle Rachelle, makers of fun children's clothing and accessories, to share with our readers her personal market checklist.  Rachelle has many years experience in both running and selling at craft markets. Over to you Rachelle!

1. Most Important – Your Products

Make a list of all the things you want to take with you and do an inventory list before you go to make sure you know what you sold and how much you sold of certain items. This will help you determine what items sell the best and which items are a bit slow and may need to be reviewed.

2. Trestle Table & Chair

You can buy foldable trestle tables at Big W, Officeworks and Bunnings. Bunnings I think are the cheapest and are around $49 and then they range up to about $79 from Officeworks. They are compact and a good investment if you attend a lot of markets. 6 ft/1.8m trestle tables are the standard but you can get smaller ones if you need them.   Remember to bring 1 or 2 chairs, although you may not use them, you may have a friend pop by who may sit down while you are chatting with customers.

3. Gazebo/Umbrella (for outside stalls)

Gazebos are a great investment whether you do markets or not. They are handy to take to kids sporting activities on the weekend or for parties when you are not using them at markets. If you prefer to use an umbrella don’t forget to bring a base or weights to secure the umbrella. I'd invest in a good quality gazebo which you can get at places like BCF.

4. Display material

What are you using to display your products on? Whether you are using shelves, bowls, boxes etc. make sure you add them to your checklist to pack and bring to the market. And don’t forget to do a test run beforehand as you may want to add something extra to give your products a bit more height or dimension. If you are looking for display items don't forget to check out your discount stores they have some great affordable display options and you just never know what you will find.

5. Table Cloth

If you have a 6 ft (1.8m) trestle table then you will want to make or buy a table cloth that is 3.2m x 2.3m for a 90cm deep table or 3.2m x 2.1m for a 75cm deep table. This will give you enough overhand at the front and sides so you can hide any packing boxes under your table. If you want a nice fitted tablecloth then you can make your own. Alternatively if you are not a sewer or don’t know anyone who does sew you can buy these online and get them printed with your name or logo on them at or you can pick plain ones up on ebay for about $39.95.

6. Change Tin/Bag

You will need to bring your own change on the day. We suggest you bring around $200 - $250 in coins and small notes.

7. Calculator

Bring a calculator along so you can make sure that you add purchases up correctly and give the right change to your customers. I keep one in my box of market supplies so it is always with me. Although I did 3 Unit Maths at school, baby brain has well and truly kicked in for me so I like to have it as a back up.

8. Business Cards/Flyers

Have business cards or flyers made up with your contact details on them so people can contact you after the market. They may not want to make a purchase on the day or may not have someone to buy for at the time but they may love your products and want to purchase down the track. Make sure ALL the information is current on your business cards or flyers. There is nothing worse than having the wrong phone number or email address as this just irritates people and no matter how good your product is, it will leave a bad taste in their mouth. If information is incorrect, reprint it or if you can’t reprint then print little labels to cover up the wrong information with the right information. Its the little things that make a big difference.

9. Signage

People want to know who they are buying from so have a sign with your name or logo on it. You can put it in a frame, print it on a canvas or simple laminate a printed sign. Or if you have time and an artistic flair why not paint one or think of another creative way you can display it. You can also get pop up banners or x banners made up if you are after a more professional look.

10. Back soon sign

If you are on the stand on your own and you need to duck to the toilet. This will let people know that you won’t be long if they want to buy something. I went to a market recently where the stallholder had left their stand and there were people in their stall and I wasn’t sure if they were the stallholders or customers, or where they had gone or how long they would be. I waited for quite a while before another stallholder approached me and said that they had ducked to the shop and would only be a few minutes.

11. Price list, swing tags or price labels

Make sure you items are priced and visible. You can individually price them or have a price list on your stand. Don’t forget to take a few extra labels or swing tags just in case you need them.

12. Bags

Bring some bags to put customers purchases in.

13. Receipt Book

Bring a receipt book if you have one. This is not essential but some people may like a receipt on the day particularly for custom orders where they might be paying a deposit or the full amount for the item.

14. Mailing List

If you want to grow your mailing list take a clipboard with a mailing list spreadsheet. Include first name, surname, email address and phone number so you can contact your customers after the market and tell them about any new products coming soon or any sales you have coming up. It’s easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to find new ones.

15. Storage Boxes

I buy 80L storage boxes with wheels to pack all my products/materials in. They are durable and you can easily stack them and wheel them to your stand if need be. They also sit neatly away under your table (if you have one) or you can use them stacked as a table to sit your money tin, calculator etc on behind your table.

16. Camera

You may want to take photos of your stall if you are happy with how it is set up so you can look back at what you did and if you would do anything differently.

17. Garbage bag

Bring a garbage bag for any rubbish you may have on the day. Generally a small bag will do.

We have combined Rachelle's list above with the one previously listed as well as some other suggestions made by our followers on Facebook.  

Do you have something to add?  Leave a comment below.

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