Part VI of VI....Weekly Markets

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V


Basically, you can follow the same basic tips that I have already listed in Parts I - V, but there are a few things that make selling at a weekly market a little different. Weekly markets tend to be more laid back, for one thing. Plus, you will get so much experience setting up each week that you won’t need lists or photos of your stand . . . you will just know what to do.

I love the weekly market I do. The people in charge are wonderful, the other vendors are great and the people who come to shop are awesome, too. It also gives you a lot of practice setting up your stand and a continued exposure in the community.

Here are my tips and information about weekly markets:

1. You should go “all in” if you are going to do this type of market. By that I mean that you should commit to every week. The idea is that people will get used to seeing you there and when it’s time they need a gift they will remember you are there and seek you out. This also means there will be weeks that are very slow for your stand, but they equal out with weeks that are busier.

I happen to do 2 markets that also cater to artists, so it makes it a little easier for me, but I think that if you can get into a weekly market that doesn’t necessarily cater to artists you can still make this work. One market I do every single week on Sundays. Even though this market is new this year, I decided to give it a try because I really loved the vibe and the people in charge are great. It’s positive and I admire them for what they have accomplished. I choose to be around positive people like them. I usually do fairly well at the market. There have been times where it has been not-as-great. It’s okay because it equals out and I have a consistence presence in the community. I also have gotten other opportunities from this market and online sales as well stemming from the market. I have never regretted doing the market.

The other market I do is weekly, but I only do it once a month. They market that artists will be there on Second Saturdays and I am there each Second Saturday. I usually do well there because people know when I will be there and seek me out.

If you are afraid to commit to an entire season, then maybe try it out for a full month or pick one weekend per each month and be consistent.

(Caveat: I only know how markets work in my area. There are a few other markets that would not work for me. One has a lot of flea market type stuff that I tried out and didn’t sell anything. Another market in my area you have to wait a long time to get in and buy out someone’s spot. I also would not necessarily recommend this unless you have done your research and truly believe it is worth the risk. Another market in my area may work for my items, but it is on a bad day for me. I have also talked to other vendors and did research before jumping in. The market I do each week I did take a chance, but only after meeting the organizers and other vendors.)

2. Since you are doing this market each week, it is good to change around your stand, add new products, and make it fresh each week. This is good for your customers, and it also good for yourself. I have customers who specifically ask me what is new for the week, so I learned that I better have an answer for that question, even if it is just a couple pairs of earrings or one necklace. It’s also a good way to try out new display ideas or products.

3. There will be slow weeks. Just accept it and be prepared. Instead of being grouchy and annoyed or worried about it, take a project to work on. This is good because you feel productive instead of just sitting there without anything to do and it also can attract people to your stand. I have given impromptu jewelry-making lessons to people.

4. Take market as a rare opportunity to meet people. I have found that as I get older the opportunity to meet new people becomes less and less. Being in the public and at a market gives you a great opportunity to meet fascinating people. You will probably see a lot of these people every week, too.

5. If you can, support other vendors at the market. I know you are there to make money and probably shouldn’t spend all your profits, but you need fruits and vegetables anyway, right? You can get great prices because you are buying direct. If there is something that you need and are going to buy elsewhere anyway, support your fellow vendors. It helps keep the market going and maybe they will remember you when they need what you sell. As I like to say, you reap what you sow.

Markets are rewarding and fun experiences and I highly recommend them, especially if you are just starting out doing shows. It is a more relaxed setting in most circumstances and in my experience, they cost less than doing big craft shows so there is less risk involved.

That brings us to the end of my Craft Show Tips Series. I hope they have been helpful and informative. I feel like preparation is key for feeling ready and confident, regardless of the situation.

I have made some additions and some changes to the series and the 27-page document is now available as a PDF.

Feel free to email me (BBBellezza@hotmail.com) to have a full copy sent to you. I will leave this offer open until this evening at midnight (9/25/08 12 midnight, Eastern Time). After that I will be posting it in my Etsy shop for a minimal fee. I will also be offering printed copies in my Etsy Shop when it is posted (sometime 9/26/08)
Thanks for reading! I have even more cool posts on the docket coming up!

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