A Quick Start Guide To Preparing For Your First Market

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Header image: Itty B Studio

Have you applied for a market – and been accepted? Are you psyched to share your wares to the real-life public for the first time? Then read on, we’ve got a quick-fire guide to preparing for your very first market.

Meet the expert
Name: Davina Farinola
Etsy Shops: Fluid Ink Letterpress, Mini Ink Fingerprints, and Mini Ink Photocards.
Location: Perth, WA

Davina is a stationery-obsessed graphic designer with a love of vintage machinery – so naturally, she creates amazing hand-printed paper goodness with her letterpress.

Since her first market in 2010, selling a small sample of her products, Davina has become a market enthusiast, attending at least two each year and coordinating the Perth Etsy Made Local as part of the WA Etsy Team.

“I love the comradeship with other sellers, as well as meeting shoppers face to face in a relaxed environment,” Davina says. “It really can confirm that people love your products and what your target market is!”

Davina in her studio

Davina’s Top 10 Tips 

1. CHECKLISTS ARE YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND

Your inventory is ready to go, you know (however vaguely) what will be included in your stall’s set-up: now it’s time to list out exactly everything you’ll need on the day, so you’ll have all the important details at hand so you can whiz through the day stress-free and feeling prepped.

2. DO A PRACTICE RUN

“I do a test set up of the stall at home the day before the market,” says Davina. “That way you’ll know your space and how it will look, and you can pack it into the car there and then – so you’ll be able to pull it all out in the right order on the day.” 

3. DON’T FORGET THE EXTRAS

You’ve got your stall set up, packaging, and products – that’s it, right? Not quite! A few extra bits and bobs will help you have a smoother day: a comfy chair, a portable battery/ phone charger, a card reader to take credit card payments, a stock list so you can keep an inventory of what has been sold, snacks, sunscreen, a thermos, business cards and any other marketing material like signs and banners. 

4. PROMOTE

A market needs one thing to be a success: people. Get the word out before the big day using all of your networks: social media, real life friends and family, online communities.

5. GET SOCIAL

“Customers will often shop and then Instagram the pieces that they purchased – so make sure your insta handle is with them when they walk away, whether that’s on the packaging or on a business card.” 

6. REMEMBER: IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT PROFIT

“Markets aren’t all about profit on the day of trading,” says Davina. “Yes, ideally you want to make your stall fee back twice over, but don’t start obsessing too much the cost and having a super profitable day! Sometimes it’s about building brand awareness, customers may shop with you online at a later date.”

7. ASK A FRIEND…BUT DON’T BE AFRAID TO FLY SOLO

Having an extra set of hands on market day is wonderful, but the other stall holders and market organisers are there to help out if you need it. Need a bathroom break? Ask a stall neighbor to mind your stall, and offer to repay the favour. “If you have someone willing to help for part of the day, great,” says Davina. “But if you don’t, drink a lot of coffee and bring snacks!”

Need more in-depth advice about prepping for a market stall? Check out our comprehensive guide {LINK TO ‘WHAT TO EXPECT]’ article.

Reana works in Etsy Australia’s community team, a job she has described as “second only to the person who gets to name nail polish colours.” She has a soft spot for french seams, quirky jumpers, botanical illustration, homewares that look like they were made with hands, bonfires, cold beer, and patting dogs. Follow her on Instagram

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