Market Stall experience after 6 months – Part 1

(Due to the length of this post, it will be published in two parts. Part 1 is an introduction and summary of the markets I’ve sold at. Part 2 will express my experience tips under certain categories – and is rather lengthy.)

141220_Creswick Market(web) (12 of 14)After four markets and one pop-up shop, I decided to reflect upon my experience for the past 6 months. My decision to start selling at markets was from as I was no longer at university, and I was completing my small business training I thought it would be a great experience to practice my skills – and it had been something on my mind for a while. I’d like to go to markets; seeing what people create and I have a fascination with products.

At this point, I’ve been practicing origami casually for around 2.5 years, and thought that it would be a good challenge and experimentation to make products that people could buy, have in their home/space and simply adore it.

I applied for my first market back in late April and found out around then that I had got in a month before the day. This was a busy time as I was finishing – and would finish my course – 4 days before hand.

Below is a timeline split into the experience of each market:

 

June 1st: Design Exchange, Mining Exchange:

20140601-DSC_0488

  • First market.
  • Had a short time to make everything.
  • Even though I had many supplies, still had to purchase more.
  • Needed equipment to display items on (table, garment racks, etc…)
  • Experiment; see what people like/dislike/what sells well at different prices.
  • Market name under graphic design name.
  • Sh*te weather
  • Cost $155 for the stall, 6hrs.

Summary: Cost way too high for selling origami – or anything in general with the consideration of time and if you had to travel – but a good first experience.

 

June-Oct:fb_web-banners_fb-cover

  • Experimenting, re-designing identity/create new logo
  • Trying to find out about markets

 

November 7th: Miners Rest market141107_Miner's Rest Market stall(web)-6

  • Twilight market
  • Frist market under new identity and set up
  • More streamline product line
  • Really hot day (somewhat stuffy inside)
  • A lot of looking, not really buying
  • Made less than $10 after site of stall.

Summary: Felt as though I was going on a downhill with the whole experience – everybody looking but no-one buying. After two markets, was hundreds of dollars in the negative and wasn’t looking like I would get out of it. Was here when I found out about the ChristmasFest market.

 

table set up, an improvment from last time, but still needs a few things

table set up, an improvment from last time, but still needs a few things

December 5th: ChristmasFest Lakeside market (Pleasant Street P.S.)

  • Twilight market
  • Had one hour to set up (which is not long for me, takes me ages)
  • In a corridor area, had to have display close to wall and stand at one end.
  •  To get to the outside area, I was in the main passage way to this space, thus had lots of people walking past.
  • Lots of interest.
  • Something different to what other people were selling, hence the interest.
  • Became colder in the evening, thus people were waiting around where my stall was.

Summary:
This was a great confidence booster that I was after and came in good timing. Made money back on the stall plus more. Very happy at end of night. I offered something quite different from a lot of other stores, and something new. Had a lot of interest and an offer to join a community craft group. I even had a few people tell me that I should put my prices up – which I took on board for the next market.

 

December 20th: Creswick Market

stall set up - tighter space than last

stall set up – tighter space than last

  • Five days before Christmas – last minute buying gift time.
  • Relatively warm day – lovely weather.
  • Had my set up near the two entry points to the hall and on a corner (helped with my display for the garment rack.
  • Lots of interest and delight from customers – even some from the market before came along.
  • People surprised with the relatively cheap prices – had someone buy something and told me to keep the change ($1, but hey).
  • Got given lollies and badge by organisers as a gift for selling away. (really handy b/c I was hungry.)

Summary:
Very much enjoyed myself at this market. Still didn’t managed to sell any of my flower balls, but one day I will. Financially; best market thus far I’ve done. Had someone invite me to a market they were setting up in Hepburn area. Had interest to make more items after market. Generally, I believe people were fascinated with what I had – something new/new angle. Got to meet new people and look forward to going back and selling there; at which I might as I had people interested in some items, but not in Christmas theme.

December 23rd: Pop-Up Shop at Big Space.141223_Big Space Pop-Up Shop(web) (9 of 15)

  • Organised the day before, thus only had the night to advertise it on facebook.
  • On main street on town, people just pop in if walking past.
  • Took me forever to set up and pack down b/c I had to park far away.
  • Sat in space and made origami (people can watch me make it.)

Summary:
I was only perhaps expecting to make $10-$15 on the day, and ended up making $40 – so I was quite pleased considering it was only organised the day before. It was lovely to talk to people who came in and asked about things – even if they just wanted a look. So, I made more money than what I would have just sitting at home and making stuff thus I’m glad I put the effort into setting up (and mum was happy that I sold a few more bits.)

 

***Coming soon***
***Part 2 of this post will discuss some tips from my experience. ***

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