Friday, January 24, 2014

Lessons from a Market stall holder, Time and Stock

Last year I started blogging on a weekly basis and made it my goal to talk about all the hints and tips on holding a market stall.


  Well, I think I want to start 2014 with stock management, and time management.  How do these 2 things fit together in the scheme of things you ask?
                                                                
   To take advantage of the Christmas season last year, I booked 5 market stalls in 3 weeks from mid November to mid Dec. That does not sound to bad some of you say.  Well, being a newbie at all this, not having a lot of stock, unsure about my target market, and being a one person show, I was just a TAD over committed!

 I started my Christmas stock design and making in Oct.  After each market I was spending the whole time restocking and designing for the next market.  I spent many late nights creating more stock for the next market.

With November markets, I had one week in between my markets to create enough stock, and come up with some new designs before the next market.  Talk about having a creative block! Stress is number one killer for creative block for me.


 I had several offers to do markets and often would get 2 week notice for the market stall dates.  This gave me precious little time to think about my target customers.  I had not researched the market, what type of items customers would buy at these markets, how many people came to the market, etc.  My sales were way down.  One market I did not sell enough to meet my costs!


 Time and Stock Lessons for Market Stall Success

  Lesson 1, Research the market before booking a stall at that market.  
Ask other stall holders about the market.  Visit that market, look at the people who are buying from the stall holders. Does your product fit in with what people are buying at the market?
  Are any of the stalls very busy?  Busy stalls and markets mean more stock needed in your stall and more sales.
  What are the prices of similar products you sell?  If there are really cheap products there at the market and your items are more expensive, what incentive to buyers have to buy your product over the other cheaper product?
 

Lesson 2, Set aside time each week for new designs.
  There is nothing worse than trying to come up with a new product the week or two before your market.  I spent way to much time trying to create new Christmas items for my stall in Nov and Dec.  Plan out your holiday items months in advance.  Create a few items to put online and get feed back from your potential customers.  What is it about the product they like?  
  Always make several of the same item, especially if it is a product you know people like.  I had several customers commenting on a particular image I sell on my market stall.  When I first came out with the product I only had one image at one price point for them.  I later created cards with a smaller image on it so customers who did not want to buy the framed photograph could buy a card with that same image on it.







 
 

20 comments:

  1. God bless you for being able to do it - i know i can't... :D

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  2. Seems like you have a nice way to get into those markets.. Keep on plugging along and you will find very nice success!

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  3. Thanks for the wonderful advice! All your weekly blogging tips are very interesting and helpful!

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    1. Thank you Felicia. I try to keep my posts interesting just have to get over the writers/creative blocks that come sometimes.

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  4. I've thought about this on occasion, but never knew how to go about doing it. I've also thought about those cart kiosks in the mall and if I could sell cake pops out of something like that. Thanks for the tips!

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    1. Start with one market and go from there. I learned a lot just from the one market. Each market I learn more and more about what sells and how to talk to people who come to my stall to browse without putting them off. My next post..

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  5. Like Kung Phoo said - keep on plugging away! The great thing about markets is you never who who is going to be there or what you are going to find!

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    1. Thanks Kung Phoo and you are so right. I have only begun selling in markets, lots to learn

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  6. I have been wanted to do that to sell my sewing and craft items. Great tips.

    Michelle F.

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    1. Thank you. There is never a good time like now. Start small and be willing to change your product to suit your customer needs

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  7. Great advice! I'm sure people wanting to sell they products at markets will find this very useful.

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    1. Glad you liked it Joanna. Thanks for stopping by

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  8. MY MIL does this and usually comes out ahead, but there have been times she's not made enough to cover costs either. :(

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    1. It happens sometime. I often cover my costs but I am really new at all this as well. Sometimes you don't cover costs :(

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  9. That is part of where my failures were when I tried things like this.

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    1. It is very hard to keep up the momentum.

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  10. i used to sell all the time at Craft shows but now I dont think i could do it. Between putting up a tent, making things to sell and setting up and taking down. Its exhausting, I need a buddy or two to help!

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    1. It is a lot of lifting and setting up. My struggle is keeping stock I know people are going to like.

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