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Top 10 Tips for Market Stall Traders


If you missed the 2016 launch of Love Your Local Market in May fear not because British Food Fortnight is coming! The two-week event runs from 17 September - 2 October and is a national celebration of amazing British food and drink. The campaign is run by Love British Food and will be its 14th year of hosting the event, and it has now partnered with Co Op Food and The Great British Food Campaign.
Farmers markets and the wonderful trade stall holders that run them create a unique shopping experience for Brits and are proud to be a part of this great event. At TFH Gazebos, we have a close working relationship with many traders and stallholders, and to celebrate this we’re giving our top ten tips for the market industry. unique experience of market shopping and trading.

1. Start early
Arrive at your venue or location early to ensure you get the best pitch and are set up and ready for the start time. Preparation is key to success and arriving later could mean losing the best spots and having to unload and set up between stalls that are already up and running. As they say, ‘the early bird catches the worm’.

2. Set up near a point of interest
Depending on where your market is, scout round for locations that are near the most interesting points of interest or amenities. A great place to set up is next to a cafe or near the toilets. It might sound odd, but this is where you will find the highest footfall and can therefore attract the most customers.

3. Set up to make sales
This may sound obvious, but when you’re setting up your stall, ensure it looks presentable both up close and from far away. You want to make sure that customers will be attracted to it from further away and that the stall still looks great up close after you have enticed them over. A good recommendation for the distance from which to test this out is 25 feet.

4. Be comfortable
Another obvious one, but often overlooked: before you start trading, double check that you have the right supplies to remain comfortable throughout your trading hours. Wear suitable clothing and shoes for the conditions and weather, always pack extra layers and waterproofs and, depending on the season, take some sun cream. Don’t forget to pack snacks and drinks to keep hydrated and content too.

5. Overestimate your float
Don’t underestimate how much money you will need in your float. Customers often try to pay with larger notes and you will need lots of coins to be able to give back the correct change. You don’t want to be running around throughout the day to find more change and lose sales.

6. Be prepared
Make a checklist of all the essentials you will need to run your stall. Think about stocking up tables, carrier bags, a gazebo, notepads, etc. Ensure that you have these ready for when you start trading.

7. Check your cover
Before you start trading, you will need to find out details on trading licences and insurance. In the UK, it is a legal requirement to have a licence from your local government council. For further information, visit gov.uk.

8. Price correctly
Customers will be coming to their local markets for a bargain. Do your research and make sure you price your goods competitively. While you don’t want to price too high, nor do you want to price too low. Ensure all your goods are clearly labelled with the correct prices as well to make it easier for customers to understand your pricing.

9. Be friendly
It’s a given that you should be friendly, but for those who are new to the trading business or are just plain shy, don’t be nervous. Chat to people, smile and be confident in your products. If you are approachable and friendly you will make more sales.

10. Network with other traders
Don’t forget to talk with the other traders. Make some time during the day to speak to those around you. Good times to try are during set-up and closing. Networking gives all the traders a chance to learn from one another, share knowledge and ideas, offer trader discounts and discuss future opportunities.
The market stall business is extremely friendly and a great one to be a part of. Not only are there great opportunities for money to be made, but it’s also a wonderful way of being a part of your local community and getting to know locals on a daily basis.


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