Which Craft Market is Right For You?
You’ve made a decision to sell your handmade goodies at a Market but how do you decide which Market is the right one for you. I really wish there was a a magic formula for this but unfortunately there is not. There are 3 basic types of Markets.The names I give each group may not recognizable but you will recognize the description.
Event Markets 1: These are Markets that are attached to an unrelated event. For example our local council organizes a huge day every year to celebrate the start of a big boat race. The are heaps of free activities, free concerts, free kids activities and markets.
Sites at these events are usually very expensive, the organizers are hoping to recoup some of their outlay on the free activities and insurances etc.You will be required to complete an application form and may be required to pay a non refundable admin fee. You will also be competing against stalls selling imported products.
There will be a lot of people at these events. But one of the Lessons I’ve Learnt is that most people come for the free stuff. The may wander around in between the activity breaks but sales do not generally match the numbers of people attending. There is one exception to this, if you are selling food items you will probably do ok.
I also include School fetes and the like under this category. Why? Because people who attend them are usually there for some other purpose than to shop. A lot of people are attached to the school community and come to support the school related activities only.
Event Markets 2: These are a little different to the above Markets in that the Market is the Event. These markets might be the ones that occur once per year (e.g. like Finders Keepers), quarterly etc.
Sites can be expensive at some of these markets but others can be more than reasonable. Some of these markets are juried, some may charge a non-refundable admin fee, some may be only open to members. Check with the organizers about how they are advertising and promoting the Market. If you are going to be paying a premium for the site you want to be assured that people will know that it is on.
Customers come to these markets to shop so if you have done your research and your product fits then you can do well.
Regular Markets: These are the Markets that are on every month, fortnightly or weekly. These markets may also be open to stalls selling cheap imported stuff( boo, hiss) and second hand goods, car boot sales etc.
Everyone knows they are on; where and when. If you decide to do these types of markets you have to be prepared to attend consistently. The same customers don’t attend every week but expect that you will be there when they are ready to buy.
Site fees vary from market to market. Some can be very cheap others a bit more expensive. Another Lesson I’ve Learnt is that if the sites are very cheap then usually customers aren’t prepared to pay a ‘true value’ for your item.It can make better business sense to pay more for your site fee to attract a customer who values your work.
This is just the start of your market journey. Next week we will explore a few more pointers for deciding which market will suit your product best.
This post was first published here on 13th December 2010