The New Year is the perfect time to set up a market stall. We explore why and where to start trading, and how to make sure your market stall is a success.
Trading at local markets doesn’t cost much, and it can be a fun and lucrative way to get your business off the ground.
Whether you want to start selling books at your weekend car boot sale, or homemade honey at a local farmer’s market, setting up a market stall can be the perfect way to launch a new product, test a start-up idea, or just clear the decks and sell your pre-loved goodies for cash!
And there’s no better time to do it than in the New Year.
First things first
Before you get your market stall up and running, you’ll need to tick off a few important boxes regarding insurance and permits. Laws can differ within different states, territories and local councils, so it’s worth doing your homework to make sure you’re covered!
Public Liability Insurance helps protect you and your business, and is a must for any new market stall. Insurance companies often offer short-term policies, so compare your options and ensure you have the right cover in place before you start trading.
2. Product safety and measurement
Whether you’re stall sells doughnuts or denim jackets, your needs to be safe for customers and made according to industry standards. And if your product is sold by measurement (for example, by weight, length or volume), you’ll also need to check it follows trade measurement laws.
If you’re selling food, get in touch with your local council to let them know – in most cases, you’ll need to apply for a temporary food stall license. It’s important to make sure that any food you serve complies with the Food Standards Code –this list of government guidelines helps to ensure the food is safe for your customers to eat.
Picking a spot
1. As a new seller, there are plenty of second-hand markets across Sydney to choose from. Surry Hills Market and Glebe Markets are popular for vintage clothes, books and designer labels, whilst My Kids Markets specialise in selling children’s clothing in different locations all around Sydney. For collector’s items, head to Rozelle Markets, or if you’re on the hunt for a car boot market, check out this one in Blacktown. You might want to start off trialing a few different markets, to get a feel for which best suits you and your product.
2. Once you’ve found a market (or markets) you’re interested in, get in touch with them. They’ll likely ask for some detailed description and images of your products to see if you’ll be a good fit, and in some cases you might need to put your name down on a waiting list.
Setting up shop
1. Be prepared
Check with your market on their specific equipment requirements and restrictions, but as a starting point you’ll probably need tables, chairs, bags for customers, and power facilities. It’s worth having a cash register or pouch/belt to store your money too. Be prepared for all weather conditions, and make sure you have enough shade for you, your customers and your products – you don’t want any of anything (or anyone) wilting in the sun!
2. Stand out from the crowd
It’s crucial to make your stall to look fun, engaging and aesthetically appealing, so take the time to think of a unique and creative approach. Create an eye-catching sign to grab market-goers’ attention, telling them exactly what you’re selling and where to find you. You can expand your design to business cards, flyers too, to create a visual ‘identity’ that helps customers recognise you.
3. Perfect your prices
It can be tricky to know how much to charge for your items, especially when you’re starting out – a good method is to check out how much others are charging for similar products. Get creative with promotions to attract new customers and encourage returning customers, and don’t be afraid to bargain a little.
4. Ways to pay
It’s worth hiring an eftpos machine for card payments, and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you may even want to explore other methods such as taking mobile payments from your phone. Don’t forget to have a well-stocked kitty filled with change too – plenty of people will still be paying in cash!
5. Do the maths
Work out a budget, taking into account expenses like rent, parking, food, and even the cost of hiring an assistant. Create profit goals and daily sales targets – not only will they give you something to aim for and help you stay on track, but you’ll be able to celebrate when you reach your goals.
On the day, be friendly, inviting and chatty. And most importantly… remember to have fun!
Can’t wait to get started?
For more information about Sydney Markets, check out our online directory Local Market Guide. It lets you connect with a whole community of local stallholders, and find details of local market contacts, upcoming events, market news and current stallholder opportunities.