Thursday, July 26, 2012

To market, to market: Part 2

I have high hopes of having a few stalls at one of our local markets this Summer.
I have done a few markets in the past, both big and small. I have done a few Craft2.0 fairs, the Mapua fair in Nelson and, many moons ago, Craftwerk in Wellington. But I've always felt like I haven't quite mastered the art of market-ing. (Not to mention it has been some time..!)I have asked a few of my crafty friends, who I consider to be very successful at market selling, to answer a wee questionnaire and offer me some advice. I though that you lovelies might also like to benefit from their knowledge.

Nearly all of the markets I have sold at, this lovely lady has also sold at. She is a delightful person to have around, and well, she's done so many markets I'm pretty sure we could call her a seasoned market expert.
Without further ado, I present you with Melissa of Tiny Happy fame:
Craft 2.0  (many moons ago)

1. Tell us a little about who you are, and what it is you make and sell.
I'm Melissa, and my 'label' is tiny happy. I make all sorts of things- clothes and toys for kids, small embroidered items, bags, purses and cushion covers. In the past, I've also sold prints of my artwork, cards, and illustrated ceramics.

2. How long have you been doing markets, and how often do you do them?
I've been doing them for years now- I first started selling my work at the Saturday market in Nelson, back in 2006. Since then I've had stalls at Craftwerk, the Mapua Easter Fair, Craft 2.0, Handmade, and the Auckland Art and Craft Fair.

3. I know that you also sell online, which is your preferred way of selling? Why?
I prefer online, I have a shop on etsy and I find this is a bit easier as I can be a bit shy and awkward in 'real life'. But having said that, I do enjoy meeting people face to face at markets.

4. What are your top tips for the layout of the stall? How important is the look of your table?
I think it's important not to have too many things crowding up your table. So keep extra stock in a suitcase or something behind the table. Try and make your display look coherent, and easy for people to look through.

5. Is it good to have as much stock as possible, or is less more? If you have a lot of stock, do you display it all?
Yes, I do try and have extra stuff behind the table to replenish the stock. But then again, there's nothing wrong with having just a limited amount of special things- it gives your work more value, I think, and people are more likely to buy something if you only have a few of them.

6. How about pricing - do you have different prices for markets? Do you have an specific way of pricing that seems to work I.e even numbers, odd numbers, all under a certain price etc
Yes, I do try and keep my market prices down a little but I try not to make things too cheap (though I aim for 'affordable' prices in general.) At markets, I try and make all my prices divisible by 5, because it's easier to arrange change in 5s.

Nelson Markets (also many moons ago!)

7. Are you very chatty with people browsing your stall? Or do you prefer to step back and let them look?
I am chatty, but I do try and step back and let them look at stuff- noone likes a pushy salesperson! I like it when customers want to have a chat, it's the best part about doing markets.

8. Any other advice you'd like to share?
It's a good idea to keep a little stack of business cards for people to take.
Bring plenty of change.
Don't forget a bottle of water and some snacks.

Thanks heaps, M!

You can find Melissa on Facebook HERE, on Typepad HERE and on Etsy HERE


  1. Lovely, I loved seeing the old market photos!

  2. thanks, r. honoured to be on your blog. and i can't believe you found those old market photos! (they seem like a lifetime ago. )

  3. It's been fun reading about other peoples stall experiences and idea. What a great idea R. jxx