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Getting back into markets after being online exclusive for the last few years.

As someone with severe social anxiety, when I got the opportunity to sell exclusively online I jumped at the opportunity.


These are some of the things I have learned over the years of starting out as a market vendor, to online and now a mix of both.

  • Less is more.
    Believe me when I say - I am a person that loves abundance, and a ton of colors. This one is the hardest for me, as I love to over indulge in colors, and I can’t pick a favorite pot to put on my table. When you have a ton of different products like me, try to group your items together in a way that makes it easy to walk through your booth.

 

  • Interact with your fellow market vendors.
    Check to see how they are doing, often times I do not have enough time to go around and shop and of course we are there to make money so it is counter intuitive. However, get a feel of where they are vending. Notice who around you has a like customer base. For example, when I was vending at a market this summer I noticed the same folks that bought from me were also the same folks that bought from a woodworker across the way. Interact with the people that have like customers and see what works for them, often times other vendors are more than happy to tell you their favorite markets if you ask :)


  • Have clear signage.
    I got an A-frame sign made and it changed my world! I love my signage. But it is really easy to make one yourself. All you need is two pieces of wood, 2 hinges, and a chain and you’re all set. It is a great way to advertise at markets and it is really eye catching. You can also use it for pop-ups! Let’s say you are doing a pop up at a store, you can stick your a-frame sign right outside and let people know what awaits inside the business for them. The point of all of this is to say people really want to know what they are walking into before they go into your booth, or shop.

 





  • Tent weights are your friend.
    Let me tell you, I have been doing a ton of outdoor markets, and my goodness. I have seen so many things break, and fall over. It is a stress that you don’t need. I would say that is a great first investment. Especially if you are vending in areas like me in SF. >.<
A-Frame Tent Weights
Large Capacity Tent Weights

 

  • Get creative - paint your own displays and signage.
    It doesn’t take a ton of money to get creative with your displays and signage. Just the other day I went to the dumps, yes the dumps. I found a piece of an old bed frame, and I had these two peg boards, and I made an A-frame pegboard hanger for all of my wall hangings. It was super cute and I loved how easy it came together. As for signage, I had a piece of canvas lying around, or you can even go to the dollar store and pick up a canvas. All you need is grommets, which you can get at Michaels for around $11 (full kit), canvas, paint, and some rope. I painted my sign with regular shmegular acrylic paint, and sketched out my design and got to painting. Once I was done with that I added the grommets to each of the four corners, tied it to my display as a backdrop with some rope from the hardware store and I was off to the races. :) I got a ton of great compliments on it, and it cost me next to nothing to make. (Check out my sign in the header image)

 

  • Height is gooooood.
    This is great for when you have a small space or just a table at an event. Be sure to weigh everything down especially if you have lightweight or breakable items. 
Displays I use for mugs!
  • Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get accepted to a market.
    Honestly, there are many factors of whether we get into markets or not, this doesn’t mean you are not worthy of vending there. Don’t let the imposter syndrome devil on your shoulder tell you otherwise. Keep trying, and you’ll do great. :) Sometimes, we really don’t know why we don’t get in, but it happens to everyone.

  • Utilize your friends and family!
I remember my first market around 5-6 years ago. My ENTIRE immediate family came and bought something from me. Be sure to let all of your friends and family know that you are selling at a market, they want to support you. Reach out, you never know who will show up, even just to make your booth look busy that can be enough to drive sales up.

  • Let the small stuff roll off your back.
People are not outdoor trained sometimes, meaning they don't know how to act. Be confident in your business and your prices. Sometimes people can be really nasty, or their taking photos of your work saying "I can do that for cheap". I usually just let them talk, and I try my absolute best to not get my feelings hurt even though it can be really hard. Just remember, its not you! It's them and their problem, honeeeey.

  • SAVE YOUR BACK - Get a cart!

This is self explanitory - espcially if you have heavy items! DUDE - you need it, trust me. I did about 10 markets without one and my back was screaming. I've done my last couple with a cart and it was a dreamy breeeeeze. 
Rolling/Folding Cart



I hope this has helped you with your future markets! Be sure to check out my next markets, and my next blog post on shipping breakables. <3
Love you, bye!
-Ash&Alvin