Making money at the markets

Markets are renowned for being an ideal way to save money – whether it’s cheaper fresh produce, bargain second-hand goods, or simply to support local businesses.

But did you know that as well as reducing your shopping costs, markets can also provide a way to make some extra spending money?

If you’re new to running a market stall there are a few key things to consider, and if you want to maximise your sales, you need to ensure that you make the buying process easy. Along with ensuring you have the right equipment, clear signage, and plenty of change in your float, these four tips will help make the day go smoothly.

1) Location, location, location

The benefit of selling items at a market is having a dedicated audience who are in the mood to shop. Make sure you choose a market which has appropriate foot traffic numbers and the right tone for what you are selling.

There’s no point selling second-hand household goods at an artisan or farmers market. Look for trash and treasure, flea markets or car boot sales. The Sunday Discovery Market in Rocklea is branded as “Brisbane’s biggest garage sale” and has held their flea-style market for over 30 years.

Check out the infrastructure available such as all-weather venues, amenities on site and parking. Consider what you’ll need to match the weather, such as gazebos to protect from the rain or the sun.

2) Share the love and the cost

Use your social media profiles to let your friends and family know that you’re holding a sale. You never know who has an eye on your stuff!

If you want to reduce your costs, you could also consider sharing the stall space with a friend or family member. Not only does it help to share the load, it also means you have someone on hand to look after the stall if you want to browse the market yourself, grab some food or use the amenities.

3) First impressions count

There’s no point having a stall if people won’t look at your wares, so take the time to consider the best way to display your items to encourage market-goers to browse.

Inspect all items to make sure they are clean and in good repair. Hang clothes on a clothes rack while drying and displaying to prevent them getting creased.

Group similar items together in a way that is easy to browse. You could place records, magazines, games, CDs and books in boxes with plenty of space to flick through the contents.

Consider marking grouped items at the same price and display more expensive, special, or hard-to-find items in a more prominent position with the price tag clearly visible.

4) Price it right

It’s always tricky to price the items you want to sell, and you want to make sure your prices are reasonable and realistic. You might attach a sentimental value to your belongings but your customer doesn’t.

For big-ticket items, a third of the new retail price is a good rule of thumb but you should do some research online to ensure you’re pricing appropriately.

When you’re pricing an item, figure out what the marked price as well as the lowest price you will accept – bargain hunters love to haggle so be prepared! This will also help if someone buys multiple items or if you want to clear out stock at the end of the day. Bundle similar good with the same price for all and give multi-purchase discounts, for example, offer items for $1 each or 5 for $4.

Make sure price tags are visible and have a logic to your pricing so that if an item is brought to you and the tag has fallen off, you can take an educated guess.

What other tips for stallholders do you have? Let us know in the comments!