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  • Selling from a van or campervan

    My partner has a 30 year old VW (T25) campervan, which I am considering utilising at some outdoor events this year (with her permission of course!). It has a large sliding side door, over which I will probably mount an awning to cover a display table.


    I carve bricks, so my stock is heavy. Being able to arrive on site with stock already onboard, rather than having to trolley it to a separate stall, is convenient. So is having an onboard toilet, sink, cooker, comfortable seats (and even a bed of course, so i can arrive early to grab the best pitch and take a kip before trading!)


    If it works out well, I might consider buying another old campervan and adapt it specifically for trading from (we still use the current one for holidays/weekends away with grandchildren, so I'll have to clear my stuff out at times). Old campervans are always available on eBay and on Preloved.com


    I'm thinking specifically of field-based events and village fetes etc where a unit of this type is appropriate and legal. (And occasional carboot sales perhaps). But I would welcome observations and advice please. Does anyone here already do the same? If I wanted to do so off-site, where are the places I can and can't legally do so? How frequently would I need to be doing this to justify paying for a street traders license? If I kit out the vehicle specifically for my craft sales, presumably I can label its purchase as business outlay?

    What insurance would normally be relevant? What legal issues do I need to be aware of?
    Breconeer
    Member
    Last edited by Breconeer; 06-01-2012, 02:49 PM.
    Chiselbrick; Turning discarded bricks into gifts that can last a lifetime and beyond.
    http://www.chiselbrick.co.uk

    Hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon.

  • #2
    I do not use a van, but I have seen many used at outdoor events. This ranges from white panel vans, through camper vans and caravans to lorries. For your work a camper van should be ideal.

    If you use your current van, then check it is insured for business use - not just private use. If you buy one specifically for business use then you will probably find commercial van insurance cheaper than anything else, even lower if you restrict the mileage. If you buy one for the business then it can be treated as a business expense i.e. you will get depreciation, insurance, road tax, fuel, repairs etc. allowed against profits.

    I cannot directly help about street trading, but many councils either ban it altogether or it is licenced. You would need to check with the local council offices or stop if you see someone selling and ask them.

    Roger

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    • #3
      I don't trade from my van (I have tents) but I do lots of outdoor fairs and my van is my warehouse and home from home. It's absolutely brilliant.

      So you need to negotiate with the fair organiser. Music festivals tend to be laid back. They let you park behind what you are selling from so I see no problems there. Some markets, dog shows, family fun days, village fetes take the same attitude but others have rules and regs imposed upon them that say vehicles must be parked off site - which is why I'm saying talk to the organiser first. I find town councils a pain to talk to.......

      Serendipity stuff - someone on this forum was selling from a layby........
      A couple of guys have made their 'awning' into a flat pack fold out van disguise. The 'cowboys' turn their van into a wooden Little House on the Prairie and the East Europeans magic theirs into a thatched cottage, complete with bread ovens, and turn out artisan bread all day.
      (I'm imagining the Three Little Pigs. We have the house of wood, the house of straw....what are you waiting for? We need the house of bricks .)
      I do have a friend who restored a 1950's camper van which he took to vehicle shows......so maybe you don't need the bricks .

      Seriously - I second everything Roger's just said. If you only use it for business it can be a tax allowable expense. I don't know who you are with but the NMTF are very sympathetic to insuring traders, vans and stock. I feel I've got very good deals with them. I was banging my head against brick walls with other insurers.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Breconeer View Post
        I'm thinking specifically of field-based events and village fetes etc where a unit of this type is appropriate and legal. (And occasional carboot sales perhaps). But I would welcome observations and advice please. Does anyone here already do the same? If I wanted to do so off-site, where are the places I can and can't legally do so? How frequently would I need to be doing this to justify paying for a street traders license? If I kit out the vehicle specifically for my craft sales, presumably I can label its purchase as business outlay?

        What insurance would normally be relevant? What legal issues do I need to be aware of?
        I saw your suggestion on the other thread Breconeer! We use our old horsebox as transport to and from and then as accommodation on site. Legally there are a few things to be aware of like insurance and public liability as AnnieAnna said, we're also with NMTF as well as the FSB for this sort of thing. Our truck is part of the exhibition because we built it from recycled antique bits, but if the general public have free access to the interior, then there's a whole load more things to be aware of like HSE, fire regs etc. For example we have gas certification for the cooker and the electrics have a built in circuit breaker, we also have a smoke alarm and fire extinguisher.



        Some shows don't allow on site camping whilst others do so it's always best to check first. Most of the time we work out of a gazebo workshop alongside.


        I can't comment on street traders licensing because we only do organised events, but I'm pretty certain that if you want to "pitch up" somewhere and sell, you would need to speak to the local authority and get permission first.
        www.formerglory.co.uk- www.seatweaving.blogspot.com - Facebook page - Twitter

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