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Market Preparedness

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  • Market Preparedness

    Oy, I cannot seem to find any of the thread anywhere, that have lists of suggestions for getting ready for your first market. Anyone know where they are?

    Well anyway, someone asked me about this very matter and so I thought I'd start a thread for such suggestions, and actually put tags on it for future searches....

    And to start the ball rolling, I put together a list of everything I could possibly think of.

    It's an extensive list and not everyone will want or need to do everything listed here…


    Set up your entire booth at home at least one week in advance, to see if there’s anything you need or should do differently. Full tables look good, but cluttered doesn’t. Vertical displays are very eye catching. Having grid panels is expensive but very useful. They can even be hung sideways! Hang with toggles or plastic cable ties, carribeaners, whatever. Cords can help tie down the bottom corners so it doesn’t blow in the breeze…

    Make sure you know the rules and regulations of the market, including where to park to unload, and between what times. Never pack up before the market is officially over, even if you are doing badly, which of course, you won’t.

    Pack the car the morning before, then relax and have a pleasant day. Get your outfit ready.

    Get up early enough to pack snacks or a lunch, and water, soda, juice, coffee, whatever you’ll need. Remember the chocolate!!

    Make sure you turn everything off before leaving home…

    Put gas in the car the day before and get a bag of ice the day before (for the cooler).

    Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, jacket, Kleenex, aspirin, benadryl(?), prescriptions, mini-fan, bug repellant, etc..

    Charge up your cell phone the night before.

    Get batteries, generator or extension cords – if you need such…

    Table/s chair/s, tent, weights, hulahoops for rainwater pooling abatement…on the top of the tent. Be sure you have the amount of weight for each tent pole that is required by the market.

    Duct tape, binder clips, clamps, bungie cords, toggle cords, safety pins, paper clips, scotch tape, price tags and extras, calculator, receipt book, business cards, business stamp and ink pad, glue ??, paper, notebook, pens, whatever…

    “Be Right Back” sign and a large cloth/s to cover your table/s when you have to leave (to go potty or whatever).

    Something to do – take supplies to be working on your craft – shoppers love it!

    Book, crossword puzzles, etc..

    Your table cloth/s your display items (shelves, boxes, baskets, etc.)

    Any lighting?

    Mirror?

    Flashlight for loading up after dark, or finding your car, or getting to your front door…

    Know how to put your tent up, and always attach the “walls” so they’re there if bad weather arises…you can leave them rolled up until needed…

    Figure out how you will handle sudden high wind or rain…have your storage tubs under your tables and then you can easily stuff your merch into them if rain starts to pour in. Are your labels waterproof? Spray lightly with clear acrylic before cutting apart and applying.

    A nice pad of paper and a pen for people to sign up for your mailing list if you want to do that.

    Any literature or brochures for you biz??

    One way to keep table cloths from billowing is to clamp clamps along the lower edges to weight them, though it can look unattractive…though there are some cute and colorful clamps available. However, some may “walk off,” unfortunately. Sew lug nuts along the hems? I have actually put 3 or 4 safety pins opposite each other along the long edges of the table cloth and then tied string to each, so that the cloth still hangs nicely, but it can’t blow up or billow.

    Make notes to yourself during the market of things you want to do differently next time.

    Smile a lot! Don’t be too fussy when someone stops to look – let them know you see they are there, and let them know you are happy to answer any questions. Too much attention can drive them away, as can too little.


    Rehearse what you are going to say when someone comes up with kids who start grabbing everything and putting their foody hands all over your table cloths…and what you’ll say when someone asks if you’ll take less for an item (No, sorry! All prices are firm! – be very blunt about it.) And what you’ll say when people put their drinks or food down on your table… it’s tricky.

    Have your tax ID certificate displayed (in the US) or your permit or whatever might be the case.

    Will you have individual price tags on every item? Or items in a group with one sign? I like little clear acrylic photo holders that stand alone…you can print out a cute price sign and cut it to fit…it looks nice in the little frames…what about putting catalog ID numbers on the price tags – will you want to do that for bookkeeping purposes? When you sell the item, you take down the number of it and then you know what sold and what didn’t…

    Bags or boxes for sales. Know how to figure tax…

    Have change (called a float in the UK) with you. We usually take 2 twenties, 2 tens, 5 fives, and 20 ones. And a can of loose change (we keep it by the back door for everyone to dump their change into.)

    If it’s a 2 day market, never leave your merch overnight even if they have security. Just leave your tent, tables, grids, chairs…

    Do you have/need a banner?
    Last edited by removed10; 28-02-2011, 04:08 PM.

  • #2
    Wow I think you have it covered.
    I wish this thread had been around when I did my first craft fair.
    Regards Sue
    www.thepinkshopblog.com

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    • #3
      Anyone who remembers where these sorts of posts are, let me know and i'll try to transfer them to this thread, which I have already screwed up...forgot to add the tags and once your post, you can't add them...jeez I'm stupid sometimes....

      Some of what I wrote may not be very clear, so anyone can ask questions here...

      Just remembered something else about tent walls - we had to put little code words in the corners of each to help us put them on right once at market..put your tent together and then color code or whatever each wall at their adjoining corners, so you can then just match them up at market. Probably no one else in the entire world but us has needed to ever do this...heh...

      Also, someone told us not to ever take the canopy off the top of teh tent, and really, it is such a pain in the patootie that you would never want to, but I think sliding it in and out of the wheelie cover may put pressure on some points and cause it to fray faster. Use your own judgement.

      Our cover tore after about the fourth market, so we just slide the tent in and out of the truck...very hard on it. FINALLY had the idea of wrapping it in a sheet...one more thing to tote along....sigh.

      Oh, and even if your market does not have a requirement for tent pole weights, you MUST have some. Winds come up suddenly and they can take your tent down the path real fast! I recommend 25 pounds per corner. But remember that grid panels and other things add weight and help hold it down.

      i forgot bandaids and hand sanitizer...we also take lysol wipes to clean off the headphones for the amps. Also, paper towels? Did I mention blue tack? Omigosh, one of my little photo frame signs kept falling over so I blue tacked it to my little shelf - it is there to this day!! I at least can change the little sign inside the frame...

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