17 Ideas to Sell More at your Market Stall
We know that many of our customers and readers are weekend market stall holders. And as such we would like to help support your business.
We'll give you new ideas, tips and techniques on how to get the best from your market stall experience.
To this end, we hope you find the following information useful.
So here we go...
1. Think of Better Lighting Ideas for Your Market Stall
Good light naturally attracts people.
Think about the artificial lighting of an indoor market or convention centre; this type of lighting casts an unnatural glow on you and your products.
Instead, you want to create a happy, vibrant, clean and attractive appearance for your stall.
Your customers will prefer your stall and products if you can provide them with a welcoming atmosphere. This can be done with good lighting techniques.
To be fair, other stall owners will be in the same situation and everyone’s wares could look equally terrible in the poorly constructed light.
Take a cue from this market stall. Using the infrastructure of the tent they've installed tent-friendly lighting under the gazebo canopy that spotlights their products.
It's a very simple effect to achieve - creating a vibrant atmosphere and a welcoming marquee. Yet very few people take the time to work on their lighting techniques.
This is a technique that can really help you stand apart from the crowd. So, what should you do?
- Experiment with different light temperatures to find the shade (e.g. white, yellow or blue lighting) that makes your products shine.
- A quick trip to your local hardware store for cheap lighting will yield immense results if it makes your stall look more inviting. Buy a few different types of globes so you can experiment.
- See if you can conceal the lighting so that your presentation is cohesive and seamless (unlike in the pictured display). Either tuck it under the canopy roof or hide it with plastic trimmings such as fake vine leaves or fake flowers.
- Consider using individual lamps or spotlights that you can shine from different angles. These need to be moveable so that if your highlighted products are sold, then you can easily move the light onto another product.
2. Add Some Colour to your Stall
Dynamic, varied, and bright colours are your market stall’s best friends. (I know. You thought you were its best friend!)
While you do run a close second, your market stall is truly at the top of its game when filled with a finely executed colour scheme.
Think of your pop-up tent as the frame for a piece of art. Inside its borders, you can fuse colours that create an instant desire in passersby.
Bright whites as a backdrop for anything are hot right now all over the world. White reflects light and catches attention. Break up a eye-popping white background with dark or colourful displayed objects.
Choose backdrops that will contrast or complement the other elements of your display. Everything within the tent is an important part of the picture you are trying to create.
This jewellery display has most likely been set up at a craft or handmade fair. It looks both professional and fun. Colourful bangles and dangling earrings sing for attention, framed elegantly and set in a staggered arrangement.
The seller has wisely marked the price in a way that blends into the display. Some might ask why she used two different table sizes, but I think the different levels create interest and invite people to come in and explore the selection.
3. Organisation vs. Chaos
Is this display really a hodge-podge or is there a theme under there?
While there are some redeeming qualities in this display, the chaotic attempt at organisation makes my head spin.
It is difficult to grasp the overall idea of what is being sold as there are a lot of items here!
An old suitcase like this one is a great way to convey a sense of cosiness and charm.
However, I’m confused by the blue box inside that is filled with more stuffed animals. Why are these animals separated?
If the seller didn’t have the option to expand into a second table, she could have made some quick improvements and cleaned up space by:
- Hanging part of her display, such as the quilts, high-up behind the display table.
- Flip the blue box upside down in the suitcase and create levels of stuffed animals.
- Create evenly spaced stacks of her paper goods.
- Create a visual triangle, a shape that is naturally comforting and appealing to the eye.
4. Use a Good Quality OZtrail Gazebo
Yes, this is our shameless plug―but we really do stock the best quality gazebos that you can use for your market stall.
The OZtrail gazebos stand up really well to the elements and come with a 1-year warranty on the canopy, frame and parts.
This gives you peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, you can always get it fixed or replaced.
We've been selling OZtrail gazebos since 2005 and wouldn't still be doing so unless we were very happy with the quality of the products.
Our Australian customers love our fast delivery and no-hassle returns policy. So, if you're looking for a gazebo please compare our prices.
5. Set the Stage!
Walking into your market stall should be like walking into an idea. Pinpoint the feelings your product evokes and paint that mood from floor to ceiling in your display area. Sell the idea and the product will sell itself.
What I adore about this display at a bridal show is its cohesion and honesty. You immediately get a sense of vintage charm and intimacy. Brides will walk by this booth and immediately connect with the dusk-coloured chairs, the simple bench, and the sharp digital photography that showcases a beautiful woman on her big day.
She sees romance in the poster-size photograph. She envisions the twinkle lights hanging over the dance floor as she dances for the first time with her husband. Those shoes on the floor are her shoes.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- How will you set the stage for your idea?
- Picture how your product or service will be used. Will it be hung up on a wall to evoke tranquillity? Will it be your client’s new go-to tool in the kitchen?
- Imagine where it will go and then cast that mood under your tent at the next big show, market or convention.
6. Levels and Eye-Height. What works?
What are your own buying habits?
Whether you are at the mall or the market, how often do you find yourself exploring new items that you have to squat down to see and touch?
Most people feel uncomfortable reaching too far below and above shoulder level. The more natural inclination is to look at and reach out for items at eye level.
This successful stall owner has adjusted her display to create different levels of interest. The logo sign behind her falls at just the right level to complete the effect.
My eye travels from the calm, blue tablecloth upward to the three levels of colourful soaps, up to the friendly, poised seller and then meets the bright yellow sign at the top.
People walking past rows and rows of stalls will only stop where they feel comfortable. They need more to look at than a low table of goods and your face.
Displays set at different heights ease the transition between their interaction with your products and with you. Levels also give your wares their own place to shine.
The soaps in this display are not crowded and you do not need to move them around to get a good look at everything.Read more on how to achieve market stall success
7. How to Help Yourself
Look like you belong there.
Whether you are an artist, the owner of a champion Airedale Terrier, or the spokesperson for a solar start-up, it is vital that you look the part.
People will want to meet you, shake your hand and hear what you have to say. You do not want them to walk into your booth and be unsure who the owner is.
The woman behind the table in this picture is easy to identify as the stall owner. Her simple black dress complements the red and white colour scheme.
She is wearing a piece of her jewellery line—showing how great it looks and how easy it is to wear.
Long days at the market can be tiring and strenuous. You cannot be expected to stand for ten hours straight. However, make it your goal to:
- Have a good, friendly posture.
- Be standing as much as possible.
- Opt for a tall stool that still gives you height and visibility instead of sinking into a low chair.
- Smile and say a simple hello!
8. Let your Products be Seen
How could you walk by this market display without stopping?
This smiling seller stands clustered in a vivid display of her handmade baby bibs and onesies.
Several themes emerge—strawberries and polka dots, wide stripes and vibrant colours. Every piece is visible and has its own place to shine.
This seller uses several techniques to make her baby clothes stand out.
- She uses four spotlights to draw the eye to the corners of her booth.
- Her black sweater stands out against the various colours of her products.
- She makes sure she does not get lost in the display.
- She utilises every inch of her space and has products displayed at every level from the waist up.
- Even her backdrops add to the overall idea. Prints and stripes behind the loud children’s clothing increase the overwhelming feeling of fun and liveliness.
9. It’s All in the Detail
Attention to detail will score major points in your market stall.
Details speak volumes.
They contribute to your overall idea and communicate the care you put into your display.
A quality display reveals a quality product.
This glamorous bridal show booth feels warm and sensual. This effect is pulled off with deep bronze easels displaying elegantly framed wedding photography.
There are four levels to this display, but the eye gravitates to the rich velvet tablecloth. The draping of the black and gold cloth speaks of decadence.
Imagine what these photo books and pictures would look like if they were laying on a bare table. Would you even stop to look? I wouldn’t.
When you show potential clients that details are important to you they feel they can trust you to remember the little things for them. That is a huge step toward forging a professional relationship or making a sale.
10. Stay Current so you Stay Busy
Who wants to be old news?
Do all in your power to keep your display from looking dated.
People visit markets and trade shows to see something new, different and even beautiful.
Keep up with design and let popular taste help style your market tent.
This display could easily translate into a market stall. DIY style fused with antiques is fresh and youthful. Hip, young people will be drawn to a style they could see in their own homes.
Use twine to create zig-zag lines to hang photographs, postcards, product samples, crafts or jewellery. Dress up your display with frames and flowers.
Knowing the image you want to project will help you eliminate some display styles.
Using popular decorating motifs will draw in crowds who identify with that aesthetic. It communicates that you have something relevant to show them that they need now.
11. Rethink Gazebo Marquee Layout
A gazebo can make a great impression at an art show, market, or convention.
However, lining the walls with standard tables can feel dull and even unwelcoming.
Rethink gazebo tent layout by brainstorming a set-up that would make passersby feel the most inclined to stop in.
Two artisans are sharing this gazebo. They each have a table on opposite walls. The tables are easy to see for people walking by and split the space efficiently. You can rethink marquee layouts in other ways.
Perhaps the reason you have a booth is so you can make connections with people instead of selling them a product.
Consider setting up tall bar-height tables that people will feel comfortable grouping around. A tall table is the perfect setting for friendly, professional conversations.
If you want to give yourself more space, set up your table in the middle of the marquee, halving the space while still leaving space for shoppers to step in.
12. Pull the Outside In
If you are using your pop-up tent to display products at a market or show, find ways to draw outsiders in by setting some products just outside the tent.
Placing expensive items in such a prominent position might scare away some shoppers. Be strategic—set out popular items that are priced within reach of most people.
Be sure to limit the number of items you set outside.
This market stall has a small table on each side of the opening. A small selection like this gives the crowd just a taste of all the goodness they will find if they step inside the tent.
13. Don’t Blend In
Snag the attention of wandering market folk by standing out from other market stalls.
Use unexpected props and furniture to display your products or set the stage for your service pitch.
This cluttered but captivating display employs old cement birdbaths and wooden shelving. The effect is interesting and draws in treasure-seekers.
If it fits with your overall theme skip the standard table and display your goods on:
- vintage coat racks
- fruit crates
- ...whatever else you can find.
You will stand above the competition and showcase your creative powers.
14. Create a Miniature Storefront
Use a combination of visual effects to impress and intrigue.
Just like any storefront, be sure that your logo or company name is big and easy to read.
Be the kind of salesman that you enjoy meeting when you shop—kind, courteous, and not overbearing.
There are so many great things going on with this farmer’s market display. The fat yellow and white stripes are friendly.
Vertical lines lead straight up to the yummy baked goods organised in smart wooden baskets. Two levels of baskets make the goodies in the back easy to see and reach.
I like the matching bags that almost act like ribbons on the front of the display.
A string of lights weaves through the tent’s infrastructure. The light creates a sense of warmth and cleanliness. Prices are clearly marked. The man in the booth certainly looks like he belongs there!
I love everything about this booth. It feels kind of like a celebration! A baked goods party? I’m there!
15. Smell What Sells
At the market stall, you have a fantastic opportunity to connect with customers while getting instant feedback on your stall items. Pay close attention to their comments for you to learn their opinion of your products.
Remember, the products should be within easy reach for the customers to smell, touch, or taste for better feedback.
Also, write down a list of each item being sold on your stall and tally with what you've sold you've sold at the end of the market day.
That way you will be able to take note of the items that sold out so you can bring more of them the next time.
For those items that did not generate much interest thus low sales, reduce their quantities next time. Or better still drop them to create space for the popular products.
16. Know your Prices and Have a Strategy
On matters of pricing be clear and confident. If you sound doubtful or apologetic of your prices, shoppers will doubt the value of the items you're selling.
If you are selling expensive items, engage your customers in a friendly conversation and present your items as rare, desirable, or very valuable.
Another thing to keep in mind is to have products that you can range their prices. This will help you appeal to customers with varying budgets:
- Pocket money items: This will cater for those who go to the market to browse items rather than buy. But at the end, they'd still want a small take away mostly as a souvenir. Such items may give you small profit margins but if you sell them in high volume, your money will soon add up.
- Mid-priced items: You will appeal to shoppers who have a profound interest in your brand. They are after your style, ethos, and craft technique. Aim for this market bracket if you want to market your brand.
- Statement Items: This is the segment for top-priced items. Therefore, if you have a special item with a wow-factor, by all means, for it.
17. Recruit a Helper
You could always use an extra pair of hands, so if possible enlist someone to help you out, especially if the fair is busy. How else would you be able to take a loo break or buy lunch without leaving your market stall unattended?
keep in mind that the helper(s) represent your brand. Therefore, they should be conversant with the items you are selling and the prices. And it goes without saying, they should look professional and attentive
Let's Wrap Up
The simple truth is that if you incorporate these ideas into your next market stall display, you will definitely sell more.
First things first, get an OZtrail Deluxe gazebo, in whichever colour you fancy, for your market stall.
Originally Published: January 2018
Updated October 2018: Added more ideas - smell what sells, know your prices and have a strategy, and recruit a helper.