Operating your own market stall can be a very rewarding experience. It’s a fantastic way to earn extra cash, or if you sell very well, it could even be your bread and butter. If you are an artist of any kind, it’s a great platform to showcase what you can do as well.
When you are getting started in the business, the first two things you need to figure out and settle are: what to sell and where to sell them. Then, if you will be selling food you would have to take the extra step of securing a license. When all that’s over and done with, then you get to the fun (but crucial!) bit - designing your stall. What do you need to get? What do you need to do?
Source: gentlebird via Flickr
PICK A GAZEBOSet the right foundation by getting a gazebo that will suit your needs. Remember that you will be spending much of your time sheltered under it so you need to choose one that is high-quality - not something that will break in a couple of weeks’ use or which canopy would cave in a downpour. You also need to consider the following:
- Space - How much space are you allowed to occupy? Most market organizers allow just a bit over 3m x 3m. If such is the case, a Gazebos like OZtrail Deluxe 3m x 3m would be perfect; it has the right size plus, its height can be adjusted.
- Transportation - How large is your vehicle? You might be allowed a larger space at the market but can you fit in a larger gazebo into your car? Very few things can be more frustrating that being behind schedule just because you are having trouble transporting your gazebo.
- Usability - Trust us, you need to pick a gazebo that is easy to set up - especially if you are low on manpower. OZtrail gazebos are market staples because of this very reason; they come with scissor-action frames that are easy to maneuver. Moreover, they come in lighter but sturdy models that makes them easier to haul around.
- Frequency - How often will you go to the market? If its a daily commitment then its best to get a gazebo with a heavy duty frame like the OZtrail Corporate which has heavier roof supports than the Deluxe model. For a weekly schedule, gazebos from OZtrail’s Deluxe line would perform well and should last you years.
- Season and Environment - Is the market by the bay? Is it happening right smack the middle of summer? Taking the season and environment into consideration will help you decide what type of gazebo to use. If you are going to be in a breezy area, then you can choose a gazebo that is heavier. Or if you expect it to be very hot, you can get one with a vented canopy which will help heaps with ventilation.
Source: gentlebird via Flickr
INVEST IN ACCESSORIESOnce you have a proper gazebo that will function as your main stall, then its time to think about what you will place in and around it. Be sure to get these basics:
- Table - The table to the market stall is what the store window is to an indoor shop is.It’s important to get a table with strong and even legs. You will display your best wares on this table so you don’t want it to be rocking and be in danger of tripping over with a couple of bumps. Also, get one that is wide enough, not only for the goods that you will sell but for your props as well.
- Chairs - Get a chair for obvious reasons. Unless you plan to stand up and walk around all day. Foldable chairs are the best for this purpose because they don’t take up a lot of space in your vehicle and they are relatively light.
- Walls - Depending on the market environment, you will appreciate adding walls. Walls are usually made with the same water proof material as you gazebo canopy and they can help create boundaries with neighboring stalls. If you don’t wanna seem snobbish but still want to set yourself apart, then half-walls would be great to get.
- Banner kits - Another way to dress up your stall is by attaching a banner with your store’s or company’s name on it. As listed on our Market Stall Success Essentials, a stall with a name is more attractive and looks more trustworthy to potential customers.
- Printed canopy - If you are not happy with banners and you wanna go big, then you can have your canopy printed instead. For this, you will need a gazebo with a white canopy such as the OZtrail Corporate.
- Removable awning - Some days can be hotter than the others. Some days, it rains unexpectedly. That’s why it pays to be prepared; if your gazebo does not have its own awning yet, better get those removable awning kits that attach with a snap.
Do you think it is only indoor stores that need to get decorated? Your market stall some design love, too. Stick to a theme if you can - that makes you more memorable to shoppers. Here are a few ideas that will help style your walls and tables:
- Buntings - These would work very well if you are going for the festive look. They are available in an unbelievably wide variety of colours and prints.
- Chalkboards - Use chalkboards in place of a printed or plastic sign. They are cheaper in the long run and provides room for creativity; you can change what’s on them every week if you like!
- Framed signages - Instead of simply taping your signage to your table or walls, you can frame them instead; they will stand on their own on the table and they won’t disintegrate by the end of the day..
- Lamps - Going to the night market? Hanging coloured lamps is one way to light up your stall. However, it still necessary to get standard portable lights to shine proper light on your goods.
- A centerpiece - To be placed on the display table, your centerpiece depends largely on what you are selling. As long as it is eye-catching and will remind passers-by of what you are selling, then its good. One example is using a half-body mannequin wearing dozens of necklaces as a centerpiece if you are selling jewelry.
Source: John Lord via Flickr
CREATIVE CONTAINERSMarket stall presentation is an art. You can’t just haphazardly throw your wares on the table and be done with it. We suggest that you read about the best market stall presentation ideas here. One of the suggestions listed is to use creative containers. This is probably the easiest and fastest way for you to set up your table creatively. When we say containers, we mean more than the standard plastic and cardboard boxes. We are thinking:
- Wicker baskets
- Small wooden barrels
- Mason jars
- Jewelry trees
- Cake stands
Really, your imagination is the limit.
Source: MAClarke21 via Flickr
We know you are excited to start decorating. However, if you still feel a bit lost about how your stall should look like, we suggest you take a walk at your local market to check out the scene (and scope out competition!). You can also take a look at our gallery for inspiration: Beautiful Photos of Market Stalls All Over The World.