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The Market Stall Holder’s Guide to Drawing Customers In

Not making as much profit as you predicted? How well you sell at market events depends on a number of factors. Fantastic packaging is just one. How your stall is presented is another. And of course, there is the matter of sales talk. The list goes on and on… In this guide, we will go through the basics (and often-overlooked factors) of attracting customers to your stall. Read on and learn a thing or two (but really, there’s more).


Starting Up a Market Stall. Photos by Martin Pettitt and Edsel Little

Pack ’em nicely

Let’s start with how well your goods are wrapped up. Cute, amazing, fabulous (insert any adjective you want here) packaging is one surefire way to catch your potential customers’ eyes. Don’t settle for brown paper bags and white plastic bags – it turns your extraordinary product ordinary. On the flip side, excellent packaging will make the most common of items seem special.

Here are a few ideas you could play around with:

  • Reusable carton boxes
  • Small jars
  • Graffiti/Comic book-inspired wrappers

One of the best examples we can give you is what the Chocolate Bar does with their chocolate “suckers”. It’s the same company that came up with the Graffiti Bars.


Nicely Pack Goodies. Photo by chocolatebarny.com

Create an attractive table

Half of this battle has to be won through appearances. So it is important that you turn your stall into an eye-candy. In creating an attractive stall, you should remember to do the following:

  • Create a sense of abundance
  • Keep it interesting
  • Make sure it is well-lit
  • Get rid of eyesores

To learn more about the suggestion given above, we recommend that you read the entire article here.

Part of making your stall presentable is the gazebo that you use. You don’t want anything that looks shabby or about to falls apart. For years, many market stall holders have chosen to use OZtrail Deluxe Gazebo because it is perfectly-sized and is very reliable. If you feel that this is not the best fit for you, you can check out the other suggested gazebos on our Buying Guide.


 Beautiful Market Stall Display. Photos by peapoddesign.blogspot.co.uk and Megan Alice England

Think of a catchy name

Have a name to go by with after all it is easier for customers to remember a stall that has a name. Better yet, have a name that will stick in their minds. If you already have a name, though, then work on your slogan or naming convention. One stall at the Renegade Craft Fair in LA decided to label her crocheted cactus plants as “Plants You Can’t Kill”. Pretty genius, right?


Use A Creative and Catchy Market Stall Name. Photos by Martin Pettitt and Chris


People simply can’t say no to freebies or giveaways. Have a little extra to go with the product you are selling. It could be something as simple yet super useful as a paper fan. Maybe even button pins or fridge magnets. You could also make coupons that entitle them to a discounted price on their next visit. There are so many possibilities – the point is, the customers have to feel that they are getting something more for what they paid for.

This can also double as an advertising move for you by printing your logo, or number on a tiny portion of the freebie (never all over it because people will just think it’s tacky).

When the price is right

Make sure that it is not your pricing that is sending the customers away from your stall. You can have the best product in the awesomest packaging and still people won’t buy because they feel like they are spending too much.

In putting a price on your goods, it is best to do some research first. Ask yourself these two questions:

  • Who are you selling to?
  • How much are they willing to spend?

According to Market Roll, a good rule is to keep your products within the $10 – $30 range. This is how many market goers are willing to shell out. Any item priced higher than $30 would make them feel like they are investing a lot and would prompt them to walk away and “think about it” and never really come back to buy.


Delicious and Sweet Treats. Photos by Steve Snodgrass

Be friendly

Don’t waste all the work you’ve put into decorating your stall, fixing the prices, and designing your packaging by failing to put a smile on your face. Make potential customers (even those who are just looking around) feel welcome. Be ready to answer their questions no matter how repetitive they might be.

Use a bit of Psychology

Don’t worry we are not advising you to trick people here. However, it is undeniable that some mind play is involved in sales (just look at all those ads on the telly and print).

Buffer talks about 10 ways to gain customers using psychology. Here are a few that really stood out and you can actually use:

  • Offer quick solutions – Tell your customers how your product can solve their problems real fast. Focus on instant gratification. This quick punch makes peoples’ brains light up and give them the push to make the purchase.
  • Prepare small surprises – A psychologist named Robert Schwartz discovered in one of his studies that small changes have a profound effect on people’s outlook. In his experiment, he set up some people to find 10 cents by accident. Despite this meagre amount, people loved the “surprise” of finding extra money. Create the same effect with your customers. Surprise them with something, no matter how small it is.
  • Labels – Label or box your customer to a favourable category. If you do this smartly, your customers will identify with and act according to the label you have given them. For instance, if you are selling cake quick-mixes or household items, tell your female potential customer that she is a Supermum who is busy and would really benefit from what you are selling.


Happy Market Day. Photos by Jitze Couperus and Edsel Little

Learn the art of Sales Talk

In addition to the psychological tips that you can employ in your sales pitch, there are other do’s and dont’s that one should remember. Some of these are the 1-minute rule, not giving into price cuts, and asking certain questions.

To learn more about these, we recommend you check out our sales talk guide here.