Get organised to succeed
Congratulation! You're going to be selling your handmade items at a craft market. It's time to get organised!
- Do you know what to take with you?
- How much time do you need to set up/ pack up?
- How will your customers pay?
- Will they need a receipt?
- How will you keep your stock organised?
You've probably thought of some of those questions already. But have you found the answers? Let me help you out. I have organised around 20 markets now, and whilst I learn something new each time, I have managed to gain some valuable experience that can benefit you too.
WHAT SHOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU?
Here's a handy downloadable checklist for you: Market Checklist
HOW EARLY SHOULD YOU ARRIVE AND WHEN CAN YOU LEAVE?
ARRIVAL: Arrive 1hr before the market opens, unless informed otherwise. No events organiser wants the added stress of wondering if vendors are going to turn up or not. An empty table looks very bad to customers. So be prompt and set up quickly.
LEAVING: Pack up equally as quickly, but don't stress. Remember that even though you have had a long day, the person organising the event has been working on this for months. Whilst they'll be really happy that the market was filled with great vendors and superb products, they probably don't want to have to wait a very long time before they can go home.
LEAVING EARLY: If you really have to leave early then make sure to agree this with the organisers before the market. If you just leave before the market is over then you probably won't be invited back.
How will your customers pay?
You have options here, and the payment methods you choose will be entirely dependent on where you live. As I arrange markets in Norway, I'm going to list the options available here.
- Cash - (Old school but still necessary, especially if you are likely to have tourists come by)
- iZettle or other card reader - (You will pay fees for this method, but it is a good alternative - as long as you have access to WiFi)
- Vipps - (Undoubtedly the preferred method of payment in Norway - Make sure that you and your customers have an up to date version though. If not, you may encounter problems)
Will your customers need a receipt?
The short answer is this - If they ask for a receipt then you should provide one. However you are under no legal obligation to do so as a market vendor with no fixed sales location (shop).
What are your options if you would like to provide a receipt? Vipps does not issue receipts, it only records a money transfer from one bank to another but if you are using iZettle then you may have the option to email a receipt to the customer. However for cash sales you would need to go old school and buy yourself a pre-numbered receipt book from your local book shop.
According to the Sales receipt laws in Norway (Kassesystem loven 2019) market vendors are, in most cases, except from needing to provide a sales receipt. The paragraph below is copied from Skattetaten's website.
Gjeldende unntaksregler for krav til å bruke kassaapparat: Ambulerende eller sporadisk kontantsalg som ikke overstiger 3 ganger folketrygdens grunnbeløp i løpet av et regnskapsår. Eksempel på ambulerende virksomhet kan være salg av frukt og bær langs veien om sommeren, salg på messer og lignende og salg fra fiskebil. For virksomheter som i hovedsak selger på kreditt, kan unntaket for sporadisk kontantsalg komme til anvendelse.
How can you keep your stock organised and register what you sell?
Well it just so happens that I have thought of that too and created a little excel spreadsheet just for this purpose.
Follow this link and download it here: Stock List
You know me, of course there is more! I have written a post about what else you can gain by attending a market. In this post (click here if you would like to read it by the way) I talk about all the valuable information you can get from your customers, even the ones that don't buy from you. Have a quick read later, I promise it's worth the 10 minute investment.
So, once you have read it this download will make lots of sense to you. This little gem will help you to record the feedback you get on the day. Because if you just try to remember it, you know you're going to have forgotten it by the time you get home.
Click this link to download the Feedback Tracker
Remember to enjoy yourself and take the time to talk to your customers. Even those that don't buy from you this time, can still become customers for next time. Maybe they will follow you on social media and order online. At craft markets people buy from people. It's not just the products that are important, but also the person behind them. You are your brand, so present yourself well!
I hope you find all of this information helpful. I openly welcome feedback and hope that you will drop me a line if you feel I have forgotten something important. Or maybe you just have a question. Feel free to go to the contact page and share your thoughts with me.
Creativity & Community
Kelly Palencia - Founder of Handmade in Norway