Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trash and Treasure Stall Tips

As mentioned earlier, the other day my sister and I held a stall at a trash and treasure market.. It was a first for both of us, and we learnt a lot along the way. Here are my tips:

1. Know the market and the market audience. I have a feeling we didn't sell much stuff because market stalls were dominated by garage goods and men interested in these garage gadgets.

2. Prepare for all kinds of weather (especially in Melbourne). It drizzled in the morning and the sun was sending serious cancer-bites by the end of the day. So pack umbrellas (great for sun and shade), sunscreen, hat and cardigan. Even better? A tarp or tent if you're planning on going long term.

3. Figuring out pricing is a b*tch. I've volunteered in an op shop for a while, and I priced them as we had priced items in the op shop. Walking around the trash and treasure stalls, most clothes were priced from $1 - $5. Combine your knowledge of the market, the market audience and your items on sale to come up with the appropriate price. Remember, your aim is to sell.

4. Create big signs for prices. I went through everything and stapled individual prices on the tags of each item. The amount of times I had to tell someone to check there nearly drove me bonkers. People don't want to hunt for tags at these places. So your best bet is to do some big groupings of clothes at certain prices. Either make a $2 pile, or make all dresses $4, shirts $3 etc. It'll make your life easier, and the customers.

5. Prepare for hagglers. Me? I'm not a haggler and I find it terribly rude. I hate that first block of super rude haggling early birds. Either mark your clothes at a higher price and prepare to drop it. Or stand your ground (which will lead to people walking away with nothing in their hand).

6. Placement and presentation can change everything. My sister convinced me that people at this market (which I hadn't been to) would be willing to search for bargains off the ground. Looking at other stalls, we would have had much more success with the stuff on top of a table or on racks. I wish we had rented a table or brought our own.

7. Bring (and drink) lots of water and plenty of food to see you out the day. The market we were at had a crummy food court. Other markets have plenty of stalls with yummy food on offer. If you're not certain about the food and drinks on offer at the market, bring plenty of supplies.

8. Keep a record of sales for yourself. Especially if you're sharing a stall.

9. Be prepared not to sell everything. We thought we'd be overrun with demand (coz our clothes are cool, damnit!). We weren't. And ended up a little disappointed, mostly because we had to cart so much back to the car :P Looking around though, this seemed to be the case for a lot of people, not just us.

10. Enjoy it. Make it fun. Make sure you have some company, if only to cover for you when you need a toilet break. Talk to the people that come to your stall, and those in the stalls around you. It is fun. Especially when you reward yourself with ice cream afterwards :)

Images: WeHeartIt

For information on the locations of Victorian trash and treasure markets (both as a buyer and seller) check out this website.

Good luck to future market stall holders! :)

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