How to Run (and Navigate) a Market Stall Like a Pro
A market stall is a great way to make some side cash—and selling things you no longer wear means more room in your closet for those purchases you’ll obviously spend that extra cash on. Hosting a successful market stall, and walking away with at least enough money to make it worth the effort, takes more planning and consideration than you might think. If you’re about to swing into spring cleaning mode, selling the pieces you plan on retiring makes the most sense—during a wardrobe clean out, always consider whether the piece can be donated, altered, or sold.
Today, we’re sharing our best tips for running a market stall like a pro. Our editors are in the process of preparing a team stall at The Winery Surry Hills Fashion Markets on Saturday, September 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so we're sharing all our knowledge, and inviting you to come visit, say hi, and shop (and ask us all your most-pressing fashion and styling questions)! We're selling pieces from Isabel Marant, Ellery, Chloé, and more.
Navigating the markets is an art in itself, and we know just the way to make it through from start to finish... without walking away with something you’d never usually buy (like the vintage Batman tee I thought was a great idea at the time). Keep scrolling for our top seller and shopper tips.
There are three questions you need to ask yourself when deciding what to sell.
- Would I buy this?
- Am I happy to see this go for considerably less than what I paid for it?
- Is it in decent condition?
If your answer to all these questions is yes, then go ahead and start your ‘sell’ pile.
Once you’ve decided what you’ll be selling, it’s time to start pricing. Our editors are common stall holders, and two methods stand out. Either price each item individually (tip: buy these paper luggage tags, thread through an elastic band so you can hang it on each hanger, and label with prices) or bundle up different rails and tubs with set prices.
The next most-important tip we have to pass on is to arrive really early. If the market that’s hosting your stall opens at 9 a.m., be aware that regular visitors know to arrive early while you’re unpacking—the last thing you want while you’re merchandising your stall is to have a hoard of people rifling through your items while you’re frazzled (it happens). In the worst cases, this is the easiest way for theft to occur and for people to walk away without paying, and without you noticing. You want to be set up and ready to go at least an hour before the market officially opens.
Our last tip for sellers is to be aware that people are there for a bargain—they’ll want to haggle and negotiate your price down. While this is half the fun of the markets, you need to set your standard early on in the day. Our golden rule is to wait until around midday before we start dropping prices.
We’re guessing you didn’t just skip the first half of this article, so if you learnt anything from the above, the exact opposite applies to you.
First, make sure you take a bag with you (we love an eco-shopper), because stalls often run out of shopping bags early.
The best time of day to attend as a shopper, is first thing in the morning where you will have first pick on all the best stuff, and then late in the afternoon, when sellers are exhausted and don’t want to take anything back home with them.
If you like to try before you buy, make sure you carry your ID with you. A seller will often ask to hold on to your license if you want to take something away to try it on.
Lastly, the best thing a shopper can do, is smile and have fun! (And don’t forget to stop for a drink at The Winery—it's actually the best part.)