As our Autumn and Christmas markets approach, we know that lots of makers will be very busy in their studios, making and preparing stock to sell at our fairs! Whilst finishing products is an obvious thing to tick off the to-do list, don't get sidetracked and neglect to put time and thought into the other areas that will make you stand out.
Things like your stand design, product displays, nice packaging, promotional information and arranging a mobile payment system can all be key to boosting your sales.
Experienced designer maker Zeena Shah shares some of her top tips with us for making the most of your market experience...
Case Study - Zeena Shah
Hello everyone! I am a printed textile designer/ maker, illustrator, creative tutor and author of two books!
I launched my business ‘Heart Zeena' in 2010 with a hand screen-printed and handmade collection of colourful goods for the home, featuring my signature Scandi style illustrations. I regularly trade at design fairs/ lifestyle events and markets selling my goods to both the UK and international markets, slowly introducing new products such as a woven blanket and stationery to the collection. Most recently I celebrated the launch of my second book "Scandia' an adult colouring in book in which you can colour in 47 individual illustrations.
I heard about the Paypal card reader soon after trading at a few lifestyle events, and immediately picked one up. Being able to take cash only payments had been a huge barrier to sales, I realised so few people actually carried cash around or had enough cash on them at smaller fairs and markets, especially for my bigger more expensive items.
I'd investigated card machines from other providers but had always been put off by the high costs and processing fees so when this came along that used my own Paypal account it was perfect and really simple to set up. I've been using it ever since and it really has revolutionised sales, especially as most people generally expect to be able to pay by card now and always think it strange if it's not actually possible.
My top tips for setting up at markets would be;
• Get yourself a Paypal Here card reader - I made the cost back within the first hour of having it at a market.
• Make sure you also have a cash float, with plenty of £1 coins and 50p's.
• Although pretty old school I found having a notebook/ receipt book to note down sales really useful for tracking what had sold after the fair. The Paypal app keeps all of the data from any sales through the reader which makes life easier.
• Don't forget bags and branding touches. I slip in one of my postcards into each bag along with a sticker and colouring in card. Make it personal.
• Take a snack and some water :) everyone needs some lunch!
• When planning your stall try and add some height, I used a wooden box to lift things into eye line or as a way to highlight a new product and it worked really well.
Why not purchase your Paypal Here card reader now and receive a 40% discount! Benefits include...
- Never missing a sale again
- Only getting charged when you use the card reader (i.e. make a sale yourself)
- Being able to accept card payments anywhere you have connection on your android or IOS device (wifi and/or 3G/4G)
- Taking your business anywhere in your pocket
- Trusted Paypal brand