August 1, 2013

Keen for a Spring Clean

Cleaning has always been a weird fetish of mine, I love the feeling of a room, cupboard or wardrobe after it has been properly cleared and cleaned out. It is very refreshing. This year Isobel and I decided to get a jump start on the whole 'spring cleaning' idea, and earn some money along the way. We decided to clear out our closets, (and then recruited our parents and siblings to do the same) and sell all our old clothes to earn some much needed financial relief. In the end we had a massive haul of clothes, accessories and shoes to sell. Our local market that happens to support our kind of amateur stalls happened to be Camberwell Market, which has unfortunately long waiting times for stall availabilities. We happened to strike some luck when our friend was on the website and managed to book a stall for that weekend, instead of three months away! The day turned out to be a great success with a surprising amount of money made by the end, and a lot of our stock gone! Whatever was left over we donated to the Brotherhood of St. Lawrence, our local charity stall.
Selling clothes in an environment like this is a great opportunity, but not everyone is smart enough to seize it! We would highly recommend you giving it a go, if not only to make some money, but make some much needed space in your house/ wardrobe for more fabulous items. Or to clear it out... whichever floats your boat.
 If you are tempted by our great experience, read on for tips on how to make your stall a success at markets.

How to Dominate at a Market

  • Know your audience!!! After coming out of this experience we realised we went in only knowing about 50% of our potential clientele. This particular market attracts a lot of teenagers hunting for a bargain, which we though would be our main audience. However, we completely forgot about the experienced bargain and market hunters, who pick up various items to then resell themselves. They are interested in a whole range of things (such as my guitar) and you would be surprised at what people are interested in buying. When thinking of a stall such as this, try to come up with a range of things to sell, not just clothes for instance, and you will catch a wider audience and therefore earn yourself a bigger profit. 
  • Know your prices! Prepare well for your stall, such as pre-pricing everything you are going to be selling. Then on the day, be prepared for hagglers. Make sure for each item you know what a reasonable price to ask for it is, and also the lowest price you are willing to settle for. Going into a sale knowing these details will help a lot more with the end result.
  • Ask higher than you intend! That is, if someone asks you the price of an item, tell them a price slightly higher than what you think its worth, and let them haggle it down. They will haggle no matter the price, but if you ask for a higher price you are more likely to get an end result closer to what you wanted to sell the item for originally.
cheeky nap in between sales

  • Advertise! We made sure to advertise the various brands that we were selling to attract the buyers. We wrote on a small sign at the front of our stall, Sass + Bide, Topshop, Camilla + Marc,  Alannah Hill etc. and had quite a few people come in to see our collection because of it. As mentioned before, a large number of your buyers will be people wanting a bargain designer piece they can then resell. These signs will attract them to your store. Or if not, advertise what you are selling! Whether it is instruments, furniture or whatever, you will attract the market goers looking for those items. 
  • Prepare! Pre-price your items, have a layout for the stall in mind, have an arrival time and a pack up time. Source racks, tables etc. We arrived quite early to set up, and that is when a lot of experienced shoppers/ second hand buyers are around. Our biggest trade was when we first got to the market as we were unpacking! It was an intense experience, but important for our success.  
  • Chairs. MAKE SURE YOU BRING CHAIRS TO SIT ON DURING THE DAY. Maybe everyone else is smarter than us and would remember this normally but we had SERIOUS regrets in not organising chairs. We ended up stealing a chair from the neighbouring donut stand but you may not have this luxury. 
fueling up to fill up the long hours. market donuts are glorious
May all your stalls be prosperous

Love Isobel and Lauren