Considering vending at one, some, or all of the Markets this summer? Perform it! Not only do vendors get to share their goodies with the community and make a bit of cash, they also become part of a local community of growers/makers, and the supportive atmosphere at The Market events.
What makes for successful vending?
We want our Market vendors to succeed. Take a look at the following categories and ideas as you plan your booth.
Consumable foods are well received by Market shoppers and help the community relax and mingle. Think baked goods, drinks, and prepared foods. Check out a long list of ideas here.
Cottage Food Facts and Resources
What kinds of foods can you sell at the market? Check out the Alaska state food safety and sanitation webpage to learn more about the requirements for selling food in Alaska. Many items are exempt from permits such as baked goods, but there are specific requirements about labeling to follow.? The site is nice and concise!
Pro tip: To entice customers, consider offering a sample of your product.
Craft & Art
Provide a range of goods and/or price points
Selling goods at a variety of price points and creating several types of product are two ways appeal to Market shoppers.
Pro tip: Bring a mirror if you’re selling jewelry or clothes so customers can check the fit of your product.
Think about going beyond a newsletter sign-up. Have fliers for more information or your next event ready. Consider working with a local artist to create a simple product or two that buyers can purchase to support your cause. Or make a low cost food item for so people have a reason to linger and chat or look at your information on display.
The market is for folks of all ages. Consider an activity that young people would enjoy while their parents are shopping. From face painting to coloring to simple games or crafts- dedicating half your booth or a whole booth to a low cost or free activity for youth will allow families with children to browse and add to the fun.
Other tips for vendors
Inspire your kiddos to vend! Children 10 and under can run a table for free, and kids age 10-17 pay $8 for a table. What a great way for them to practice interacting with the public.
Consider your table presentation and GO vertical! Append height with shelves or a rack, corral like items in a basket, box or tray. Make sure the focus is on your goods- not the colors of your tablecloth or display furniture. Have an empty table space free for customers to set down a purse or bag as they make a purchase. Make sure you can easily see and communicate with your customers and have anything you need for sales in easy reach.
Consider a Demo AND be Available. For crafters, there may be simple project you could do that relates to your goods while you relax and wait for browsing customers. People are curious about skills and may ask questions. Anything you are doing should be simple and easy to put down to give your customer your full attention.
Buddy Up! Sharing a space with another vendor can help fill out your selection, price points, and draw an audience to your goods. Let the Market Manager know if you are looking for a booth buddy.
Home gardeners/farmers: Produce growth and egg production can be inconsistent and sometimes you might feel like you are short. Have a Market buddy to co-op with. Combine your produce, herbs, eggs, and other products and sell together at one table at the Market to present a full table of diverse offerings.
Cottage Food Makers unite: You make the salsa, she makes the chips. You sell Kombucha, they sell fresh baked treats. Focus on your specialties while providing variety at one table!
Artists and Crafters: You sell the greeting cards, he sells the soap, you sell the paintings, she sells the scarves. The pressure to fill a table every Market day is reduced, the variety of items draws interest, and combining forces can result in a nice range of price points.
Non-Profits: Share a table with a crafter, gardener, or food-maker that is also associated with your group is a mission supporter or that has offerings that complement your mission.