New to Market Trading ?

If you are new to market trading or thinking of becoming a market trader then the main things you want to know are usually
If you are new to market trading or thinking of becoming a market trader then the main things you want to know are usually
  1. What can I sell ?
  2. What I can I sell it from ?
  3. Where can I sell it ?
  4. How much will it cost me?
  5. What are my legal requirements ?
  6. How long must I commit for ?

Here we will give you some general guidance to get you started !


1.  What can I sell

This is the $6million dollar question! Most markets will control how many of each line they allow on so you may find all the popular lines already taken.  You need to find something that a market manager can look at and say "yes that will benefit us !"  The more unique your line is the more chance you will have of getting a good space on a good market, however it must be something that will sell !  Hand painted carrier bags may be a great and unique idea but you probably aren't gonna sell enough to make it pay !

If you don't know what you want to sell at the moment try doing a search on our home page to see what markets are looking for in your area.  Just select the location you want to work and leave everything else as it is and click search - a list of all current vacancies will be displayed !   Alternatively try our wholesaler section where you will find details of various wholesalers offering different items for sale - it may give you some ideas !


2.  What can I sell it from ?

You will need a stall to sell your goods from.  It is worth checking with the markets you intend to work what their requirements are - some will have their own stalls, some will insist you use 'pop up' type stalls, some will insist you use a certain colour sheet etc etc !  The main requirement when starting out is keep it cheap!  You can always upgrade at a later stage.  Decide how you want to display your goods and choose a suitable stall for this purpose.  You will find many manufacturers in trade magazines offering all different styles - you will also find second hand stalls here which will be a lot cheaper !

Keep an eye on our advertise your goods section - you may find what you are looking for !


3.  Where can I sell it from ?

Most traders will want to stay as local as possible (the further you travel the earlier you have to leave !).  Try doing a search from our home page putting in what you sell and where you want to work for a list of markets available to you.  If there are no current vacancies for your goods then just subscribe - then as soon as a market operator advertises for your goods you will be emailed details immediately !  (Most market managers also keep an eye on what subscribers want to sell).


4.  How much will it cost me ?

Pitch fees will vary depending on which market you work.  If the prices aren't advertised then you will need to contact the individual market manager.  You may find that some offer discounted start up rates - if you don't ask you don't get !  Some markets get cheaper the more days that you work.  As a rule of thumb expect to pay between ?20 and ?30 per day for a 10 foot pitch (although obviously this will vary !)

It's worth finding out if you get free vehicle parking - this can easily add another ?10 a day to your expenses !


5.  What are my legal requirements ?

Most markets will insist on you having public liability insurance to cover you in case of any accidents/injuries to the public whilst you are trading.  You will normally need to get cover for upto ?5million pounds which will cost between ?50 and ?80 per year.  The good news is that this can generally be used at any market you attend but please check with your insurer first !

You must adhere to all relevent legislation, as a market trader you have the same legal obligations as a shop so goods must be fit for the purpose for what they are sold, correctly described and correctly labelled.  If you are selling food then there will be certain Health and Hygiene regulations you must follow.  Always contact your local council if you are not sure of what you need to do and they will happily advise you.

As a market trader you will generally be self employed so you must file tax returns and pay national insurance.  This can be time consuming and it might be worth using a book keeper or accountant to do this for you.

Click here to buy liability insurance


6.  How long must I commit for ?

Generally there are 2 types of traders, regulars and casuals.  Regular traders will have been working on the market for some time and have a specific pitch(es) that they trade from.  As a regular trader you will normally have to pay either upfront pitch fees (normally no more than 4 weeks) or be licensed and have to give a certain notice period if you leave (again normally 4 weeks).

Casual traders normally turn up on a market and work if there is any space.  You may be moved around week to week and will generally pay a little more in pitch fees than regulat traders.  However there is no commitment (normally) and you can come and go (space willing !) as you please.  However most casual traders realise that becoming a regular will generally offer a more substained long term business so you will need to put the effort in and hopefully be rewarded with a regular pitch !

Each markets operations will vary slightly so please speak to the individual market manager about how they operate !