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Trader Information and Advice

It has never been easier to become a market trader and trade with Town and Country Markets. From market stalls and carboot sales to shop units.

Market traders are the ultimate entrepreneurs. They sell a variety of products and services to the general public while providing an excellent shopping experience. The types of products offered by these individuals range from fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to clothes and jewellery.

Becoming a market trader requires a person to have good management skills and an eye for detail as well as a willingness to work long hours. These individuals typically began working before most of their friends and neighbours are even out of bed and often stay until long after most of the population has finished working for the day. Depending on the market, a market trader may operate every day, a few days a week or weekends only. Of course, it is ultimately up to the trader to decide when and how often they want to work, depending on which market they trade on.

Any person interested in becoming a market trader should also spend some time finding the market that is the best fit for the products or services that they are going to offer. How much it is going to cost to operate a market stall is going to depend on the size of the stall as well as which market the trader is operating out of.

With Town and Country Markets experience in operating markets we can give you as a market trader advice on what products would sell best,  how to set up your market stall and where you can get market trader insurance.

Becoming a Market Trader

Before becoming a market trader and running your market stall you should know exactly what a market traders job profile entails.

A market trader sells good and services in their local area  or at markets.  Deciding what to sell on your market stall is a difficult decision. The goods and services a market trader may sell on their market stalls can be perishable, such as fresh fruit, vegetables and meat or non – perishable such as cards, jewellery or clothes, the products market traders might sell are endless. The services you might be seeing sold  on a market stall can include shoe repair, key cutting or computer services to name but a few.

When you decide to become a market trader your daily tasks might involve the following:

  • Attending wholesale markets, typically early in the morning before their market opens, to buy produce.
  • Ordering stock from manufacturers, sales representatives, agents and importers.
  • Selling to and engaging with customers.
  • Employing and managing staff
  • Monitoring stock levels and product performance
  • Marketing stock, including devising special offers and promotions
  • Ensuring that trading standards and health and safety regulations are adhered to.
  • Keeping an eye on your  market competition
  • Book Keeping
Working as a market trader

Market traders can work long hours, including weekends. Depending on their trade, a trader’s working day may start very early in the morning so they can attend wholesale markets. Working from 5.00am until 6.00pm on market days.

Market traders can trade at an indoor market or an outdoor market, Some markets run every day, others once a week or only at weekends, and others on a monthly or seasonal basis such as Brighton Racecourse market. They vary in size, and are usually busy and noisy environments in which to work. Market traders can work at different UK markets at different locations during a week. But at the end of the day it’s your choice as the market trader to decide the hours and days you would like to work.

Salary and other benefits of a market trader
Most market traders would work full time depending on market days and make about £350  a week (reference careers advice) but some market traders can make in excess of £500 per week (reference careers advice) depending on the goods and services they are selling on their market stall. If a market trader does decide to employ someone to work on their market stall then they would most likely start on a minimum wage.

Running a market Stall

Running a market stall is a great way to be your own boss and work the hours you want.  You can run a market stall at one of Town and Country Markets UK Markets.

A market stall can be very flexible and can suit anyone who’s looking to make extra money or would like to become a full time market trader.

You can become a market trader with Town and Country Markets by enquiring online or alternatively you can contact our head office on 01952 242019.

The market manger can give you advice on what product line would be best to sell at that particular market, the cost of running a market stall whether it’s as a registered market trader or a casual market trader.

You will need to find a market which suits your product, It would be pointless having a market stall at a bric and brac market when you are selling high quality craft items.

Before setting up a market stall visit the market you would like to trade at and get a feel for the place, look around the market for any market stalls which might be selling a similar product to you as this might cause you a problem and you may not want to sell at that particular market.

The costs of running a market stall
The cost of running a market stall does vary depending on the market you’re trading at and the size of market stall you require to display your products you’re selling.

To discuss prices for setting up a market stall at one of our markets nationwide, please contact Town and Country Markets on 01952 242019 or email info@tcmarkets.co.uk

Market Traders Skills

You do not need any specific qualifications to become a market trader, although basic Maths skills and English are useful. Your personality and ability as a sales person is more important than any other qualifications. Also you must be over the age of 16 to trade on a market stall.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get a regular stall on our markets. so you could start working part time on a market stall, by gaining experience at an established UK market, you could then attend a market as a casual trader, eg. arriving at the market early which could then lead to becoming a regular market trader.

The qualities and the skills set a market trader should have when running a market stall are:

  • Having strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Have good negotiation skills
  • Have excellent customer service skills
  • Have numeracy skills for dealing with money
  • Have energy and enthusiasm
  • Be sales focused and be able to promote their market stall creatively

What further training and development can I do?
Most of your training to become a market trader would be informal and involve learning on the job from experienced market traders, sharing their knowledge and observing their sales techniques.

There are some short courses you could do, which are mainly provided by the local authorities. You may find it useful to do a course in a subject such as running a small business or book-keeping and accounts.

Displaying your market stall

Your market stall needs to be a welcoming place where your customer can feel comfortable and can have a look at the products or services you are selling with ease.

You need to show off your products to the customer without saying a word. Appearance of the product or services is the most essential part of possibly making a sale, as is choosing a realistic price for your product or service. A poor appearance of a product or an unrealistic price will result in fewer sales or no sales at all.

Above are pictures of market stalls who have created fantastic displays on their market stalls and are running a successful business.

Finding a product to sell

Your success will be determined on the product line you decide to sell on your market stall. It would be worthwhile carrying out some basic research into the likely competition you maybe facing from established market traders.

Research both your intended markets and competition from particular town centres near the market.

It is important to remember that, in some cases the product line you choose can determine how quickly you can become a successful market trader. If it is possible to find a product line which has not been over exposed on the market or the nearby town centres then this will increase your chance of becoming a successful market trader.

Clothing, particularly ladies clothing is always well represented on market stalls.
Novelty or specialist goods market traders will have a better chance of becoming a successful market trader as their product lines are not usually replicated by countless other market traders.

If you know other market traders then ask them for advice on product lines especially in relation to where to source your goods from.

Established market traders have had many years of experience and can often point out the pitfalls, although sometimes they may be simply protecting their own business interests by highlighting all the negatives.

For more information on a Town and Country Markets operated UK market near you then please call head office on 01952 242019 alternatively you can email info@tcmarkets.co.uk

Our friendly staff will be able to put you in contact with the market manager. The market manager will be able to discuss with you the range of products already being sold on their market.

Market traders legal information

Market traders need to be able to finance starting up and running a market stall. This can include the cost of buying their stock, paying the rent for their pitch and covering running costs, such as public liability or vehicle insurance.

Market Traders who sell food should make themselves aware of the food hygiene legislation such as statutory temperature controls in selling and transporting foods. If they use their own market stall it would be necessary for them to register the address where the market stall is kept.

The Trade Description Act is applicable to markets. If an article is brought back that is faulty or not fit for the purpose for which it was sold, then the trader must rectify the matter either by exchanging the goods, giving a credit note or a full cash refund, but remember whatever method is used it is the customers choice.

Often goods may be returned that are not faulty but the customer has found out it was not really what they wanted, or in the case of clothing, it does not quite fit. In this case there is no legal obligation to make the matter right, but if you feel the reason is genuine, then in the long term it is better to do so.

You may lose a sale on this occasion, but you have built some goodwill, and the customer will most likely return again and again. By adopting this attitude you may occasionally be taken for a ride by an unscrupulous and dishonest customer, but the good reputation you will build up completely justifies it.

To adhere to the Trade Descriptions Act is simple. Don’t sell counterfeit goods, and don’t describe your goods incorrectly. If you are selling seconds don’t describe them as perfect. If you are selling Egyptian new potatoes, don’t describe them as English. If you do, you will eventually fall foul of the Trading Standards Offices and apart from the fine you will be facing your reputation will also be harmed.