3 Lessons I Learned Selling at London Markets
Over the course of the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to sell my jewellery at a handful of markets and holiday fairs all around the city of London. Though some markets have certainly proven more successful than others, I’ve managed to take away a handful of key lessons from each experience that I’d love to share with you today.
1. Connect with your customers
When you’re running an online business, markets present you with a wonderful opportunity to meet your customers face-to-face and engage in meaningful conversation that may reveal where your customers live, what they do for a living, where they like to shop, what other brands they like to wear, etc. Running a market stall also gives you a chance to observe how customers interact with your products. When it comes to my jewellery, I love seeing which pieces catch a customer’s eye or listening to the language they use to describe my brand and overall aesthetic.
2. Refine your brand story
Each time a potential customer visits your booth, you’re presented with the chance to test and refine your story. Maybe you’ll want to practice a new opening line or emphasize a different aspect of your design process. The more people you interact with, the more you’ll learn about which aspects of your pitch resonate with your target clientele. I’ve found that customers are more likely to engage with my jewellery when I highlight the quality of my materials and the fact that all designs are made using my own two hands.
3. Test your pricing strategy
Pricing is a tricky and at times, uncomfortable, subject. Posting an image of a necklace and it’s associated price on your website is one thing, but saying a price out-loud to a customer’s face is an entirely different ball game. Within seconds of answering the customer’s question about an item’s price, you can immediately gauge their reaction and intent to purchase - did the customer walk away because the price was too high, or were they happy to continue browsing? I’ve contemplated lowering my prices on the spot or offering small discounts here and there. But at the end of the day, I’ve come to realize that the customers who are happy to pay full-price because they share in the values that my brand represents (handcrafted design and high-quality materials, to name a few) are the customers who I want to attract.
A few other tips worth noting …
Don’t waste time fretting about the competition! All of the fellow makers I’ve met at previous markets have been incredibly friendly and willing to share their knowledge and even a helping hand when needed. There’s plenty of room for all creatives to succeed at their craft of choice.
Lastly, be sure to contact the market host ahead of an event to ask about the venue’s facilities - you’ll want to know if tables / chairs will be supplied, whether there’s WiFi (or a strong broadband connection) to support credit card payment systems, and the proximity of restaurants, coffee shops and public restrooms!