BECOMING A WENDY FAIR MARKET TRADER
If it worked for Alan Sugar, Marks and Spencer, Tesco's - it could work for you!
Alan Sugar is proud of his beginnings on a market stall, which led him to business success. It is an exciting environment, where you can quickly grow your profits.
First of all, you must learn The Lingo!
A TOBY is the Market Manager, the person who's word is law, and who you should contact when you first pull on to the GAFF,or market, with your JOINTRIG, or stall, on the van.
Then you set up your FLASH, or display, making sure it all has the right BAT, or price. Then you start selling, by either shouting out, GRAFTING, or drawing a crowd, DEMMING, or PITCHING.
First you must decide what to sell - you must "buy well&sell well", i.e. buy the right product at the right price. You need to know something about the goods, for the goods to be right for the market. Walk around some markets and get some ideas of what is missing, and what will sell well, by looking. Some goods have a high turnover, but it is not always a good idea to go into these, as supply soon outstrips demand! Perishable goods are not a good idea either, unless you have an assured pitch, and custom. You may lose more in wastage than you may actually sell while you build up trade.There are usually gaps, and it shouldn't take you long to decide on a line.
Market Trader, market trade paper:
0161 683 8000,
National Market Traders' Federation:
Market Trade News:
Now you need to find regular pitches. Four days a week would be about the average number of markets worked. Don't Forget, you need to go buying, do your books and, importantly, take some time for yourself and your family, and friends. You know what all work did to Jack!
Wendy Fair Markets: 01895 632221
Most traders will carry their own stall, which will have been made to ensure that the stock is 'flashed' up to best advantage. They are usually quite versatile so can be used on a variety of markets. Many markets do provide stalls, so you could save on this expense and invest more in your stock. Whether or not you buy a stall, you will still need a stall cover, stall clips, rails and shelving to display your goods. Try to buy a light sheet, but heavy enough to do the job. You will need to lift it over the top of the stall, which is about 8' high. Pulling it on and off every day causes quite a bit of wear and tear, especially when you catch it on the corners of the stall. The sheet is not only to keep out the worst elements of the weather, but also the good. Sunshine fading has damaged as many goods as rain water!! Clear front and side covers allows customers to see your goods even in the rain, invite them in for shelter and hope they buy something, but not too many otherwise your real customers will not be able to get in.
Ensure that your cover is put up tightly, but not too tightly. If it is slack it will create a sail in the wind and take you and your stock for a ride; during the rain puddles will form and a quick gust of wind will then empty that puddle over the best customer you have had all day!
If stalls are provided Wendy Fair provide the bare framework, you will need to provide a top cover and any internal fittings needed, there may be some where on site to purchase these items. If stalls are not provided Wendy Fair make available the space to trade from.
Ray Linge Market Stalls:
Now you and your stock need to get there. Depending on the type and weight of goods you wish to sell will dictate the type of vehicle you need. You need to carry your stock, your stall and yourself safely and reliably to market and back on a regular basis. Saving costs here is a false economy; if you do not get to market you do not work therefore no income.
How to show your stock off? Decide:
- - Best points
- - Worst points
- - Eye Catching display
- - How much to carry
- - Highlight advantages
- - Play down disadvantages
A trader will usually sell about 10% of their stock, and you need to display at least one of each item you wish to sell on your stall. Be self critical when assessing your flash, and re-arrange it when it looks tired, or even just to catch the eye of the customers who are used to your stall looking a certain way.
Remember to include your own time when calculating your selling price. The time you leave home will depend on the distance from the market you are. It is not unusual for a trader to travel over a hundred miles for a good market. By the time you have got to market, unloaded, traded, loaded up, returned home, restocked for the next day, banked your takings, you will probably have clocked up a 16 hour day!!
As a casual trader you will need to go to the market office for 7 - 7.30 am. Fill in your details on the casual list and you will need to pay the rent on the morning before you start trading.
You will have to pay rent each day for your pitch. To get a regular pitch you will often have to pay an advance rent, but this means your customers know where to find you each week. The alternative is to be a 'Casual' trader, hoping that there will be an empty pitch somewhere on the market that day. You should ensure that you acquire a copy of the rules and regulations for any market you work on.
You will need to have:
- - Van Insurance
- - Public Liability Insurance
- - Stock Insurance
- - Employers Liability Insurance (only if you employ people other than your family)
And it is recommended to have:
- - Product Liability Insurance
- - Personal Accident Insurance
All traders must have Public liability insurance. This can be obtained from; Combined Market Traders Insurance 0208 554 5273, LRO 0870 1420871, G M Imber 01342 327250
The legislation that affects you as a trader does depend on what you sell to a certain degree. Some, which affect everybody, are:
- - Sale of Goods Act
- - Price Display Order
- - Trade Descriptions Act
- - Social Security Act (NIC Contributions)
- - Product Liability
- - Public Liability
And others, which affect some traders, are:
- - Food Hygiene Regulations
- - VAT Registration
- - Registration of Businesses
- - Data Protection
This list is not definitive and there are probably several more, but don't be put off. Provided you run your business legitimately you should be able to deal with them as they arise.
So Off We Go!
Having battled through all the pitfalls and disadvantages, you still want to be a market trader? Of course you do. Nowhere else will you find the sense of camaraderie and community than in an English Market. Once you gain the respect of your fellow traders, you will have friends for life, and will never be alone!
Have fun and good trading to you.
National Association of Market Authorities 01706 57740
All traders must have Public Liability Insurance and comply with the requirements of all of the Health and Safety at Work Legislation and read and conform to Wendy Fair Markets Health and Safety Policy Statement, which is available from the market manager.
Everyone must operate in a safe manner and ensure they minimize any risks to customers, their staff and themselves.
To book a pitch two weeks advance fee is required. The fee will then be collected each week. This will mean that you are paying two weeks in advance to guarantee your pitch. If you decide to finish you stop paying the fees and continue to work for the period of your advance fee and then leave.
No pitches can be allocated unless some fees are paid. The Application Form must be completed and handed to your Manager or sent to Head Office with the correct amount of money.