When I was starting out, I struggled with finding markets and pop up shops to sell my cards in. Now, I already have 4 lined up! For all of my crafters and artisans who still struggle with finding the right events to sell at, this week's blog post is for you! I am sharing my top tips for how to find craft fairs, flea markets and pop up markets. To learn, just keep on reading!
Just a warning, I will use craft fairs, flea markets, farmers markets, and pop-up events interchangeably. So, don’t get confused if I use flea market in one sentence and craft fair in another. They are all in-person events with slightly different names.
Why should you sell at craft fairs?
Before I get into my tips, some of you are probably wondering why you should be selling in person when you already have an online store. Well, first of all, craft fairs, flea markets, and pop-up events give you and your business a lot of exposure to the local community that you just can’t get with your website.
There are so many choices online, and your SEO might not be good enough to place you on the first page of google results. With an in-person event, your SEO doesn’t matter. The people there will see your shop and brand even if they weren’t planning on it. Most purchases are made spontaneously, anyways!
Now that you know the importance of craft fairs let’s get into the tips.
Tip #1: Google
This should be the first thing you do. Using search words like farmers markets in _______ (add your city, region, etc.) can give you a good starting point.
Pro: this is easy to do and almost effortless
Con: you will get general results or the most famous events. These larger events can be more expensive and might not be held in an area with your target demographics so you will need to do further research!
Tip #2: Kijiji
Many markets actually do Kijiji ads! This is an excellent way to find local events as Kijiji can filter the ads to be about markets in your target market. Again, you can use search terms like craft fairs in ______ to find events.
Pro: You get smaller events that are often less expensive to get into.
Con: Kijiji can be a bit sketchy, so please, please do your research before paying anyone.
Tip #3: Facebook Groups
There are so many vendors groups on Facebook where market coordinators will post about their events. This is a great way to get information regarding multiple markets in your community. Just make sure you are in a vending group for your area.
To find them, just search vendors groups in ______. If you live in the GTA or Ontario, here are the groups that I’m in which have been super helpful.
- Ontario Crafters and Vendors of small businesses
- Vendors Only Group (Ontario)
- Ontario Craft Shows - Vendor Calls
Pro: These are regularly updated, so you have an abundance of markets to choose from.
Con: Beware of scams! Most group admins aren’t responsible for checking the legitimacy of the events.
Tip #4: Instagram
Some markets only have Instagram pages, so it is a good tool to use. To discover them, you can search for local markets, or you can go to a handmade shop who makes similar products or have the same demographics as you to see which markets they’re going to. That’s how I’ve discovered some cool markets over this year!
Pro: you get different markets that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
Con: they might be new and not well-established since they only have an Instagram page.
Markets I’ve Vended At
Here is a list of some markets that I’ve sold at and going to sell at.
- Spectacular Spring Sale, Etobicoke Olympium (May 11, 2019)
- Let's Dia-Beat this 4 Alyssa Fundraiser, 2064 Waycross Cres. Mississauga (June 8, 2019)
- Trinity Bellwoods Flea, The Great Hall (July 21, 2019)
- Artisan Christmas Fair, Evinrude Centre (December 8, 2019)
I have learned to do only 1-2 big markets a year because of their high vending fee. Just know that just because a market is well-established doesn’t mean you will do well. You really need to pick the right market in the correct area for you to do well.
I hope these tips have helped! For easy access to these tips, I have an infographic for you to pin.