I have to say that Yarraville Markets is a pretty good craft market. It is not as big as other markets that I have joined, but it is held once a month and have regular visitors. They sure have a lot of quality handmade items, which is the right place for my items. Stall holders are very supportive, they bought items from each other and had fun at the market. It was very heavily advertised too. I am planning to join it again but still looking into the best time for it since I am doing only one market once a month. Yarraville Markets happens every month. At the moment, since I am still looking for the right markets, I tend to join more of the once in 2 months markets or quarterly markets, such as The Chevron Market, Werribee and Market on The Green, Sunbury and other once a year markets like school/college fete.
I joined The Chevron Market because I read very good reviews about it and I must say they are so true. It is a huge market (over 75 stalls), and it is a market for mums in business. We were even offered to provide with business cards/advertising materials in their advertising bags for the first 250 customers. This was also for only a small amount of fee, which is good to get your business known out there. Each of us was also provided with a tag to identify us as stall holders. I did not do so well in selling that day though, but the market was very well organised and the fees are pretty low. With such a big number of stalls at the market, it went smoothly. The stall holders were pretty friendly too. I will be joining them again on June 14th for their winter market.
Market on The Green is another good market on the west side. It is a handmade and produced market. The fees are reasonable and it was well organised. The table and chairs were provided with a bottle of water. Traffic was very good, always there and it only got quiet for 10-15 minutes before visitors started coming in again. My stall was at the back of the stage but I still got many people coming to the area. I will not be joining them for their August market since I will be overseas (yes, I will be escaping winter for a month!) but I will be there for their December market.
Another market which I just recently joined, however is quite a disappointing one. I am not going to name and shame here but I will be sharing the points of why I think it was a bad one. Firstly the fee was quite expensive. I decided to join it as I was told that there will be over 25,000 traffic there and the market is massive. That was not the case. The information email sent to me was without any site/parking plan, nor the information was in detail. And unfortunately for some stall holders, they did not receive the email at all. I arrived there, having to look around for parking, since we were advised to go to Wilsons parking but there was like 3 other Wilsons parking. Some stall holders went to the wrong one and had to bear carrying all their items and travel so far just to get to the market site. Upon my arrival there, there was also another stall holder waiting, the organiser or assistant was not there to welcome us. After a while, someone came and introduced herself as the helper and informed us that the organiser would not be there that day. She then showed us to our sites and advised that she does not know anything about our applications (she was a stall holder there too) but just there to point us to our sites. I was not impressed, the site was not marked, and we were told to arrange our tables accordingly on our own. The were even arguments between the complex shop owner and stall holders as the shop owner did not want the stall holders to be anywhere his shop. It was a nightmare, and to make it worse, the organiser was not there to help us. We did not even have the organiser's phone number to contact. We were left on our own, without any support. Many stall holders were upset, left early and said that they will not be going back. I won't too, for sure.
I should have trusted my instinct from the beginning. I noticed that the organiser were always shouting out for stall holders, even when it was close to the market day. This usually doesn't happen with good markets, unless if there was last minute cancellation. Some markets even have stall holders already waiting next in line just in case if there was any stall holder that pulled out last minute. Good markets are always filled in fast.
Good markets always provide you with instructions in detail, especially on how to get there and parking sites. Most markets will provide with the route plan on how to get there together with site numbers and plan. The organisers are always there throughout the market day and often will ask how you are doing at the market. They always welcome feedback too. Unlike the market that I attended, under the terms and conditions, it was stated that we must not confront other stall holders or we will not be invited back. That was enough for me to smell something fishy going on. Markets are always a good place for stall holders to interact and socialise with each other. Feedbacks from stall holders should also be welcomed to help the market improve in any area that needs improvement.
Well, I have learnt my lesson and I should always trust my gut in selecting the right market to join. Everyone learns from experience. I hope this entry helps other stall holders who are looking for markets to join. All the best!