A market stall is usually a casual, temporary venue comprising little more than a table or two, covered by portable gazebo (a flat-topped or peaked tent) or umbrella or similar covering, and a passionate individual – the stall owner – selling a small range of wares to walk-by customers. Market stalls are commonly organised on a flexible and dynamic community basis, where a central organiser (essentially an entrepreneur of their own making) finds and secures a suitable venue and then recruits, attracts and encourages other market stall owners to come together at this venue to sell to the public.

Weekend, pop-up and permanent markets have become very popular amongst the general public  is a relatively easy way to make some extra cash and it is also a very social, friendly and community-orientated environment that results in a pleasant day interacting with others. Customers enjoy the day out and for them it is a great outing for the family, especially for the kids, and it is an opportunity to have a cheap bite to eat and to find the occasional bargain.

The economics of market stalls is the relatively low cost for both seller and customer. The seller has to invest in a few tables (which may be provided by the market organiser), a gazebo or two, some signage, an electric connection (if required), a payment mechanism and the products to sell. If a start-up market stall fails for whatever reason, the outlay is limited, and the effect of a loss is not likely to be as devastating as someone who has spent hundreds of thousands of rands starting a small retail store or manufacturing business.

What we will cover in this discussion includes:

  • Location
  • Regulations
  • Financing
  • How much do I need?
  • Where do I get the money from?
  • Payment
  • Marketing – lists and relationships
  • Beyond the stall
  • Cases
  • Tips and hints
  • Fixed versus mobile
  • Food versus non-food
  • Wholesaling
  • Success