Sunday, January 22, 2017

Others call it O to O , we call it Offline and Online

So in our first Newsletter and newsletter we talked about why it's important to have both online and physical presence. 

If you use the 14 Day Flea Marketing cycle, you will be able to build a more solid and credible business, that are key must-have components to business profitability.

Today we're going to share with you HOW you can have a full time job, and run your own business at the same time.

Let's use an example to illustrate, what we call the 14 Day Flea Marketing cycle.

Here's what you can do to maximise your exposure to potential online customers. 

Let's say you've decided to participate in the Sentosa Boardwalk Bazaar on 18 and 19 Feb.

If you have e-commerce facilities such as a shopping cart+ payment gateway, you would be able to close the deal by collect payment online (there are different payment processes that would take some time to explain, but we shall save it for another time or you can google for it).

Work backwards 14 days to 6 Feb (Day -11), and follow this cyclical model. Do this for any bazaar that you participate in - if the organisers are supportive, they will share your posts.

For betterer effects, ask your friends and family members to share your posts too.

And by the time you  reach D1 of the bazaar on 18 Feb, you would have probably attracted some of your customers to visit you there.

Of course, as one ventures into advanced marketing, the strategies and tactics would become more complex, but we think that the above is a good start for those who are new to leveraging social media marketing, without having to pay for the media exposure.

Till the next blog,
Kim Teck,
Chief Email sending Writing Officer

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

First Newsletter 2017: Reflections

Reposted from our first newsletter. Subscribe to our mailing list if you would like to receive contents from us regularly.

Reflections for 2017
Folks, this is our first 2017 message that we’re sharing with you, flea market and bazaar entrepreneurs.

Our point of view is drawn from our own experience, market research, and from data we’ve studied. As we're not planning to turn  this into an academic paper - that would be too boring - we've decided to sum this up, and share with you our conclusions.

This is going to be lengthy read, so we suggest you save this email and read it at your convenience. 
Current Trends - Global vs Singapore : 

Change is inevitable. Are you prepped for this?

Almost everyone we know living in urbanised cities or countries is connected to the internet – via their laptop computers and mobile devices such as smart phones or pads.

As the information technology continues on its forward trend globally, the way people live, work, conduct business, and play change. Consumer behaviour has changed, from the way people make their buying decisions, to the way they demand goods and services to be paid, and delivered right up to their doorsteps.

Because the Consumer form the demand for goods and services, the way businesses sell also change – so that they can think of surviving this trend, and then how to derive greater profits.

With consumers easily whipping up their mobile devices or searching the internet for information products and services to compare, and where/how to buy them, it’s no wonder retailers in Singapore such as Courts, Gain City, Harvey Norman, NTUC Fairprice, Sheng Siong, Cold Storage, Giant, fast food chains such like KFC, Mcdonald’s, Pizza Hut have evolved with the times and put in the facilities to allow their customers to check for their products and order and pay for them online, and via Apps.

Many would pay use search engine optimisation (SEO) methods to appear on the first page search of search engines.

Failure to evolve could mean the end of any business - a familiar brand like Robinson’s had closed its last outlet and hinted they would go the pop-up way. At the time this article was written we haven’t heard updates in the market about this.

An exception would be Mustafa Centre, a 24 hour mall by itself. They are successful because they differentiate themselves by the unique experience the mall and their business offers. In addition to the very large range of consumer products, fresh produce and food products they offer, they also have a pharmacy, travel agency, money changing, and an F & B business.

What this means is that consumers are drawn to Mustafa Centre because of the wide array of products they have access to. Do the shoppers there need to do any form of research on their device? Perhaps. But chances are, without the need to check the internet for information, one can expect to find something he or she needs to buy, at Mustafa Centre (

If you run a small business selling products or services to consumers, or other businesses what does it mean to you?

Are you happy with the state of business you’re in?
Can you do with more exposure to customers?
Are you online and e-commerce ready, so that your customers can buy from you easily after they surf your site for information?
Do you want to establish yourself as a credible seller, given the number of online selling scams?

If not, what next? If so, what next?  Only yourself and your stakeholders find the answers for yourself.
The Impact on Online Shopping:
Over Congested Online Market Places
The irony when every business adopts e-commerce as a channel to sell, or APPify their business is that the online market place becomes too congested. How often do you switch from App to App, or check out every in the Appsite?  Or check out every online shopping mall?

The reality is that as human beings, old habits die hard. We have limited time to surf the net, check out new Apps etcetera. As a result, many of these online, e-commerce businesses come and go, because there are no users, no service providers – and their ecosystem breaks down.

We also think e-commerce companies are chasing after the wrong markets segment, many of them prefer to go after the students, the ones who most adaptable to new technologies.
All you need to do is just visit the apps stores and download the apps, and see if they are still active.

Another key reason is the demographics of Singapore, look at the population pyramid of the residents of Singapore (consisting of 3.87 million residents).
Source of image:, retrieved 16 Jan 2017

As in 2016, half of our population are aged 40 and above. How many of these are economically active, and tech-savvy?  How many of these are starting to require reading glasses and having declining eye sights?

How many have left school and started work? How many are still studying, in primary, secondary or tertiary levels?

Look at the survivors, Taobao, Qoo10, Amazon… then look at the failures… as well as the survival rate of App start ups, and how much of their investors’ money they burnt. Look at the markets they started off in – Not Singapore.

**Form your own opinion.

Here is ours: Websites and APPs are just technological tools that require real human beings to use. 
Impact on Retail Shopping:
Perfect Storm is happening
Retail in Singapore is on a slump, affected by e-commerce, excess retail space, and the negative economic sentiments created by loss of jobs, loss of income: this is the perfect storm. It’s happening.
Many retail malls are unable to fill up empty retail units, or keep their tenants because there isn’t sufficient footfall.
The good news is that people still shop for the following purposes:
  1. Groceries (even this, fresh grocery apps are invading this arena)
  2. Recreation (people still go out of the home in Singapore for recreation)
  3. Things that cannot be bought online
  4. Personal preferences because of bad experience shopping online: bad products, bad services etc.
So how do retail malls, and retailers balance your mix of offerings? How do you ensure your eco-system is sustainable? Remember your tenants, market organisers are also your external stakeholders. What can the ecosystem do to support one another?

There is no short answer to this.

Our point of view is that retail malls must be versatile and open minded enough to adapt to changes. 
Impact on Flea Market and Bazaar Businesses: Opportunities !
Retail malls like to work with flea market organisers because of the following reasons:
  1. We are a revenue stream to them.
  2. We offer something that is different from their usual tenant mix.
  3. We can help improve their footfall through the organisers’ and merchants’ marketing efforts.
Government – Private Sector Initiatives: Events

Whether by design or by accident, the Singapore Government is taking lead in creating a lot of events and festivals. Flea markets and bazaars have become part and parcel of these festivals that draw substantial footfall.

Despite the overall gloomy outlook, TGIF Bazaars remains optimistic about the flea market business, on the assumptions for the Eco-system comprising of:
  1. Landlords and Event Organisers (sometimes they are the Government)
  2. Flea Market Organisers
  3. Merchants and partners
For the eco-system to be sustainable:
  1. Everyone must gain : tangibly or intangibly
  2. Internal and External costs must be manageable
  3. Everyone must do their part in marketing and promoting themselves and their products.
We'd also like to add that some of the traits of our most successful merchants include : adaptability, patience, perseverance and a certain level of risk tolerance (they take calculated risks).
What’s New?
To find out about our new services and rewards program, click on the hyperlinks.

In the pipeline for 1st quarter of 2017, TGIF Bazaars will launch a program that will help our merchants improve their marketing abilities through a series of workshops, conducted by qualified facilitators and trainers.

Stay tuned for announcement for the above.

To end off our first newsletter, we’d like to share a quote from Winston Churchhill, Prime Minister of Britain during the World War 2:

‘Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference’. 

What do you choose your attitude to be?

Yours sincerely,
The Team from TGIF Bazaars

Saturday, January 14, 2017

First post of 2017

We've been asked how come we've not updated our blog for some time, that's because we've been busy with the year end festivities, re-organising ourselves, planning and working on the delivery of our promise of coming up with new offerings in 2017.

So, here's the new stuff:

1. We're doing an Artisans' Bazaar at Katong Square (who would have thought?...heh)

2. We're going to be back at iLight Festival at Marina Bay 2017 (last year visitor turn out was more than 700,000), and we'd be there for 1 month;

3. We're operating during the Chinese New Year Long Weekend  at the Sentosa Boardwalk Bazaar.

4. We offer design services - from Logo Development to Website.

6. We are celebrating Valentines' Day at NUS Utown but unfortunately, it's already sold out.

7. One more significant offering that we will divulge in due course.

Our regular sites:

1. Sentosa Boardwalk Bazaar - every weekend at the Sentosa Boardwalk
2. One KM Mall Bazaar - twice  a month 

For more details check our website

Our thoughts:

It's just the start of a new year. For you full time or part time bazaar-preneurs,  this is a good time to start planning your calendar, if you hadn't done it already.

Plan your business

To make it easy for you to plan, we've created a calendar that you can use ... oh did we mention you can find local holidays indicated in this calendar too?

What do you wanna sell?

To make it easier for you to think of what to sell:

Do you wanna sell what you wanna sell, or what people wanna buy, at prices that all can accept?

Selling food?

If, you out there are home bakers, please visit, and you will find it how you can sell home-made food - legitimately and to as many friends as possible!

Having said this, there are also legalities that you may face, such as when you business becomes so good that it is no longer considered a home based business, or when a friend you sold food to complains to NEA, HDB or URA about food poisoning.  So, take note of this - make and sell your home made food responsibly.

Wanna improve your flea market business?
Stay tuned for we will be making announcements on how we can help you improve your business.

Sign up on our vendor mailing list if you are an entrepreneur, a business and would like to be kept updated of what's in store with us.