Thursday, July 19, 2018

Secrets to making more money in Pop-up Markets!

Selling at pop-up markets such as flea markets doesn’t just mean clearing out some pre-loved junk from your cupboard, throw them onto a table, hope that people will buy from you (and laugh your way to the bank).

You can actually build a business around selling stuff (pre-loved, new and things that you make) at pop-up markets.
But you’ll need some business marketing and sales tips to really increase your sales and profits going forward.
Here are 10 practical tips that help you increase your sales at pop-up markets, making your business a great(er) success!

Like they always say, the journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step, and there are different routes to success!

1. Be Present Online, in social media platforms such as Facebook or  Instagram pages, or Selling Apps such as Carousell.

In today’s time and age, having an online presence is a must because so many consumers go online to search for items to buy.  So don’t miss out on this and ride the trend!

Since so many consumers use Facebook and Instagram already, it would be natural to use these platforms to connect with potential customers. Managing your social media account is time consuming so if you haven’t got too much time. So focusing on using Facebook (because it has more functions than Instagram at the moment) first, when starting your online presence.

Create a separate personal account (if you wish to separate this with your existing one) with a professional business name, add friends, join groups, and then post photos of your products, articles, write ups, comments.   You may also eventually create a business page through your personal account.

Tip for Facebook Personal accounts: Join groups, add friends, ‘like and share’ posts that are funny, meaningful, interesting and especially those that contain videos or images. Add on a two or three liner comments when sharing.

You can also invite your Facebook friends and followers who are online potential & existing customers to visit you at your pop-up market booths.

Throughout the week leading up to your pop-up market appearance, you can entice people on social media to shop with you by posting images of the items that you’ll be offering for sale. If they’re interested in something new they’ve seen on social, they are likely to show up that weekend at the market to buy it.

Operate this account as you would with do with existing personal one(s). Give your business a personality, so that it can eventually be the brand identify for your business that will set you apart from competitors.

For a start you can add us as a friend once you’ve created your account: and like our business page at

If you do eventually build your own website using a platform such as, (click on the link to sign up, you can create a free website) you might want to learn a bit about search engine optimisation that will help your website and products gain visibility.

2. Have a good mix of products - Sell what you want to sell + sell what people want to buy!

If you really want to treat this as a sustainable business, the sales numbers have to make sense to you.

We all like to think that whatever we want to display in our booth is what people want to buy.  Is this the case?

A few lucky ones will hit jackpot.  But many others will not.  So if you really want to see profits rolling in, you would have to include selling products that people want to buy – this means you need to do spend time to do some research.

There are many ways, such as going online to conduct desktop research relying on secondary data; or visit other markets and venues yourself to observe and learn what products move through field research.

Some venues come with the same group of shoppers going back repeatedly, some come with fresh shoppers going there sporadically or on ad-hoc basis – usually for specific reasons. So what does it mean to you?

Display and sell the same merchandise to the same shoppers, or display and sell the same stuff to different shoppers, or display and sell different stuff to the same shoppers?

We concluded that for your business to do well, there has to be a mix of stuff-you-want-to-sell + stuff-people-want-to-buy + stuff that attracts attention or opens conversations (that people may not want to buy, but love to see, we call them props)) displayed in your booth

This was what we had learnt when we sold products ourselves.

For example, at your booth you may put 55% of stuff you want to sell + 40% of stuff you know will be a hit with your regular customers + 5% props, or 80% of stuff targeted to new customers and 20% targeted for regular customers or in any other proportions.

3. Make your booth or stall attractive and different from the others

Your booth can also be a selling point for potential customers. So don’t make it just look the same as everyone else’s. If you are outdoors and have a choice, choose the organisers with orange canopies (Heh) instead of those dull red, blue or red ones.

Making your booth look nice and eye-catching can cause shoppers multiple rows away or elsewhere to notice your booth and make a point to stop by.

So consider investing in decorating your booth using banners or other props, such as:

Portable Roll up Banner : designing an attractive pull up banner that you can place at your booths, include your logo, social media links, websites, QR codes.

Props: using props to create talking points with your customers, such as flashing LED lights, other display props like vintage typewriters, bird cages, or quirky toys – your imagination’s the limit – but make it relevant, make it a conversation opener with your customers, we also mentioned about this in point 2 above).

Still no idea on what to do? Just Google for the images using 'attractive flea market booths' to get inspired!

4. Sell More by Appearing Regularly at the Same Markets
You can also garner repeat business even from those who don’t follow you on social media simply by being consistent. If someone collects a particular item that you specialize in, maintain a consistent appearance schedule so that they know where to find you when they’re ready to shop. That doesn’t mean you have to only ever sell your items at one location, but you could have a consistent schedule where you sell at the same market every Sunday or on the first weekend of every month. 

There are pros and cons by being consistent in the same markets, but we mentioned earlier that some venues have got fresh faces (shoppers) most of the time, some venues have got regular faces all the time.

Your strategies for each type of venue will naturally have to be different.

If you participate regularly at a market with regular shoppers, your products may not interest them after a while.  So you might want to refresh your products from time to time and display something new products.

The advantage of being a regular participant here is that you can invite your social media customers to visit you and collect merchandise they purchased (they can save on postage), and you can also invite the shoppers there (potential new customers) to visit your social media / e-commerce page (where can they purchase even after they have left your booth).  

As a tactic to drive both online and popup market booth sales, you can set aside some products exclusive for online purchases, and some for face to face purchases. You might also wish to work in some discounts as a form of promotion for your products.

Another advantage of participating regularly, you also get a chance to create a brand for your business, harvesting the synergies of online and physical presences.

Regular participation in a market with fresh shoppers, and having the same range of products would be fine, because to the shoppers, it would be refreshing to them anyway. But if this is a market with regular shoppers, you would have to keep the popup market shopping experience refreshing for them – this could be in the done if you refresh your products, booth displays decoration, music etc.

By the same token, some merchants participate in different markets, going on a circuit of markets because they would like to keep the products that they have been selling (whatever the mix is) relatively new to each market.

5. Make yourself easily contactable by customers : Have your Name Cards Easily Accessible
Some customers at pop-up markets might not be ready to buy from you even if your booth looks great and your products are awesome. So you should give them an easy way to connect with you later. Provide business cards that passers-by can pick up so that if they see something they like, don’t buy it, but return home and decide they want it, they can reach you and make the purchase.

Have QR codes that customers can scan to immediately like and follow your social media pages with their smart phones.

You can also offer shipping as an option so that those customers don’t have to make a return trip. In addition, provide your social media, or e-shop (or website) links so they can follow you from market to market each week.

6 Give your customers good deals!

We can narrow down the type of customers (i.e. people who buy from you) to TWO types:

First, the regular and repeat customer and;

Second the one-off customers.

Depending on what you sell, and the constraints you have, you can encourage that repeat business even more by offering deals to loyal customers.

If someone purchases from you every week or month, and they’ve done so at least three times, make the first move by giving them good discounts. You may get a bit less for the item than you intended, but you will sell more in the long run because they’ll be sure to keep purchasing from you if they feel you’re treating them like a special VIP customer.

If someone is likely to be a one-off customer, you can bundle products as a package deal, for example if you sell ladies’ fashion, you might want to offer a complimentary piece of costume jewellery at 50% off, or for free!

You can also offer special discounts to your social media followers to encourage repeat customers. For example, if you’re selling at a particular market on Saturday, blast that out to your followers and provide them with a 20 percent discount offering if they mention your social media post, or show that particular post to you.  On site, if there are curious customers who happen to overhear about that 20 percent discount, just ask them to visit your social media page, like and/or follow, and they get that discount as well!

In addition, your followers who may not have intended to go to the market that weekend may be enticed to go if they know a 20 percent discount is waiting for them.

Whatever deals you offer, just make sure your costs are accurately calculated!

7. Price Display Tactics
Whilst we’re talking about offering deals such as 50% off, why not have some products that are priced really cheap placed and scattered across other products that are pricer?

We recommend you place these cheaper products with larger sized priced tags at eye levels (if you don’t use price tags, use price signs instead) to the left, right and centre of your product displays.

If you visit a stall yourself, what are the chances that you would look into the centre of the product display first, followed by the left, and then right? 
After which you would then walk to the next booth?  
If you agree with us, then it would make sense for you to use the left-right-centre tactic for price tags / signs displays. Yes?

Human Beings tend to read from from left to right, and then move on to the next line.  Whilst no research has been done on this, it becomes a matter of habit after years of reading in class.  So when the customer looks into the centre, he sees a cheaper price tag, when he looks to the left, he sees another cheaper tag, and when he moves to the right after he’s done browsing, he sees the final cheaper price tag.

What are the chances that he or she will think your products are reasonably priced?

“The Yeekea Effect”
Look at these photos, what can you make out of them?


Amidst their pricier furniture such as cabinets and wardrobes we see a generous sprinkling of cheap items.

How many of us walk away from Yeekea furniture store (yes, imagine it’s the one that originated from a Nordic country in Europe with the yellow and blue logo) happy that we just spent a few hundred dollars over what we could get for cheaper elsewhere, only to go back to Yeekea on another day to buy even more products that we’re happy to pay more for?

The first and last things we see in any Yeekea store are the best deals. $2 for a plastic photo frame at the entrance (or other cheaply priced items)  $2.00 for a hot dog and drink combo meal at the exit?

Whilst queuing to pay for our purchases we are exposed to a super large banner that says ‘Hot Dog $1’. After our purchases, large signs of great deals are shown into our faces – hot dog + drink $2.00!

Whatever negative emotions or feelings that were generated when paying for that hundreds of dollars, some may even spend a few thousands would have been neutralised by these great deals. Oh, they have a great family restaurant too with very reasonable menu prices.

And we go back there regularly don't we, and every time we leave, we leave happily. Well, with the tactics they use, why wouldn't we?

Can you create a ‘Yeekea effect’ with your popup market booth that translates into sales for your business? You bet!

8. Sell More by Providing Many Payment Options

Pop-up market customers have a huge variety of different payment preferences. Some want to pay with credit cards, some with cash, and some with e-wallets.

If you can give customers options, you’ll be more likely to increase your sales over the course of each day. That means using payment gateways such as Paypal that also accepts credit card payment, getting yourself registered as merchants of e-wallets such as DBS Paylah, and also having enough change for people who just want to pay in cash.

Oh, if you're a POSBANK or DBS Account savings account holder you can download Paylah! here!

Get $5 FREE when you sign up with our referral code TGIZTN571. T&Cs apply. Note : When installing the APP, do it slowly, or you may miss out keying in the codes and not get the $5.


 Earn $5 when you activate PAYLAH using this code : TGIZTN571

9. It’s about the experience – bargaining is fun (to the shoppers)

Regardless if you have price-tagged your products or not, Bargaining is a huge part of running a pop-up market business. Whether the shoppers realise it or not, it comes to them as an instinct to bargain and get a few cents or dollars off the price tags. And if they do it, they walk away satisfied and contented – with the impression they got a good deal!

While you don’t have to accept every single offer that comes your way, at least being open to reasonable offers can help you increase sales and clear up space for new inventory. The longer you hold onto things, the less space/money you have to acquire new things to offer for sale, and the more your money is tied up in inventory that isn’t selling.

So what you can do is price-tag your products slightly above your targeted selling price, and allow some room for discounting.

BUT never ever offer a discount as an opening line. Psychologically it tells the customer that your prices are marked up to be discounted, making this a cheap tactic.

Note: Some of the shoppers are also savvy sales people who do the same as what we’ve described above. So you have to be prepared to say ‘no’ to business if the bottom-line isn’t attractive enough.

10. Approachable Body Language and other visual cues.

At a pop-up market, you are the literal face of your business. People will be more likely to stop and look at your products if you look friendly and approachable. And if they stop and look at your products, they’re more likely to buy. If you are sitting and do not smile or attempt to engage passers-by, they will actually pass you by.

Don’t look as if as you’re itching for a fight. If you’re a smoker try to get rid of smokers’ breath.

Dress to the theme of your booth – if you’re dealing with vintage products, you might wish to dress to the theme, for guys you might want to look unshaved, or for ladies that sell cosmetics you might want to apply some cosmetics. For merchants dealing with kids products you might want to dress in bright colours adjourned with cartoon characters.

Last but not least, TALK to your customers. Don’t start by asking ‘May I help you?’  Instead, start talking about the features and/or benefits of the products he or she is eyeballing at.  (Yes it also means you need to know your products well).

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