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How to Set Up a Market Stall for Selling Clothes in Australia

Market stalls are a renowned way to make some money without the structure and commitment of a traditional retail outlet. Numerous people make a living from markets. Others take the opportunity to earn some cash from their hobby or side business.

Market stalls can even be an ideal way to get motivated to declutter. You can often sell your second hand items at markets. In recent times, global markets are beginning to get recognition for their cultural and historical significance. They have become tourist attractions in their own right.

In Australia, while some markets offer staples, the modern market experience prefers to focus on gourmet victuals and giftware. Farmer’s markets have recently enjoyed resurgence in popularity as people seek fresh, local produce. In addition, organic food markets are now popular in many communities.

Australia’s oldest food market remains Prahran market in Melbourne. It has stayed open continuously since 1864. Also in Melbourne, the popular Queen Victoria Market was constructed in 1869. The origins of Sydney’s Paddy’s Markets in the CBD date back to 1834.

Owing to accurate reports too, the suburb of Parramatta’s first fair/market was said to have been organised by Governor Macquarie and held on 13 January 1813.

From Hobart’s trendy Salamanca markets to the iconic Fremantle Markets in Perth, almost every location in Australia has a market of some sort. These events continue a proud tradition of people coming together and sharing the best they have to offer.

How to Set Up a Market Stall for Selling Clothes in 10 Steps

Market stalls are a good way to make some extra money or even generate a steady income. Note that you can sell your pre-loved items or handmade creations at markets. Many jewellery brands had their start as market stalls. One of the key benefits of markets is that if you don’t get a lot of buyers, you aren’t committed to an ongoing expense.

Generally, you pay a stallholder’s fee on the days you show up, not on an ongoing basis. However, some markets offer a discount for regular stallholders. Have it in mind that setting up market stalls at special events can take a bit of practice, but here are few steps to follow.

  1. Secure Financing

Starting a market stall to sell clothes is no inexpensive feat. In fashion, you need to spend money to make money. You will more or less need to borrow money to fund your business through a small business bank loan. You may consider working in the fashion industry or in a clothing store to not only learn the ropes of the industry, but also save some money to fund your company.

Never underestimate the amount of financial capital you will need to get started. You will need to purchase merchandise, buy marketing materials, and decorate the stall with fixtures and lighting, to name just a few expenses.

  1. Find the Perfect Market Stall

If you plan on selling clothes, location is one of the most important decisions you will have to make. Not only do you need to commit to a location in a specific town and state, but you have to consider the various target audience that will bring you foot traffic and a large consumer base interested in (and able to afford) your merchandise.

After you must have narrowed down your location options, you will need to find the right market. You will also have to keep your inventory numbers in mind: How much square footage will you need? What can you afford, and what will it cost to fill your store with merchandise?

  1. Purchase and Price Your Inventory

In terms of inventory, you will want to get the process moving to purchase merchandise from designers or manufacturers at the same time you settle on a market or set up your stall. To start, you need to get in touch with vendors who carry the clothing you want to sell. A trade show is one of the best places to buy wholesale merchandise for your stall.

Don’t forget seasonal trends, plus those new styles and brands that become popular from pop culture influence. You can sell your preloved items or handmade clothing creations at markets. Many jewellery brands had their start as market stalls. What you decide to sell is up to you.

  1. Equipment

What can you expect to find there and what will you have to take with you? Usually you will get a table and chair; sometimes you will get a backing board. You will almost always need to take your own display rails. If you are going to be outdoors, you may want a small heater. In some cases you can get permission to take a stereo and play music to attract customers.

  1. Décor

A piece of fabric to cover your table will make your stall look much better. A plain colour is best, to highlight objects placed on it. You might also choose to bring fabric to drape across the back of your stall. Some stall holders use simple ornaments such as dangling stars to create atmosphere. You might also choose to use large pictures of models wearing your designs.

  1. Advertising

Have it in mind that a stall isn’t just a sales venue, it is a promotional venue. Use banners featuring your name and logo. Provide catalogues (or, at least, flyers pointing to your website) for customers to take away. Have business cards ready for potential trade contacts.

  1. Accessories

Irrespective of the main products of your clothing stall, it is imperative to have some small items to take up table space. Customers who don’t have the money for what they really want are likely to impulse buy these and think of you when they look at them in the future.

  1. Free Stuff

It is advisable you make customers feel welcome at your stall by giving away sweets or small, cheap toys. If you supply the former, try to find vegetarian ones. These things will make customers feel well disposed towards you and be more likely to buy. You should always do your best to be friendly, even if you are tired and cold.

  1. Don’t forget Market Stall Insurance

Many market stall organisers will mandate you to insure your stall in case things go wrong. And not every market will have the same demands, including whether or not your stall is automatically covered by Public Liability Insurance.

Understanding how to insure your market stall can be tricky, so it is very imperative to make sure you have the right cover for your needs. Insuring your market stall can help make sure you won’t be out of pocket if something unexpected happens.

  1. Essentials for Market Day

It is easy to stay up late the night before a market whizzing up last minute bits and pieces but it is to your benefit to give yourself a cut-off point where you stop making, get your car packed and rest up for the big day or night ahead.

  1. Wear your product if it is appropriate and make sure to choose comfortable clothes and shoes suitable to the weather and your style
  2. Have some healthy and wholesome snacks with you as well as lots of water
  3. Pack a mini first-aid kit with some band-aids, pain relief, hair bands, safety pins, sunscreen etc in case of emergencies
  4. Make sure you have got bags/packaging for your customers to take your products home in
  5. Be sure to take business cards along so your customers can find you again
  6. Have a newsletter signup sheet so people who are interested with your work can keep up to date with what you are making.


Running market stalls is a wonderful way to meet other people in the fashion industry. It can be particularly useful to get to know people who are selling products which are likely to appeal to the same market as yours but which are not in direct competition (such as a seller of hats and gloves, if you sell coats). Even on the day, recommending one another’s stalls can also provide your business a great boost.

In the longer term, you may be able to exchange web links or recommend one another to retailers. Indeed, selling your work on a stall can be tiring, but it is often great fun. It is a splendid opportunity to get to meet your customers and get direct feedback on your designs. If you put in the work, it can really pay off.