Folksy Ltd

How much are you willing to pay for a table at an 'event', what is reasonable?

(Joy Salt) #1

Just received an invite to :

"We are very excited to announce that a local councillor from Warwickshire County Council has approached us to put on a monthly street market within Coleshill Town Centre"

The first thing I spot is the table fee of £35. Now if I add to that the >=£20 it will cost me in fuel to get there and back that makes an initial charge of £55 before I’ve even sold anything. Also take into account at least 2.5 hours travelling time, same for setup and take down and 3+ hours sorting out before I leave…

If I work on a very basic10% ‘commission’ rate which It costs me to sell online / Country Market - I would need to sell in excess of £550 to match that.

I can I think guarantee Not to sell anything like that amount so will not be going.
I only do events which are <= £25 and local.

What does anyone else think is reasonable for a monthly market price or any sort of adhoc event ?.

(Joy Salt) #2

i would correct the title of this topic if I could - to remove the * spurious bit but can’t. Can you @SianFolksy ?

(Helen Smith) #3

It’s tricky isn’t it? I don’t do markets/fairs with my flowers for precisely this reason, they are a relatively low priced item so I would need to sell an awful lot of them to make it worth my while. The only place they really get an outing is for very local events which are within walking distance (not that I do walk, too much to carry!) and tables are £10 or less.

However, I will do do carefully researched arts markets with my other, artist, hat on. The pieces I sell at these are generally more expensive so I don’t need to sell so many! But I wouldn’t travel very far for one unless I thought there was serious networking potential.

I think only allowing yourself a 10% margin for selling online is a bit artificial. This may be roughly what you pay in fees but what about the time you spend photographing, listing, packing your work?

(Sian ) #4

I’ve edited it but if you scroll right to the top of the page, can you see the pencil icon to the right of the topic title?

(Joy Salt) #5

Yes I agree the 10% is a bit rough but… I photograph Everything, what I sell online and elsewhere and I pack everything as well.

I use, for most things anyway, microwave takeaway boxes with a base layer of small bubble wrap.
They are brilliant. See through so I can see at a glance what is in each box, for storage, for displaying on a table (at a show I just take the lid off and put it underneath) and for posting out ( I add a bit more bubble wrap to what’s already there, pop it in a padded envelope and Bob’s my husband).

So there isn’t really any more ‘time’ overhead for online selling than for an event.

Should add that I’m rarely willing to spend £25 - only if it’s for a good cause, eg. Cancer charities. I like the ones best which offer me a table for £10.

(Joy Salt) #6

Thanks Sian, Couldn’t see it before but I can now :smile:

(Joy Salt) #7

@SianFolksy As treat captain, after your very hard work over the last couple of weeks I think you should award yourself a treat. Here are some virtual chocolates.

(Brenda Cumming) #8

I used to do a lot of fairs when I lived in the London area and would pay up to £55 for a day…depending on where the venue was…when I compare that to 18p to show thousands of people my work online…you will understand why I no longer do fairs.
They are good fun though…but also bear in mind a street market is open to the elements and the cold…(and for me trips the to loo could be an issue…:wink: …)

(Christine Shephard) #9

I’ve paid everything from £5 for a small local event, up to in excess of £100 for a weekend fair at a good venue. Last year I sold more than twice as much at fairs as I sold online, so to me they are worth doing, but I’ve realised that it’s very important to pick and choose the ones that attract your particular target customers. I’m no longer doing the small local ones, as my customers are more likely to be at the larger, well-established events - at the big house/garden venues, handmade craft fairs, showgrounds etc. Yes, they are more expensive, hard work and a bit risky, but the footfall is massive, the visitors generally spend more, and my target customers are definitely there! They don’t generally shop online, so I have to get out there to reach them. Setting up for 2 or 3 days is much less demanding, they are usually indoors or at least under cover, and I really enjoy being there.

(Sarah Eves) #10

It’s a long time since I’ve done a craft fair,but, like Ciesse, I wouldn’t do a small local one anymore.
I think although the larger fairs do seem expensive it’s not just sales but networking, particularly if there is good footfall.
I have often picked up business cards at craft fairs, not bought on the day but looked the shop up online from the comfort of my sofa later.

I’m thinking of doing a larger fair this summer, so this thread is really interesting to me :smile:

Sarah x

(Diane Burton) #11

I won’t spend more than £20 for the same reason as ffflowers, any more than that & I’d struggle to make a profit. I’ve found local ones to be quite profitible for me especially the ones I’ve done for schools/nurseries. Unfortunately for me a lot of my local ones are in York and charge £30 plus for one day and at the moment I can’t afford to take a gamble on them.

(Joy Salt) #12

What amazes me are the people who do the weekly sort of market and seem to sell virtually nothing, certainly barely covering their table costs but still do it week after week. Met a few and can’t understand them.

Then there are the ones who do their craft just for fun, have to eventually sell some of it to make room for more. So they sell for really silly prices which in no way can cover even the cost of the materials never mind everything else. I found one lady selling glass painted carafes and bowls for £3.00 the other day and she didn’t seem to think it was silly.

(Amanda Robins) #13

I pay £25 twice a month for a local artisan and street food market. I’d happily pay up to £40 as there’s always a crowd of people ready to be parted with their dosh!

(Joy Salt) #14

I suppose it depends also where you live.

Uttoxeter my local town has so many closed down shops and the others are charity shops.
The local market is now just bare bones, veggies only and a couple of other stalls.
The monthly Farmer’s Market closed through lack of custom (and also lack of stalls as the council charged so much for them).
There is a monthly indoor market and I had a stall in November (run up to Xmas) and took less than £100 - so not much point at any other time of the year as the footfall is pretty rubbish. I think I probably took more than any one else that day !

(Gerda Austin) #15

I do my local Farmers/Craft Market about 5 - 6 times a year , and I pay £20 for half a day !
When I do charity events I usually pay £10 !

Gerda X

(Pauline Hayward) #16

I tend only to do local fairs now due to the cost of getting there and the price of the space. I enjoy the one in our town at Christmas time which is always the first weekend in December. It cost’s £40 but goes on until 8 pm, and its only 1 mile down the road. I also do fairly well at that one. Others which I am attending this year are around £10.00 but only on for a couple of hours also very close to me.


(Ann Chandler) #17

I attend a regular community market in Upminster (where I live) with my Ann Chandler Originals stuff and I am charged 10% of my takings which is great. The event is run by the Thames Chase Forest Centre and is held in a barn (very chilly in winter) and has food and crafts and the strictly impose that the crafts are handmade and the maker is local. The forest center also has a gallery shop and I have had my work on display there in 2 3month stints and done pretty well - they take 20% commission. I do a few other local events but never pay more that 25pounds and with my vintage vibe cushions I do Vintage Fairs as well as craft ones which are quite a different experience.

Last year at Christmas I decided to try a bigger more expensive fair at had a stall at Hylands House in Chelmsford - the stall was 76 pounds for one day plus petrol, coffees and lunches for my daughter and I and I took just under 300. The place was packed with customers but it wasn’t a great atmosphere, a lot of sellers were flogging things made in India and China imported and it was pretty stressful. They have recently sent me the booking form for this year but I won’t be doing it.

I do have one big event this year - Hyper Japan in Earls Court in July which was a bargain I think at 96 for three days for a 4ft table! I have a stall with my vintage kimono silk items in the “Fringe Market” which is for small independant designers and obviously to take part the items have to have a Japanese connection and be approved by the organisers. I am getting excited about the event already and have worked out that my daughter and I can manage to get ourselves and our stock there on the tube.


Sorry to ramble but this is my first time on the new forum

(Joy Salt) #18

Ann Thanks, that ‘ramble’ as you call is is really useful information.
I asked the question in the first place because I get so many invitations for events where the table fees are just way out of my league and wondered what others thought.
It’s really helpful to see that many of us agree.
Interesting about your Chelmsford event as well. I also did a not very well attended 2 day fair in Derbyshire where I took, in total, £4 more than I’d paid for my table (paid my parking :slight_smile: ) and the organiser still keeps sending me desperate invites !

EEK I want to put a line throw in here between too sentences, but it won’t let me - says it’s too similar to what I posted. That is not very user friendly mr forum !

(Anne Cormack) #19

Our local village “Market Hub” charges £7.50, which includes use of a gazebo - shared if lots there, and liability insurance for those like me who dont have any. It is outdoors, but under cover. They do a reduction for multiple bookings I havnt done one since Christmas, but they have just started up again this month, so will do one or two more to see if they are still worth while Once a month includes farmers market, and they have events during holiday times. I couoldnt afford to pay any more than that as im only a small time seller

(Diane Burton) #20

Good Luck with the Earl’s Court event Ann it does seem a reasonable price for a 3 day event at such a prominent venue and I’m sure your beautiful kimono silk items will sell very well :slight_smile: