If you’ve ever wondered how to create additional income for your business without huge investments of time and money, then you need to be selling at markets and pop-up events.

Market and events are some of the most popular routes into a more permanent physical retail solution; and with local, artisan products driving more interest in markets than ever, it can easily be argued that the best time to join the market or pop-up events scene is now.

New York City is renowned for having some of the best markets in the world. And although it may seem difficult, we assure you that it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help break down exactly how you can get into the best markets in NYC for your product.

We won’t pretend there isn’t trial and error involved. We’re regularly in contact with organizers who put together some of the best markets in NYC, who tell us they have hundreds (if not thousands) of vendors to choose from – and each of those vendors needs to meet the various layers of standards before being accepted.

We’ve got what you need to do to get accepted down to a science. And as market owners and vendors with 15 years of trial and error at artisan markets, pop-ups, events, and the best flea markets in NYC, we know what we’re talking about! Much of which comes down to having a strong presence online.

 

Step 1: Get a professional-looking business website

Ever heard the phrase ‘you only get one chance to make a first impression’? That couldn’t be more true than when an organizer of one of the best markets in NYC is looking at your online presence, trying to decide whether you’re a good fit for their market.

Marketplace Mogul Build a Good Website Advice

Ever heard the phrase ‘you only get one chance to make a first impression’? That couldn’t be more true than when an organizer of one of the best markets in NYC is looking at your online presence, trying to decide whether you’re a good fit for their market.

For the majority of business owners, market organizers haven’t seen your products in the flesh before. That means your brand visuals and product descriptions on your website are all they have to go by.

If you don’t already have a website, then getting a basic website set up can be relatively easy using platforms like Squarespace or Shopify, and come with hundreds of themes you can apply to make your website look professional and polished.

These platforms even offer a domain, hosting, and an online store all within one platform and monthly subscription so you don’t have to worry about doing all of these things separately.

For you to sell at markets successfully, your website needs to convey that your brand and products will resonate with the audience at the market you’ve applied to be a part of.

So take a look at your website today and ask yourself:

  • Does the functionality provide a high-quality user experience?
  • Do your product images show that your product is of a similar quality to the products that the market usually sells?
  • Do the words you use to describe your products let your customers know exactly what to expect, without them having to see and touch it?
  • Is the design and branding consistent across your website so it looks cohesive?
  • Do you have an About page, that clearly maps out your mission, values, culture and process?

 

Step 2: Have a regular presence on social media

You wouldn’t think this would be important for businesses looking to sell at markets, but it is. Why? Because it shows these organizers of the best NYC markets that you’re the kind of business that pays careful attention to having a strong overall digital marketing plan.

Marketplace Mogul Have a Regular Presence on Social Media Advice

For many of these organizers, getting free promotion through your channels is key for them to make money too, so they’re always looking out for brands trusted on social media who can provide a stream of free web and foot traffic their way.

So what are organizers looking for? According to our sources, they’ll be eyeballing your profiles to see:

    • Whether you have any presence at all. Market organizers want serious business owners. Without any social media accounts for your business, they’re likely to think your business is more of an expensive hobby.
    • Whether there’s interest in your products on social media already. If you already have happy customers and positive reviews on social media, it means a market organizer can trust that the quality of your products and services is up to snuff.
    • How active you are on social media. A market or event organizer wants to know a vendor will be promoting their market or event too. A lack of activity on social media means you’re not even promoting yourself, let alone promoting the market or event you’ve signed up to.

 

Step 3: Offer a unique range of products

The best NYC markets are difficult enough to get into, but even tougher if your business is in a popular category. Why? Because of the oversaturation of vendors and competitors within your area selling the same type of products.

Marketplace Mogul Unique Range of Product Advice

In a market or event where hundreds of vendors apply, it’s common to have several vendors all offering the same or very similar products. This usually means that organizers have to impose category caps so that the market or event can maintain an offering of a wide range of products.

The jewelry category is notorious for being oversaturated at markets. Not just because there are so many vendors selling jewelry, but also because designs tend to be very similar.

So how do you sell at markets where you know your products are in an oversaturated category?

  • Get your application in early. Being one of the first ones to apply does not mean you’re up against fewer businesses; it means you’re showing more enthusiasm to be a participant in their market and are willing to apply immediately to showcase your excitement.
  • Create or stock unique, original products. If you’re a maker, always make original designs and never copy. If you’re a stockist, look for unique products you think would resonate with your audience.
  • Up your social media and online presence. If two designers or stockists are applying to the market to sell similar products, guess which one will be accepted? A reliable and consistent online presence shows commitment to carving out a special place for your products within your niche, as well as an existing audience you could potentially bring with you.

 

Step 4: Show that you’re all about great customer service

If you’ve ever sold your products at a market, event, or any kind of physical location before, make it clear on your website and social media.

Marketplace Mogul Great Customer Service

Doing this shows market and event organizers that you’ve got some experience selling directly to the public, and gives them an indication of what you’ll be like with customers on the day of the market or event. It also allows them to take a look at your setup and make a judgment call on the quality and relevance of your products to their audience.

Never sold at a market or event before? That’s fine. Try and have videos of you talking or interacting with your audience. Video content shows a willingness to engage with your audience and adds an extra layer of credibility to your business – and showing off your personality helps market organizers understand what kind of customer service the market attendees can expect.

 

The wrap up

Getting into the best NYC markets is mostly about showing you have a unique product and a consistent and quality presence online. It might seem counterintuitive since physical retail markets and events are all about seeing and selling products in the flesh, but it actually makes quite a bit of sense.

Market organizers need to make sure that what you’re selling is going to appeal to their audience and maintain their reputation as a highly sought-after market for vendors and visitors. It makes sense for them to look for unique, original products that set their event or market apart from the rest. And without being able to touch and see your products up close, all they have to judge the quality of your products is your online presence and social media activity.

 

Want more tips on how to get into the best NYC markets? Sign up to the Vendor Vault below to stay up to date with the latest tips on getting into the best markets in NYC. Coming soon!

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