How I prepare for the farmers market + how you can get started selling art at your local market.
While I have not sold at an art fair yet, I have sold works at the farmers market. Days are hit or miss but it’s good exposure nevertheless.
Preparing my art for the farmers market is a LOT of work. It unusually takes me a few days to get everything ready.
So, how do I prepare for the market?
I pick out art for my mobile wall, this is a lengthy process that takes me a few hours. I also decide if I want to use the full wall or break it up. The full wall is 9 feet long and can be broken into 3 parts. I pick everything carefully making sure it’s not too heavy for the wall.
I gather or create small art pieces. Sometimes I already have small pieces around. If I don’t, I make some. People tend to buy my smaller works more. I usually go for sizes under 8 inches. I get a mix of cheaper and more expensive small panels from the art store. I like the ones that have a little hole in the back as they are ready to hang.
I make sure everything has a title and is signed on the back or front. I double check that all the pieces are ready to be sold. If I have time I make a certificate of authenticity, but I don’t always have the time. I made these certificates of authenticity: LINK THE DOC Feel free to use them if you want. I usually cut them up with a paper cutter, but scissors work fine. Putting the certificate in a plastic sleeve looks professional af. It can be taped on the back of the piece or handed to whoever buys the piece.
I price everything. I spend about an hour pricing everything. This can be time consuming but it’s worth it.
I create any signs I need to. I make a small signs that has prices of the small works and stickers on my table. I also draw on my big chalkboard sign with some chalkboard markers.
I make a temporary set up in my house to make sure I like how everything is set up.
I put my items into the app of my card reader. I use square.
I pack up everything carefully and put it in my truck. I tape glassine paper to some of my more delicate pieces. I try to pack everything in a really organized way so set up at the market is easier.
Things I pack:
- My phone charger
- Charged battery pack
- some live painting supplies
- Stickers, I get mine from Stickermule.
- Small art
- Clips for my wall
- Glassine paper and painters tape
- Custom clothing with my art on it.
- Incense (to draw people in)
- 10ft x 10ft tent
- folding table
- square reader
- Ipad stand
- freestanding wall
- chalkboard sign
- Anything else that makes sense in the moment
Things I would recommend to bring if you want to do the farmers market.
- A prize wheel. I really want one but the one I want is expensive so I am waiting for the right time. People love prize wheels.
- A raffle giveaway. You could have a nice piece on an easel. You can make raffle tickets at home, buy some on amazon, or find some tickets at the thrift store (I see them all the time at thrifts). A raffle is a great way to start an email list.
I go to the bank and make sure I have enough cash for change. I also make sure I have enough cash for the booth fee. At my farmers market it’s $40.
Interested in selling your work at your local farmers market?
How to start selling at the farmers market:
To sell your art at farmers markets you have to research your local farmers markets. They all have different criteria and requirements. For my local market, they required that I have a business licence, a sellers permit, a 10ft by 10ft tent, and pictures of my booth and set up.
Getting the licence and permit is time consuming but important for many other opportunities too. It’s good to get all the legal details worked out for selling your art anyways.
Other good things to send to the farmers market after you fulfill all their requirements are:
- letters of recommendation or a list of 3 references.
- A qr code of a video talking about your art and why you want to sell at the market.
- A qr code to a video of your booth totally set up.
- Tip: If your market has the option to turn in an application in person, do it. It will be more memorable than an email.
If you have a lot of big work, the market may not be for you. People at the market aren’t usually coming for art, just food, so a big art purchase is less likely to happen. I have had success selling small pieces. Stickers would be a great idea also.
One really important part of my setup is my standing wall. It was expensive but so worth it because I can put up my art as if it was a wall. It stands out.
Taking off the sides of your tent is a good idea so people can notice your booth better.
To sell at the farmers market you must:
- Do your research.
- Get the appropriate permits and licences.
- Buy booth supplies.
- Submit an application.
What do you like to buy at the farmers market? Comment Below.