Artists, are you ready for July?
We reached out to the community and put in a bit of research to compile some useful tips to keep in mind during your planning. Many thanks to those who contributed to the list!
Remember, for any specific questions about MiniComi, you can always contact us here, via email at minicomivancouver(at)gmail.com, or on any of our social media platforms.
For the day of
- “Don’t forget to bring snacks! Or not, there’s lots of tasty food around the Quay.”
- “Stay hydrated!”
- Bring an ample amount of change for cash transactions (e.g. $100-200 in coins and small bills.)
- Consider investing in a credit card reader for larger purchases. Customers (especially those who do not have cash) may appreciate the convenience.
- Keep your money close to you for safety and ease of access (e.g. in a fanny pack).
- If you are selling on your own, consider bringing a helper to help handle customers, help set up and take down your display, and allow you to take breaks. Also importantly, they can keep you company – it’s a long day!
- Introduce yourself to people beside you! Your table neighbours can help you out in a sitch, and you might make some friends as well.
- Feel free to ask MiniComi staff/volunteers to watch your table if you need to leave for a minute. (Look for the blue shirt or official nametag.)
- Consider bringing snacks/meals that aren’t as messy to eat, and are easy to put down or put away. For example, chips are greasy and have a lot of crumbs, which is no good for keeping your table and fingers clean.
- Also consider bringing snacks/meals that are high in energy to help you stay energetic throughout the day!
- Don’t forget to bring medications.
- It may be helpful to bring your own bag for trash to keep at your table, to reduce the need to leave to toss trash.
- Prepare for the weather: even though we are an indoor event, the Pipe Shop is limited in terms of temperature control, especially by the doors. It can get warm, or even cold – yes, even in July!
- COVID-19 safety: it may be a good idea to bring sneeze guards, extra masks, and hand sanitizer.
- “A rolling suitcase is the usual go-to if you have a lot to bring. A 2-wheeled grocery shopping trolley is a good alternative too.”
- Posters/prints can be stored in binders in clear sleeves, and small items can be stored in jewelry / pill organizer cases.
- “Practice setting up your table at home beforehand (and take a photo!)”
- “To set up displays, I like to tape out the area of the table at home, then set up everything like I would on the day of; I can then make adjustments and document what I like. This makes actually putting everything together on the day of the market much easier.”
- “For displays 1/2″ PVC piping and connectors from a hardware store can be used to make a sturdy and inexpensive rack that is good for hanging posters.”
- “[Local dollar / discount stores like Daiso] have inexpensive mini easels that are good for displaying small/rigid prints or books or even mini corkboards for pins and charms.”
- “Stand up at your table and greet visitors at eye level! It seems simple, but it makes a huge difference. Standing up behind your display makes you an active participant in the marketplace and invites your visitors to interact with you, ask questions and start conversations.”
- Elevate your display! Goods displayed creatively and at various heights are more eye-catching than they are flat on the table.
- Many vendors use grid cubes for an easy-to-assemble, sturdy way to display items. Other fun ideas include whiteboards and acrylic frames.
- Take it one step further – put together a cohesive theme for your table to really grab attention!
- Avoid placing things too close to edges or corners as they may be easily knocked off.
Pricing / merchandise
- “For pricing I look at photos from recent cons/events or look [on marketplace sites] for similar products and use that as a starting point. I try to round things to whole dollar amounts for easier transactions.”
- Mark your prices with easily legible signs, so that customers don’t have to wonder or ask how much things cost.
- Bring writing utensils, tape, and extra paper / materials in case you need to label things on the fly.
- When deciding on a price, you may want to consider not only the price of materials, but also the time spent creating and selling, as well as the value of your skill and craftmanship.
- You may wish to prepare smaller quantities of items that you are debuting for sale for the first time, to gauge how well they sell, before creating more for your next market.
- If you sell out of a particular item, and if it is an option, you may wish to take preorders at the event to ship to customers later.
- A business card is a great way to help attendees remember you and find your website/socials. Alternatively, a poster with your info that attendees can take a photo of will also work.
- Many vendors discount their products nearing the end of a market to help clear stock.
- You may wish to offer some sort of protector for your prints to customers (e.g. plastic sleeves – or even better, environmentally-friendly paper sleeves.)
*Tips on this page are offered as general advice that may not apply for all people or situations, and were collected from artist anecdotes. Quoted tips are from submissions. Some names of specific businesses have been omitted. MiniComi is not responsible for any damages or losses incurred following the advice given on this page.