Make your Market Vending Experience Count

Hello everyone, Jamila here! In this blog I will share some tips and advice on how to get the most out of your vending time. To participate in a market, there’s usually a fee. Some markets are free, some affordable and others expensive. So, I will share how to receive your time and money’s worth for participating in a market here in South Korea. I will also share my personal experience participating in markets here. Hopefully, someone will find this blog helpful.


No Expectations

If you’re just beginning, your goal should be gaining experience. So, with that in mind, let go of all expectations of making a lot of money at your first market. It may happen, it might not but if you go in with those expectations and three hours in, nothing is happening, you’re going to find yourself very bitter.


Know Your Niche

This is so important when figuring out what markets to choose to participate in. Will your target audience be customers there? If you’re just starting out and don’t know your niche yet, this doesn’t apply to you so any market will be fine to help you figure that out. Knowing your niche is so important. You wouldn’t sell football jerseys at a market for K-beauty goods. Looking at the location of the market and the demographic that usually frequents there will help you narrow down if you should participate in that market or not.


Choosing Which Market to Sign Up For

There’s a difference between Korean-ran markets and Foreigner-ran ones. Usually, Korean-ran markets are outside or at a place with a lot of foot traffic. Foreigner-ran ones are often inside or away from foot traffic, so they require a lot of advertisement beforehand. If you’re near a US army base, markets there are usually outside and have foot traffic. International Schools also usually have outside markets with pretty good foot traffic too. I would say choose wisely and look at the fee to see if it would be worth it or not.


Advertise Yourself

Once you decide to sign up for a market, begin sharing that information with your followers and friends. Start sharing your market schedule info weeks before the market! Make ads to post on your social media accounts and website.  Some markets do advertise the event well beforehand, some don’t. If you arrive at a market without letting your supporters know and just depend on the foot traffic there, it might not be a successful market.


Understand Your Risks

Continuing with what was stated above, no event or market is the same. As you start to vend more, you'll start to become more conscious on the risks. Examples being calculating losses, like financial, energy and time. Will every market be worth participating in? No. You'll figure out which markets are worth vending, don't be afraid to ask the market organizers questions to narrow down your options.


Engagement with Customers

I have found that with other foreigners, small talk is okay (hello, then introducing your table or just chatting) but with potential Korean customers, it might frighten them off. So I usually tell them "hello" in Korean then just wait for them to say something to me to continue with a conversation. Sometimes, I don't even say "hello" I just wait for them to engage with me first. I usually find that letting them engage with you first, is better but don't take this as fact, your experience could differ. Just something to keep in mind.


Network With Other Venders

It’s not a competition and you shouldn’t view a market in that way. That is the quickest way to ruin your market vending experience. Especially if you’re constantly comparing yourself with other vendors. Not to mention ruining the vibes. When the market is slow (low foot-traffic) walk around and introduce yourself to other vendors. Maybe exchange business cards. You never know who you will vend with again, and it’s nice to see familiar faces at a new market or event.


Don’t be too Hard on Yourself

You’re not always going to make a sale or breakeven while vending, and while it bites, it’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t necessarily mean what you’re selling is a bad product or idea. Maybe that isn’t your intended market audience. You can pack up and try again at another market and have a total different experience. Keep that in mind and just try to enjoy your time!






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