Making Vintage your Business: Choosing stock for fairs

Choosing stock to take to fairs. To take and what not to take-that is the question!

So you have booked a stall at a vintage fair or market, it’s time to pack up the car-what do you take??

Deciding what stock to take to a vintage fair is worth some deliberation. Instead of cramming in every last item you have; take a step away from the car for a moment and consider what might sell.

After all if you don’t take the right kind of things you may well be packing it all back into the car at the end of the fair.

loading van

Here are my top tips

1. Who are the visitors?

Ask the fair organiser questions: Where have they been promoting the fair and who they have promoting it too? Is it students, collectors, trade or a mixture of all? This will give you a better picture of what the customers will be looking for and how much they might spend.

2. Think seasonal

Think about the time of year, special events like Easter or Christmas and tailor your stock.

For example iff you sell fashion, try to stick to seasons, i.e. don’t take loads of coats if it’s a red hot summer day. Think cleverly about what people might be looking for.

3. Fresh Stock

If you do lots of local fairs in the same radius of where you live, it is likely that the visitors might be the same too. If they have seen your Sadler tea pot or brown fur coat at the last 4 fairs; they may think they have seen all of your stock already and miss out your stall.

Try to rotate stock and bring different things to each fair. Then you can tell your regulars about new stock and keep the look of your stall fresh and interesting.

market stall

4. Less is more

Sometimes it is best not to take everything! A crammed table and rails fit to bursting point does not help potential buyers see everything and can look cluttered or untidy. Less is more and can surprisingly lead to more sales. Remember you can bring more stock out if you end up with gaps.


Written by Keeley from Vintage Academy. For more ideas, inspiration and advice why not join us at our next event in London or Leeds? For more information check out the website!


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    30 November 2013 / 8:37 am

    Very interesting comment about taking too much stock and that it can sometimes detract from sales i.e visitors are “blinded” – such a fine line though.

  2. 30 November 2013 / 1:23 pm

    Just having this debate with myself regarding what to take to the Ally Pally antiques fair for tomorrow. It does also depend on where your stand is positioned. A vintage suitcase full of cushions could look lovely at the front of your stand if you have space around you but if you are in a corridor they won’t be properly seen.

    Great if you can set up the day before and get a better idea of the space. That’s what I’m off to do now, taking some stuff today and then assessing which furniture to bring for tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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