If you are new to markets, it's important to understand that many successful stallholders have evolved over time and that market stall success comes from effective research and planning before market day.

In this multi-part series, we will take you through areas you may like to consider before, during and after market day to ensure you have an effective stall and importantly provide a safe environment to the surrounding community.

Research and Planning

Good planning and preparation is the starting point to market stall success. Before you commit to participating in a market, do some research. Researching is a good way for you to understand the type of demographic the market attracts and therefore provides you with some insight into the suitability of the items you are selling and if they will be a good fit and appealing to the demographic of the market.

Once you have landed on your product strategy and decided to participate in the market, do some extra research into what previous attending stallholders have setup so you can then plan how you will put together your stall, this is where layout comes next.


If you are going to be in a marquee, measure out the space so you can get a feel for your layout. If you are responsible for providing the marquee, consider practising setting up/down up prior to the event to ensure you are familiar with how to construct it effectively and safely on the day.

Prior to the event ensure that all equipment you are using is in working order and all parts and pieces are intact to ensure these items can be setup safely and securely. (For example, marquees, tables, chairs, umbrellas). Pack some paper, pen, tent pegs, scissors, tape and rope in case you need them in the event of an emergency or unexpected repair is required.

Now you have decided on the layout of your stall; this is where out next tip comes in - standing out from the crowd.

Stand Out From The Crowd

So you have done your research, established that what you plan to retail will be a good fit and planned the layout of your stall. The next step is for you to consider how you display your market stall to ensure your stall stands out from the crowd. You want to be able to grab customers’ attention in what is generally a busy environment. To do this, you may like to establish a clear theme and/or brand identity for your stall that customers can easily associate you with.

Get creative with how you merchandise your products. Contrasting heights of displays often grasp customer interest so try a multi-layer display to add some depth and height to your products.

Clear and eye-catching signage is also a good method to inform consumers of any sales and promotions you may have. Ensure that your signage is simple to read, remember to match to the store’s brand/theme.

Consider if you need any props to display your items properly such as a mannequin, clothes rack, mirror or display racks.

Pack some tablecloths to cover your tables. This will also enable you to hide your boxes under your tables out of sight.

If you frequently host market stalls think about how you can refresh your look/layout each time you visit a market to entice customers to repeatedly visit.

Lastly, write a checklist of everything that you need to take and make sure your all your items can fit into your car!

Risk Management

An important step in the planning phase of participating in a market is to identify risks regarding the setup and operation of your stall.

You can check with the market provider to see if they have or provide a risk management checklist, otherwise here is an example of some risks to consider.

Item Potential Risks to consider
Setting Up / Pack Down Manoeuvring a car in a crowded area
Gazebo / Marquee / Trestle Tables / Shelves / Umbrellas Movement due to strong winds
Manual labour, items not secured properly
Theft Member of public stealing items from market stall
Dehydration / Sunstroke Severe weather causing dehydration / sunstroke
Severe weather Severe weather causes property damage
Severe weather Severe weather causes property damage
Aggressive customer / member of the public Unhappy or aggressive confrontational customer threatening or displaying physical or verbal assault
Unsecure objects / signage Objects falling or coming come loose during high winds
Objects not erected correctly and collapse
Loose objects cause injury or property damage
Trip hazards Stallholder or member of public trip and cause injury
Power cables Trip hazards, weather exposure, electrocution.
Slippery surfaces Injury caused or property damage due to wet weather or spilt food/drinks.
Emergency Injury and or damages to equipment or stock due to weather or aggressive/antisocial behaviour.
Manual handling Manual handling such as lifting and moving equipment during such as setting up and packing down could cause injury.
Faulty equipment Faulty equipment such as electrical items, tent or furniture causing damage to people or property.

Examples in the above guide are purely for illustration; this is not an exhaustive list.

Lastly, organise Market Stall Insurance:

As a stallholder you have a duty of care to members of the public (third parties) who come into contact with you while retailing your products and/or services.

Our Stallholders Public & Products Liability policy is your best defence against potentially costly claims that can result from something you do or fail to do as a stallholder. The policy can cover defence costs and compensation ordered to be paid if you are found legally liable, subject to the specific terms and conditions of the policy.

Don't forget to check our Activities and/or products not covered by this insurance to ensure we are able to cover your potential risk exposures.

The above statements are issued as a matter of information only and for full terms and conditions you should refer to the policy wording.

Connect with Local Community Insurance Services today!

1300 853 800