Test trading and Market days

I love market and test trading days! Its a great opportunity for people who are just starting out to get a feel out and feel the real world and develop their sales skills. They often find its not nearly as easy as they thought it would be. Its also a chance for them to see the publics reaction and answer questions about their product.

I find that allot of my own students believe that providing they work hard enough on their preparations and product they will automatically sell their work. The harsh reality is that learning to sell, market, present and package a product has equal if not greater importance on the day than the product itself. Learning this in a low risk controlled environment can greatly improve their chances of success when they come to fully launch their product later on.


The basics of a Test trading day.

  1. The support organisation organises for a property/market stall or space for the test trading to take place. This is normally in a location that would be beyond the financial, risk and negotiating ability of the participants to secure – a leg up.
  2. The space is will be divided up into either size or duration slots.
  3. Participants are asked to apply.
  4. A review and selection process by the supporting organisation.
  5. CRITICAL STAGE – Workshops are held leading upto the event on topics such as pricing, sales, stalls presentation, networking and evaluation.
  6. Test trading day with occasional mentoring.
  7. Evaluation  of skills, product and customer feedback.

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Here are some photos of a Christmas market stall Cardiff Metropolitan University sponsored for 1 week in the city’s capital shopping district. Graduate artist @AnnaPalamar made use of the opportunity to launch her new artist print business. Anna was keen to invest time in packaging and presentation which ultimately takes some of the pressure off selling!

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1 thought on “Test trading and Market days

  1. Test trading days are crucial. Even if you have ambitions of owning your own, static premises or selling largely online, nothing beats getting out there and meeting people. You’ll learn what people like, how much they’re willing to pay for things and how this changes with the seasons and according to the financial climate. I started tentatively, only paying around £40 for a pitch at fairs; this way, if things didn’t go brilliantly, I didn’t feel I’d ‘lost’ too much. Test trading days helped me develop what I call a ‘retail nose’! Like a gut feeling regarding what will sell, what won’t sell and, importantly, why.

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