As part of my Sell Sell Sell! stage of the Prince’s Trust enterprise programme I am looking at the various markets I could sell at in London. There’s an awesome sounding market coming up in Crystal Palace in the summer, and I've found a couple of others that I think sound like they're worth selling at too.
The obvious one for me, however, is Greenwich market. I’ve wandered around this market too many times to remember gazing at the beautiful things people are selling there, chatting with the makers and sellers and admiring their handy work. Whenever an out of towner comes to London we always take them down to Greenwich for a wander around the market because it’s such a nice way to spend an afternoon.
I found the website with the application details and set to work reading through. A couple of paragraphs in I realised that it’s certainly no mean feat to secure a stand there and I’d have to have all the luck of the Irish to end up getting one.
The first crucial thing that you have to do is get Public Liability Insurance. This in itself is a ball ache of epic proportions. I rang a load of insurance companies to get quotes only to find out that not many of them insure market traders. I never actually got to the bottom of why this is (are market traders immoral people in their eyes? Do they think markets are wrong and shouldn’t exist?) but trudged on in my quest to find a company who would help me out. Finally I hit the jackpot and found one that was willing to. £100 later box number 1 had been ticked.
Once you have your PLI (insured up to £5,000,000 worth of damages - I’m not sure how an embroidered cushion could possibly cause that much damage. Perhaps if you used it to light a cigarette aboard your private jet?) you have to fill out the application form on the website. That bit was easy enough and soon box number 2 was ticked.
The Market Manager then reads through your application and decides whether you could potentially be worthy of selling at the market. If you meet the incredibly long list of requirements product wise to sell at the market he will then arrange an initial meeting with you.
Following the initial meeting with the Market Manager, if you managed to prove you're not a total basket case you may be invited back for a day’s trade where your stall will be assessed. The Market manager vets your goods, display and ambiance created by your stall and will give you a grade from 1 - 5 which indicates your position in the allocation process. Like a school child, you are then told what you need to do to improve your grade to get to the top of the allocation list.
So boxes numbers 1 and 2 are ticked, and I’ve just received an email from the Market Manager asking me to send pictures of my stall at previous markets. Slight hitch in that I haven’t got any (well, I have but they’re definitely not up to the presumed standards of the Market Manager) so I’ve had to try to put into words how the stand will look. Fingers crossed that will be good enough and I will get a chance to be considered for the next million hoops a trader has to jump through to get a stall there.