If markets are open near you then they’re likely in full swing. Selling your art, craft, or trade at a market is one of the best things you can do as an artist, crafter, or tradesman looking to find exposure for your small business. And with farmers markets being labeled as “essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s worth it to attend them if you’re able.
As an artist, crafter or tradesmen, your efforts should go toward growing your business, promoting your product, and marketing yourself. During times of social distancing, you might have a little more to do.
Today, we want to give you some advice on how to handle being at your socially distant market. Plus, we’ll tell you about the best tip that also gives you some protection–vendor insurance from Artists, Crafters, and Tradesmen Insurance.
Let’s get started.
Tip #1. Have A Mindful Setup
Creating a plan for your booth setup can be a little tricky as is, add in some social distancing requirements and it becomes a little trickier. The nice thing about social distancing is that you’ll likely have patrons being mindful of others and taking turns to stop by your table or booth.
If possible, we suggest you space your products farther apart than usual. This will allow for distance between customers and can prevent any overcrowding. If you typically have physical business cards that you give out, you could replace them with a slightly bigger copy that customers can photograph to keep. Not giving out business cards also allows you to promote your social media profiles–if someone is interested in a card simply direct them to your social media profiles and they can follow you right there on the spot.
Tip #2. Use Reminder Signage
Caring for your patrons and for your ability to continue selling during these odd times means sometimes reminding others to be mindful as well. You could put up signs that remind people to stay 6 feet apart, as per the CDC, or to wear a mask.
If you already use signage to label your products and such then you could stick to a theme and make these social distancing signs match.
Tip #3. Stay In Your Area
One of the best ways to continue social distancing while selling at a market is to stay in your booth. You’ll already need to be there as much as possible, so just make it a personal rule to remain in your area since many people will be coming and going anyway.
We know it can be super tempting to leave your booth, especially with all the wonderful goods and trinkets others are offering. So, if you really do feel the need to explore or shop around, we suggest you…
Tip #4. Have a Shopping Plan
If you already have a shopping list at home and feel you could check some stuff off at the market you’re vending, then you should do it. You’re supporting small businesses and likely people you know from the market circle.
Knowing what you need and that you can get it at your market will help get you through the booths smoothly. You also want to make sure you can get through efficiently so you can return back to your booth. Having a plan helps with both!
Tip #5. Wear A Mask
You’ve likely heard this every day since this past spring, and we’re here to stress it again: Wear a mask! Masks help prevent the spread of COVID and overall just show you care for the patrons who will be stopping by your booth and the ones you’ll see if you decide to go around and shop.
If you forgot yours, we’re sure there’s someone at the market selling hand-sewn masks you could buy from.
Tip #6. Mind the Lines
This one goes for both the patrons who come to your booth and the booths you elect to visit yourself. We understand that there is limited space at a farmer’s or art market since everyone is in close quarters, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be mindful of others. Remind patrons to allow 6 feet of space when waiting in line. If that’s not possible then encourage them to take turns entering your actual booth area.
Reminding people of space can also help prevent any physical accidents from happening. It’d be awful if someone were to knock over part of your booth and have it land on someone else.
Tip #7. Sanitize Your Hands
After taking payments, after interacting with clients, after putting away inventory, after leaving and returning to your booth… there are many times you’ll want to sanitize your hands. Even if you’re not doing it after every single thing you do, you’ll want to make sure you sanitize or wash your hands when you leave for the night.
Bonus Tip: Some events provide sanitizing stations and some might not. It is a good idea to bring your own bottle of sanitizer in case your market doesn’t provide them.
Tip #8. Encourage Contactless Payments
You’ll want to minimize the use of cash while vending at a market this fall. The CDC has advised the usage of credit/debit cards or contactless payments when possible (Venmo, Zelle, or Apple Pay to name a few options).
Tip #9. Protect Against Other Risks with Insurance
Implementing all of the social distancing practices that we’ve previously mentioned could help minimize risks associated with COVID-19. However, do you know the other risks you might face while selling your goods at a market? And more importantly, are you properly covered in those situations? Consider some of the following situations that might put you at risk:
Property Damage: Severe weather conditions lifting your booth and sending it into another booth resulting in property damage to the other tent.
Business Stolen Property: An iPad used for transactions getting stolen.
Third-party Property Damage: Accidentally puncturing a neighboring booth causing damage to the booth and artwork inside.
Third-party Injuries: A patron tripping over items within the booth and sustaining injuries.
One of our best tips—to apply when vending at a market this fall—is to carry vendor liability insurance from ACT Insurance to protect against such risks. Our vendor liability insurance policy is designed to protect you in the case of a third-party claim arising out of your business operations while operating a booth at a market, show, or festival.
Our Show Policy offers you short term general liability coverage, meaning you’ll be insured if someone were to sue you as a result of a slip-and-fall accident, or other injuring incident that occurred within your booth rental space.
If you’re someone who sells at more than 5 shows a year then your most economic insurance option is our Annual Policy which offers you even more coverage. With an annual vendor liability insurance policy, you gain product liability coverage which allows your policy to insure most accidents that cause someone harm within your booth rental but also protects you in the case one of your products results in bodily injury in a customer. This policy can even protect your product during transportation to and from shows by adding Inland Marine coverage to your policy for $54. There’s no need to worry about your business when you carry an annual vendor liability insurance policy.
If you’re interested in learning more about our show policy, are looking for more long-term coverage, or are ready to buy a policy, visit ACT Insurance today.
Brianna Hale is a Marketing Communications Specialist at ACT Insurance. She specializes in all things craft insurance—from event liability to covering an Etsy business and more. Outside of work, she can often be found at a concert, traveling, or practicing film photography.