Because we sincerely appreciate every application we get, we thought we would outline a few common reasons that applications don't get accepted for participation. We want potential vendors to understand why they may have not gotten in and how they can make their application as strong as possible before sending it or before reapplying.
1. Some categories of goods are extremely competitive- specifically jewelry, art, sweets, ceramics, food, and "women's accessories" We generally get upwards of 50 jewelry applications each time around. In an effort to really stay true to our initial vision of being an "urban flea market" (think vintage, found objects, furniture, quirky objects, etc) we just could not accept all the awesome jewelry, art, and accessories. But keep doing what you do, just know that you have a lot of competition!
2. Your website or facebook page didn't give us much of an idea of what you do or what makes you different (or the link was a dead end). As much as we would love to reach out individually to anyone who did not supply a sufficient link, we unfortunately are not able to individually converse with each applicant.
- If you supplied us a Facebook or Etsy page with one or two images, we'd love to see you re-apply next year with a bit more of an identity to help us understand your business better. A vendor with a carefully built website or even social media account is always a good sign to us!
3. You have a great product but it does not fit with the aesthetic of the Flea. Take a look at the photos from past markets on our website to get a feel for the types of vendors we have. Again, you may have a great brand but it's just not "flea market-y." We have a specific market atmosphere that we aim for and we also have come to know what our shoppers are and are not hunting for. We pay attention to shoppers comments and try to build the environment to suit.
4. We are not a fine arts or craft show. You may be super talented and we may really dig what you do, but again we aren't looking for a huge number of fine artists, photographers, sculptors, or craft show type goods - not because those types of things aren't awesome, but because we are a flea market. Just two totally different types of markets!
A few general tips for submitting the strongest application possible (and these wont apply to everyone) :
- develop your business identity as much as possible (while you may be fully committed and selling things already, the only way we will get a feel for that is through nice photos, a website, a substantial Facebook Fan page, an Etsy site with logged sales and admirers, etc).
- if you fall into one of the categories of high competition, try to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack by highlighting one or two items that you do that are unique or concentrate on building your 'brand' around your products.
- participate in as many markets or shows you can and try to take good photos of how you set up your booth. A lot of you are maybe just getting started and we like to feel confident that everyone knows how their whole set up is going to look. (Taking your tent out of the box for the first time on the morning of the flea slows everyone down and if you only bring enough merchandise to sell for two hours, we are then left with a gaping hole in the market)
- engage with other businesses that you admire or are doing something similar to. We think our vendors are the nicest folks around and most of them will be happy to 'talk shop' and steer you in the right direction. (Just don't copy off them- that is something they aren't crazy about)