How to Set Up A Booth for a Market Inexpensively

Learn how to set up a booth for a market easily and inexpensively!

The Olde Farmhouse Vintage Market.

This past November I was a vendor for the Olde Farmhouse Market again and this year I really wanted to set up a booth that looked nice, that was easy to set up and also inexpensive.

It was my second year as a vendor and I learned a lot the first time I was there. You learn quickly what works and what doesn’t work!

You can go all out to make your booth look nice. Check out how amazing this one is!

Carling's vintage market.

But this post is not on how to make an amazing booth that takes hours to set up. If selling at markets is your main source of income, then it might be something you want to consider. If you want to set up a booth that doesn’t take long to set up or take down, then read below.

For myself, selling at a booth isn’t a long-term goal of mine. You can make a lot of money selling at a market but there are still costs involved that you have to consider.

Costs for a Market

There’s a fee involved in how much space you rent for the day or weekend and then there’s the cost of getting your items to the market.

Last year we rented a U-Haul but this year I made sure not to bring furniture so I could fit it all in my SUV. If it didn’t fit on the first day, I brought it out on the second day.

Depending on how far the market is from where you live, you might need to stay at a hotel. I lived an hour away from the market so I could drive but of course there were fuel costs and food to think of. I drove out Friday to set up then Saturday and Sunday.

  • booth rental fee (usually just space)
  • table/chair rentals
  • trailer or truck rental
  • fuel
  • accommodations
  • food

Once you consider these costs, you won’t want to spend a lot of money on your booth to ensure you make a profit.

Market Space set up

Let me take you through how I set up my market booth.

This was a ‘booth’ that was across from me. This one was quite large 10×20 ft. Mine was 10×10 ft. You are usually left with an empty space and it’s up to you to decorate it.

I rented three tables for my space as well so I didn’t need to haul those from home. They were available for me to grab at the centre.

Empty space in room with concrete floor.

Ready to get started?

So here is my space with three tables. You can see that one side of my booth is plywood from the other amazing booth! And lots of other vendors right next to me. Everyone will have different structures so it’s something to keep in mind as you may not know who is around you before you get there.

Setting up a booth at a market.

I used a photography backdrop as my only divider (other than the tables) and hung my wallpaper on drop cloth project that I made for my book, French Vintage Decor. You can hang any kind of backdrop here or even plain fabric or backdrop fabric.

Black and white backdrop in front of table.

Because it was a Christmas market, I also hung some garland and lights on the top of the backdrop. I thinks lights any time of year is pretty too!

This backdrop was heavy as well as the garland and I was amazed at how it held up! A photography backdrop is not very sturdy so you want to make sure to use light fabric. Although I didn’t, it still held up well. As long as no one touched it!

I used plain white flat sheets over my three tables.

Garland over backdrop with table in front.

Next I got to work setting up all my items to sell on the three tables.

Setting up a booth at a market with lots of vintage stuff around.

I created an inexpensive poster and uploaded it to the Staples Printing centre. I made it the same dimensions as white poster board and picked up one from the dollar store and glued the poster to the white poster board. I punched two holes near the top and hung it with string to the garland.

The entire sign cost $15!

Sign on backdrop with tables of stuff to sell.

Many of my items were spread out in front of the tables and I was constantly rearranging my booth as items sold.

Selling vintage items at a market on tables with white tablecloths.

The mirrors eventually went up on the table on the left and leaned against the plywood backdrop of my neighbor’s booth.

You can see in the far left corner of that back table that I had a little area for packaging items and taking payments. I laid down a pile of tissue paper that I bought from the dollar store and had my phone and Square payment system right there. I also stuck the sticker that comes with Square and popped it in a frame. People might be more inclined to purchase from you if they know they can use credit. It still amazes me how many people come to these markets without cash!

Market booth set up with floral backdrop.

I bought simple white tags with string and used washi tape (use colors that go with your brand) to stick them to items and black safety pins to soft items like fabrics, etc.

I draped mini battery-operated lights on each table to bring in a cozy ambience.

Beautiful vintage items on display at a market.
Big vintage market.

I sold many copies of my book, French Vintage Decor, along with the Fusion Mineral Paint Kit that goes with it.

I also added chocolates to a plant pot that brought people over to my book.

French Vintage Decor book selling at a market.

Evergreen clippings were added everywhere to add color and texture and the smell was so fragrant!

Selling paint and French Vintage Decor books at a market.

You want to make sure you bring some float money as most people will have $20 bills with them so I always make sure to go to the bank and get a bunch of $5 and $10 bills, loonies and toonies.

Vintage and antique items for sale at a market.

Items for booth

  • photography backdrop
  • sign
  • tablecloths or sheets for tables
  • step ladder
  • kraft bags in two different sizes (stamped with your logo if possible)
  • tissue paper (dollar store) or packing tissue from storage centre
  • larger plastic bags that I had at home for larger items
  • plastic sign to show prices
  • Square payment system (use it with your phone)
  • sign saying you accept credit
  • business cards in card holder
  • apron
  • float money in different denominations
  • pen and Sharpie

Market Kit

I brought a little market ‘kit’ with me to make sure I had everything I needed. It included:

Other Items To Make Booth Cozy

  • garland for backdrop
  • battery-operated lights for backdrop
  • mini battery-operated lights for on each table
  • batteries
  • fresh greenery clippings
  • chocolates or candies in a bowl to draw people in
  • a rug! I wish I had a rug or leftover piece of carpet to put on the floor
Photo of man and woman in front of a market booth.

Aaron was traveling that week and got back late Friday night but he came and helped sell on Sunday with me. It was great to have someone help you out!

On Saturday I did have some help too which is great for bathroom breaks and eating lunch and also getting a chance to look around at the market.

This space didn’t take very long for me to set up on my own and it took nearly no time to disassemble. We also sold the majority of the items so we didn’t have too much to bring back with us. That is the goal, right?!

Make sure to pin it for later!

Set Up a Market Booth Inexpensively.

click in case you missed:

How to Declutter & Organize Your Basement

How to Sell Everything In a Storage Unit

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6 Comments

  1. Great post, Jamie. I am thinking of a Fourth of July market in my town and it was very helpful to see your process and advice! Thanks.

  2. Your information is always so practical and descriptive. I have done a couple of markets and always feel so disorganised. I’m definitely pinning this for next time, thanks Jamie!

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