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What to sell at a Christmas market – a guide for stallholders

What to sell at a Christmas market – a guide for stallholders

Whether you are getting ready to run your first Christmas market stall, or have years of experience in selling at Christmas markets – we’ve put together this quick guide to help you make the most of your market stall during this festive period.

For more help with setting up your stall, download our free COVID-19 risk assessment template for market traders.


What to sell at a Christmas market

The Christmas markets of past were known for offering unique handmade gifts to the public. As years have passed, and the popularity of Christmas markets has grown, the variety of products on sale have become more diverse.

Some ideas for what to sell on your stall include:


People like to visit modern Christmas markets to look at unique gifts that they can give to family or friends as a present, or as an ornament piece to decorate their homes. These could range from handmade candles, wax melts, pottery, jewellery, traditional toys, Christmas decorations and more.

Food and Drinks

Many people choose to visit Christmas markets for the opportunity to try new or revisit seasonal foods such as bratwürst sausages, pretzels, orchurros smothered in sugar coating or chocolate.

As well as the seasonal food, there are classic drinks that people often look forward to such as mulled cider, mulled wine, a stein of lager or even a warming hot chocolate.

Your best stock

If you are an established market trader, then you could choose to use a Christmas market to sell your normal stock – particularly if it is suitable e.g. could be purchased as Christmas presents.

You could also be creative, for instance, using a Christmas market to clear old stock – or putting your best-selling stock front and centre to maximise the seasonal opportunity.


Christmas markets in the UK

Edinburgh Christmas Market at night

A lot of towns and cities in the UK offer their own version of a Christmas market. Some of the more popular Christmas markets in the UK include:


Edinburgh, Scotland
From 20th November 2021 to 2nd January 2022

Edinburgh’s Christmas market is well known for spreading the festive positivity in the Scottish capital. The market offers plenty of entertainment over the festive period for all families and friends with a range of rides and attractions such as a Christmas tree maze, ice skating rink and a Santa’s Grotto in the week build-up to Christmas Day.

The Edinburgh Christmas market will also hold ‘The Neighbourhood Market’ which offers free listings for local Edinburgh businesses and attractions to show case their products, which offers a great opportunity for extra exposure to those people.


Manchester, England
From 12th November to 22nd December 2021

Arriving in the city in 1999, Manchester’s Christmas market has become of the UK’s biggest events with approximately 9 million visitors in 2019.

The market this year is looking forward to opening their Winter Gardens in Piccadilly Gardens, which will run until 3rd January 2022. The spot will hold an arrangement of bars offering locally brewed ales, food stalls and craft sellers. Also, for the first time, the market will hold live music and DJs to provide the atmosphere for the festive season.


Birmingham, England
From 4th November to 23rd December 2021

Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas market is a popular destination for visitors in the city, across the UK and Europe. Offering the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany or Austria is something that the city takes pride in to bring all families and friends together to celebrate the festivities.

The market provides food, drinks and live music to entertain the crowds of people that attend Victoria Square and New Street to ensure there’s something for everyone.


Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London, England
From 19th November 2021 to 3rd January 2022

At the heart of London, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is one of the most widely-known Christmas markets across the UK. The capital’s Christmas market offers endless entertainment for all the friends and families to make a full day of their visit. From circus shows to ice sculpting, the entertainment provided is available all through the day in some cases, running from 10am to 10pm.


The benefits of selling at Christmas markets

Selling at Christmas markets offers a range of benefits, giving you the opportunity to showcase your stock to a wider audience. It can also give you a chance to either sell off any excess stock or trial new products.

Also, if you are someone who predominantly sells online, having a Christmas market will offer the opportunity for you to interact with your customers on a face-to-face basis, while introducing yourself to a whole new audience.


How to secure a stall at a Christmas market

When looking to get a stall at a Christmas market, your first move should be to contact the organiser of the market. It must be taken in to account that Christmas markets only have a limited number of stalls that are available, meaning there’s a good chance the competition for one will be high – so the best bet is to get in contact as early as possible.

Visiting the website of your local council or organisers is likely the best route to take to make contact. You’ll be able to access an online application on their website which enables you to submit your enquiry for a stall.

During the application, you will typically be required to pay a deposit or holding fee which can range from anywhere between £90 and £400, dependant on the size, location and requirements of the stall that you have requested.

You will often find that stalls are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Most applications for a Christmas market stall end at the beginning of September in the year it is held, although it is advised not to wait until that date as in some cases it may be too late.


How to prepare your stall

If you’ve already got your Christmas market stall booked, what do you need to do now to get it ready?

First of all, you should consider how you intend to take payments at your stall. Christmas markets tend to attract a wide range of different customers, many of whom may expect to pay by card – particularly now as COVID protocols favour contactless payments wherever possible.

However, you don’t want to deter people by only taking payments through card. Many people will still be using cash to pay for goods on the day they visit, so the best bet is to be set up for both cash and card payments.

As well as this, the design of your Christmas market stall is a big part of drawing attention to your stock. Decorating your stall with banners, table covers, Christmas decorations and printed flyers will help catch the eye of passers-by.

You could even hold a demonstration if your products lend themselves to it. This can help boost engagement with customers and bring more attention to your stall.

Another thing worth considering is how you’re going to publicise that you will be attending a specific Christmas market with your product. If you already have an existing social media account for your business, that would be a great place to start. By posting on social media, it allows others to share that announcement and help reach out to people that may not know. If you don’t have an account for your business or service, then doing it on your personal account would work just as well to give that exposure before you attend the Christmas market.

You can also contact the market organisers to make sure you are included in any promotional material they produce and listed on their website as a stallholder.


Insurance for your Christmas market stall

Many Christmas market organisers may require stallholders to have a Public Liability insurance policy in place, to make sure any accidents are covered. Here at Marketline, we offer Public Liability cover up to £10 million.

To find out more and to get a free online quote, visit: Public Liability Insurance for Market Traders.


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