Market Listings & FAQ
Every week in Victoria there are hundreds of markets, ranging from niche one-off markets to multi-come one, come all markets.
This article is about how markets trade in general, how they operate and how they advertise.
The term "market"is often used to cover fairs, swap meets, but for the interest of this article, we are going to call them all markets. We understand the term market can refer to other meanings, but using Wikipedia.. markets are where sellers offer their goods or services in exchange for money from buyers.
Some organisers simply conform to traditional titles when naming their sale, but sellers who get together to buy, swap and sell 'swap cards', at the end of the day is a market not a fair. And the same can be said for many other types of markets.
-:- Antique & Collectibles Markets (often called fairs)
-:- Artists' Artisan Markets
-:- Automotive Markets - often named swap meets, also display vehicles
-:- Baby & Childrens Markets - selling items for juniors not selling to them
-:- Boot Sales
-:- Boutique Markets
-:- Card Fairs
-:- Christmas Markets
-:- Clothing Markets
-:- Combo Markets (Food & Craft)
-:- Community Markets
-:- Computer Markets & Swap Meets
-:- Country Markets - typically farmers' but often also selling local made items
-:- Craft Markets
-:- Expos - but really a market
-:- Food Markets (Farmers' selling produce + food/drink to eat)
-:- Gems and stones
-:- Healers * New Age Markets (often called Expos)
-:- Makers' Markets
-:- Night Markets - selling anything and everything
-:- Psychic Expos
-:- Plants & Garden Markets
-:- Record & Music Markets
-:- Rotary Markets
-:- Rubble & Riches
-:- School Markets - often called fetes
-:- Sunday Markets
-:- Trash & Treasure Markets
-:- Treasures Markets
-:- Vintage Markets
* Missed any, let us know.
We now have over 700 active markets listed in Victoria, live with dates on our web site.
Good Bad & Ugly
There are good and bad markets, operators, organisations and shoppers.
One lady wrote to us on a Monday morning and asked why didn't we check to make sure markets were on? She had driven some distance to a country market which was nowhere to be seen when she got there. I called the market organiser who explained that recent rains had flooded the grounds, and the surface was unsuitable so they had to cancel the market.
That explanation was not good enough for our reader, who still wanted to know why we hadn't checked. On any given weekend, we have over 400 active markets, so if we were to "check"each one, at roughly 2 minutes per call, it would take 13 hours to confirm.
We do incorporate a disclaimer and ask readers to check beforehand, as well as asking advertisers to leave a 'recorded' message on their telephones regarding operating times. That's a good market organiser, what about bad organisers? The ones that beat your door down to get their market advertised but never tell anyone when there is a change or no longer operates.
More recently, we were alerted to a market in Fitzroy that had changed their dates but had not told anyone (not even stallholders). When we asked the market operator, we received a rather bemusing 'don't contact me again' reply.
And don't just check the market web site, also check their social media pages. Many market organisers will update their social media, but not their web sites.
We do understand there are difficulties in managing a market dealing with venues, weather, stall-holders, parking and other influences. Publishers need good communication.
Dates & Times
How our calendar works.. most market dates are set to 'auto-pilot'. This means we flag a market according to 'when they are on'. Dates work like this.. fixed date (2018-01-01 = January 1st, 2018), Daily (Monday to Sunday), Weekly (same), Monthly (1st Day of month) plus other odd dates like Good Friday. Common dates are First Saturday of the month, Weekly on a Saturday, Daily (tick actual days). Our system knows every date and combo up to 2039 and correctly shows the next event based on its flagged date.
This automation is required to manage the markets, but it leaves us wide open if a market changes how it operates or is cancelled or ceases to operate and we're not told. If we are informed, we update the listing to reflect the change, if we are not told, readers soon let us know.
We also have Internal Reminders for other date anomalies (there are a lot of them). We remind ourselves to change dates for special occasions like, every month except January.
Times, can be a nightmare. There are markets that seem to change them every other month. Which leads onto markets that close earlier then the published time.. maybe its a quiet business day, the weather might be bad, all sorts of reasons lead to "lets close early"without considering the buyers. We get mail on a Monday saying, we drove all the way there only to find it closed/packing up.
Probably the hardest one for us are the market that have closed down. Publishers are always the last to know. Market organisers have gone onto other things and never think to let publishers know. We once found a market that had not operated for 3 years, but not one call or email to let us know.
Which leads to Market Associations (farmers' markets) whose job it is to authenticate legitimate farmers' markets not run web sites. For example, the ladies at the Victorian Farmers' Markets Association are wonderful but their web site and general updating of it is a travesty. Poor information, wrong dates, out of date information, you name it.. they have just introduced a new web site, so fingers crossed.