Stall holder, street trader
Market traders sell goods like food or clothing, or services like mobile phone repairs, from market or street stalls.
Salary range: Variable
How to become a market trader
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could do a college course, which may help if you’re setting up your own business. Courses include:
- Level 1 Business Start Up
- Level 2 Certificate in Preparing to Set Up in a New Business
There are no set entry requirements for this route.
You could start by working on a stall part time or at car boot sales. You’ll learn on the job from experienced traders, sharing their knowledge and watching their sales methods. Once you’ve got experience, you could apply to set up your own stall.
You can contact your local council for information on how they let their market stalls, licensing requirements and how to apply. For example, you may have to rent a stall on a casual basis before you can apply for a permanent pitch.
Do your research on what sells well. You may have an advantage if you’re offering something different from other traders.
Professional and industry bodies
You could join the National Market Traders Federation for advice and training to support your business.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- customer service skills
- the ability to work well with others
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to use your initiative
- excellent verbal communication skills
- the ability to sell products and services
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- have insurance
Depending on where you work, you’ll need to apply to your local council for:
If you’re selling food, you’ll need to:
- register with your local environmental health service at least 28 days before starting
- get food hygiene certificates for any staff
- complete assessments for control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)
You’ll usually need a driving licence and your own car or van.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- visiting suppliers to buy products and agree prices
- unloading your van and setting up your stall
- encouraging customers to buy
- taking money for goods and giving out change
- keeping records of goods bought and sold
- packing up your stall at the end of each day
You could work on a market stall.
Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.
Career path and progression
You could expand your business by taking on staff and starting up new stalls.
You could also move into market management.