If you want a low cost, part time or sideline business opportunity why not think about starting up a market stall? Starting a market stall is one of the easiest, cheapest and simplest business opportunities ever. If you fancy giving market trading a try here are some tips to get you started.

First of all, why should you consider a market stall?

Very importantly, it’s cheap. There are hardly any overheads to pay apart from your pitch rent. As a result you can offer cheaper goods than most of the shops, or at least should be able to offer them cheaper than the shops… and bargains are what buyers are looking for right now. It’s perfect for a recession.

You can run your stall as and when you like. And it’s a very portable biz opp too. If it doesn’t work in one location you can move it somewhere else where it does.

Like the idea? Well here are some practical tips for successful market trading:

* Choose your product area carefully. You’re not restricted to just fruit and veg. Your product line could include; electrical goods, electronics, clothes and footwear, packaged food products, bags and luggage, jewellery, books, music, collectables, crafts and so on.

You can sell both new and used goods. Discount goods like bankrupt and surplus stocks are also very popular for markets.

* Choose the market carefully. Visit the markets you’re thinking of trading at to make sure they’re busy and that people are buying.

* Do a bit of market research. Ask people what they’d like to be able to buy at the market but can’t. You could find a great gap in the market this way.

* Most markets are run by the local council, with the exception of Sunday markets. So the Local Markets Department is the place to find out about dates, stall availability and costs.

Cost will depend on the size and location of the market and of your stall but rents start from as little as £10 a day.

* Explore other options, other than local public markets. Some shopping centres rent out stalls in their malls. These are usually dearer, but they tend to be good for more upmarket products, such as jewellery. There are also specialist markets (like farmer’s markets) if you sell suitable products. Also consider Christmas markets during the autumn, which can be very busy.

* Presentation and service is all important. One thing the new market traders often forget is that presentation is as important with a market stall as for the most expensive, high end designer boutique. Passing customers are attracted by a good selection of clean, tidy products, well displayed and price-marked.

Also, try to engage with your customers. Market research tends to show that people buy from markets rather than chain stores not just for a good deal – but because they like the market atmosphere and the personal customer service that a good market stall should be able to provide.

For extensive listings of wholesalers, import sources, manufacturers, auctions and many more sources you’ll find invaluable for market trading What Biz Opp recommends the Secret Source Directory.