Every week across Australia there are hundreds of markets, ranging from niche markets to general come one, come all markets.
Since we started including markets as events, it has grown to over 1,700 active markets live with dates in our publications. Over the years, we’ve experienced some interesting interactions with advertisers’ and readers regarding market listings, which is the reason for this article.
This article is about markets in general, how they operate and advertised.
The word “market” generally covers what some like to call fairs, but for the interest of this article, we are going to call them markets. We understand market can refer to other meanings, but using Wikipedia.. a market is where sellers offer their goods or services in exchange for money from buyers.
Most organisers conform to traditional titles when naming a market, with the occasional misleading, long-winded or ill-considered titles like a fair, expo or show
Markets Fairs & Expos
-:- Antique & Collectibles Markets (often called fairs)
-:- Artists’ Artisan & Art Markets
-:- Automotive Markets – also named swap meets
-:- Baby & Childrens Markets – selling items ‘for’ juniors not ‘to’ juniors
-:- Boot Sales – selling out of the boot of a vehicle
-:- Boutique Markets
-:- Card Fairs – also named swaps
-:- Christmas Markets – related to the time of year
-:- 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.
Good Bad & Ugly!
Like everything in life, there are good and bad operators and organisers.
One lady wrote to us one 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. We 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 (publisher) hadn’t checked. On any given weekend, with over 1,200 active markets, are we expected to contact every market for confirmation?
That was a good market operator, what about the bad ones? The ones that never update their details, or advise when the market is no longer operating.
More recently, we were alerted to a market that had changed it’s dates but had not informed publishers’. The operator had tried a cover-up but badly, given some pages said one date, while other pages said another. When we asked the operator, we received a rather bemusing ‘don’t contact me again’ reply. Interesting eh?
Another new frustration, market organisers that update their social media pages, but not their web sites.. kapow! How confusing for readers.
Publishers understand there are difficulties in managing a market. They have to deal with venues, weather, stall-holders, parking and other influences. Publishers want clear communication.. advise changes as early as possible. One very helpful market leaves a recorded message on their phone each weekend.. great idea.
We have a very long list of markets that continually change their operating conditions without updating publishers. There appears to be the assumption that if a change is posted on social media that is letting everyone know. Sorry, it is not.
We are happy to publish market advertising (free) but, in return for accurate information.
Dates & Times
Market listings have their dates set to ‘auto-pilot’ which means they automatically update throughout the year.
- Fixed date (2019-01-01 = January 1st, 2019)
- Daily / Weekly (Monday to Sunday)
- Monthly (1st Day of month).
Common market dates are a frequency = First Saturday of the month, Weekly on a Saturday, Daily (tick actual days). Our system knows every date and combination up to 2039 and correctly shows the next market based on its flagged date.
We do this because it’s impossible to manually change the date of every recurring event in our system. But, it’s open to issues, like when an event changes, is cancelled or ceases to operate. If we are not informed of the change, the listing continues to automatically update until when it is next manually checked (annual).
We also have Internal Reminders for other date anomalies (there are many). We remind ourselves to change dates for special occasions like: occurs every month except January.
Times, can be a nightmare. Daylight Saving and Seasonal Changes. When editors are flat-out trying to keep up, another ‘time’ change can be hard to swallow, specially when its now 12.30pm close, not 1pm.
Which leads onto markets that close earlier than the published time.. maybe it’s a quiet business day, the weather might be bad, all sorts of reasons lead to “let’s close early”. The decision is often self-centred without considering it’s customers. We get mail every Monday saying: we drove all the way there only to find it closed/packing up.
Probably the hardest one for a publisher, is the market that closes down. Little consideration is ever given to cancel advertising. Organisers move on and simply forget.
Which leads to Market Associations.. mainly farmers’ markets. The associations work damn hard but are often poor at marketing and internet publishing. We find it difficult to tell our readers to confirm event information when advertisers’ web sites have out of date information.
So, all in all, we are saying ‘communicate with publishers’. Most operators do, and are very appreciative of the advertising. If publishers’ have incorrect information, then so do readers.
Next gripe, (it’s becoming that way) is the items for sale. If it’s a ‘farmers’ market, then the person behind the stall should be the farmer or at least a relative. WhiteHat best explains Farmers’ Markets plus food miles. Then there are ‘artisan’ markets where the person behind the stall should be the person who made, designed or crafted the items for sale… an Asian lady selling items with Made in China labels does not cut it.. sorry.
How to Update A Market Listing
Easy.. go to the market listing page and find an Update This Information button or link. There is both on EVERY page we publish or access the publishers’ contact page.
These experiences have led us to introduce a disclaimer to protect us and our readers.