If you are one of lucky ones at the moment travelling around Australia, (firstly i am very jelous), i hope you are thoroughly enjoying your trip. Feel feel to comment below your favourite destination and favourite thing about travelling so far.
We travelled for 4 years, slightly interupted by covid however we were a handful of lucky ones where we had somewhere to bunker down and then had relative hassle free traveling in QLD between border closures and lock downs. Because we lived permanently in our van going home wasnt an option as we didnt have a home to go to.
Prior to travelling full time i had a permanent market stall business in Northern NSW. My business was Moonstone Felt and Crystals and as the name suggests i sold crystals, fairtrade felt from Nepal, incense, smudge sticks, candles and much more. It was a medium sized stall with a regular 3x3 gazebo and 4 tables. The biggest issue with a crystal market business is the packing and unpacking of well wrapped crystals. It is time consuming to wrap them but its worth it because breakages in transport do happen. This will be even more important when you are travelling.
Once we decided to hit the road the first thing to do was to condense my stall. This proved harder than you would think because obviously you want to still sell a wide variety of crystals and other products but it really came down to best sellers. Crystals were and are still my best seller along with candles, then smudge sticks and incense. So i decided to stock only a small variety of crystals but try and have enough stock of each type to see quite a few markets through.
Some of my favourite stones just happen to be some of the most popular and well recognised crystals. I opted for Amethyst, Rose Quartz and Clear Quartz and found Labradorite, Malchite and Celestite also very good sellers. Selenite is abundant, cheap and so visually appealing so it also is a must. Agate is another affordable crystal in a multitude of colours and patterns ( dyed and natural). When i say affordable i mean suitably priced for markets. If someone wants an expensive decorator piece they can find it in any crystal shop in Australia, but i found people shopping at markets are after something more practically priced especially for kids. Children are so drawn to crystals so to have some special kid friendly pieces is also a drawcard for parents. I had several clear containers with lids and compartments with different tumbles. So easy to pop out on the table, open the lid and you are done.
My travelling crystal set up evolved as i travelled. We had a 4wd with a large roof rack and thats where my tables and gazebo were stored. I initially took all 4 tables as i had a lot of felt fairy houses which took up alot of room. They are very light weight but really need large tubs to store them correctly. I found i could store and carry much more of the smaller houses and fairys ect so i had to compromise on the visual appeal of the large felt for the need to be able store more compactly and carry suffcient stock. It is all literally about compromise and what amounts of best sellers you can can carry.
I also dropped some other products like incense as its a fairly saturated market staple but i did opt for just a small variety of specialised incense which was from Nepal and Tibet instead of your poular nag champa thats readily available every where. A few products with a point of difference really helps spike interest.
I soon realsied i had to condense the set up so i ditched 2 tables and had 2 large tables across the front of the stall instead of 4 tables in a C shape. This was actually a blessing because it cut down set up and pack up times and also condensed the need to store it all in the van and roofracks. All of my stock was boxed tightly and stored under our bed and the gazebo and tables remained on the roof racks.
Finding markets on the road to attend was pretty easy. I would search facebook and the internet for local community markets and community groups and most would be contactable by email or messenger. I just made sure to contact organisers well in advance before we arrived in town as to secure a spot and get the information required for set up.
Make sure you have adequate market insurance covering personal and product liability. Most markets these days are run by private enterprises and they require you to have your own public liability up to $20 million coverage. For years i have had my market stall insurance with My market insurance, you can find their website here! Its roughly $200 for the year or daily coverage is available.
Over all i found doing markets on the road very successful. A new stall brings new products especially to small town markets. People always love something new and we were always welcomed. Financially it helped us a little bit every time, however most of our income was from when we stopped to work for 3 plus months at a time. In this stationary period it let me order and renew my stock for further markets and also research and mapped out a rough idea of my future markets. If you are not stopping to work but rather travelling full time, say a 12 month lap well markets may not be suitable or even needed on your journey. But what ever you decide to do, slow down, enjoy, and embrace the lucky country because it is absolutely stunning out there.
Just a quick side note: You can certainly ask other travellers for advice about certain destinations but you will not truely know or experience a place by word of mouth. Don't miss out on a place because someone said they didnt like it. We have travelled many inland, desert, coastal, tropical, cold routes and theres something special about every place. Just because someone you've spoken to doesnt like the desert for example doesnt mean you wont. Its a differnet type of magic in every place.