Market vendor

A market vendor


Market vendors sell products such as fruit, vegetables and household products on organised outdoor or indoor market places. They use sales techniques to recommend their goods to passersby.

The duties of a market vendor include, but are not limited to:

  • obtaining permission to set up a stand at a particular place in streets, markets or other open spaces
  • determining product mix, stock and price levels for goods to be sold
  • buying or contracting a regular supply of goods to be sold from wholesale suppliers or directly from producers
  • erecting and dismantling stalls and stands, transporting, storing, loading and unloading goods for sale
  • demonstrating and selling goods and accepting payment
  • stacking and displaying goods for sale, and wrapping and packing goods sold
  • keeping accounts and maintaining a record of stock levels.

Working conditions

Market vendors spend most of their time standing at a stall dealing directly with customers – giving advice and encouraging people to buy, as well as serving, taking money and giving change. Some goods need to be weighed or measured, and wrapped. They work most of the time outdoors in all types of weather, but also sometimes in indoor markets.

On a market, there might also be ‘Pitchers’ who shout about the good deals they are offering, often gathering crowds as they put on a show. Some markets allow ‘Demmers’, who demonstrate a product to encourage sales.

Most market vendors buy their goods from a wholesaler or manufacturer; some make their own goods. They rent a market stall or space and display the goods to attract customers. Sometimes, they have to provide and set up their own stalls.

The majority of markets have regulations that they have to follow; these include the hours that the stall should be open, conduct, disciplinary rules, standards of display and refuse disposal arrangements. Market vendors also set out the range of goods that can be sold. In some markets, they are required to have public products and employers’ liability insurance cover.

Most market vendors are self-employed, but some employ staff to look after stalls in other markets.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to market vendor:

barrow boy
market trader
outdoor market vendor
street market vendor
covered market vendor
street market seller
fish market vendor
flower market vendor
fruit market vendor
street market trader
market seller
vegetable market vendor
indoor market vendor

Minimum qualifications

No formal educational credential is generally required to work as a market vendor. A valid driving license and a van or a car may be useful to move the goods from one market to another one, or to the storage area.

Most of the time, a permit issued by local authorities is mandatory. In some areas, an insurance may also be required.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Market vendor is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Market vendor career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to market vendor.

street food vendor
door to door seller
promotions demonstrator
second-hand goods specialised seller
clothing specialised seller

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of market vendor. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of market vendor with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

wholesale merchant
commercial sales representative
import export specialist
sales account manager
performance rental technician

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of market vendor.

  • Consumer protection: The current legislation applicable in relation to the rights of consumers in the marketplace.
  • Value-added tax law: Taxes imposed on the purchase prices of goods and the legislation that governs this activity.
  • Product comprehension: The offered products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of market vendor.

  • Guarantee customer satisfaction: Handle customer expectations in a professional manner, anticipating and addressing their needs and desires. Provide flexible customer service to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Operate cash register: Count the money; balance cash drawer at the end of the shift; receive payments and process payment information; use scanning equipment.
  • Arrange permit for market stall: Apply for permission at the local authorities to set up a stall on streets, squares and indoor market places.
  • Operate cash point: Register and handle cash transactions by using point of sale register.
  • Adapt to different weather conditions: Cope with regular exposure to extreme weather conditions and hazardous environments.
  • Maintain work area cleanliness: Keep the working area and equipment clean and orderly.
  • Assist customers: Provide support and advice to customers in making purchasing decisions by finding out their needs, selecting suitable service and products for them and politely answering questions about products and services.
  • Organise product display: Arrange goods in attractive and safe way. Set up a counter or other display area where demonstrations take place in order to attract the attention of prospective customers. Organise and maintain stands for merchandise display. Create and assemble sales spot and product displays for sales process.
  • Process payments: Accept payments such as cash, credit cards and debit cards. Handle reimbursement in case of returns or administer vouchers and marketing instruments such as bonus cards or membership cards. Pay attention to safety and the protection of personal data.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of market vendor. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Sales argumentation: Techniques and sales methods used in order to present a product or service to customers in a persuasive manner and to meet their expectations and needs.
  • Cold chain: The temperature at which certain products are to be kept for consumption.
  • Footwear industry: Major brands, manufacturers and products available on the footwear market including the different types of shoes, components and materials used.
  • Clothing sizes: Sizes of clothing items in order to make appropriate suggestions to customers.
  • Clothing and footwear products: The offered clothing and footwear products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Electronic and telecommunication equipment: The offered electronic and telecommunication equipment and products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Textile industry: Major textile manufacturers on the market of various brands and materials.
  • Tobacco products: The varieties of products that can be manufactured using tobacco leaves as a base. The types of tobacco products which are smoked tobacco products, smokeless tobacco products, and byproducts of tobacco leaves.
  • Dairy and edible oil products: The offered dairy products and edible oil products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Fish, crustacean and mollusc products: The offered fish, crustacean and mollusc products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Sugar, chocolate and sugar confectionery products: The offered sugar, chocolate and sugar confectionery products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Fabric types: Woven, non-woven, knitted fabrics and netting fabrics, technical fabrics such as Gore-Tex and Gannex.
  • Hides, skins and leather products: The offered hides, skins and leather products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Beverage products: The offered beverage products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Fruit and vegetable products: The offered fruit and vegetable products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Electrical household appliances products: The offered electrical household appliances products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Watches and jewellery products: The offered watches and jewellery products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Coffee, tea, cocoa and spice products: The offered coffee, tea, cocoa and spice products, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Floral composition techniques: The different ways of combining flowers and plants, according to ornamental techniques.
  • Features of sporting equipment: Types of sporting, fitness and recreational equipment and sporting supplies and their characteristics.
  • Household products: The offered household products or goods, their functionalities, properties and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Types of watches: Types of wristwatches, such as mechanical and quartz, their features and functions, such as calendar, chronograph, water resistance, etc.
  • Fish varieties: The different types and varieties of fish on the market.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of market vendor. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Ensure customer focus: Attitude that puts customers at the centre of the business in all cases.
  • Unload supplies: Remove deliveries from a truck and move new supplies to workplace or storage area.
  • Deliver a sales pitch: Prepare and deliver an understandably constructed sales talk for a product or a service, identifying and using persuasive argumentation.
  • Upsell products: Persuade customers to buy additional or more expensive products.
  • Ensure product preparation: Ensure that products such as food items are correctly prepared and made ready for consumption; combine different parts until they form one sellable unit.
  • Negotiate price: Arrange an agreement on price of products or services provided or offered.
  • Carry out active selling: Deliver thoughts and ideas in impactful and influencing manner to persuade customers to become interested in new products and promotions. Persuade clients that a product or service will satisfy their needs.
  • Demonstrate products’ features: Demonstrate how to use a product in a correct and safe manner, provide customers with information on the product’s main features and benefits, explain operation, correct use and maintenance. Persuade potential customers to purchase items.
  • Perform manual work autonomously: Show the ability to pursue basic manual tasks without the help or assistance of others, not needing supervision or guidance, and taking responsibility for one’s actions.

ISCO group and title

5211 – Stall and market salespersons

  1. Market vendor – ESCO
  2. Market trader | Explore careers | National Careers Service
  3. Market Stall Trader – Job role – Careers Wales
  4. Who is a Stall and market salesperson? – TUCareers
  5. Featured image: Photo by Jose Murillo on Unsplash
Last updated on July 23, 2022

What do you want to do with this job?

You will be brought to the forum page

Requires a business account

Requires a business account

Thinking about your next career move?

Answer a few questions about your jobs and education, and we’ll give you suggestions about your best possible career move. It’s completely free!