Tents vs umbrellas for outdoor markets

Discussion in 'Craft Fairs & Shows' started by Cirafly24, May 26, 2018.

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  1. May 26, 2018 #1

    Cirafly24

    Cirafly24

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    I don't have the funds right now to purchase a tent for my markets this summer. Would a large umbrella set through the middle of the table work? I have an adjustable one that I can move to keep the shade where I need it. Thoughts?
     
  2. May 26, 2018 #2

    cmzaha

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    You better check with the market manager and ask if you can use an umbrella, some markets, at least where I live, will not allow umbrellas. Also some markets will only allow white tents. If you want to do markets it is really part of the cost of doing business.

    Tents are not just used for shade. Having a proper booth setup will make a difference how customers look at you, after all it is the first thing they see. Someone with just a table and umbrella does not appear to be a dedicated seller.
     
  3. May 26, 2018 #3

    shunt2011

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    I agree with cmzaha. A tent is part of doing business. It also protects you and your products as well as looking professional from a business standpoint. Looks inviting to the customer. And none of the markets I’ve ever done allowed it. They required a tent.
     
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  4. May 27, 2018 #4

    Dreamer

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    I agree with cmzaha and shunt. An umbrella with a table doesn't quite look serious enough about what you are selling. You may find a tent used through your local classifieds. I got my first tent through craigslist (I don't what country you are in so don't know if you have craigslist where you live), and while it needed a bit of cleaning up since it was stored in the person's shed awhile, the price was right and it lasted me just about to the end of my first season at the market until a strong wind came, picked it up, and threw it across the lot. Lesson learned, anchor the tent. Just be aware that the tents are not waterproof, at least not the one that I have or the ones that my neighbors at the market have. While it isn't such a big deal for me since I sell produce, it would be if you were selling soap. I would bring a tarp always at the ready should it start to rain while you are at the market. I hope you do great! I find the markets very enjoyable.
     
  5. May 27, 2018 #5

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    If you're not willing to invest in your business, are you serious about your business? Why do the shows if you're not set up for doing the shows?

    I'm not having a go at you, but these are questions that people need to have a good answer for if they are running a business
     
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  6. May 27, 2018 #6

    DeeAnna

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    I'd also add that it's not just about providing shade and creating a professional appearance. An awning/tent can be made more wind resistant by adding weights on the corners. You really can't do that with an umbrella. It doesn't take a lot of breeze to make a typical umbrella difficult to manage. And wind and bad weather are unavoidable when you do outdoor fairs/shows.
     
  7. May 27, 2018 #7

    Lin19687

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    There is also a Spray that you can buy that will waterproof the canopy top.
    They sell it for tents mainly for the seams.

    I also wonder if scotch guard for couches would work ?
     
  8. Jun 25, 2018 #8

    Cirafly24

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    Thank you for all the responses! I did end up getting a tent at a great price from a friend that no longer needed hers.

    As to investing and being serious about my business, I assure you I am. As it happens, I was temporarily short on funds from paying my seasonal booth fee and my liability insurance for the year. Normally this would not be a problem.

    Thank you for your input!
     
  9. Jun 25, 2018 #9

    shunt2011

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    Another thing you will want to make sure you have are tent weights. Gallon jugs filled with water may work. I have 4 in pvc pipes filled with cement. I do quite a few shows where my tent survived but many lost theirs due to high winds. Many venues won't allow staking. Even if I am able to use the stakes I still add my weights to all four corners. It's all a part of having a business, fees, insurance, licenses etc.....Starting a business isn't cheap.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  10. Jun 25, 2018 #10

    dixiedragon

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    From a practical perspective, an umbella stand or a table that will hold an umbrella is VERY HEAVY.
     
  11. Jun 25, 2018 #11

    Lin19687

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  12. Jun 25, 2018 #12

    cmzaha

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    Problem with those is the need for more sets. Some markets I used to attend required 25lbs per leg which is what you can get with the sand bags. Check with your local fire department to find out the requirements.

    Also remember tents have to meet Fire Resistant Requirements. CPAI-84, NFPA-701 and CAN/ULC-S109
    It either needs to be sewn into the top or have the paperwork with you showing it passes. Most quality canopies have a tag sewn into a corner or somewhere on the canopy
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  13. Jun 25, 2018 #13

    shunt2011

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    I've seen a couple tents with them. Not sure how they would work in strong winds. My weights each weight 40-45 lbs. they have a eyelet type hook that was sunk into the cement on them and I hang them from the top of my tent with S hooks and I strap them to the legs. I've survived really strong winds off of Lake Huron as 2 of my shows are right on the water's edge.
     
  14. Jun 25, 2018 #14

    DeeAnna

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    Here's a helpful article: http://asapconnections.org/downloads/canopy-safety-101.pdf

    A tidbit: "...Most accidents at farmers markets involve wind blown tents, canopies and umbrellas.... Sufficiently weighted canopies will have at least 24 pounds per leg. One canopy manufacturer recommends at least 40 pounds on each corner of a 10x10 tent; double that on a 10x20 tent...."

    What people might not realize is that the wind force on a tent goes up exponentially as the wind speed goes up. That means if the wind speed doubles (say goes from 2 miles per hour to 4 mph), the force on the canopy will be 4 times higher. And it doesn't take a sustained wind to cause trouble -- even a quick gust just a few seconds long can create havoc. That's why it's smart to not skimp on weights.
     
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  15. Jun 26, 2018 #15

    Relle

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    If you have a look at the reviews on the link that you gave - this is part of the second one down.

    My work purchased these for our outdoor exhibits and thankfully we had been notified by the county that the fire department requires 25lb weights on each leg, so we purchased 4 sets of these. Do not make the mistake of only purchasing one disc per leg...it won't work and it's not meant to work that way.
     
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  16. Jun 27, 2018 #16

    Lin19687

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    Just realized that those are not the ones I got, that lists all 4 types of weights.
    Mine are I believe 10# each disk. I was going to double them up on each leg (20# each leg)

    I think I may return the disks and look at the Sand bag ones while I am out tomorrow.
    Thanks all.

    I just wanted to come back and say TY again. The ones I got a Ocean state were only 7.4# so I returned them and got the bags that you can put 40# in, then got a couple bags of sand. Need to get some plastic grocery bags to line the inside ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2018

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