Sunday 24 June 2018

Heard Under The Sheds – 24/6/2018

What Is Going To Happen To Charlie? – the announcement that the QVM security contract has been awarded to a new operator had traders asking the inevitable question – what will happen to Charlie? Charlie is probably our most experienced and identifiable security person and his professional approach to our market and all things security is much admired by traders. That is probably because we all know he will treat our customers firmly but fairly. Charlie is pretty philosophical about the awarding of the new contract. He is going to take some leave and then consider his options. Let’s hope the new contractor seeks applications from current experienced QVM security staff in due course.

Why festival crowds are so good – one of our traders thinks he has the answer. Festival crowds on Queen St. are compiled largely of Upper Market Traders checking out the action and wondering how to get those crowds up into the sheds. Can’t argue with that.

A Shed Activation – our picture shows the event organised through Craft Market’s Australia to populate the top end of A Shed this Friday.

EFTPOS Game-changer – one of our traders has the new Westpac EFTPOS facility. In direct competition with PayPal and Square, it offers an extremely compact terminal that links with your mobile phone. We understand there is no monthly fee, just a 1.9% card fee and for that you can transact all EFTPOS cards, credit and debit, and you get the advantage of record keeping on your phone. Westpac call it the Geni.

It pays not to judge your customers – a trader recounted an experience during the week with a customer who wanted to know how much for 24 items. These are $20+ items. Now we have all been through that trap where you quote a bulk price which the customer then attempts to apply for purchasing one or two. It is a common fishing expedition particularly with some customer groups. The trader didn’t bite but when the customer insisted and offered around 70% for 24 items, the trader said if you buy 24 I’ll actually give you a little better than that. You guessed it – the customer bought, and the trader vowed never again to apply stereotype behaviour to any customer.

Website Access – we have a few articles about website presence this week and a trader has asked why traders can’t be given back access to their QVM website entry. This would enable traders to keep the entry updated and relevant to customer preferences. At the moment they are very much set and forget. Websites are becoming more and more relevant to every retailer and for many traders, the QVM website is their only online presence. Making the trader entries more relevant, and thereby increasing visitation, is a win-win for everybody.

Give Painting The Brush-off – one of our traders (and we think there might be more) believes that, instead of spending extra money on cosmetic improvements, let’s spend some money on weather proofing. Keeping traders and customers more comfortable and generating more sales on otherwise “write-off” days would be a great investment.

Trader Ball - The early edition of last week's Heard Under The Sheds had the wrong date for the Trader Ball - the correct date is Monday 5th November 2018.

24/06/2018 21:45:45      Queen Street Toilet Block            "When it was announced that the Queen street toilet block is to be refurbished I discussed this with my wife with the following reaction.
The brick building should remain but totally gutted and a user friendly design implemented, not a half ar#ed approach like the toilet block between the deli and meat halls. A remnant of INDUSTRIAL design, half hearted excuse for refurbishment. If management really want to know how bad the facilities are LOCK the ladies loo in the ivory tower and make the female staff use the Queen Street Toilet block. Management will soon find out what ""girl power"" is all about. Don't fob off the public with a poor excuse for renovation. Do it right, do it once."            Karl ADK1950
Thanks Karl.  - Ed.

25/06/2018 16:47:20      Toilets           " If you think the queen st toilets are bad you should have seen the a shed toilets on had to wade through inches of water, toilet paper every where, a disgrace. How does management expect 4 toilets to be adequate for ladies especially when there is a special market in a shed.please respond.  What are the solutions?"
Thanks for your input. A response is best left to management, but let's just say that our market has some wonderful old-world features, but when it comes to customer convenience we have to meet the very high standards set by our competitors. - Ed.

Is Your QVM Website Entry Working For You?

A Trader recently questioned why a potential customer wasn't able to find her stall online and when we checked her entry on the QVM website we found that a significant amount of work had to be done. 

The entry for this trader had very little product information and some photos that looked liken they might have come out of the fifties. Her product range was bright and colourful, she stocked most of the key products in her shopping category but the website didn't convey that.

Our Marketing Team were quick to respond. The trader organised 10 or so photos of her products, a brief description of her entire product range, some contact details, and within 48 hours a much more attractive presentation was up on the QVM website, ready to impress potential customers. 

With many traders getting key customer leads from their entry on the QVM website it pays to check you entry and make sure it is working for you. Clear photos, brief but accurate product descriptions, stall locations, and most importantly, contact details, are all key to maximising your online presence.

Have Your Say - click here.

The Latest About Online And Shops

The debate about online and shops is a moving feast. After all we are in the middle of a retail revolution and the goal posts keep getting moved. However the further we go, the more likely we are going to find a single truth, and the latest view comes from an impeccable source.

Apple spend millions on understanding and formulating retail. The Apple Retail Chief, Angela Ahrendts, says people will "shop" online but "buy" in-store. So more shopping will be done online but the actual purchase will be made in-store.

It makes a lot of sense that for many items it is fine to do your research online but the actual purchase, the feel, the look, the specialist advice, will best come face to face with the product and the sales specialist.

If all that is true, then market traders have a positive future, perhaps with one caveat - you need to be online to be included in the game. In other words it will help if those online shoppers find you during their "shopping" before they venture out for the physical bit. See our separate articles about your website presence. 

Have Your Say - click here.

5 Reasons Why You Need a Business Mentor

By QVM Trader Connect Program Manager, Katya Ellis

With all the buzz about business mentoring in the media and on televisionin shows like The Mentor and Shark Tank, one could be forgiven for thinking that having a business mentor on your team is the latest “trend” in business.

Truth is, as long as business has existed, the most successful owners have made sure they had enough people “in-the-know” in their network and/or respected confidants to help them set goals, strategies and actions to guide the business to success.

With small business (i.e. the 85% businesses with turnovers under $2million) being the major contributor to the Australian economy, it is easy to understand why organisations like the Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS) were formed to find and match business owners with people who have hands-on business experience and who are willing to share their experience, successes and failures with business owners savvy enough to take advantage of the intelligence of others.

Here’s our TOP 5 reasons why a business mentor could help improve YOUR business.

1.You don’t know what you don’t know

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” — John Crosby

No matter how long you have been in business, assuming you know everything there is to know is… well… not wise. There is no denying that someone with solid business acumen can provide value for any business, at the very least by:
·        Providing a bouncing board for ideas and strategies
·        Validating your ideas
·        Broaden your perspective for ideas and opportunities you may have not considered
·        Being an accountability partner that’s helps you focus on working ON your business and less IN your business.

2. All successful people have mentors

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington

Countless successful people have stated that one of the keys to their success was having a good mentor. Part of the challenge is finding the right person with the right experience willing to help you. This is where SBMS can help. With over 170 mentors and 30 years in operation, finding the right mentor(s) is made easy.

3. Big business thinking

“Start small, think big. Don’t worry about too many things at once. Take a handful of simple things to begin with, and then progress to more complex ones. Think about not just tomorrow, but the future. Put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs

Large organisations engage experts and consultants to help them make wise strategic business decisions. Sadly, the vast majority of small business owners feel they have to battle it out on their own, possibly with the input of a spouse, or occasional visit to an accountant. SBMS mentors are here to inspire all market traders
to think like “big” businesses, and get the right people on their team.

4. It’s all about you

“What I think the mentor gets is the great satisfaction of helping somebody along, helping somebody take advantage of an opportunity that maybe he or she did not have.” — Clint Eastwood

Business mentors LOVE helping business owners, and there is no denying the value of one-on-one consultation with an experienced person who wants to help you with exactly what you need, even if you don’t know what that is yet. Courses are great to up-skill yourself and fill in any knowledge gaps but engaging a mentor for a one-on-one session is worth its weight in gold.

5. Light at the end of the tunnel

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” — Bob Proctor

Business is TOUGH! The to-do list is endless. The should-do list is even longer. Financial challenges can be crippling, and even if finances are not an issue for you, every business has hurdles that can be overwhelming! Business mentors can help separate the urgent from the important, get you focused and keep you accountable. Nothing is more satisfying to a mentor than seeing a client walk (or fly) away from the meeting elevated, motivated, and inspired.

Business mentors don’t have the silver bullet to fix all the problems in your business, but they sure can help you define the strategies to help your business be the best it can be.

Points to remember:
-You can see one, or multiple mentors with different specialities.
-Totally confidential and independent (think doctor/patient type relationship)
-Help with ANYTHING in your business – marketing, finance, digital, merchandising, business strategies, branding, growth, succession planning, accounting, time management, human resources, staff training, pricing, inventory management, the list goes on.
-We are not here to tell you how to run your business, just help you work through whatever is on your mind

For Queen Victoria Market Traders booking an SBMS mentor is FREE!
That’s right FREE! Each booking is valued at $400, but it’s FREE for you!

How to book:
Email Katya on or call 1300 631 171

And if you are a little tech savvy and want to review the short-list of QVM ready mentors and book in your free sessions, proceed as follows:

1: Visit
2: Click on "I want to book with a voucher"
3: Enter voucher code "QVM" and click "Book with this voucher"
4: View mentor profiles and click "Book with Me"
5. Create a new account by completing the form.
6. Your mentor will contact you to arrange a suitable time

Best Website Builders For New Starters

If you have been contemplating a web presence for your business this article may be a good start. In clear concise language it gives you options for a first time website. 

Getting started requires a little effort but once your website is up it requires little maintenance, and you know that when your customer goes online before they shop, they are likely to find you.

The Big Lie of Retailing

Much of retailing is built around salesmanship, yet that is the ingredient that many traders have lost sight of.

When a customer considers your product(s) their minds are balancing competing needs and wants. In fact, if the current public discussion is correct, there have never been so many competing needs for consumers. Things like mortgages, energy bills, and mobile communication are sucking consumers wallets dry before they even consider what is displayed on your stall. So we need to give them a really good reason to buy. We need to shift focus or put a new perspective on their decision making. We need salesmanship.

But salesmanship doesn’t have a good rap. We are even told that in this current retail environment you have to let the customer do their thing - don’t get in their face. That is the big lie of retailing. Yes, some customers will strenuously resist your advances but there is another thing we are told about retailing - it is all about entertainment. Customers are out for entertainment, and that is why we go to so much effort to provide fun, and festivals, usually with food, to entice them.

But entertainment takes many forms. I am reminded of a trader neighbour who used to sell luggage. He would often fight his customers, particularly if things were quiet. I don’t mean fisticuffs of course. He would say something provocative to get their attention, sometimes bordering on rudeness. But invariably he would start a conversation, often a lengthy one, that would result in a customer walking out with a set of his suitcases. Even if they didn’t buy, they would walk away feeling entertained, and he had the happy knack of leaving them with a smile on their face.

Being rude and getting away with it is not for everyone, but you get the idea. We are here to entertain, and sell. Sometimes that means taking a chance, but with many customers, their appearance in front of our stall is the only chance we are going to get. We might as well make the most of it and entertain the hell out of them.

Have Your Say - click here.

How You Look Is Important

Traders who have been in this market as long as the Editor (you must be old) might remember the trader who used to wear a black formal suit with white dress shirt and bow tie at his stall.

I don't remember what he sold (please let us know in Have Your Say if you remember) but his impact was undeniable.
Yale University has just released a report on how your wardrobe can influence your role as an entrepreneur -

"A study conducted by Yale University placed over 100 participants in mock situations of buying and selling. Those who dressed in suits drove over three times more sales than those who dressed in sweat pants and hoodies, while the neutrally dressed participants amassed a little over twice the amount of sales as the poorly dressed."
Now, a suit may not be ideal for every market trader but how you present yourself is obviously going to impact on your customers. And, I can hear one or two traders now saying "I dress like a hobo so that my customers will think that my prices are cheap." Whatever works for you is fine as long as it is based on good retail strategy and not just a poor excuse.

Here is the link to the full article in Inc. Magazine -

Have Your Say - Click here.

Shop Fittings For Sale

Trader Elise Caruso has moved out of her Victoria St. Shop and has some rather stylish yet functional shop fittings for sale. If you are in the market for some shop fittings it may be worth emailing Elise at

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Business For Sale - Fairydance Australia

Business For Sale - Fairydance Australia

Excellent location in the market trading Friday ,Saturday and Sunday with opportunity to trade all market days.  Also excellent prospects to trade in the summer night market. All stock at cost, and fittings required to start trading immediately.

All supplier information both here and overseas will be provided. Sale includes website and Fairydance Australia which is on first page of google and has been for a long time .

Also included is all dance school and entertainment customers information for wholesale orders. There is much more, but will discuss that with serious buyers. Reason for selling is moving to country town.

Contact number: Krista 0412 362 417
                          : Gerard 0412 170 965

Sunday 17 June 2018

Heard Under The Sheds – 17/6/2018

Night Market – a bit of rain on Wednesday night (it has been particularly wintery) but over 20,000 patrons still turned out for the night-time action.

Terrorist Scare – some very poor results from Tuesday trading following Monday’s Herald-Suns exposure of a story from last year about a terrorist plot involving QVM. The trend has continued further into the week. There has been a lot of criticism from police sources about the release of this story right now. As one trader said – “It must have been a slow news day for the Herald-Sun.” It would seem that locals have stayed away in particular.

A positive spin on security. One of our traders has suggested that we convert those bland looking concrete barriers into works of art and encourage local street artists to leave their mark.

Waiting, waiting – more than one trader has recalled the bright optimism that was associated with the QVM Renewal Announcement and the recent frustration at so little action - too many cooks?

One of our box hire operators will not have his license renewed at the end of June. Emails have been sent out to affected traders and management staff were attempting to visit each trader this week to reinforce the need for them to find alternative box hire.

What Sweep? - World Cup Soccer has become a welcome diversion for many traders with some intense excitement and extreme disappointment coming from the drawing of teams in an unofficial sweep. We are a sport mad nation. At least the timing of matches allows some sleep for traders as well.

Will you have Truffle With That? - Saturday's event at the top of A Shed looked well attended and traders reported that business appeared to be brisk for food providers.

Trader Ball - The Queen Victoria Market Trader Ball has been scheduled for Monday 5th November 2018 at Central Pier Docklands. Don't forget to put that in your diary.

What’s Happening In Retail – 17/6/2018

New Pedestrian Path For Mobile Phone Addicts – The city of Xian in China has installed what is believed to be the worlds first pedestrian walkway for those who communicate on their phones as they walk. The path is extra wide to help avoid collisions and has already become a bit of a tourist attraction. The retail connection, of course, is that many consumers shop on their phones as they walk.

Pop-ups at Macy’s And QVM – Macy’s have just bought into a pop-up technology company, B8TA, which will allow the expansion of their in-store program for micro pop-up businesses across the Macy’s network. QVM have of course been doing their own style of pop-ups for some time as new businesses experiment with their offer under the sheds. This Saturday, a tent appeared in the L Shed Aisle as the Girthy Exhibition displayed their story. The Girthy Exhibition looks at the bike ride across Australia of two young architects as they studied the architecture of Australia’s interior.

Google Launches New Shopper Service – Google is launching its See What’s In Store service which is essentially competition for Amazon’s online offer. The idea is that users of Google Maps can call up a product entry box which will show you what nearby retailers stock the item you are after.

Macy’s Off-price Concept – “Off-price” describes well known brands at big discounts and is a booming category for stores like T.J.Maxx. Macy’s concept is called Backstage and is already in 60 stores with plans for every Macy’s store to have the facility.

Mixed Reaction To Market Spend

A big fuss has been made about Sally Capp’s announcement that an extra $1.7m or so is to be spent on maintenance and marketing at QVM but many traders believe this misses the point.

If you are one if that small group that believes that all our market needs is a lick if paint and a tidy up and that miraculously that will reverse the current market decline then you are probably delighted. But those traders who listened wide-eyed many months ago as comprehensive renewal plans were unveiled to set a grand new course for our market, are still waiting, and this temporary cover-up has little merit.

Don’t get this wrong, extra investment is fine and an extra $770,000 on maintenance, and the first $1m from the $8m Trader Support Scheme (which we understand is to be spent on marketing) is all good. Sally Capp and the CoM are to be congratulated for finding extra funding.

Our market needs maintenance. Dirt, dust, broken footpaths, rubbish, and bad smells, all need addressing. Traders need assistance in how they promote their businesses.

But maintenance, brushing over, and more advertising are not going to fix the big issue. We are in a retail revolution involving a dramatic change in consumer sentiment and our market simply struggles to compete. It is not because all of a sudden consumers have forgotten about us and need reminding through more advertising. It is because cash-strapped consumers have adjusted their spending, (in some categories dramatically cut spending) embraced alternative shopping options, and in many cases pushed shopping convenience to the top of their priority list.

We have no excuses here. We know that consumers embrace entertainment with their shopping, and are happy to spend more on ready to eat food. We know they demand comfort and convenience, and want more ways of buying. They are demanding more from their shopping experience.

For many traders the way to address the shift in consumer thinking was with modern underground facilities that made the produce on top of the ground the hero, and a cutting edge market pavilion that showed consumers we could excite and tantalise. It showed the world that, yes, we could retain our iconic old world charm but meet the challenges of new consumerism and show we are relevant to the next 140 years of community markets in Melbourne.

And there are a few more things  - add in a review of trading hours, new ways of setting up and merchandising stalls, address glaring weather protection issues, expand the successful Night Market concept, educate traders in modern self-promotion, and maybe we would be on the right track to long term recovery. Most of that is yet to happen.

The $1.7m is welcome but this is no easy fix and a successful future for traders requires vision, a grand plan, and at least a dash of entrepreneurial endeavor. Let’s get on with that job.

By Greg Smith

Trader Vents Over QVM In Media

"Lord mayor Sally Capp has made a peace offering to traders at the Queen Victoria Market.

Which Traders? Nobody ask me anything about this...

“Our (major) renewal program will retain the traditional open air market we all love while strengthen-ing its long-term viability,” she said. (Herald Sun)
...While locals avoid us in a giant  circle,
and very small interstate tourists visit! (2%)
With “nose diving” businesses...
What is going on?
Why do we have one year old TERROR ALERT at QVM right now?
Who is behind that?
We experienced our worst ever trade on Tuesday, the first trading day after this article appear.
I feel like a standing duck in the middle of  shooting season, witnessing how an invisible hand is destroying my 27 years built business.
How have we come from a $250million renewalQVM to this?

Why, why, why?…
"Is There Anybody Out There?” - Pink Floyd"

Thank you for expressing the frustration that so many traders feel. The Herald-Sun has received a slap over the wrist from Victoria Police who said the QVM bomb plot "was not a credible threat". As one of our traders said, it must have been a quiet news day for that newspaper.  - Ed.

QVM In The News - 17/6/2018


Queen Victoria Market to undergo maintenance blitz for paths, lighting ... “Renewal of the Queen Victoria Market is one of the key projects under way at ...


A NOTE ABOUT RELEVANT ADVERTISING: We collect information about the content (including ads) you use across this site and use it to make both ...
Google Plus Facebook Twitter Flag as irrelevant

Independent brewery Brick Lane Brewing Co has been appointed as the exclusive beer supplier for the Winter Night Market at Queen Victoria Market.
Google Plus Facebook Twitter Flag as irrelevant

The head of Victoria's counter-terrorism unit says media coverage of a bomb plot targeting Queen Victoria Market is “concerning”, prompting a debate ...
Google Plus Facebook Twitter Flag as irrelevant

Truffles are one of the most wanted ingredients in the food industry, and most of the time they are out of reach for paycheck-to-paycheck people.