Vendor FAQ

Please read this page carefully; it answers the majority of questions vendors will have.

If you have questions not answered here, please contact us.

Before you apply:

What is the date and location?
TIAM takes place at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West. The dates for the spring series are as follows:

Saturday, April 12th – Mixed media event – vendors in all categories
Sunday, May 25th – Small Press & Literary market – vendors of small press items only

Who can vend at TIAM, and how are the vendors selected?
As a guide, we are looking for products that are fun, hip, and slightly edgy, as opposed to cutesy and crafty.

At our general market, artisans can apply to vend at TIAM in one of five categories:

  • fashion (anything wearable: clothing, jewellery, accessories)
  • consumables (food, candles, soap, stuff that you use up)
  • literary (small press, self-published books, zines, magazines, comics)
  • music & entertainment (CDs, bands, indie record labels, theatre tickets, etc.)
  • general arts & crafts

For niche markets (fashion, small press), categories will relate to the market’s theme and will be more specific.

The vendor must be involved in the creation of the product in some way  – no resellers or wholesalers, no mass-manufactured goods – and for items made by a third party (CDs, books), the product must be a small run.

Vendors will be selected based on the appeal of your wares, number of other similar vendors in your category, and table size required vs table availability.

Can I take part if I sell vintage stuff?
Sorry, no vintage items permitted unless they are used as the materials for a new item (ie. upcycled vintage fabrics reworked into new one-of-a-kind items, purses made out of old books, bowls made of melted vinyl records, etc.).

Can I apply if I own a shop or if my stuff is sold in shops?
Sorry, TIAM is intended to promote artisans who do not have access to a larger customer base. Artisans with their own bricks and mortar storefront shops (Etsy shops are okay) or who wholesale significant quantities via retailers are not eligible to take part.

Do I need to submit samples?
We do not need to see samples in person but we need to see some form of website that includes images of your work.

Our preference, first and foremost, is to view an up-to-date website dedicated to your art/business. We will also consider an Etsy (or similar) shop, and finally a Facebook page, as long as the site shows current merchandise similar to what you would be selling at our event.

We generally announce a list of vendors before each event with a link to vendor websites. We also create a board for each event on Pinterest – vendors should be aware that the lack of a website (or a site that is pinnable) means they will not be included in these types of promotion and will not reap the traffic created by these sites.

NOTE – effective immediately, due to contracting a massive and evil virus from a Weebly site, we cannot consider Weebly sites as part of a vendor application or promotion.

We regret that we cannot accept individual images sent via email. Please DO NOT email us images of your work – applicants who do so will be removed from consideration.

How big are the tables and what is the cost?
We offer a variety of table sizes and prices (note – not all table sizes are available for every market, please refer to the event application to select table size):

  • 2ft x 2ft (cafe table – includes 1 seat) – $20
  • 3ft x 2ft (half of a shared 6ft x 2ft table – includes 1 seat) – $30
  • 4ft x 2ft (usually a pair of cafe tables side by side, but may also be a stretch of counter or half of a deeper 8ft harvest table – includes 2 seats) – $40
  • 6ft x 2ft (full size banquet table – includes 2 seats) – $60
  • small garment vendor – ONLY for vendors with clothing items that must be displayed on hangers (space equivalent to a 6ft x 2ft table – includes a 2ft x 2ft cafe table, plus 1 seat, plus space for a MAXIMUM 4ft garment rack) – $60
  • large garment vendor – ONLY for vendors with clothing items that must be displayed on hangers (space equivalent to a 6ft x 2ft table – includes space for a MAXIMUM 6ft garment rack, no table, 1 seat) – $60
  • odd corners (these are seating area within the venue made up of sofas, coffee tables and armchairs. Approximately 4ft x 2ft of table space) – $40

Can I share a table?
Sorry, because we offer a variety of table sizes, we do not permit table sharing.

Can I have 2 large spaces? I need to spread out.
As our goal is to include as many vendors as possible, we do not normally allow vendors more than 1 spot.

I have/need my own racks and display set-up. Can I bring a shelf/display/stand/etc. in addition to the table provided?
Other than clothing vendors who may bring small rolling racks to accommodate hanging garments (see table sizes, above), all vendors must use the tables provided and are not permitted to bring ANY additional display items that do not fit on top of the table. There is no additional floor space to accommodate shelves, racks, other items of furniture, standing signage, or customized displays as there is at a fair where you are renting a full-sized booth. The space you are allotted at TIAM is that of the table (maximum 6′ x 2′) plus space for 1 or 2 chairs behind that table. Sorry – there are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.

Can I request a specific spot/table, or refuse a spot that I don’t like?
No. You go where we put you. Sorry, but we work hard on curating the floor plan and things are arranged the way they are for a reason. Due to cancellations, the floor plan often changes regularly, right up until event day. Requests for specific spots will be mocked and then ignored.

I don’t have a display – can you provide racks?
Sorry, vendors must supply their own display items. TIAM does not supply racks, lighting (other than the overhead lighting of the venue), table coverings or display items of any kind. Neither TIAM or the Gladstone Hotel can supply dollys or carts for load-in purposes.

Can I vend at other markets/craft shows?
TIAM has no restrictions on vendors taking part in other events, even concurrently. However, some other shows do, and have been known to enforce those rules. Please read all contracts carefully. Note – if you are a One of a Kind Show vendor – apparently there is a clause that permits single day shows. Check your contracts.

How many customers do you get?
Our customer turnout has varied from as low as 150 people (once during a blizzard where people were being told not to go out if they didn’t have to, and once during a particularly lovely long weekend – we’ll not do that again!) to just under 500 people (at our very first market that we hardly promoted at all). As much as we try to work it out, there is no formula to this and even if there are plenty of customers there is no guarantee they’ll buy stuff.

How do you promote the event?
We use typical social media (Twitter, Facebook), and we also require vendors to promote the event via social media. We list the event in about 20 local papers/websites and it gets picked up by that many more. We do concentrated postering and flyering campaigns in major downtown Toronto shopping areas (Queen West), with about 200 posters and 1000 flyers distributed over a 3 week period prior to the event. We also do flyer trades with other local events, and for our niche markets, we send out press releases to relevant local media.

Can I bring flyers for other events I’m taking part in?
Fill your boots. We’re all about supporting the scene, so by all means, let customers know where else you’ll be. Heck, get some extras and we’ll hand out flyers for those events at the door.

Does TIAM take a percentage of my profit?
No, the only money you pay to TIAM is the fee for your table, which includes tax and PayPal fees. All profit you make selling your wares belongs to you. TIAM charges admission to people attending the event and that is where our income from the event is derived. TIAM will also be donating 40% of door proceeds to a local charity.

Why is the admission $5? That seems high compared to other events. Won’t it scare customers away?
While there are some people who might balk at paying $5 to get in, we feel that this price is fair. Here’s why:

  • charging admission at the door allows us to keep vendor table prices exceptionally low. TIAM makes little to no profit from the table rentals; that total covers the cost of the venue rental, taxes and PayPal fees, and that’s it.
  • partial proceeds from each market are donated to a relevant local charity
  • with over 50 carefully curated vendors, $5 is a fair price when customers know the quality of products will be high. A cover charge also helps weed out the folks who are “just browsing” or killing time, from the people who are there to shop and genuinely support local artisans.

If you are concerned that an admission fee will turn off potential customers and this will negatively affect your sales, we suggest that you consider other local markets instead of TIAM.

Is there a price limit on what I can charge for my products?
No. While some markets enforce a cap on merchandise prices to keep their events attractive and accessible to everyone, TIAM has no such restrictions. However, we ask that you use common sense when pricing your wares and do your research in terms of the going rate for similar goods. It should be noted that while some vendors with larger ticket items do well, vendors who choose a lower, more accessible price point often sell more.

Do I need insurance?
With the exception of food vendors, TIAM does not require vendors to have insurance for the event. The venue carries appropriate insurance for incidents such as slip and fall, or issues related to the building. However, vendors who are selected will be required to sign a contract providing indemnity to TIAM regarding theft, breakage and customer issues. (Essentially, if your stuff gets shoplifted, broken or if a customer has a problem with your product, you agree to take full responsibility and not hold TIAM liable.) So if these issues are a concern to you, or if you sell something breakable, especially expensive, or something that could cause an allergic reaction, we encourage you to purchase appropriate insurance for your merchandise.

I’m a food vendor – what do I need to do to take part?
As the venue where TIAM is held has their own on-site restaurant, food vendors are limited to packaged, prepared foods such as cookies, pickles, etc. – things that customers would more likely take away as opposed to consuming on-site. Note that neither TIAM or the venue can provide refrigeration or storage of your items, and everything you bring must fit safely on or underneath your table.

IT IS ILLEGAL TO PREPARE FOOD IN A HOME KITCHEN AND SELL IT TO THE PUBLIC. If you are selling food made in your home and do not have proof that you have your own separate industrial kitchen, we cannot include you in our event.

To adhere to local bylaws, food vendors must be able to provide documentation to demonstrate that they comply with the following:

  • municipal food handler’s certification
  • use of an industrial kitchen to prepare the food sold at the event (either certification of your own industrial space or a receipt for a rented space)
  • insurance on your products in case of allergic reaction, choking, etc.

Because of the rules regarding food vendors, we will consider applications from small companies (who are preparing food legally) with a storefront location or who do limited wholesale orders.

Can I help promote the event?
Yes! Vendors who are accepted will be expected to help promote the event through social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, website/blog, mailing list, etc.) By our calculations, each vendor should be attracting 3 – 5 customers to each event.

How do I apply? What is the deadline to apply? When will I know if I’ve been accepted?
Pertinent dates are listed on the Vendor Schedule page.

After You’ve Been Accepted:

Payment
Payment for your space must be made in advance, via PayPal. Vendors who fail to submit payment within the allotted time period will forfeit their space. Please ensure you are able to make payment by the deadline.

Cancellation
Before you’ve paid:  please be sure that you are able to take part on the specified date before submitting an application. Vendors who are accepted and cancel before paying for their table (or who lack the courtesy to bother contacting us at all) will be flagged and likely will not be accepted into another market.

After you’ve paid: while we understand that life events happen, it is often difficult for us to replace a cancelled vendor, especially in the last week prior to the event. As such, we are unable to offer refunds on cancellations made by vendors or to transfer your spot (paid or unpaid) to a future market or to another vendor. If you are unable to take part, you forfeit both your space and any payment made.

In the event of the entire market being cancelled by the organizer or the venue (due to emergency, act of God, etc.), vendors will be offered a full refund on their table fees but will not be reimbursed for other incidental costs they might accrue in preparation for the event.

Late Policy
Vendors are given 1.5 hours for load in and set up and must be ready to go by event start time. Vendors who have not shown up 15 minutes prior to doors opening will forfeit their table and their table rental fee.

Lighting/Hydro Access
The rooms that we are using are generally well-lit, with both overhead lighting and south- and west-facing windows that make the spaces bright if the weather is good. Vendors should make a point of requesting a hydro outlet on their application if they need one, as not all tables have hydro access.

What to Bring
TIAM supplies a table (possibly ugly) and an appropriate number of seats. That is all. You should bring table coverings, signage, lighting, display racks that fit safely on top of your table, and a float to make change.  (The Royal Bank at 2 Gladstone Avenue is open until 4pm on Saturdays.)

Neither TIAM or the hotel can provide lights, table coverings or additional furniture for you to use at the event.

Note, our venue is a designated heritage property – vendors may NOT affix signage, hooks or displays of any kind – by any means, including tape – to any part of the permanent structure of the venue including walls, doors, pillars, banquettes, counters, etc..

Wifi Access
The Gladstone Hotel offers free wifi access. You will receive an info sheet on the day of the event with password details.

What Not to Bring

  • we ask that vendors refrain from wearing perfume or any scented product during the event (note – we WILL insist that perfume be removed if you show up wearing it).
  • as per our agreement with the venue, no outside food is permitted. The Gladstone Cafe is open from 8am and serves a variety of coffee, tea, pastries and brunch items. Water is always available for free at the bar area in each space.

Can I bring a friend to help me or come halfway through the event to relieve me so I can take a break?
Because space behind the tables is often tight, especially where vendors are back-to-back, we must insist that you run your booth with the minimal number of people possible.

TIAM has staff on hand to help vendors with things like running short errands or minding your table while you take a quick break. Because we offer this service to vendors, there is absolutely no vendor guest list. In order to keep table prices as low as possible for vendors, TIAM organizers take no profit from your table rental – we make all of our income from admission sales at the door. So expecting us to comp friends of vendors is like us expecting you to give us free product. It also means that you’re taking money away from our partner charity.

For vendors with 2ft and 3ft spaces, you get 1 free admission, and may have only 1 person working your table at any time. If you wish to have a friend relieve you, they will be expected to pay the regular cover charge to enter the event. You may request a receipt for this admission if you choose to consider it a business expense.

For vendors with spaces 4ft and up, you get two free admissions, and may have a maximum of 2 people working at your table at any time, and the additional person MUST arrive with the primary vendor at load-in to have their admission comped. If you wish to have additional persons relieve you, they will be expected to pay the regular cover charge to enter the event. You may request a receipt for this admission if you choose to consider it a business expense.