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?
All TIAM events take place at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, closest major intersection is Queen & Dufferin. The dates for upcoming events can be found on the Vendor Schedule Page.

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 (think comics, corsets and kimchi, as opposed to suncatchers, doilies or lawn ornaments). Vendors may only sell work they have personally created.

We do not accept:
- vintage items unless they are upcycled or reworked into new pieces – this is an artisan market, not a flea market
- mass-produced items (except for small-scale runs of books or CDs)
- imported items of any kind, including fair trade
- resellers or wholesalers – the vendor must have made the product they are selling themselves
- anything by someone who owns a bricks and mortar shopfront except for food items

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 (all other fine art and craft items that do not fit into other categories)

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

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 (this shows us that you’re serious). 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 and not pictures of your cat.

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 links from these sites.

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 automatically rejected.

How big are the tables and what is the cost?
Tables vary in size depending on the event and the space that we are using within the hotel. Table fees are based on the linear foot and are typically $10/foot. All tables are a minimum of 2ft deep, but may be more than that, depending on location and actual tables at our disposal. Please refer to the application form for specific table fees for the event you are applying to.

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 allow vendors more than 1 spot.

I have/need extra racks and display set-up. Can I bring a freestanding shelf/display/sign/etc. in addition to what fits on the table provided?
No. Other than clothing vendors who may bring small rolling racks to accommodate hanging garments, 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 2.5′) plus space for 1 or 2 chairs behind that table. Sorry – there are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule, and you will be required to sign an agreement to this rule as part of your vendor contract.

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, extension cords 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 during a blizzard, to just under 500 people. 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, Pinterest), 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). We also do flyer trades with other local events whenever possible. For our niche markets (fashion, small press), 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.

Why is the admission $5? That seems high compared to other events. Won’t it scare customers away?
Our goal with TIAM is always to keep vendor fees as low as possible, so our system is set up so that we (TIAM administration) make our profit at the door.

Our experience is doing both free and paid admission markets is that, while we get more traffic at free events, most vendors report significantly lower sales. Willingness to pay admission usually means that customers are serious about supporting local artisans and aren’t “just looking” or there to kill some time.

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. Also be aware that we get a fair amount of walk-by traffic, so larger, heavier items tend not to sell as well as smaller things that are easy to carry.

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 or the Gladstone Hotel 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?
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.

TIAM is only able to accept food vendors selling prepared, pre-packaged foods such as pickles, chocolates, etc. Food vendors are permitted to offer small free samples of their product, but we are unable to offer spots to any food vendor wishing to sell prepared food (tacos, sandwiches, small pies, cupcakes) to eat on-site. This is part of our contract with our venue and will be strictly enforced.

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.

Can I help promote the event?
Yes! Vendors who are accepted will be required 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.

After You’ve Been Accepted:

Payment for your space must be made in advance, via PayPal. We use PayPal exclusively because it is safe and convenient. You do NOT need to have a PayPal account to make a payment through this system – PayPal will accept payments from credit cards and eChecks.

Note – eChecks take 6 to 8 days to clear, so they MUST be issued at such a time that the payment will be in the TIAM PayPal account by the deadline. Any eChecks uncleared at the payment deadline will be considered a failure to pay and will void your contract and cause forfeiture of your spot.

Vendors who fail to submit payment within the allotted time period will forfeit their space. There are absolutely no exceptions to this rule. Please ensure you are able to make payment by the deadline.

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 will be greylisted (go to the bottom of the vendor list for their category for the next event they apply for), and vendors who fail to pay and who lack the courtesy to bother contacting us at all will be blacklisted and 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 or an alternative date on their table fees but will not be reimbursed for other incidental costs or loss of business.

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, but please be aware that, due to the room layouts, we may not be able to guarantee hydro access to everyone who requests it. If you absolutely cannot live without additional lighting at your table, we suggest you invest in some battery-powered lamps.

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 and 8pm on Thursdays.)

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

TIAM cannot provide you with exact dimensions, location within the room, or a description of the state of repair of your table prior to the actual event. Our venue provides and sets up the tables for us based on our floor plan – TIAM organizers do not see the tables until we arrive at the event. The width of the table you will be using is indicated on your contract, and all tables are a minimum of 2ft deep, but may be more, depending on what tables the venue has available on event day. All tables are standard table height (go measure your dining room table if you really need this info). All tables are sturdy and are in usable condition, but some are not pretty. All vendors must bring their own table coverings.

Vendors are required to keep a neat and tidy display, with professional/creative signage, and may not offer sales or discounts at any point throughout the day.

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. Plan your display accordingly.

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 – organizer is severely allergic – 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 as well as dinner. 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 for markets with paid admission.

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.

How Can I Become a Featured Vendor?
Get your payment in early. Because it takes time to put together these features, selected vendors are tentatively chosen when acceptance/contracts are sent. Featured vendor spots are only offered once a vendor has confirmed their participation by paying their invoice. So you have a better chance of being offered a spot if you pay your invoice right away.