This is the shopping season of the year per excellence! Everybody is running around like headless chickens looking around for the best bargains, trophies and presents aimed at family members, partners and friends.

London is full of Xmas markets these days and I have visited quite a few, not only because I genuinely appreciate arts and crafts but because I also love creating crafts ever since schooldays.

One thing that troubles me is that some stalls wrongly advertise their goods as handmade when it is perfectly clear to discerning individuals that they are not!

Take for example crafts that are done using a sewing machine and not hand sewing. Believe me, the connoisseurs can notice the difference a mile away!

I have noticed that most people choose to pay less and get a robust chunky piece of craft than purchase something more delicate, smaller in proportions, beautifully crafted and….genuinely handmade. I say this out of observing consumer behavior at craft markets.

Another puzzling fact is the spontaneous phenomenon of the crowds who come in droves into a premises and also leave again in droves. That means for the sellers that they must make their profit within that short period of time before they get stuck into the dry season of staring at the ceiling due to the lack of visitors. Talk about pressure!

As I spent time helping a friend recently at her market stall I realized closely how hard it is for market sellers to hold it together when visitors adopt the erratic behavior tactic.

That is when they decide not to visit the market thoroughly, consider all the options and make a purposeful purchase….no, instead the visitors are keen on adopting the typical impulsive conduct of compulsive buyers.

As soon as they see something they find appealing and interesting they will buy it on the spot without even blinking. They carry on like this until their budget hits the limit. That is when they finally look at the watch and decide to go back home or the pub.

What this means for the collective market is that all the other stall holders do not a stand a chance of having their products viewed, appreciated nor purchased at all.

Sometimes visitors do not even have necessarily to buy, but just stop, greet and speak to the person standing right opposite you, show interest in the items displayed, convey appreciation and if you really like something then buy with intent…that is all it takes to make contact with the other human being who has been waiting there for hours eagerly awaiting visitors and some appreciation.

Just imagine what it must feel like to have paid x or y amount of fees to hold a stall at a xmas market and then return home “in the red”, not having had the chance of covering at least the investment costs of the initial participation.

I hope this will bring some insight to the wider public about the Xmas markets and the glory of shopping!

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