How to set up a Pop Up Shop

Do you have something you would love to sell?  Have you pondered how you would go about making those sales?  Sure, it’s super easy to set yourself up with an online shop using platforms such as Ebay, Etsy, or even Amazon to name a few.  But what if you want customers to be able to see your items in person?  Sometimes the beauty of a creation is hard to present in an image alone.

How about opening your own retail store?  Have you considered the expense involved in going down that road? I know I have, and while I am a believer in all things being possible, I also know there are other ways to expose my product to the world that won’t put me into debt before my product even reaches the floor.  One way to do this is by participating in Pop Up Shop opportunities.

In this article I would love to introduce or perhaps re-introduce to you the idea of having your own personal piece of the retail world and how to set up a Pop Up Shop.

                      What is a Pop Up Shop

A Pop up shop is a short term retail space.  They can last anywhere from a few hours to a day and even for a few months.  A Pop Up Shop can be set up as small as merchandise on a table all the way up to an entire storefront.  Either way, it is only a temporary shop site.

Pop up shops are used to get your merchandise in front of the customer.    It’s an opportunity to get your brand out there and network with others both customers and other Vendors.  I have met so many people during my vending experiences.

You may be wanting to start a retail store.  Maybe you aren’t sure if your product is something people are looking for. This is a good way to test the market with your product and get a little better picture of what may work and what may not.  Maybe you want to test the price  points of your product.  No better way than to listen to what your customers have to say about it.  Plus, people love to get out and shop.  Not everyone wants to make all their purchases online.

                 Where will I find a Pop Up Shop

You can find Pop Up Shops in many different places such as:

Community Picnic Event
Arts and Craft Fair
Flea Market
Swap Meet
Farmers Market

Retail Storefront
Music Festivals

When you walk through a mall you may see these shops down the center of the hall.  Those may be pop up shops.  I say “may be” because some of those little shops are like permanent fixtures in those spaces.  Pop up shops don’t stay as long as some of those do.

Have you ever gotten a cream puff at a state fair?    Most likely, you purchased it from a pop up shop.



          What do people sell in a Pop Up Shop

The products found in pop up shops are endless.  You can sell merchandise of any kind.  From jewelry, toys, crafts, paintings, the list could go on.  You can literally sell anything in a pop up shop.  Where you live may greatly depend on what you find at any given shop.  I live in the Midwest.  In the shops here we often see handmade food and crafts.  Food vendors sell peanuts, jams, produce, specialty cupcakes, ice cream, and cookies to name just a few.

Food trucks are another example of a Pop Up Shop.
Selling food out of trucks dates back over a 100 years or more.

The cost of a Pop Up Shop

The cost of having a pop up shop varies.  It depends on how elaborate you want it to be.  It may consist of nothing more than a table to display your products to a storefront space or space in a mall.  The latter of those would of course cost you more.  If you set up your shop in an event such as an arts and crafts fair you will have an event fee to consider.  This fee is for the “booth” space and typically costs anywhere from $75 to $300.  This depends on where you are located and what event is taking place.  In a small rural community you will more than likely pay a lot less than you would at a State Fair or in a store front space.

Location, duration of the event, and size of the space are all factors to consider when opening a pop up shop.

If you just need a table for your event this of course won’t cost more than the initial investment of that table.  A more elaborate setup may consist of a tent/canopy, several tables, display equipment, advertising materials, etc. If you are renting a storefront there may be a rental fee for that space.  The sky is the limit when it comes to the amount you could spend.

Then there is advertising.  This also can vary in costs accrued.  It’s an excellent opportunity to network with other vendors as well as customers.  It’s a great idea to have signage displayed for your business.  Perhaps a sign with your business logo hanging for everyone to see.

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Sidewalk signs are a great way to advertise your shop. 
You could also hand out a small gift with your store logo on it.  Again, the sky is the limit. It’s a great idea to have business cards or pamphlets available for your customers.

               Setting yourself up for success

When considering how to set up a pop up shop it’s important to create an open inviting space for your customers.  A space free of clutter.  Set it up so they have room to roam about and not feel cramped in the space.  They will stay longer if they feel comfortable and that may mean more sales for you.
Price stickers/tags should be placed so they are very visible.  Not only is this courteous but it also prevents them from wanting to touch your items having to search for the price.

Be available for them to ask questions but don’t be overbearing or pushy.  Just approach them in the same manner in which you yourself would want to be approached.

When examining where to promote your pop up shop, target your audience.  Know your product and create your shop with your product in mind.  You wouldn’t set up an arts and craft shop at an auto show necessarily.


Pop up shops are a fantastic way to get your product in front of customers.  You can find a pop up shop in many places, and they can vary from a simple set up at a indoor craft fair to a very complex shop in a storefront.

It may take you a couple tries to get comfortable with it and learn what works and what may not work for you.  I learn a lot from every event I attend.  But it can really be a lot of fun and quite profitable to be involved in these events.

I hope you enjoyed this article on How to Set up a Pop Up Shop.  I would love to hear about your experiences with pop up shops or answer any questions you may have.  Please feel free to leave a comment below.

                                                      I am grateful you are here

18 thoughts on “How to set up a Pop Up Shop”

  1. “The Greatest crisis of our lives is neither economic, intellectual, nor even we usually call religious. It is crisis of imagination. We get stuck on our paths because we are not able to reimagine our lives differently from what they are right now.”
    Mark Gafini, “The Mastery of love.”
    Thank you very much for your fantastic website ,Teresa!
    Kind regards,

    • Hello Andrey, what a fantastic quote you shared here. Thank you so much.
      And thank you so much for visiting my site. I really hope you were able to
      find some value in it.

      All the best to you,

  2. Hello Theresa, Like very mush this post, I have an eshop on etsy and I’, going to organise some pop up for my costumer
    thank you for this great article

  3. Teresa: I really enjoyed your article How to set up a Pop Up Shop. The food truck pop up shop is growing in popularity. I will share this information with my brother who wants to set up a pop up shop. Best wishes and thank you for sharing!

    • Hello Alyse, Thank you for visiting my site and for sharing it with others.
      I am really glad you enjoyed the information. Best of luck
      to your brother.

      All the best,

  4. Hi Teresa,

    I love this content and quite honestly it couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

    My boyfriend and I are in the discussion stages of starting a food truck business so your post has some very good information for us.

    Thank you for the valuable information!


    • Hi Lisa, I am so glad you found the information in my post How to set up a Pop Up Shop to be
      helpful. That’s great to hear. I wish you the best of luck if you decide to move forward with
      your food truck business. How exciting for you!

      All the best,

  5. Hi Teresa,

    This is a well-documented post with hands-on info! Really gets me inspired to start my own Pop Up Shop 😉

    Thanks for sharing with us and keep up the good work!

    • Thank you so much for visiting my site. I’m glad I was able to inspire you.
      If you do move forward and have a pop up shop I wish you the best of luck
      with it. It really is a lot of fun.

      All the best,

  6. I make macrames as a little hobby of mine and I always wanted to sell them to people that may find them interesting. I realize that opening a popup shop may be what I’m looking for and this article gives me just the right insight to help get me started. Love you 🙂

  7. Hi there,

    Such an insightful post. I know of so many businesses that originated from a pop-up shop or the back of a truck. It’s a great way to get a feel for the market and your products without splurging on a shop, which can be a scary experience, particularly if it doesn’t go well.

    • Hello there, I absolutely agree, it helps you to know if people are genuinely interested
      in your product/brand first hand. It’s great feedback from real people. And my pieces
      of jewelry/art are so much more beautiful in person than any image I can capture. So it
      allows for people to see it all first hand.

      Thank you for visiting my site,
      All the best,


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