Steampunk has one fundamental rule – be nice to one another. This is especially important where trading is concerned. Steampunk traders are potentially competing for money from buyers. This can easily lead to upset and unpleasantness so sticking to these guidelines on how to be nice is essential. So much so that breaches of them will unfortunately mean that you are not invited back to trade at any Leeds Steampunk Market. In extreme cases you may be asked to leave immediately.

We will also take into account behaviour at other events, public places and online such as social networking sites, forums and websites when compiling invitation lists. We will not tolerate trolling (online bullying) of any form.

Invitations to trade may be rescinded accordingly.

Traders can expect friendly and professional service from our team at all times and to be treated with respect and courtesy.  Abuse of our team, the venue staff and/or fellow traders at any time during or between events will result in a Trader being asked to leave or to have their booking cancelled without refund, and permanent exclusion from the event. We operate a zero tolerance policy on this issue.

In signing the booking form and making the appropriate payment, the trader accepts these terms and conditions.

Communicating: Please ensure all communication (both verbal and written via social media) is confirmed by email. Initial interest at an event or through Facebook is fine but trying to keep track on conversations on there proves to be impossible. Instant messaging is no easier to track than a thread of comments on a post.

Owing to the varied nature and layout of the event venues (owing to their listed status), you must advise of any mobility or health issues (well in advance) which may impact upon where your pitch is located.

A couple of days before the event I will email all traders with full loading in and setting up details along with my mobile number. If you experience any problems on the day itself, contact me by text. Do NOT try to contact me by Facebook in any way - I really do not have time to go online on that morning!

Bookings & payment: A booking can be confirmed once we have received some sort of payment, and that you have received confirmation from us via email. You can go ahead and publish it on your own website and Facebook page to let your customers know. 

No booking is confirmed unless you have received confirmation from us. A deposit will hold it until balance is paid - just get the balance paid as soon as possible. The Prompt Payment Discount is for this reason - incentive for you to pay early and get your pitch cheaper!

Even regular traders risk losing their slot if someone books before them.

Pitch fees: Payment must be made quickly once you receive your invoice and we can be flexible to allow payment in instalments as required. 

Pitch fees are not refundable. 

Reserve list: Once an event is fully booked, we do retain a reserve list of traders willing to step in at short notice. The pitches are charged at the same price as normal.

Changes & cancellations:

Traders withdrawing from the event for any reason after paying for their pitch are not entitled to a refund.

If, however, the event is fully booked, we are notified in advance and we are able to resell that pitch, the trader will be offered a non-refundable transfer to one of the next events. Any transfer must be used within the same tax year (April - April). All cancellation notices must be put in writing by emailing leedssteampunkmarket@gmail.com

If we are notified at short notice (anything from a couple of weeks up to a day before the event) this may not be enough time to relet the pitch.

If you have booked for both days and decide (for whatever reason) to pack up after only one day, there is no refund or transfer for the day you do not attend. We could have let that pitch to someone else so please plan your dates in advance. If you're not sure about doing both days we recommend booking for one day to try us out.

Traders are not permitted to sub contract, transfer or “sell on” their trading pitch without our permission.

LSM cannot accept responsibility for any issues arising as a result of problems with the weather, the venue or its staff. If, because of war, fire, strike, or other cause beyond the control of LSM, the event is cancelled, Traders remain liable for stand fees and LSM shall have no liability to traders from the loss of income resulting from such cancellation.

If LSM cancels the event, traders' deposits and pitch fees will be either reimbursed or carried forward to another event but LSM cannot be held liable for any additional expenses incurred.

Stall sharing: LSM selects traders carefully to give everyone a fair chance of making sales and making money. Our markets are also usually subsidised in price to help you have a more profitable experience. Stall sharing (booking one stall and sharing it with another trader who puts their own stock on sale on your stall whether they are there or not) is not allowed without prior permission as this will impact upon stock lines (see below). If you wish to carry lines from another trader you must discuss this at the time of booking before your pitch is confirmed. In the same way, you are not allowed to buy stock from another trader and then resell it on your pitch at a higher price without their permission or their knowledge.

Product lines: Once you have advised of your stock lines, you cannot assume to deviate and bring completely different products either as an alternative or in addition. I go to great lengths to ensure that I do not put two traders selling similar lines near each other (hats, fascinators, jewellery, goggles, leather etc). It is extremely awkward to find myself suddenly faced with two traders selling exactly the same thing. I also monitor how many people I have each doing certain lines so that the market has a balanced and diverse product offer.

You are CERTAINLY not allowed to fill your pitch with anything else you have made that would be better suited at a general craft fair or any bits and pieces you find at home that you wish to sell. (That is what eBay, flea markets and car boot sales are for!) If you don't have enough to sell of the previously agreed lines, then think twice before booking and plan your creativity to fill your pitch for another LSM event instead.

Trading: You are encouraged to dress up yourself and your set accordingly. Obviously not everyone has the means or the money to look "full on steampunk/goth/whatever" from day one - be presentable or creative with what you have to at least look like you've made an effort and want to be there.

All stalls are to be set up in an attractive manner and you need a suitable table covering to cover the top of the table and reach the floor at the front and two sides. (A large flat black sheet should do it!) Make sure you tape any sticking out corners of fabric to the legs in some way so they do not cause a trip hazard. Stock boxes etc are to be stored safely and out of sight. 

Please remember you represent your business and the event as a whole. Demonstrate good judgement in your daytime consumption of alcohol. You may be asked to leave if you pose a risk to yourself and others and may not be invited back.

Traders must obtain the consent of the venue for the playing of any musical instrument or recording at the event. Such music as is played must avoid causing nuisance or discomfort to visitors and other Traders and in any complaint arising thereof. Also the venue may not have a licence for recorded music to be played in public (PRS licence etc). The decision of the venue manager shall be final.

As a stall holder, you and you alone are responsible for your pitch. Other traders may agree to watch your stall for you when you want to pop to the toilet or for a quick cigarette/cuppa but do bear in mind this may impact on their own sales by doing so. Be mindful of the fact that this does not mean you can disappear from your pitch for extended periods of time. Bringing someone with you to assist is a good idea as means you can deal with more than one customer at a time and will also make your load in/out quicker and easier. 

Traders’ vehicles must be parked sensibly and traders must comply with our or the venue's staff requests to move cars or boxes etc if they are considered to be in the way. Traders should check that their table is erected correctly and must not do anything to encroach upon gangways, exits or other Traders’ access or stalls.

All traders must stay open right up until the designated closing time - please check each event as times may be different. Even if the building has all but emptied of the public, you must still stay open. There may be a last minute arrival that turns up to shop making a difference to your profit for the day. To be honest, the last hour of the day proves to be very profitable as traders go off on a quick wander to spend their own hard earned takings. This last hour or so is not to be used to start closing down.

Security: When you check in you will be given a trader’s pass. This identifies you as a trader. Retain it and wear it somewhere visible for the duration of the market. People without passes are not ordinarily permitted in market spaces during set up. This is for your protection since it is at this time that theft is most likely to happen. If you see someone without a pass then ask them to leave until the market opens and if necessary contact the event management. This is also your identification that gains you discount at our own food concessions (tearoom and hot food traders). Other stall holders doing cakes/confectionary may not be discounting for traders.

Arriving: You must arrive at the correct time; we appreciate that travel arrangements can be impacted on by heavy traffic etc. Ensure you allow plenty of time for your journey taking this into account. It may not be possible to allow you to set up if you arrive too late (ie after the building has opened to the public due to Health and Safety rules). Of course we cannot always avoid delays and problems. If you cannot attend at all please let us know at the earliest opportunity. On event days we do not get a chance to go online so use the phone number supplied with load in instructions.

Setting up: Make sure you check in with myself, one of my team of helpers or any other designated staff when you arrive and before you start to set up. (This includes outdoor “static exhibitors”). There is always the chance of last minute changes etc and it is inconvenient and time consuming when traders set up in the wrong place. If you arrive early, before us, please be patient and wait.

You and your stall MUST be set up and ready to trade by the time our opening hours commence.

Emergency procedure: All traders will be briefed on evacuation procedures and 1st aiders 15 minutes before we open to the public.

Charity donation: We ask that all traders each donate a little something for the fundraising charity or cause that is with us for the weekend please. If your stock is of a high value, make some sort of gift voucher. Make sure you have a tag or business card attached to your donation so people can see who made it. You can either pop along to their stall with it as soon as you can or leave it with myself, Si or any of our team that gets you loaded in and we'll pass it on. If not, just wait and the charity volunteers are advised to go around the traders to pick them up.

Packing up: Once again, there is to be no packing up prior to the advertised closing time for each event, unless specifically directed to do so by one of us or a member of our team. Should circumstances arise which mean Traders need to leave early, please notify one of us at the earliest opportunity.

This request is made for several reasons: 

It looks bad for late arriving customers to see stallholders already packing away, making them feel unwelcome. 

It allows us to fully comply with fire regulations. 

It allows the venue's staff and our volunteer helpers to provide the correct access for traders and customers alike.

If by some chance you have sold out of stock and wish to leave early, come and find us to ask if it is okay for you to do so. (We'd rather that you didn't - you should have brought more stock!) If you only have small items such as bags this may be permissible however if you have larger items such as suitcases, table, shelving etc this will not be allowed due to Health & Safety as the building will still be open to the public.

If it is noticed you have packed up your stall early and sneaked out without speaking to us, this is considered extremely impolite and will not be invited back to trade again.

Not to mention the fact it is very unprofessional and unfair on the other traders as you spoil the atmosphere and ambience of your area. If you notice another trader packing up early, please don't be afraid to point out to them the error of their ways. We're not saying clash heads - just point out to them "we don't close til 5 .." or whatever. (I know half the traders don't bother reading all of this judging by the questions I get asked...)

If you need to leave early because one of your party is taken ill then just let us know straight away and we’ll arrange for any help as needed for you to get away swiftly and safely.

Loading and unloading: Access is often a problem. It is very inconsiderate to leave your vehicle near the doors when you are not actually loading or unloading.

Unload from your vehicle fully (putting your load where you have been told to put it) then move your vehicle away from the doors before you take your stuff to your pitch to set up. When leaving pack everything down and move it to the assigned doorway so it is ready to go before you move your vehicle closer to the door. Move it as soon as you are packed.

In case of emergency, traders are required to display their business name and contact telephone number clearly on their dashboard while loading / unloading into the venues.  Vehicles blocking slip roads and entrances are liable to be clamped by the council. Parking is usually free at our venues during our events but do check with a member of venue staff for confirmation.

It is important that you do not block access with boxes of stock etc. You should unload into your stall space not the walkways between stalls. When you are packing or unpacking stick within your space.

Space: Stick to your space. Do not assume you can expand into “gaps” around you whether it is on the ground or on the walls. This expansion inevitably impacts upon other traders or accessibility. It may also break the terms of agreements with venues or their health and safety policies. If there is a gap you would like to expand into please ask first. The only exception would be if we advise you beforehand that we have an unexpected space next to you that would be better filled than left empty.

Furniture: Where there is furniture for you to use make sure you share and don’t take too many items.

Notices and signs: You are welcome to put up signs advertising your business in your own booked space. Banners etc are a great idea. Please ensure any advertising or promoting is confined to your allocated trading area and not impairing the view of other traders.

Other events:  In making this booking you agree that, between the point of booking and the conclusion of the event, you will not approach any of our traders to offer business cards, flyers, or booking forms for any other trading event. You are allowed flyers on your own pitch solely for the purpose of promoting where you are trading next but only if your next event does not conflict with one of our own. You are also not allowed to sell promotional merchandise for other events at any of our events.


In light of recent accusations and abuse on social media by an event organiser of another event organiser (both based in the north of England) we will no longer allow any flyers for WRYS events.

I repeat, LSM does not tolerate this sort of behaviour or bullying.

Floats: It is your own responsibility to ensure you have an adequate float for the duration of the whole day/s. It may not be possible for other traders to bail you out if you run out of change and it is not acceptable to make sundry purchases from the venue’s cafe, admission area or shop in order to top up your deficiency as they are the first point of contact to the public and thus are likely to be under the most pressure for change.

Interrupting: When nearby traders are speaking to customers it can be very tempting to join the conversation. You should be careful not to do so unless you are sure you are not interrupting. It is extremely bad form to suggest you may have an alternative product which may be of interest to the customer until they move on to look at your stall.

Obstructions: During the course of trading avoid blocking the front of stalls (especially other people’s). If you are standing chatting to friends then find a space to do this. You should not set up chairs out in front of your stall or in the walkways between stalls.

Liability of the parties: Traders will be liable for any damage they cause to walls, flooring or any other part of the event building/structure.

LSM is fully aware that the success of its traders and their financial well-being is of paramount interest to its continued success and will pursue appropriate promotional activities to achieve this end. 

Every trader shall participate in the event entirely at their own risk in every respect, and shall absolve LSM from responsibility for such risks, including personal injury, loss or damage to property: however this injury, loss or damage may be caused whether by fire, theft, inclement weather, interruption of power, defect in the equipment and building or failure of subcontractors or agents to perform.

LSM cannot, however, be held responsible, and its traders absolve it from any responsibility, for loss of profits, for damage or theft of traders’ stock, interruption of power or services, or failure of press advertisement fully contracted to appear, inclement weather and failure of sub-contractors or agent to perform, which may result in loss to traders. LSM does not provide insurance cover for theft or damage to traders’ stock. It is a condition of booking that traders absolve LSM from responsibility for refunding fees paid by them except as specified under these conditions.

Insurance: We will do everything in our power to ensure that traders have a successful event but cannot be held responsible for damage or theft of traders’ stock, interruption of power or services, or anything else beyond our control. LSM does not provide insurance cover for theft or damage to traders’ stock and recommends that traders adequately insure themselves against all risks. It is a condition of booking that traders understand and accept that they cannot hold us responsible for any losses they sustain.

LSM accepts no liability for the loss of or damage to traders' work, neither during the event, nor during setting-up or dismantling. Insurance is the responsibility of the individual trader, 

You should have the appropriate Public Liability Insurance (proof of which needs to be provided in advance) as it is a condition of booking and is insisted on by the event’s insurer. PAT test certificates are also required for anything more than one year old - carry proof of it on the day.

The Law: You must comply with all appropriate health & safety and trading standards regulations and your business name must be clearly visible on your stall at all times. Traders should be aware that Trading Standards Officers regularly visit trading events all over the country and traders have been prosecuted in recent years. 

You have a legal responsibility to make sure that your goods are of merchantable quality and are fit for purpose. You must be able to give receipts and your address and contact details. You should be aware of and stick to specific regulations that may have an effect upon your business e.g. the VCRA (Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006) and regulations on the sale of knives and blades, licensing laws and food hygiene and trading laws. 

Please click on the Legal Stuff tab for more information.

The safety of our customers is paramount. Traders must ensure that any temporary fixtures and fittings are in good repair and fit for commercial use. Stalls may not be built higher than 3 metres from floor level without our permission. Should either the Venue Manager or any of our team have concerns about the stability of any fixture or fitting, you may be asked to remove or modify your display. Our decision in this matter is final.

Weapons policy: If you are selling bladed items, replica firearms or similar, these must comply with current legislation. We do not advocate their open display other than to specific customers wherein they may be viewed by them safely. Please be aware of others around you when doing so. Do NOT be waving it about or showing it off as you will (understandably) be making the other people around you very nervous. We have a weapons policy which must be adhered to at all times so please advise your customers at the time of the sale and ensure you have sufficient bags to put them in.

There is a section on here dedicated to our weapons policy - please follow this link for further information.

Conclusion: Be considerate when you are trading. This usually means that people will watch your stall for you when you want to pop to the toilet or for a quick cigarette and will let you know if they see a shoplifter. It also means you have a more enjoyable weekend. Where money is involved then tensions can increase. It can be distressing to see someone else making sales when yours are slow etc. It is essential that you stick to these etiquette guidelines since they serve to avoid tensions and make the weekend a much more pleasant experience for everyone.

Traders tips: Stay friendly and smile lots. Chat and be pleasant rather than trying to sell. The sales will happen. If you sit behind your stall and gossip with your friend, read a newspaper or book, play on your phone or glare at people then you won’t make sales. Stand up (when and where possible) to make eye contact and deal with customers. Have business cards or compliment slips with you to hand out as you could get enquiries for commission orders after the event. If customers are short on cash, offer them the option to pay by PayPal - just tell them to log into PayPal on their smartphone, tell them the email your PP is set to and then to show you the screen once they have paid. Better to take a small hit on the PP processing fee than not have the sale!

If you think some of these terms sound familiar then you are correct. 

Many thanks to Jo Hampshire of the Whitby Steampunk Weekend for her input and to Major Tinker and Lady Elsie for allowing me to plagiarise their Victorian Steampunk Society’s own Steampunk Markets Traders’ Etiquette.

Please remember, trading at LSM is a privilege as trading positions are nearly always oversubscribed.

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