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Old 07.02.2013, 06:08
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Selling on the street

In Switzerland, can one set up a little table and a chair and sell stuff on the street? Like, say, a lemonade stand, or sell t-shirts? Or is there some "rule" against it?

Also, let's say you want to put your little stand somewhere near city center. Is there some rule against that? What if it is near a market (i.e. just outside the market)?

I'd bring all my tables and setup, no need to rent a market stand. Would this be allowed, or do I need some sort of special permit?

Thanks!
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Old 07.02.2013, 06:15
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Re: Selling on the street

I think you probably need a permit, but check with the Bern authorities to be sure.
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Old 07.02.2013, 06:17
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Re: Selling on the street

Try it and you'd be whisked off the street like an autumn leaf in the wind.
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Old 07.02.2013, 06:18
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Re: Selling on the street

This is the land of rules and regs. - if only it was that simple.

However, if you were to do this from 'private property', you would only need permission from the owner.
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Old 07.02.2013, 06:24
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Re: Selling on the street

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Try it and you'd be whisked off the street like an autumn leaf in the wind.
...or a fart in a tornado. Highly not recommended, unless you have the proper permits... And why are you trying to set up a lemonade stand in February? Kinda cold still, methinks...
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Old 07.02.2013, 06:52
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Re: Selling on the street

Where would you suggest would be the place to obtain said permits?
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Old 07.02.2013, 07:02
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Re: Selling on the street

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Where would you suggest would be the place to obtain said permits?
Start at the Gemeinde and they'll point you in the right direction...
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Old 07.02.2013, 07:22
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Re: Selling on the street

It may be the land or rules and regulations but in most cases the coppers have a sense of proportionality; i.e. if you were a kid trying to sell lemonade or cakes for school they'd leave you alone. You trying to make a quick buck by not paying for the market stall won't work, don't even try.
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Old 07.02.2013, 08:56
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Re: Selling on the street

I bought some cake of kids by the Zug lakeside who were trying to raise funds for a school trip last summer. The were walking around and asking people if they wanted to buy from them.
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Old 07.02.2013, 09:01
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Re: Selling on the street

Ah, if only. Unfortunately, I'm not a kid. I'm just looking to sell things on a one-off, one or two day thing, tops. So...not worth buying a whole market stall...I don't even know my things would even fill up a whole table. So I was looking for alternatives. Oh well, looks like I'm stuck trying to sell things to my friends from work by email or something. (shrug).
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Old 07.02.2013, 09:02
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Re: Selling on the street

Hey RC! Haven't seen you in a while!

Check with the city authorities for a permit. My understanding of the rules is that even the dude playing violin on the corner has to have a permit.

Edit to reply to your post above: You can also try tutti.ch, ricardo.ch, ricardolino.ch, and even the for sale section here on EF.
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Old 07.02.2013, 09:32
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Re: Selling on the street

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Ah, if only. Unfortunately, I'm not a kid. I'm just looking to sell things on a one-off, one or two day thing, tops. So...not worth buying a whole market stall...I don't even know my things would even fill up a whole table. So I was looking for alternatives. Oh well, looks like I'm stuck trying to sell things to my friends from work by email or something. (shrug).
For weekly or monthly markets like the ones in Zurich, Baden, Wadenswil you have to contact their committees, which you can get this info from the Gemeinde which often times puts you in touch with the Polizei. You have to reserve well in advance, sometimes 6 months to a year. And yes you have to pay. Some international schools have markets for different holidays and Christmas but those tables are normally around 200 each.
As far as the farmer's markets, like the big one on Fridays in Zurich, you can basically forget about them. The waiting lists are almost 5 years minimum, and when a free spot does come up, they try to pass them to family members.
Better in trying to put one off craft items up for sale on consignment in stores. And it is not as simple as going to a private property owner and asking if it is ok to be there. Especially if you plan to be there more then once. The neighbors might not appreciate you selling there, and as they say here "everyone has their rights".
It might seem like a pain, but you have almost none of the scalping and 2nd hand stolen goods markets that you can find in almost any other big city.
I don't know who to contact about this, but there is a courtyard near the Niederdorf in Zurich that has an open crafts and such market in warmer months. They might even be there in the cold. I bet if you go there directly and ask a vendor they might be able to help to tell you what you would need to do.
Another option is, don't know how mobile you are, is to head to St Louis or Colmar, and get into one of those street markets. From experience they always seemed more accommodating, and cheaper. Plus it does seem like a lot of rogue vendors show up there anyways. It's not too far, and a ton of Swiss and expats cross the border to do their shopping there anyways.
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Old 07.02.2013, 09:32
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Re: Selling on the street

Ha ha, hey 3 Wishes, how's it going? Yeah, I've been traveling. Just came back from Thailand, hence some stuff to sell. Did you ever figure out how to sell your jewelry? Yeah, I will look into this permit thing. If not, I'll set up a little webshop. I'll let you guys know how it goes. Thanks everyone for your replies!
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Old 07.02.2013, 10:05
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Re: Selling on the street

If it were possible and easy, you'd see people doing it all the time. Since you don't see people doing it, I'd guess it's difficult and not quite the "in thing" to do.

If you are making hand made items then online is the best way to go. Though you still need to do all the promoting of your site.

For a few things here and there, getting a market stall is probably not worth the time and effort.

The other thing you could do is approach independent store owners.
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Old 07.02.2013, 11:45
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Re: Selling on the street

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Ha ha, hey 3 Wishes, how's it going? Yeah, I've been traveling. Just came back from Thailand, hence some stuff to sell. Did you ever figure out how to sell your jewelry? Yeah, I will look into this permit thing. If not, I'll set up a little webshop. I'll let you guys know how it goes. Thanks everyone for your replies!
Remember if you do have a site in CH you will have to register it as a business.
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Old 07.02.2013, 11:50
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Re: Selling on the street

Is this related to this thread?

Cannabis French vs. German Switzerland
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Old 07.02.2013, 14:06
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Re: Selling on the street

Well, folks, I just came back from the Bern Gemeinde where I got myself informed as to what's what.

Turns out, you CAN sell stuff on the street...so long as you sell it off your backpack or off your hands, no displays or chairs or tables allowed. For the market stands, they cost something like 7 CHF per square meter, so super cheap...except they said they're "full" and are not taking any new applications until the end of the year. WTF?

So, apparently, you can sell things that are easily carried on your hands and concealed in a backpack pocket on the street in Switzerland, but you cannot sell, say, T-shirts or something that requires you to actually put stuff on display.

No wonder you can easily buy drugs in Switzerland but you can't get a decent cotton T-shirt with actual colored, printed patterns and not just plain white or black.

I really do wonder how the Swiss economy works. Having come back from spending 1 month in Thailand, where street vendors abound, with all their color and variety and...yes, very affordable prices, I wonder how the hell the Swiss survive on lack of choice. Very sad.

Oh well. Webshop it is. If you guys are interested in buying colorful T-shirts, ping me. ;P
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Old 07.02.2013, 14:17
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Re: Selling on the street

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Well, folks, I just came back from the Bern Gemeinde where I got myself informed as to what's what.

Turns out, you CAN sell stuff on the street...so long as you sell it off your backpack or off your hands, no displays or chairs or tables allowed. For the market stands, they cost something like 7 CHF per square meter, so super cheap...except they said they're "full" and are not taking any new applications until the end of the year. WTF?

So, apparently, you can sell things that are easily carried on your hands and concealed in a backpack pocket on the street in Switzerland, but you cannot sell, say, T-shirts or something that requires you to actually put stuff on display.

That's interesting! I wonder if this is a regional thing.

I imagine it doesn't work very well though. If it did, everyone would be doing it.

But I'm really not seeing the problem with you doing this with T-Shirts if you want. You can hold a T-Shirt in your hands and carry them in your back pack, no? Actually, IIRC, they do this at concert venues before and after the shows don't they?

You should try it and see how it goes.
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Old 07.02.2013, 14:20
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Re: Selling on the street

Just a side note... I've seen a garage sale advertised at my local supermarket and I did visit is (just as I would back home). They certainly didn't have a permit to sell their stuff outside their house. But thanks for the info RC
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Old 07.02.2013, 14:24
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Re: Selling on the street

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Well, folks, I just came back from the Bern Gemeinde where I got myself informed as to what's what.

Turns out, you CAN sell stuff on the street...so long as you sell it off your backpack or off your hands, no displays or chairs or tables allowed. For the market stands, they cost something like 7 CHF per square meter, so super cheap...except they said they're "full" and are not taking any new applications until the end of the year. WTF?

So, apparently, you can sell things that are easily carried on your hands and concealed in a backpack pocket on the street in Switzerland, but you cannot sell, say, T-shirts or something that requires you to actually put stuff on display.

No wonder you can easily buy drugs in Switzerland but you can't get a decent cotton T-shirt with actual colored, printed patterns and not just plain white or black.

I really do wonder how the Swiss economy works. Having come back from spending 1 month in Thailand, where street vendors abound, with all their color and variety and...yes, very affordable prices, I wonder how the hell the Swiss survive on lack of choice. Very sad.

Oh well. Webshop it is. If you guys are interested in buying colorful T-shirts, ping me. ;P
thanks. i'm sensing a bit of a business opportunity hiring school kids to sell bottles of beer...
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