The trunk lifts up and the cloth banner with red letters on a white background hangs out, a few small tandem bulbs wrapped around it emitting warm colors as McDougall moves out tables, folding chairs, buckets of raw materials, and places the fluorescent chalkboard that serves as a menu, and the lemon tea stand is opening for the night.
Since mid-June this year, McDull and a few friends from Foshan have been selling lemon tea at 8:30 p.m., basically taking one day off a week except for thunderstorms, with the trunk of their car as their base.
There are many more young people like McDull. Is setting up a stall the second best thing for them, or does it mean more possibilities?
Next door to young people
"The Car Boot Sale originated in Europe and the United States and is part of rural culture. People put their clothes, shoes, hats, groceries, books and CDs in their trunks and meet at the market to buy, sell and exchange unused items.
And for McDull, who has a trunk stall, making money comes first in line. She has a day job and sacrifices her sleep time by setting up a stall, going to bed at two and getting up at seven every day, "earning hard money.
The place where McDull set up his stall is in a good environment, close to the toilet, no parking fee, and there are a lot of people walking around in the evening.
▲ Lemon tea is a trunk stall hit.
Betting on the target demographic, but revenue was inconsistent, with McDougall's turnover fluctuating between three to four hundred and fifteen hundred.
The profession of stall is especially dependent on the sky, and naturally McDull is not the only one who wants the right location and the right people.
McDull met many young men in the neighborhood who also sold lemon tea, and they tacitly kept their distance, occasionally lending each other ice and cups. There are also young men around who sell noodles, barbecue and beef balls, a friendly complementary relationship of sorts, and McDull helps out when he's hungry.
If you search for "stall" on Xiaohongbook, you can find 1.82+ million notes, with all kinds of young people's stall experiences hidden in them.
▲ Photo from: CNA
Sandwiches, coffee, cocktails, lemon tea ...... The morning coffee and evening alcohol of urban ladies can be realized here. Last December, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu and many other places set off "hot wine stall tide", only need to prepare all the wine, fruit, spices, pot, induction stove, you can out of the stall.
▲ Image from: Currygate
Of course, there are also snacks for young and old such as grilled sausages, crayfish and boneless chicken feet, as well as seasonal foods such as cold noodles, lao mian, coconut milk jelly and green bean soup, which anchor the late-night snack scene and cover the widest range of people.
▲ Image from: upbeat media
Besides catering, there are flowers, accessories, trendy toys, Polaroid, and all kinds of crafts. It has become a necessity to win with creativity.
The shape of the stalls is also different. Apart from the common "using the ground as a seat" at flyovers and subway entrances, trunk stalls are becoming increasingly popular. According to Baidu index, the search index of "trunk" has increased significantly since April this year.
McDull belongs to the "nomadic" style, using one's trunk as a stationing place, with a general range framed, depending on the weather and the city police where exactly. With the recent tightening of city control, many regular customers help find locations, and McDougal receives several locates a day.
The opposite of 'nomadic' is 'colony', the most typical being trunk fairs, which do not put out 'wild stalls', but often cooperate with regular shopping malls and charge a stall fee, generally ranging from 100-500 RMB/day, depending on the flow and nature of the event, at variable times each week.
▲ Photo from: Zhongxin Zheli
Trunk bazaars have grown up in Beijing, Nanjing, Kunming, Baoding, Jinan, Wuhan, Chengdu and elsewhere. The location of the bazaar is, again, closely related to the lifestyles of young people.
During this year's Dragon Boat Festival holiday, Nanjing Fuzimiao Pedestrian Street introduced a trunk cultural bazaar, with an 85.4% increase in average daily holiday traffic compared to the May Day period; INSO Car Trunk Bazaar is located in the Sprinter Outlet Plaza.
Where young people's lives are, they are. Some are making a quick buck, others are putting in the long haul. "Towergate has reported that some stall owners go to marketplaces to set up stalls just to explore the road for opening a shop, to meet customers face to face, and to figure out the problems of their startup brands and products.
Make the pendulum swing a little better
The stalls set up by young people are not quite the same as the street food trucks of hand pies and grilled cold noodles.
As the saying goes, product is king and product innovation is naturally paramount.
Still a student, Nanjing's Ah Han has been studying baking for a few months and has been selling cookies, cakes, milk jicama and other desserts from her stall after school. A few cookies borrowed from Little Red Book's Dada, sell outstandingly well, are made with Anjia butter and Xinliang low-gluten flour, and are priced cheaper than nearby brick-and-mortar stores, making them very popular with children near schools and squares. If they all sell out, you can make almost half of the revenue.
▲ Ah Han's Dessert Stall. Photo from: Little Red Book @Ahan's Desserts.
Xiao De, a Chengdu resident, quit her job in March this year from the teaching and training industry without thinking about what she wanted to do. On the first day of business, Xiao De woke up at 5 o'clock.
She chose to sell sandwiches because Kotoku loves to eat and research sandwiches herself. She also observed that fast-paced young people prefer to choose convenient bread for breakfast. She developed her own recipe through online learning and constant experimentation, using whole wheat bread as the base and adding the same seaweed and meat puffs as Master Bao for her signature flavor.
▲ Little Tak's sandwich stand. Photo from: Little Red Book @LoveFondueOhOhOhOh
Xiao De, who "treats her stall as if she were at work," has her stall twice a day, targeting office workers in the morning and high school students after school in the evening, keeping the same rhythm as theirs, with a daily turnover of over 600 yuan.
The young people who sell flowers at the pinch points of Tanabata, 520 and Valentine's Day are not very different from the grandfather who sells flowers in baskets at the entrance of the subway, but they use PVC handbags, string lights, stickers, cards and other cheap and good-looking decorations to package the flowers and net a few hundred a night.
In order to fit in with the product, the stall needs a good looking facade. Just like McDull's stall, 'ambient props' such as fluorescent chalkboards, folding tables and chairs, and small light bulbs in tandem are essential. But according to McDull, compared to their peers, their stalls are not considered elaborate.
It's important to be careful with your gear and not to over-burn it. After all, the upfront budget is often not quite enough.
If you look on social media, you can see a lot of "three to five hundred to get the stall equipment" experience posts, the core idea is "flat substitution". For example, you shouldn't search for camping gear because "camping and camping are expensive nowadays", so you should look for aluminum folding tables and fishing folding stools.
▲ Image from: Little Red Book @Cooler Cool Coconut Desserts/@Lemon Tea Vendor
These new stall owners are not only pursuing the good quality and cheap price of the stalls, but also creating more experiences and scenes, playing with creativity in a cramped space, some "new consumer version of stalls".
If we say that offline "stores are products", online we have to focus on operations and traffic. McDull has opened two WeChat groups, posting shake videos and live-streaming lemon tea making from time to time. The live streams have more than two to three thousand people, less than thirty to forty, but they do not rely on live PK or brush gifts to make money, open live streams mainly to tell their online friends about the location.
In McDull's opinion, the most important thing to attract customers is two things - taste and becoming friends with them. She recognizes the look of about 20 familiar customers, including customers who only drink a certain kind of tea every time, and customers who watch the live broadcast on time every day ...... This simple outline of the user profile is conducive to the subsequent continuous operation.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to get a tutorial.
The forms of cashing in are also becoming more and more flexible. Many stallholders don't just make a living on an acre of land, they also sell product recipes and methodologies on social media, playing the marginal cost of the internet to the hilt. However, whether to teach people to fish or cut leeks requires a case-by-case analysis.
The smoke and mirrors of the streets and alleys sustain the firewood of a family. Talk about more added value, packaged as a beautiful lifestyle, stall is essentially a means of making a living. The work rolls colleagues, out of the stall does not mean freedom, more to work for themselves on the basis of subjective initiative.
Younger swinging stalls, no easier
There may be a lot of innovation in young people setting up stalls, but the business isn't any easier.
The "How much did you make on the first day/few hours of your stall" belongs to the real and fake speeches of successful people, the "Open and shut down" dissuasion guide seems more realistic, exposing one pit after another and waking up the hot-headed youth.
It should not be overlooked that the trunk and other forms of stalls, food hygiene standards and business qualifications are more ambiguous, but also face a series of urban management problems such as occupying the road, noise nuisance, garbage disposal, and is not suitable for long-term operation.
When Ah Han set up her stall, she had been questioned about "unhygienic ah". These comments were unfounded, but she had a hard time saying it.
In June 2020, Wuling launched the Mainland's first 'ground stall vehicle', the city administration department said that individuals can only drive original 'ground stall vehicles' to operate in special bazaars that allow individuals to set up stalls. Without permission to operate, driving the car next to the road or on the sidewalk is an occupied business and needs to be banned. Personal trunk stalls and this situation should be closer, trying out at the edge of danger.
▲ Image from: Weibo @WulingMotor
The trunk bazaar, which is a 'regular army', has had a wild goose chase.
In early March this year, the explosion of the trunk bazaar in Wumadu, Nanjing, drew the attention of the traffic and urban management departments; in May, the bazaar was managed by the scenic area after regularization to avoid occupying the road. The head of the bazaar said that stall owners engaged in food production in the fleet now have offline stores, food business licenses and health certificates for employees, otherwise they cannot be out of the stalls.
However, the rules do not vary from bazaar to bazaar. When I tried to apply for a certain Beijing trunk bazaar, falsely claiming that I had previously been a personal trunk mobile stall without a business licence, the person in charge replied "Yes, you can, with a health certificate".
The hard and fast rules are one side of the coin; it is the young people who have experienced the success or failure of the stall that will appreciate the details.
First of all, the stall's reputation and even brand effect can not be established quickly, as a netizen said, "the biggest feeling is, 15, 20 a cup of lemon tea, why I do not go to tea hundred road, a little, to buy the ground stall".
▲ Photo from: Xi'an Evening News
Because there are acquaintances who run brick-and-mortar shops as suppliers, McDull feels that the production is more secure than slowly figuring out the modulation, "some loyal customers would rather stand than go to other stalls," but more stall owners have to start from scratch themselves or first pay the blood money to learn the art.
Secondly, it is not uncommon to ignore research and planning and enter the business at the drop of a hat. One young man who failed to set up a stall for the summer decided to sell flowers because he liked buying them and was ritualistic, and soon tasted bitter fruit because "you need to be careful selling flowers in small counties, and no one usually buys them if it's not a holiday".
There were also some unexpected circumstances. On the third day of her stall, Ah Han received a counterfeit bill, "a whole red bill, I didn't think people still use fake money"; although there is healthy competition between McDull and most of the stallholders, a few are unfriendly, following their location and even impersonating their names when they are not out.
In short, it is certainly possible to experience life and expand socially through stalls, and subsistence may be possible, but those who want to get rich from stalls must be cautious. Personal choice, however, is not entirely up to the individual. Those who are seen by us are also only a very small minority in the floating of the times.
▲ Young people who quit their jobs to set up stalls.
On August 11, #00s would rather set up a stall than go to work. A couple of Chongqing post-00s have been setting up a stall for more than 2 months, selling earrings, luminous rings and other accessories, and have been able to meet their daily expenses when they first started.
The couple is more concerned about their feelings, so they left their jobs to set up a stall to create their ideal workplace, "Don't be too anxious when you're trying, what's more important is actually being healthy and happy.
For Got, who quit her job naked, the impact of her previous work in the teaching and training industry to date has helped them choose a location for their stall, analyse their target group and review their summaries. Setting up a stall now makes just as much sense, both in terms of increasing income and filling the pay gap from quitting their job naked, and as a small, but not easy, entrepreneurial experience that leaves a lesson for the future.
McDull is one of the more fortunate ones, as the stall is just a part-time job to make money. She didn't expect "it's really hard work" or that her stall would soon become a hit.
She and her friends are slowly exploring what else they can do besides setting up stalls, and now that they have some traffic, they may consider transitioning to something else in the future.
"After all, it's really too hard to make this money these days, and it's impossible to keep swinging."