12 product ideas from India, Indonesia, Thailand and South America that will make you stand out at a Christmas gift market / fair (with gallery)

Christmas time is the busiest season for gift markets, but it’s also the hardest time to stand out from other retailers, and draw the bustling crowds towards your stall.

Malchus Kern Wholesale cares about helping your business earn profits in a difficult time, so here are twelve fresh, innovative ideas for products you could sell in the Christmas season. Even though I do sell two products from the list, it still includes over 10 other products – so the list really is made to make your Christmas business be a success, and not only mine 😉 We’ve also included a few tips that could be used to make your business really shine, and stick firmly in the minds of your customers.

The first thing you want when you’re running a market stall is to grab the attention of your customers, and draw them towards your products. There are several ways to do this. Scent is one of them – so let’s get ready to rumble!

  1. Incense*

With the rich and fragrant aroma of incense surrounding your stall, you will attract potential customers your way! Customers will gravitate towards the scent, and once they find out that the incense is for sale at YOUR stall, you got their attention.

Traditionally, incense has been used in religious and spiritual ceremonies for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians believed that bouquets of incense both deterred malevolent demons and appeased the gods with their beautiful aroma.

Since incense has such a rich history, and is primarily associated with Eastern Asia, India, and Egypt, it will give your stall an exotic, mystical aura. Combined with the two scents that represent Christmas, Myrrh and Frank Incense, this will give you an edge over other sellers.

Our range of “Papillon Premium Incense” is 100% natural, and uses ingredients from aromatic plant materials. It has a rich scent and gives a pleasant smell to any place.  It can be used for spiritual reasons, aromatherapy, meditation, to overcome bad smells, and even to repel insects. Incense has a natural calming effect, which would help your customers to relax after a stressful day.

Papillon Premium Incense Closeup
After having sold Incense in retail for several years…

Papillon Premium Natural Incense
…having tested samples from over 30 suppliers from India…
Natural Bamboo Premium Incense Sticks Imported by Malchus Kern
…this is the Incense I ended up with importing. 100% natural. This is fantastic. I promise!
Burning garden Incense at market to attract visitors
Burn some seasonal Incense at the market – this will guide visitors to YOUR market stall!
Red Sandalwood to be sold at a Christmas market
But not only Incense sticks sell well. Raw Incense* is a great eyecatcher
Variety of Incense sticks sold at a market
Variety is one of your Unique Selling Positions. Don’t be one of those who sells only Nag Champa and some cheap other stuff for 1€ per Box.
Incense Holders at display
And don’t forget to add the important accessories: Incense holders, Charcoal, Lighters, …

All of this can be used as a selling point, but if your visitors are still not sure, entice them with a free sample! If necessary, we can also supply you properly sized Zip Lock Bags and labels for your samples.

  1. Rose of Jericho*

You may be unfamiliar with the Rose of Jericho, but it is highly sought after by some people.

The Rose of Jericho is a “resurrection plant”, meaning that when the plant is dry, it curls up into a tight brown ball and appears to be dead. However, when it is watered, it uncurls and springs back to life, good as new. This process can be repeated many times for the plant.

Rose of Jericho plants being sold at a market fair
Rose of Jericho plants being sold at a market. But they’ve forgotten to place on in a bowl of water – I am sure that they would have sold more!
Rose of Jericho (selaginella lepidophylla) plants in a store

They did it 😉

The Rose of Jericho would be an exciting novelty for many of your customers, and they might purchase it out of simple fascination. To demonstrate its abilities, you should keep a bowl of water at your stall, and place a rose into the bowl, letting your customer see how the plant seemingly magically opens.

Of course, since it is a resurrection plant, it has connotations with the resurrection of Jesus. In fact, an alternative name for it is St. Mary’s Flower. Especially around Christmas time, this would capture the attention of your Christian customers. It’s the perfect symbolic gift!


Okay, these were the two products that I sell. The rest is just for your information & fun. Nothing that I want to sell to you any more. Just inspiration! How awesome is that? But if you need some help sourcing these products, don’t hesitate to contact me.

  1. Warm clothing and accessories

In the wintertime, it’s important to keep warm, and many people buy items like gloves and winter jackets as Christmas gifts. So obviously, you should have these sorts of items at your stall!
Back when I used to have a retail store, the colours of the clothes from India and Nepal always attracted the customers.
Once we sold some typical wool blankets from India, in heavy colours like blue, green, orange and white. As it was really cold at these markets, we were out of stock very soon. And we made some good profit, as we bought them for 4€ each (a reduced sale off from a wholesaler, which we only got through phone, not through their online store) and sold them for 20€ each.

Indian blankets for sale
Those were the Indian blankets. They sold like hot cake – and made us quite some money.
Indian clothes hippie style colours
Some clothes from India and Nepal just have great colours.
Indian Colourful Winter Jacket
Winter Jackets in awesome colours!
Wool Caps from Nepal
Anybody forgot their Cap at home? Well, here’s one for you – it will keep you warm. You could actually rent them out 😉
Alpace wool
This might come to you as a surprise: Alpaca wool. Have you ever felt this? It’s just sooooo nice!

Layer your stall with trendy and topical gloves, winter jackets, and wool blankets. Colour is always in season! But the colours red and green are timeless in the Christmas season, and work especially well with gloves and blankets – so don’t be afraid to include those colours regardless of any other trends at the moment.

Help your customers stay warm and stay fashionable, all at fair prices.

  1. Candles, candle holders, and colourful lamps*

Try to incorporate lots of light into your stall! Customers are much more likely to linger at your stall if you have an assortment of colourful candles and lamps for them to browse. You could have candle lanterns hanging down, and candles and lamps spread out across tables.

Light and colour are important factors for standing out from the crowd, especially when it’s cold. And with the addition of scent from the candles, you’re bound to attract the crowds to your vibrant atmosphere.

Mosaic lamp shades from Morocco
I just love these. That’s why I did not include any other lamps. I could just live with these 😉
Beautiful moroccon lights at a market
They add so much colour. And imagine them in your living room!
Garden torch at display
This is something awesome! Huge garden torches in blended colours. And the flame is sure to make people have a look.
  1. Perfumes and essential oils*

Carrying on from the theme of incense, perfumes and essential oils are perfect in a Christmas market. Perfume is a popular gift to receive at Christmas, and customers are willing to spend a bit more money on it – the same is true for essential oils. Have paper sticks dipped in perfume and aromatic oils, and let your customers smell the fragrance using these samples before they buy.

There’s so much variety to choose from – from organic oils to fantasy love spells and personal dark aromatic perfumes for men.

Essential oils for sale at a summer fair
Organic essential oils in beautiful bottles. People crowded at that stall, even though the display was very small.
Love spell perfume oils in glass bottles
I really like these bottles. They spread a feeling of magic.
Meditation Oil Display
And some simple Yoga oils for meditation and relaxation to burn – for those on a budget.
  1. Colourful gifts

Wooden cat ornaments from Indonesia. Colourful earrings from Asia. Wobbly weird wooden bugs. Sand filled Animals with sparkling skin. Small glittery hand mirrors. Heart pendants made from precious stone. Lovely lampwork style earrings. Little items like these go down very well in a market, especially among children and collectors – but not only! Don’t forget: it’s Christmas season and people are on the lookout for small gifts as well! And make sure you include as much colour as possible!
Check out these great products:

Wooden Cat Ring Holder Statues on display
At many times, we were sold out of these wooden ringholder cat statues from Indonesia. A they’re a bargain at 2.50€ each.
Lovely funny wooden cat statues from Bali
And some more. And some fabric boxes – these sold very well too!
Stone heart pendants in different colours
Gemstone Heart Pendants. Children love to give these away to their friends or family.
Lampwork style earrings
Lampwork Style Earrings in many funny different forms. I sold earrings at all times, as somehow people always need more of them.
Twisted glass earrings from Asia
Another style of Lampwork earrings. They won’t say no, at a price of around 5-7€ per pair!
Indian pocket mirros gift
For all those who are really on a tiny budget for their Christmas gifts: small pocket mirrors from India. Around 4€ retail price.
Pairing earrings and boxes attracted many women at this market
People love pairs. And boxes. And earrings. Therefore these make a great combination!
Button display in a crafts shop
This is one more from my personal experience. Buttons.* But more importantly is the display. People made so many compliments on the choice and display!
Buttons on display in a crafts shop
The profit margin on these is huge. And people can choose something very individual. Don’t forget give your business card with every purchase!
Glass beads from India pick your own choice display
This is an item which I personally like A LOT. Glass beads from India.
  1. Big, elegant ornaments

Big, elegant, and expensive ornaments would add serious class to your stall. Use material like wood, brass, bronze, or stone for a fancy atmosphere. Buddha statues would be ideal for maintaining an ethnic theme, and they are popular ornaments already.

You could use one of these large ornaments as a main attraction at your stall. Make a game out of it; engage your customers!

For example, you could have a huge stone Buddha statue from India or Eastern Asia, and hold a competition for your customers to take part in. Each customer that guesses the statue’s weight is entered into a competition to win the statue. The customer that comes closest to guessing the correct weight wins the statue.

Another tip is to get each entrant to fill out a form with their email address, so that you can email each unsuccessful customer with a message along the lines of: “We’re sorry, you didn’t win our competition this time… But don’t be sad, here’s a 10.00€ reduction code for your next order over 50.00€ in our store. By the way, if you come to our stall and show us this email, you’ll get a tiny statue (2.5cm) for free!”

Fun, engaging stuff like this is one of the best ways to both attract new customers, and gain previous customers’ loyalty.

Buddha statues attraction market stall
People might not buy big statues at your stand, but they will stop and have a look at your other items. And maybe they’ll take one priced at 100€ instead of 350€ – which is still great for you!
Big Bronze buddha statue sitting in front of a stall
This is one big buddha*, greeting and welcoming your customers.
Huge tibetan singing bowl on display at a market
This attracted my view. They were just huge. I would have loved to hear their sound.
Huge lamp at display
Um, yes, I still love these. People were discussing in front of this market stall.
  1. Handmade, crafted items

Items that are lovingly handmade are valued much higher than machine made stuff.

Cute things like felt flowers, plush soft toys, and little felt Christmas trees are great gifts for almost everyone. Christmas time is the season for sentiment, so go along with this. Make your customers say “aww”, and they’re guaranteed to take a cute handmade item home with them.

Cushions on display, made with very cute fabric
Cushions will keep your customers warm. And how cute are those? Awwww!
Felt stuffed animal plush toy
How could you NOT want one of these, as a child?
Cute Hedgehog plush toy
And I got some more plush toys with individual character!
Owl plush toy hand made
And some owls. Convinced now?
Felt hand made jewelry necklace
But wait, there’s even more. Felt items are very trendy right now. And I can see why!
Hand made felt jewelry for Christmas market, great gift
This would look fantastic on most women, don’t you think?
  1. Scarves (in the higher price range)

Stock up on fancy, relatively expensive scarves. Make sure they’re lavish and stylish, but still affordable. Silk, spidernet style felt, and alpaca wool scarves are all essential if you’re running with this idea. Make your customers feel like they deserve these luxurious accessories.

Of course, you should still include something for the children. This should be cute instead of fancy, with vibrant, youthful colours.

Scarves display in ethnic retail store
Scarves were one of the absolute basic bestsellers in the retail store I started my career in. Silk, Alpaca, Cotton, Viscose, Pashmina, … Everything. But watch the trend!
  1. Tiny Christmas trees

Miniature is in right now, and you’ll be uber trendy with this idea. A little Christmas tree would be the perfect gift for anyone in the winter season, and since it’s an evergreen plant, it would last all year round.

Urban gardening is also trending right now, so you’d be hitting two trends with one item!

You could even add little decorations to the trees, to make them more sellable. In the spirit of following trends, you could use decorations that are en mode. For example, steampunk is quirky and fashionable at the moment.

  1. Mugs and cups

Hot drinks are being guzzled at an almost constant rate in the winter, in an effort to keep warm. You should play up to this, and sell pretty, colourful mugs and china cups. You could even sell teapots. These items are charming and practical, great for Christmas gifts or personal purchases.

Also, they are cheap to keep in stock, so you can make an easy profit.

Cute and funny Cups for sale at a market
I wouldn’t have thought that people were that much into Cups, but as I studied this local market, there were plenty of people in front of this store – and they bought stuff!
Mugs hanging on a summer market display
I know that Owls are trendy right. But I am quite sure that Penguins, Llamas and Geckos would also sell very well! The great thing about cups is, that they’re used daily.
  1. Musical instruments

Small musical instruments that are easy to play are a great source of novelty and entertainment for your customers, especially children.

The croaking frog is a good example of this. It’s a wooden instrument which comes in a range of sizes. You simply stroke the frog with the included stick, and it makes a sound just like a real frog.

It’s cute and easy to use – the perfect stocking filler for a child. But most importantly, it’s interactive. Let your customers have a go at playing the instrument, and the sound will attract nearby customers to your stall as well!

A thumb piano/ kalimba is another idea. Like the croaking frog, it is simple to make and play, but it has a large range of notes and can produce a very pleasing sound, if played properly. It is made from a wooden or tin box, and the metal parts are made from flattened nails.

Kalimba instruments with Rose of Jericho on display
Kalimbas on display, together with the Rose of Jericho plants.

Well, we’ve come to the end of our product list.

So, finally, imagine a combination of these products, all being displayed at your stall. Crowds of customers gather round to take in the sights, sounds, and smells. Incense burns and the fragrant aroma surrounds the area; the Rose of Jericho opens its bud and entrances your visitors; colourful Thai candles light up the atmosphere; and the big, beautiful Buddha statues take their place around the stall. Your customers are laughing, having fun, drawing the attention of others and bringing them to your stall, and you’re making a huge profit.

Sounds amazing, right?

But that’s not all of it – here’s some parting advice: surprise your visitors!
Hold regular games and competitions, get them hyped up.

For example, you could have a standee with a hole for their face in it. It could have an exotic scene from somewhere like India or Thailand, and your customers could pretend to be royalty. Your name and logo should be included somewhere in the scene, albeit faintly. If a customer were to take a picture of themselves at the standee, they would receive a free prize, or a store reduction, etc.

Market engagement through fun
Let’s just imagine that this would be a scene from India, okay?

Basically, the key to standing out in a Christmas market is customer engagement. The more people that crowd around your stall, the more people will be attracted, as they’ll think that there is something interesting to see. And they’ll be right – with your exotic, trendy, and interactive products, your Christmas market stall will be an awesome spectacle. It’ll be a must-see!

Good luck!

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