Vendor Rules

Updated 6/6/24

Vendor Eligibility:

Ghost Ship Market events are for small and micro businesses, who create and/or curate goth and goth-adjacent items. The vibe is similar to “punk rock flea markets,” but centered on the goth aesthetic. The working definition of “goth” is broad, and open to any of the subgenres of goth or goth-friendly design, including pastel goth, steampunk, punk, horror, dark academia, and more. General goods that blend well with a goth aesthetic are also welcome (such as plant vendors, or cutting board makers).

Vendors should have high-quality goods, with decent photography, and well-maintained websites and social media. Vendors are required to have a minimum of 100 followers on at least one of their submitted social media channels for in-person shows.

In the case of online shows, a minimum of 500 followers on a public Instagram or TikTok is required, as well as a regular posting schedule on their primary social media channel, and a fully functioning retail website at the time of application. The retail website can be an Etsy, Artfire, or Faeholm account (or similar) if the vendor does not have a standalone website. An Instagram account will only be considered for a retail website if the vendor routinely posts items for sale at least 3 times a week.

licensing and legal requirements

All vendors are solely responsible for researching, obtaining, and implementing all legally required permits, licenses, insurance, and safety measures at the state, local, and federal level for their individual businesses. Ghost Ship Market does not provide permitting services, secretarial services, nor legal advice for any businesses – please use a search engine to locate the relevant agencies’ webpages, and consult with either an agency staff member, or a licensed attorney if you feel you need advice.

For in-person shows, Ghost Ship Market requires that ALL vendors show a state-level sales tax permit for the relevant state. No vendor will be allowed to set up without this permit. The link for Massachusetts is here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/register-your-business-with-masstaxconnect. This is not the same as the federal FEIN, which is not required in some cases. All vendors are encouraged to leave several weeks lead time to obtain these permits, if they do not already have them.

Ghost Ship Market also requires the following for certain types of vendors:

For in-person shows where food is allowed to be sold, food vendors are required to obtain their own food permits, and also are required to include Ghost Ship Market as a named party on their liability insurance policy of at least $100,000. This applies to both in-person and online shows.

Fortune Tellers are required to obtain their own permits for in-person locations that require special permits. This is a common requirement in Massachusetts towns, and the process for getting one varies from place to place.

Entertainers, when booked, are required to carry their own liability insurance. Vendors who wish to incorporate an act into the event are also required to carry their own liability insurance, and can only do so with prior approval of Ghost Ship Market, even if the act is only in their booth.

All Sales Final:

All sales are final except in cases of proven illness. Vendors requesting a refund or credit for a future show MUST provide some proof or documentation of their illness in order to be considered for a refund or credit. Images and non-doctor’s note forms of proof will be checked for manipulation as a matter of policy. 

All applicants shall agree that the decision of whether an illness is proven or not will be made by Ghost Ship Market.

Banned Goods and businesses:

Businesses with more than one physical storefront are not permitted, nor those with widespread distribution of their products if they sell wholesale. If you’re in chain stores, you’re not eligible.

Businesses that have literally nothing to do with the broad spectrum of goth and goth-friendly subcultures will not be accepted.

For ManRay shows (only): no food vendors. Other shows may accept prepackaged food vendors, as specified.

Businesses based on finished low-effort and low-skill crafts, such as paint pours, “custom stamped” jewelry, finished craft kits, and the like are not considered high-quality goods suitable for Ghost Ship Market shows. 

Businesses that use cultural appropriation, including white sage, henna, or Native American designs without being part of that cultural group.

Businesses that use “loss leader” pricing models for their entire or most of their range. The goal of this show is to support small businesses, and people who have the economic privilege to treat their business like a hobby, or who sell things for a cheap mass-produced price while they get some street cred, are harming those who need to make a living off their business. This ABSOLUTELY includes people “just selling things for what they cost.”

Businesses who block, restrict, shadowban, or ban Ghost Ship Market social media accounts or staff members on their business pages.

Candles with non-wax inclusions besides the wick. This includes pretty herbs, glitter, and crystals on top!

Dangerous jewelry, crystals, accessories, or other items. (Generally speaking, jewelry with points that could injure the wearer, water bottles where water makes direct contact with crystals, toxic items, etc.).

Human remains, in any form. Please note that hair, teeth, and blood are not considered remains for the purposes of this show.

Disrespectful animal taxidermy. Animal taxidermy that respects the dignity of the animal is permitted.

Items from endangered animals, plants, and banned animal components: This includes elephant ivory (even as vintage), bats, white sage, and feathers in violation of the Migratory Bird Act.

Live animals.

Weapons. (Cutlery and tools are allowed, so long as they are not primarily meant for use as weapons). IN MASSACHUSETTS, FOLDING KNIVES MUST HAVE A BLADE SHORTER THAN 3 INCHES. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE DEFINITION OF WEAPON ALSO INCLUDES SPIKED WRIST, ARM, KNEE, AND FOOT ACCESSORIES.

Items that promote, encourage, or signal comfort with hate speech.

Items that are advertised as having pharmacological benefit without FDA clearance.

Controlled substances, including CBD.

AI art, and other derivative art forms.

Non-vintage items, such as recent craft store décor, falsely presented as vintage. For the purpose of these shows, all vintage items must be at least 15 years old/Y2K era. Non-vintage thrift items must be labeled as “used.”

Knock-offs or reproductions of other businesses’ goods, including fake merch of copyrighted materials. This includes unlicensed Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Disney items, as well as counterfeit band tees, bags, or sneakers, regardless of if they are “upcycled” or not. We also do not allow new mass produced costume jewelry, costume jewelry made entirely from craft store components (specifically, the premade pendant on a bit of strandage thing, not beadwork), or non-original enamel pins (as in, there is no reason to think you designed the pins). Those items are almost always knock-offs of existing designs.

MLMs (except as a vintage item, such as vintage Avon collectibles).

Non-relevant enterprises, such as vinyl siding, solar panels, or window replacement. 

Political campaigns by candidates.

Booth Rules:

Vendors should keep their area neat and tidy, with no trip hazards. 

Vendors may not attach anything to venue walls, nor lean anything against them.

Venue furniture should be considered “off limits” for use in a booth or for storing personal items, unless specifically told otherwise by Ghost Ship Market staff.

Nothing may be dragged across venue floors. Items should be carried, or moved in a rolling cart.

All vertical “wall” displays and banner frames should be weighted down at the bottom.

Vendors shall ensure that all their displays are stable with normal use.

No open flames or pyrotechnic displays.

Scent-throwing items, such as electric wax melters or oil diffusers, can only be operated with prior approval of Ghost Ship Market, and a check of all staff and vendors present for potential allergies.

Mist or fog machines are only allowed with prior approval, and the vendor must provide signage for all entry points alerting patrons of their use.

No strobe lights.

No generators – battery packs only.

Personal items, storage boxes, tools, and trash should be stowed out of sight, not on venue furniture or outside the vendor’s area.

All trash, merchandise, and personal goods must be removed by the vendors by the end of the load-out period. Ghost Ship Market reserves the right to dispose of any items left behind as they see fit. Excessive litter will be cause to remove a vendor from or deny acceptance to future shows.

Vendors must have their business name clearly visible in their booth.

Vendors must finish set up before the start of the show, and may not break down until the show is over, unless given special permission by Ghost Ship Market Staff.

Vendors may only have a maximum of two total guests, helpers, or staff members in attendance with them at a show, for a total of three people per business. Businesses must observe age of entry rules for each specific location.

Tablecloths are required at all in-person shows, and should extend to the floor.

No pets allowed. 

Vendors and their helpers may not be nude, even at age-restricted shows. Thongs and pasties as outerwear are also not allowed.

Code of Conduct:

Vendors may not engage in the sale of any illegal goods.

Vendors must share any information that would have an impact on the running of any event before that event starts –  this includes a need for any special accommodations including avoiding allergens, if they have a protective order against someone (or one on them), if they will be unable to set up before the event starts, or any unlisted situation that could reasonably impact on the running of the show. Vendors who fail to share information that could impact upon the safety of other people at the show prior to the show, such as having a restraining order against someone, will not be invited back. There are NO consequences for sharing this information ahead of time apart from giving a description to security. Our shows are actually a great place to sell at if you have a restraining order against someone! However, not sharing this information could potentially endanger everyone at a show, and we must take that into consideration.

Vendors must act in a respectful and professional manner towards all other vendors, customers, and showrunners. Conflicts, if they arise, must be resolved in a calm, reasonable manner. Under no circumstances shall vendors or their associates dox or harass customers, other vendors, or venue or show staff. In the event that a vendor feels that another vendor’s booth is having a negative impact upon them, Ghost Ship Market staff will resolve the issue. If an event has occurred that would warrant police involvement, the police should be contacted. 

Vendors may not present themselves as staff of Ghost Ship Market, nor may they act as if they are staff of Ghost Ship Market. Vendors may not change the settings of any online page where they have publishing permissions, tell other vendors if they may participate, nor may they unilaterally determine who is allowed to purchase items or attend Ghost Ship Market shows.

Vendors may not speak poorly about other vendors or their products to any customer while vending at the show. This includes “vaguebooking,” and using other vendors products for negative comparisons or an “attack ad.”

Vendors may not block access to other vendors’ booths, either with their setup, or the position of themselves and/or their helpers, nor may they block off all view of any other vendors.

Hate speech, coded hate symbols, and “dog whistles” are not allowed in any public social media used by any vendor.

Bullying of venue employees, customers, other vendors, or show staff is not allowed, even on other platforms, events, or venues not used by Ghost Ship Market.

Sexual harassment will not be toleratedSexual activity involving vendors and helpers is not permitted during shows, even with consent. (Non-sexual affection is permitted)

In the event of an all-ages show: vendors shall dress reasonably modestly, and all items including nudity (including “artistic” nudity) or graphic depictions of violence shall be covered or kept “behind the counter” for adult-only viewing. 

Please note that all vendors are expected to comply with individual social media company policies while using their platforms, as rule-breaking could negatively impact all the other vendors participating in an event.

Behavior that may negatively impact upon Ghost Ship Market is cause for removal from any and all events, with no refund. This includes, but is not limited to, past activities violating the code of conduct that may come to light, criminal activity, or behaving in a way that jeopardizes Ghost Ship Market’s ability to reserve or return to a location, or purchase promotions for events.

Vendors who do a “no call/no show” will not be invited back.

Vendors who do not post that they are participating in Ghost Ship Market shows at all may not be invited back.

In the unlikely event a vendor needs to leave a show early, or their behavior warrants immediate removal from a show, they will be directed to cover their booth, and leave the venue until the end of the show. They will be allowed to re-enter at the end of the show and remove their items at that time. In the event of an emergency that would prevent the vendor from returning before breakdown ends, Ghost Ship Market will discuss the situation with the vendor and make arrangements at that time.

All judgements with respect to an individual vendor’s adherence to the code of conduct and show rules will be made by the staff of Ghost Ship Market. All decisions will be final.