Pop Up Art Cart FAQs

What is a “Pop Up Art Cart”?  Art Carts are handmade, easily-transportable carts built by local artists and hosted by the Art Lab of Fort Collins in Old Town Square on selected dates each year. Carts are self-managed and self run, like little mini businesses, but often work well in similar groups.

How do I get involved? Fill out a Pop Up Art Cartist application online. Once your app is approved you will receive an email from the Art Lab Coordinator . From there, it’s up to you! Get started building a cart, creating and pricing inventory and then sign up for your Time Slot on our SignUp Genius.

How do I select the dates and times I go out to the Square? We have a SignUp Genius for that! Dates for cartists are released 2 months in advance. Simply enter your Cart/Business name and your contact information, select a spot, and you’re good to go! You just have to show up in the Square sometime during that time frame and you’re set to sell!

What if I need to change my time slot? Login in to SignUp Genius as you did before and edit your time slot if you cannot make a day or have any last minute changes, this notifies others in the group that the spot is open, so we can make sure we can accommodate everyone! It’s also a good idea if you can’t make it, instead of emailing the Coordinator, to post this information on the Pop Up Art Carts Group on Facebook, that way, other members can see it and grab that spot! A minimum 24 hours notice is preferred. Things do come up, but cartists who maintain their spots will be given priority spacing/visibility for rallies and future events, to prevent cartists from dropping every weekend. Cartists that frequently drop their spots on the weekend or are no shows may be removed from the program to accommodate new arrivals.

Can I bring my family! Yes! The more the merrier! There are often kids playing in the Square weekends, other events, lots to do and it always helps to have an extra set of hands.

Where can I put my cart in the Square? Please see the map/photo below. Areas marked in green are fine for carts, these may change throughout the season due to adjacent events. You may click and download this map for your records!

What about lighting? Can I light my cart? Yes! Especially Thursday and Friday evenings, adding a touch of lights to your cart can keep you out longer and making more sales, and your cart will match all the decorations in the Square! Dollar Tree sells battery operated christmas lights, and they are also available at Walmart and Amazon to name a few places, but your cart is your own, so get creative!

Day of things to keep in mind: Tips & Tricks from the Cartists themselves!

  • Unload carts in Trimble Alley – Much easier!
  • Bring some cash – Sales tend to be about half and half cash to credit card, and you’ll want to have change!
  • Think about including tax in cash sales so you don’t carry change.
  • Price things so people know a range – you don’t have to price everything, but folks need an understanding of what things will cost.
  • Square payment app works with cell service if you don’t have wifi. And there is an option for “Offline Payments”. Also make sure to add sales tax when you set up your Square Account! Most Cartists use this method.
  • Get the Square Reader that swipes chips or you will pay extra for chip cards.
  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, a chair, water bottles- It’s warm and sunny out in beautiful Fort Collins most days, so be prepared!
  • Cinderblock and zip ties, as well as a screwdriver, have been found to be handy in the Square for windy days!

PLEASE READ-TAX INFO: You DO have to submit taxes on your sales in the Square for each date, or monthly reporting or you can be fined by the city!

  • Submit your sales tax monthly, quarterly or yearly dependent on your volume. You DO have to submit a Zero return or you will get fined.
  • You need to have a City of Fort Collins Sales Tax License and Colorado State Sales Tax License to sell anything at from your cart and/or at Art Lab. County is included in the state.
  • Single Special Event License: For a temporary location other than your regular business location and valid for one event only where there are three or more vendors. This is a two-year license which is free to all standard sales tax license holders. To apply for the Single Event License prior to the event, use the Special Event Application (DR 0589). If you are filing taxes after the event and do not have a license, you may use Revenue Online to get the Single Event License and file the return. If you already have a license when you file the taxes through Revenue Online, you may by-pass paying for the license.
  • Please submit your PUAC Sales Report every time, please! This way we can keep track of and make improvements to our sales strategies.
  • Mobile vendors (selling out of a truck or other vehicle, like a cart) must have a sales tax license for their main office location. Add jurisdiction “sites” to your existing sales tax license. There is no additional fee for these sites. Requests for non-physical sites (mobile vendors who sell in jurisdictions outside the one in which they have an account) can be made by writing. Visit the State’s instruction page for more details.
    Mobile business must inform the Department of Revenue (DOR) that they are making sales in specific local jurisdictions, even when the jurisdictions are home-rule (which collect their own taxes). Home-rule cities may have special district taxes collected by the Department of Revenue (Denver is an example, which has RTD and CD taxes collected by the state).

Still have questions?

Reach out to us at [email protected].