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    Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    I signed up for my first booth to sell my turned items. It's a small vendor fair put on by a HOA down the road from me. Any general advice for those who sell their wares?

    So far I've:
    - Signed up for Square to accept cards
    - Bought a portable table and had a banner made
    - Started ramping up my inventory (I mostly do custom order, so I don't usually have much on-hand)
    - Probably going to setup an old iPad with a slideshow of my previous work

    Some specific questions I had:
    - How much cash vs card sales do you typically have?
    - How much cash should I bring for change?

    Thanks everyone
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
    https://www.facebook.com/knottyscot

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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    James,

    We do shows regularly... normally $100.00 of mixed bills and change is what we bring and has always sufficed. Credit card sales are the bulk of our transactions. I would print some business cards as everyone generally asks for one and we typically get additional post show sales from our brochures we hand out. Good luck!!

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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    The wife does craft shows and I am just a lowly roadie who has been volunteered .
    First off no two shows are ever alike.
    People want to see goods in real life.
    Typically 20% cash the rest charge.
    Bring a comfortable chair and a portable pop up tent to keep your wares out of the elements.
    Developed a really good sense of humor.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    Have a nice table clothe on the table. Think about making small, different sized boxes painted flat black as pedestals to display items. Have a variety of items but smaller, inexpensive items sell faster and are often the bulk of sales. My sales are about 50/50 cash, credit cards. Christmas ornaments also sell well now, but keep them low priced. Good luck James, I hope you sell out!
    Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first, and the lesson later.

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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by blazeman45 View Post
    James,

    We do shows regularly... normally $100.00 of mixed bills and change is what we bring and has always sufficed. Credit card sales are the bulk of our transactions. I would print some business cards as everyone generally asks for one and we typically get additional post show sales from our brochures we hand out. Good luck!!
    Thank you. I was figuring that CC sales would be the majority (I know I don't usually carry cash anymore). Good to know that $100 in mixed bills should suffice. I do have a supply of business cards that I'll put out.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmakra View Post
    The wife does craft shows and I am just a lowly roadie who has been volunteered .
    First off no two shows are ever alike.
    People want to see goods in real life.
    Typically 20% cash the rest charge.
    Bring a comfortable chair and a portable pop up tent to keep your wares out of the elements.
    Developed a really good sense of humor.
    Gladly it's an indoor event. I'll be busy the next 2 weeks with inventory to have there at the show. Got a shipment of kits on Saturday to keep me busy..

    Quote Originally Posted by sawman101 View Post
    Have a nice table clothe on the table. Think about making small, different sized boxes painted flat black as pedestals to display items. Have a variety of items but smaller, inexpensive items sell faster and are often the bulk of sales. My sales are about 50/50 cash, credit cards. Christmas ornaments also sell well now, but keep them low priced. Good luck James, I hope you sell out!
    Thanks Bruce. I know you do a lot of shows! Good tip on the table cloth and pedestals. I think I'll pick up a table cloth today, and make some quick pedestals. I got some ornament kits this weekend and will be turning them tonight! So far, I'll have a selection of pens, bottle stoppers, ornaments, bottle openers, yo-yos, key chains, snack bowls, yarn bowls, and maybe some other stuff.
    Last edited by beloitdavisja; 11-19-2018 at 11:57 AM.
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
    https://www.facebook.com/knottyscot

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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    I typically start with $40 in 1s, 5s, and a 10. If the first customer pops out a $100 bill I dig change out of my wallet, usually not an issue. Once I get two $20s ahead I put them back in my wallet, then all the cash in the clip is proceeds form the day. I haven't gotten a square reader, I may have missed 2 sales this year because of it. I do have a couple of friends who will run the card for me if there isn't another option and they are set up at the same venue, but that is infrequent. I tend to go towards having pens in inventory, it is easier to sell what you've got rather than take special orders and have to follow up with the customer later.

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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    Question back to you. Are all your prices divisible by 5? If not you should have no less then $25 in singles. I bring $125 in fives and $25 in singles. For me only about 25% are CC sales. Every event is different. When I get a moment I will post pictures from my last show.
    Maker of fine saw dust
    Scott

    "Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."
    - Lou Holtz-

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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    Sounds like your on your way James...Hope its very succesfull. Remember...pics or it didnt happen
    Last edited by golfdad; 11-19-2018 at 07:32 PM.

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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    Here are pictures from my recent vendor fair/craft show
    South Hill 2018 pic 1.jpg
    South Hill 2018 pic 2.jpg
    Maker of fine saw dust
    Scott

    "Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."
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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottM View Post
    Question back to you. Are all your prices divisible by 5? If not you should have no less then $25 in singles. I bring $125 in fives and $25 in singles. For me only about 25% are CC sales. Every event is different. When I get a moment I will post pictures from my last show.
    Yes, all my pricing is in $5 increments, so Iím planning on having a decent amount of 5ís and some 10ís and a few 20ís. Iím not expecting this to be a big affair, but who knows? It could go well. I also just signed up for another small show the Friday before Christmas.

    Thatís an impressive setup! Iíll probably never get close to that scale, but itís still helpful to see.
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
    https://www.facebook.com/knottyscot

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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by beloitdavisja View Post
    I’ll probably never get close to that scale, but it’s still helpful to see.
    James, take baby steps. Buy one table and one chair. If the show meets your expectations, buy another table and make (or buy) a small display wall/rack. Take your time, the biggest obstacle is that you may soon run out of transport space if you get too big. Remember, not all shows will be as successful as others and if you keep going back to the same show every year, some years will be better and others won't. Consumers are very fickle over time. Most of all enjoy the people you meet.
    I like making things. I have a wood shop at home. I am a terrible carpenter but I love doing it. Raymond - Charlotte, NC

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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    Always have a pleasant smile on your face and look each person in the eye. It's OK to sit down, but when there are folks around your display, stand up and look interested in them; I like to greet everyone as they may stop and look at your work. You will receive about a million compliments on your work, but only a fraction of those folks actually make a purchase. Many lookers may remember you next time and make a purchase then.
    Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first, and the lesson later.

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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    We sell our breads at shows for $6 each. 2 shows down, 1 to go. Been doing it for over 15 years. Since we started taking credit cards years ago, about 1/3 of business is on cards, every show, every year now. Since we are not a divisible by 5 price, I do bring a $200 in ones and fives. I don't bring tens. If I need I can use the fives and ones to make up change for large bills. Most people show up with a $20 bill since thats what ATM's kick out. This year saw a trend of people not buying as much as in years past (I track inventory at the shows by the house so we know what is and isn't selling better to plan for future shows).

    You need pay and take products for shows to justify the cost of booth and setup, not just custom order stuff. People want stuff they can grab and go, not have to wait for.

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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    As Raymond said take it slow and easy. What you see in my setup is about 15 years of mistakes. I am doing two local shows both in November. If the venue does not supply a table get a folding leg type. You also need a table cloth. i suggest black or red or other dark color which will show off your work. You do not want a floral, plaid, print or pattern table cloth as they are too busy and take away from your work. My back rack is made of gridwall panels with a couple black bed sheets clipped to them.

    If you can stand for the entire event do it. Greet everyone who walks by. You will be amazed at the number of folks who stop and shop when you greet them. I am not sure what you are doing your credit cards on (phone, tablet, computer,....) but only use those devices to process a transaction. Make sure you know how to process a CC transaction ahead of time. Don't be checking emails and websites during the event. This is common sense for most folks but dress nice but comfortable. If you look like crap most people will assume your stuff is the same way and keep on moving. Finally stick by your prices. There are folks who will offer you less. Don't go there. Even if it means loosing a sale. If they really want it they will come back.

    MOST OF ALL HAVE FUN......
    Maker of fine saw dust
    Scott

    "Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."
    - Lou Holtz-

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  26. #15
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    Re: Vendor Fair Setup Advice?

    Lots of great info from everyone. My input would be interact with potential customers as much as possible to leave a goid impression(share your passion), don't under sell yourself, and make sure to check out the other vendors and socialize if possible learn from them. Ask one or two questions and they'll probably share some insight.

    Scott,
    Great looking booth and lots of nice products. Great example for people. Is that all scroll work? Pretty impressive!
    - Not living life till you're part of the Food Chain

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