Reply by Boxguy

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Posted on Very first vendor booth, what do I need, does and don'ts?

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2651 posts in 2265 days

#1 posted 10-24-2012 11:10 PM

Randy, you may not have a chance to do many of the things on this list, but here goes. Credit card sales are a must. People don’t carry cash any more at least not enough to buy a box. You don’t want to take checks. There is an app. for that. It is a gismo that plugs into a smart phone. Different companies and different “banks” have models available. The common trait is that it is a small square you plug in and swipe a card through. The gismo and each sale will cost you money.

You may try to borrow one from someone who does sales, or someone like a Mary Kaye saleswoman. The best possible solution would be to convince someone who already has one and knows how to use the setup (some teen?) to come with you for the day…even if you have to pay them. It also helps to have someone watching your stuff when you want to use the restroom or get a drink or a bite to eat or walk around looking at how other vendors do things.

Good luck hope you have nice weather. Consider moving your boxes in plastic totes with towels between layers to keep them dry if it rains. The totes are strong and cheap. Take along something with wide wheels that will roll in wet grass to move your boxes. They get heavy. Park as close as possible. Use heavy weights to keep your tent from blowing over…not everyplace has room enough or soil enough for you to screw in anchors.

Have your prices clearly marked, easy to read without glasses, and attached to the box itself. Boxes will get moved around. Customers are not happy asking you the price and often would rather move on the the next vendor than ask. Smile, but don’t reduce your price if asked. Position yourself at the front of the tent not the back. A stool that puts you on eye level works better than a chair. A flag or something flying up above the sea of tents helps people find their way back to you if they want to come back to buy after looking around. I like a sign that is above the awning of the tent and tells what you are selling “Wooden Boxes” is enough even if you also sell cutting boards and puzzles. A lower sign gets obscured by people walking and standing by your booth.

If you can bring along something to do with your hands it will help sales…a box to hand sand or some boxes to wax or hinges to put in with a battery powered drill…it helps the time pass and brings in customers. You don’t have to be efficient, just a little busy and stop anytime you can to talk. That means you will need a small, padded work area that might double as a transaction space. Don’t be in a hurry to leave, late sales often happen.

That is what comes to mind at the moment. Best of luck and don’t be discouraged if the first round doesn’t work out well. I am content with gallery sales, but selling at fairs can be a fun adventure and gives you great customer feed-back.

-- Big Al in IN

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