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TheGecko

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Thank you! I can’t get that link that work but would love to see it. Happy for any booth advice.

Thanks - and, yes it is hard work! I think I am older than you are 😄 so I figure I’ll do this until it’s not workable. Last Saturday I did another event and it was weirdly hot here - in the 90’s. I did a slightly different setup and made it so people could stand in the shade. I did about half as much business as the weekend before.
After my first craft fair, I went out and bought a Utility Cart with a Cargo Net. It's great that you can unload at the door, but you still have to haul all your crap inside. I then measured it and my products and then bought appropriate sized plastic boxes to fit and can be used for display, and the cargo net allows to put extra securely on top. Even better, I can use the cart for unloading my car after grocery shopping or if I'm making a big office supply run.

And my preference is for tables out front to make restocking less noticeable.
 
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That is a lovely set up. The display racks are very nice. I have some three-tier expandable racks that I set up on draped boxes.

If I were twenty years younger I would consider markets, but I'm not so it's indoor venues with heat and A/C and running water.
LOL, I did outdoor until I was 71, but then again I had my hubby to help!! It makes a huge difference... On my own no way. :nonono:
 

TheGecko

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LOL, I did outdoor until I was 71, but then again I had my hubby to help!! It makes a huge difference... On my own no way. :nonono:
My biggest problem is that I did a LOT of stupid stuff when I was younger that started biting me in the butt after I turned 40, but instead of listening to my body and easing back, I just kept moving forward and did a few more stupid things 'cuz ya know...I'm not "old".

Hubby is a no go as he is disabled. He can load the groceries out of the cart to the trunk, but that's pretty much it.
 
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My biggest problem is that I did a LOT of stupid stuff when I was younger that started biting me in the butt after I turned 40, but instead of listening to my body and easing back, I just kept moving forward and did a few more stupid things 'cuz ya know...I'm not "old".

Hubby is a no go as he is disabled. He can load the groceries out of the cart to the trunk, but that's pretty much it.
I'll be 68 this summer; I have my husband to help with the set up and tear down but in between, I'm on my own. I'd love for him to stay and help but he's a true curmudgeon and doesn't like being around a lot of people.
 

JoyfulSudz

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I have my husband to help with the set up and tear down but in between, I'm on my own. I'd love for him to stay and help but he's a true curmudgeon and doesn't like being around a lot of people.
Sounds like you're married to my husband! He helps me as far as loading and unloading, and getting the tables upright and the covers on, then he's outa there. But I'm sure glad for that much because I couldn't do it otherwise.
Everything seems to be getting heavier (because it just can't be that I'm getting older!) :nonono:
 
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Everything seems to be getting heavier (because it just can't be that I'm getting older!) :nonono:
Exactly!
Where did you get your wood stands from? They show off your soap very well. Easy for people to see straight-on. Are they easy to set up? The greenery on your poles is a really nice touch.
thank you! I got the greenery idea from @Misschief in this very thread. 😊 I got the wood stands on Etsy, they are made by a guy in Alberta. They were sort of pricey but worth it I hope. They are very simple to set up and come apart well for transport. 5-shelf 24 Tray Portable Tabletop Display Stand | Etsy
 
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I'll be 68 this summer; I have my husband to help with the set up and tear down but in between, I'm on my own. I'd love for him to stay and help but he's a true curmudgeon and doesn't like being around a lot of people.
I was so lucky, my hubby loved to sell and was great at it. He also loved talking to people, which is why I had such a large men's clientele. Men can sell to men. My husband always said he could sell an ice cube to an Eskimo and my youngest daughter is the same way.

My other solution to surviving the markets and competition was not having just one product. My husband made golf art and I sold crochet hats that sold extremely well in certain markets, as did his golf art.
 

MelissaG

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lol, my husband doesn't come with me and doesn't help me. If he's there, he's always in a bad mood and you can tell he'd rather be doing anything else. Not that he's rude or anything, it's just obvious he doesn't want to be there. He doesn't discourage me at all, and is very supportive, he just would rather be home in bed. Last time he wore his hoodie and sunglasses the whole time and I had a customer ask me if he was alive. I don't think I'm going to ask him anymore. I know he isn't interested, I just wanted to hang out with him. If I need help with my tent, I just ask other vendors. It only takes a second. The rest I do myself.
 
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lol, my husband doesn't come with me and doesn't help me. If he's there, he's always in a bad mood and you can tell he'd rather be doing anything else. Not that he's rude or anything, it's just obvious he doesn't want to be there. He doesn't discourage me at all, and is very supportive, he just would rather be home in bed. Last time he wore his hoodie and sunglasses the whole time and I had a customer ask me if he was alive. I don't think I'm going to ask him anymore. I know he isn't interested, I just wanted to hang out with him. If I need help with my tent, I just ask other vendors. It only takes a second. The rest I do myself.
I am not going to ask my spouse to help, unless I make so much $ that he can quit his job. Highly unlikely.
 

TheGecko

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I'll be 68 this summer; I have my husband to help with the set up and tear down but in between, I'm on my own. I'd love for him to stay and help but he's a true curmudgeon and doesn't like being around a lot of people.
I'll be 61 in the Fall. Hubby is very, very supportive of my soap making. He put together my soaping cart (aka rolling kitchen island), he bought and installed the shelf about it. He bought and installed both of the shelving units in the garage (he bought the second one because I lost the first to our Covid pantry). He bought me restaurant grade 'curing' trays. He reminds me every Palm Sunday to order Palm Oil. I know if I did markets and he could, he would be my 'roadie"...and then he would leave, and then come back at the end of the day. He greatly enjoys the fruits of my labors and he found the process of soap making interesting, but that is as far as it goes. And having participated in some of his stuff...I would be fine with that.
 
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I'll be 61 in the Fall. Hubby is very, very supportive of my soap making. He put together my soaping cart (aka rolling kitchen island), he bought and installed the shelf about it. He bought and installed both of the shelving units in the garage (he bought the second one because I lost the first to our Covid pantry). He bought me restaurant grade 'curing' trays. He reminds me every Palm Sunday to order Palm Oil. I know if I did markets and he could, he would be my 'roadie"...and then he would leave, and then come back at the end of the day. He greatly enjoys the fruits of my labors and he found the process of soap making interesting, but that is as far as it goes. And having participated in some of his stuff...I would be fine with that.
He sounds amazing! Don't get me wrong; my husband is (now) very supportive of my soap making passion. At first, he indulged me but he's becoming more and more appreciative of what I'm doing and creating. And that makes me happy.
 

TheGecko

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He sounds amazing! Don't get me wrong; my husband is (now) very supportive of my soap making passion. At first, he indulged me but he's becoming more and more appreciative of what I'm doing and creating. And that makes me happy.
For the most part he is pretty good, but he has his moments. He has smell sensitivities and they can be a real PITA because they are like soda ash...no rhyme reason. A FO might bother him one time, but not bother him the next. He may be perfectly fine with it when he smells it in the bottle, but have a bad reaction once it get poured into soap. The FOs that I know that really bother him I usually save to make when he goes to his friend's house a couple of times a month. I used to have a good five hour window to make soap and air out the house, but now that daughter is working weekends, I have to take him and pick him up and so that time has been cut in half. But once the soap is cut and on the curing racks, he doesn't seem to have problems.
 
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This is the reason I would be in front of mine many times just casually tinkering around looking like I was tidying up my display. I would also let my tables not look pristine, and I forgot to mention that. People passing by do not know if it is a customer looking at products or the owner when you are in the front of the booth with your back turned.
 
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This is the reason I would be in front of mine many times just casually tinkering around looking like I was tidying up my display. I would also let my tables not look pristine, and I forgot to mention that. People passing by do not know if it is a customer looking at products or the owner when you are in the front of the booth with your back turned.
To add to this, people don't want to disturb you if you're just seating in a corner. You need to look inviting and ready to sell.
 

MelissaG

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And to add to this... it's your business. Stand if you want to stand, sit if you want to sit, and don't let people pressure you into doing things the way they think things should be done. You started your business so that it was yours and YOU could call the shots. All of it is your choice. From packaging and labeling to the clothes you wear to how your tables and signs are designed, and even how you greet your customers. And other people have no idea why you do the things you do. You are in a booth, not a store at the mall. And you run everything, not just talking to the customers.
 

cerelife

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And to add to this... it's your business. Stand if you want to stand, sit if you want to sit, and don't let people pressure you into doing things the way they think things should be done. You started your business so that it was yours and YOU could call the shots. All of it is your choice. From packaging and labeling to the clothes you wear to how your tables and signs are designed, and even how you greet your customers. And other people have no idea why you do the things you do. You are in a booth, not a store at the mall. And you run everything, not just talking to the customers.
I've honestly never felt pressured to do anything a certain way, and of course it's completely up to you how you present yourself and run your business.
I took my cue from how I preferred to be treated as a customer at markets and festivals. I don't like being 'hovered over' by the seller telling me how great their product is and suggesting this and that when I haven't asked for their help. Nor do I like being ignored and feeling like I'm bothering the seller if I have a question.
So sure - do things however you want, as long as you're making sales and getting repeat customers.
 
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Now that I have done a few markets I am finding a comfort level with customers. If they seem shy but interested I just say “come on over, check them out, you don’t have to buy anything” or, if they start smelling soap “you have to smell them all so the other ones don’t feel bad.” It has been really fun. I’m behind the table mostly, but I stand when people are there.
 
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Now that I have done a few markets I am finding a comfort level with customers. If they seem shy but interested I just say “come on over, check them out, you don’t have to buy anything” or, if they start smelling soap “you have to smell them all so the other ones don’t feel bad.” It has been really fun. I’m behind the table mostly, but I stand when people are there.
“You have to smell them all so the rest don’t feel bad” is a gem. That would surely intrigue me & make me feel comfortable as a customer!
 

lucycat

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And to add to this... it's your business. Stand if you want to stand, sit if you want to sit, and don't let people pressure you into doing things the way they think things should be done. You started your business so that it was yours and YOU could call the shots. All of it is your choice. From packaging and labeling to the clothes you wear to how your tables and signs are designed, and even how you greet your customers. And other people have no idea why you do the things you do. You are in a booth, not a store at the mall. And you run everything, not just talking to the customers.
I get so tired of hearing complaints of poor sales at fairs when I have seen those vendors sitting all day, visiting with a friend or talking on the phone. Yes, it is your business and you can do what you would like. However, if your sales aren't what you want them to be then you have to look at your own sales practices. That can be as important as the product you sell.
 

TheGecko

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I get so tired of hearing complaints of poor sales at fairs when I have seen those vendors sitting all day, visiting with a friend or talking on the phone. Yes, it is your business and you can do what you would like. However, if your sales aren't what you want them to be then you have to look at your own sales practices. That can be as important as the product you sell.
Or playing games with their phones or reading a book. I always feel as if I am 'intruding' so I will by-pass those booths/tables. But I'm also a little leery of folks who are just sitting there doing nothing. No "hello/welcome", no "How are you?/Are you looking for anything in particular or just browsing?"...again, it's like I'm intruding on them. I'm the same whether it's a craft fair, farmer's market, flea market or garage sale.

However, when I see someone doing something 'crafty'...it makes me want to take a closer look, even if the craft has nothing to do with what they are selling. I can't exactly make soap, so I take my knitting with me...either a wash cloth in a pastel soft cotton on circular needles, or a two color scrubby on a circular loom. Keeps me busy without requiring my full attention, can be easily set down and works as an additional conversation starter.

I had a sign on my Lotion Bar samples that said "Please pick me up." This was of course, pre-Covid. This time I will be using deodorant containers for my samples and a package of unscented wipes to clean off the tops.
 
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