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MelissaG

Owner and Creator at Silver Branch Soapworks
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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.
But it isn't your business. Either way.
 
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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.
I also sold crochet hats and shawls so I was always working on a hat on a tall chair directly behind my booth. I could set it down when someone came to my booth. Folks would tend to be curious, "what I was working on now", so the conversation would start. I never Not set down what I was working on even with my husband there to talk to the customer, who was always standing behind one of the tables. We had tall director type chairs that elevated us behind our tall elevated tables. People at craft and open markets tend to be curious people.

While it is your own business it does at times help to take hints from sellers that have years of success at markets. I was a vendor at many markets for approx 10 yrs before retiring up to 5 markets per week. Was I successful yes, did I have bad markets at times yes, it happens, when attending markets there are always ups and downs and when working with a regular market manager sometimes you just have to do some of their slow markets to gain preferable spaces in their top markets. In other words, you play the game. At my main uber busy Friday market, I had a corner center street space at the beginning of the farmer section for several years, which took me a few years to worm my way into, by getting on the good side of the manager and owner. This market had up to 10 soap sellers, guess who outsold and outlasted all the others.
 
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I use cardboard risers from Gershel Bros. New and Used Store Fixtures | Gershel Brothers They are light weight, easy to transport, assemble and store. They are also pretty sturdy and economical. I was concerned that being cardboard, they would not hold up, but i've had no problems with them and another vendor I know says she's had hers for quite a long time. She does not cover hers, but I drape mine with a tablecloth. I used them to display my candles, which are quite heavy. In this picture I have three of then together covered in a red tablecloth.
 

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@maxine289 those look wonderful. I’d order them right now, but my husband mentioned that he was making a surprise for me while I am gone, and it is probably a set of collapsible wood risers. Gonna bookmark your post in case I’m wrong. 😆
 

TheGecko

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I use cardboard risers from Gershel Bros. New and Used Store Fixtures | Gershel Brothers They are light weight, easy to transport, assemble and store. They are also pretty sturdy and economical. I was concerned that being cardboard, they would not hold up, but i've had no problems with them and another vendor I know says she's had hers for quite a long time. She does not cover hers, but I drape mine with a tablecloth. I used them to display my candles, which are quite heavy. In this picture I have three of then together covered in a red tablecloth.
Wish I had known about this before I bought mine.
 
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