I think I'm done

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navigator9

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I think I'm done with craft fairs. I did one today, that was supposed to have 60 to 65 vendors...there may have been 30. There were a fair amount of customers, but most of the vendors only did so so. The only one who was selling like hotcakes was the lady selling truffles. She had customers several deep for most of the day, but most of the vendors I spoke with did pretty poorly. I sold $117 worth, and the booth fee was $50, so I cleared $67, and that's just not nearly worth it for what I put into it. Of course, this has happened before, when I said I'm done, but then I forget how tired and discouraged I am afterward, and I get sucked back in again. So if you hear me post again that I'm thinking of doing another craft fair, please give me a virtual smack upside the head, and tell me to forget it. And if you want to do craft fairs...think about selling truffles instead of soap...that woman cleaned up!!!
 

dibbles

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So disappointing. Sorry it didn't go well. I know craft fairs and markets are exhausting.
 

navigator9

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So disappointing. Sorry it didn't go well. I know craft fairs and markets are exhausting.
Thanks dibbles. They're just such a crap shoot. No way to predict if it will be boom or bust. And while the exhaustion is bad enough, it's when I think of all the time it takes to make all that soap, print and cut the labels, wrap and label, make everything look pretty, make the signage, wash the table coverings, stamp the bags, all the many, many small details...it's all that time that I can't get back. At almost 66, time gets to be a precious thing, not to be squandered. But like I said, I've been here before, so who knows. But for tonight...I'm quite done.
 

SuzieOz

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At almost 66, time gets to be a precious thing, not to be squandered.
Oh I do so agree! I'm sitting at a market right now - been here nearly 5 hours - I've sold $45 worth! Mostly to relatives. Thank God for relatives :D

The weather is the culprit but, hey, we need the rain too.

I'm rethinking markets too ... hmm :?
 

shunt2011

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I'm so sorry it was a bust. It's so hard to tell how they may go.
 

cmzaha

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Thanks dibbles. They're just such a crap shoot. No way to predict if it will be boom or bust. And while the exhaustion is bad enough, it's when I think of all the time it takes to make all that soap, print and cut the labels, wrap and label, make everything look pretty, make the signage, wash the table coverings, stamp the bags, all the many, many small details...it's all that time that I can't get back. At almost 66, time gets to be a precious thing, not to be squandered. But like I said, I've been here before, so who knows. But for tonight...I'm quite done.
I am heading to 68, and now doing 4 markets per week. It is Exhausting and frustrating to not make any money. I decided to not do a Spring Craft fair that I have done for 6 yrs, and had booked for this weekend, due to the fact they started bringing in several additional soapmakers. Just cannot make enough to justify the costs. Here it is very difficult to make money selling soap and we seem to have a whole influx of newbies coming into the markets thinking they are going to make easy money. As if that is going to happen...It is just so frustrating. I love making soap and in order to make as much as I do I have to sell, but I get extremely tired and frustrated
 

PerthMobility

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Truffle dog? :confused:
It is almost the only way to find Truffles. A large operation just south of me uses dogs exclusively to locate the fungus for harvesting.
I am heading to 68, and now doing 4 markets per week. It is Exhausting and frustrating to not make any money. I decided to not do a Spring Craft fair that I have done for 6 yrs, and had booked for this weekend, due to the fact they started bringing in several additional soapmakers. Just cannot make enough to justify the costs. Here it is very difficult to make money selling soap and we seem to have a whole influx of newbies coming into the markets thinking they are going to make easy money. As if that is going to happen...It is just so frustrating. I love making soap and in order to make as much as I do I have to sell, but I get extremely tired and frustrated
I have no idea what the rules are in your part of the world but you might consider diversifying a little and adding other products to your range. Perhaps the latest edition of my Calculator may offer a couple of ideas.
 
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newbie

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My guess is the other vendor was selling truffles of the chocolate variety. Most of us can sniff those kind out any day and no need for a dog! ;)

I guess dogs are easier than pigs to train for the fungal variety.
 

cmzaha

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It is almost the only way to find Truffles. A large operation just south of me uses dogs exclusively to locate the fungus for harvesting.


I have no idea what the rules are in your part of the world but you might consider diversifying a little and adding other products to your range. Perhaps the latest edition of my Calculator may offer a couple of ideas.
I have lots of products, including crochet and golf art. Just soap will not cut it
 

topofmurrayhill

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My guess is the other vendor was selling truffles of the chocolate variety. Most of us can sniff those kind out any day and no need for a dog! ;)

I guess dogs are easier than pigs to train for the fungal variety.
The pigs are looking for a meal, but dogs aren't interested in eating the truffles.
 

CTAnton

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Navigator, I don't know if this helps but down my way there are several huge flea markets, one of them every weekend, that don't cost a fortune to participate in . I don't do any fairs as of yet but I wonder if the sheer volume of people would make for a profitable day. Maybe its a numbers game; if 1% of attendees buy something from me....
I was invited to sell at a farmers market that had a soap maker on alternate weekends. While I have no idea of why it happened, she dropped out.I went there earlier in the season and the number of vendor vehicles outnumbered the customers by a huge margin...just my thoughts...
 

cgsample

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I went to a craft fair last weekend as a customer. The "live music" was so loud, I couldn't talk to the vendors. I got disgusted and left.

If the organizers schedule music, tell them to tone it down!
 

navigator9

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cmzaha, at "heading to 68", I congratulate you for doing 4 markets a week. People who haven't done markets and fairs have no idea now much goes into that.

Perth Mobility, if I really thought it was about diversifying, I'd do that, but I don't think that's the issue. Where I used to work, there was a holiday craft fair every year, and I routinely sold just over $1000 of just soap. But there, 95% of the buyers were repeat customers, who knew the soap and knew they liked it. Going to random craft fairs where people aren't familiar with my soap is asking them to spend their money for something that they may or may not like. I think that people are just not that confident yet that the economy is rebounding fast enough, and they are hesitant to part with their money on an unknown. I also think it depends on the venue. At some craft fairs, people routinely seem to spend more money. Unfortunately, there just aren't enough of those venues out there.

CTAnton, I sincerely wish you luck if you decide to do the flea markets. It can be really profitable...and then again...not. If your good days outnumber the bad, you're all set. I remember when customers used to spend a lot more money at craft fairs. These days, not so much. I like to talk with other vendors when I do fairs, and most that I've talked to in recent years have told me that their sales are way down. I have noticed though, that food vendors always seem to do well. Like the truffle lady. And hey, if Trump gets in, he's going to make America great again, and all our problems will be solved! :crazy:
 

TBandCW

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We are really trying to "work smarter, not harder". We are getting more picky about the shows we do. Still doing (fingers crossed) 4 markets this season that have been good to us and dropped the losers. Just not worth all the trouble it takes to set up, etc. and not make enough $$$.
Keep looking for other venues, ask other vendors about shows they've done, you'll hit one or two that are good for you!
 

cmzaha

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cmzaha, at "heading to 68", I congratulate you for doing 4 markets a week. People who haven't done markets and fairs have no idea now much goes into that.


Navigator, LOL, our market was trying to get me to do 2 on Wed which we were going to do until I had an issue with a gal/vendor he has managing one of them. BTW I set up 10 tables every market. That is work. She gave someone else my space and was going to put me in the dirt. DIRT, nope no way. The dummy did not get out of earshot when she called the owner complaining that a vendor was giving her trouble. We promptly told her we are not giving her trouble and left. What she does not know is the fact she could be working for me if we were to decide to partner with him. Don't think we will but one never knows...

Perth Mobility, if I really thought it was about diversifying, I'd do that, but I don't think that's the issue. Where I used to work, there was a holiday craft fair every year, and I routinely sold just over $1000 of just soap. But there, 95% of the buyers were repeat customers, who knew the soap and knew they liked it. Going to random craft fairs where people aren't familiar with my soap is asking them to spend their money for something that they may or may not like. I think that people are just not that confident yet that the economy is rebounding fast enough, and they are hesitant to part with their money on an unknown. I also think it depends on the venue. At some craft fairs, people routinely seem to spend more money. Unfortunately, there just aren't enough of those venues out there.


Perth, The people are not buying like they used to.
The craft fair I dropped out of this week was always good for $1200 or so 3 yrs ago, now I pray I can make $500, so it is not worth it. Even if I only make $200 at my main market I come out ahead because I do not pay a booth fee.

CTAnton, I sincerely wish you luck if you decide to do the flea markets. It can be really profitable...and then again...not. If your good days outnumber the bad, you're all set. I remember when customers used to spend a lot more money at craft fairs. These days, not so much. I like to talk with other vendors when I do fairs, and most that I've talked to in recent years have told me that their sales are way down. I have noticed though, that food vendors always seem to do well. Like the truffle lady. And hey, if Trump gets in, he's going to make America great again, and all our problems will be solved! :crazy:

CTAnton,I refuse to sell my products at flea markets. Be careful of flea markets and swap meets, it gets you labeled as a swap meet vendor. I travel up to 50+ miles for some monthly markets and people will recognize my label. Customers will tell me they saw me at so and so market.
 
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TBandCW

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CTAnton,I refuse to sell my products at flea markets. Be careful of flea markets and swap meets, it gets you labeled as a swap meet vendor. I travel up to 50+ miles for some monthly markets and people will recognize my label. Customers will tell me they saw me at so and so market.
I agree Carolyn, you have an image to project. I'm getting into some very nice shops and if I did a flea market it wouldn't look good. I'm not being snooty, just keeping it real.
 

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