So for the thrilling third installment of my “Things I learned in my first year’ blog we deal with the question of where to sell your products. For the purposes of this blog we are going to operate under the assumption that you are not a direct sales person, not that I have anything against them but they are governed by different rules at some event than traditional grows/produces/ or makers.
The clear majority of the events that we sell at are farmers markets for the simple reason that we are a farm and sell and agricultural product, outside of farmers market season we sell at craft shows and festivals. The first thing to think about when looking for a place to sell is “what do I sell?”. Markets have a wide range of rules that vary from one to the next and its important to understand them before you go. A farmer’s market may not allow craft ideas (some do), a craft show may not allow agricultural items (again so do) a festival may have a theme like locally made or dealing with the theme of the event. Remember to pay attention to the start up and tear down times that are in place as they ensure everyone will have ample time for each and that nobody is selling early (unless expressly allowed) It is very important to understand and fellow these rules, so you will have a positive expectance and be welcomed back.
Finding markets that are a good fit for you is an important part of being successful. Every area has a “it” market, that one market that leads to huge sells and has tons of foot traffic. I tried or “it” market and did very poorly, because my product requires me to educate people, in most cases, to make the sell and a large market teaming with shoppers does not fit with that model, however the smaller ones I go to work very well. When starting its key to try every place you can sell at least twice and only keep your most productive events and seek out new ones until you reach your events per week/month goal, I like to sell 5 days a week so I found 5 markets that are a great fit. The ideal size for me is 15-60 vendors and around 350 people walking past an hour. Keeping track of traffic passing your booth, the number of people who stop to talk, and the number of people that buy is something that helps me fine tune my sales plan and I recommend all vendors do it as soon as they start going to events.
Slow days will happen, this is a sad fact of the craft show/ farmers market economy. Somedays you do everything right and get no sales. When this happens remember that you cant control who walks past your booth, the spending money that they have, and there needs/ wants. All I can say on days like this is just smile stay positive and ride it out. It is not a reflection on you or your product. I play a lot of chess on my phone somedays, which brings us to our last point, have something else to do just incase it’s a slow day.
Well what should we talk about next? Do you sell anything? Do you have any questions?
Thanks for reading,