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  • Brass Tacks

7 Tips to Create a Successful Vendor Booth

Whether you're about to attend your first market event or you've done a couple shows and aren't quite sure what you could do better, we've got your back. Here are our personal 7 tips to help you set yourself up for MARKET MAGIC!

1. Bring the right stuff.

This one comes from our own epic failure and experience. Our first market ever we brought SOOOOO MANY large items to the event that it wasn't even funny. Our trailer was packed full and very little of it was under 15 lbs or cheaper then $75. Thankfully, we had some painted frames for decoration and fresh flowers in painted mason jars that several ladies in the crowd paid dollar bills for that pretty much SAVED our day.

We came up with the follow percentage of goods for markets going forward. (Note: we practice this in our retail location at Makers Market as well) Build your inventory of about 20% "bigs" and 80% "smalls." We consider our furniture our bigs because of their price point and sheer size (dressers, beds, desks, anything that it really takes two hands to carry). Smalls would be items under $40ish that a shopper can quickly pick up and carry. (i.e. signs, small home decor, wholesale goods, pillows, etc)


2. Make it Pretty

Like moths to a flame, us humans are drawn to pretty objects and eye appealing set ups. Make sure that when you are prepping for the market you aren't just prepping items to sell. Serious consideration should go into how you are going to display your items so that people can:

A. See them and get to them

B. Your space looks organized and inviting.

If you can, create little additional decorations for your booths. Think of seasonal items or complimentary items to your style/theme like flags hanging from your tent, table runners, greenery, flowers, anything that can add that extra pop!


3. Be Present and Engaging

Now that you've drawn the crowd to you with a stellar set up, be sure to put on your people person face and say "Hi!" No one can sell you or your items better then you! Make it your goal to great every person/group who walks by your space.

We know this can sound like its a bit much, but think of it this way. You may feel like you are saying "Hi there, how are you?" OVER AND OVER AND OVER again, but each person has only been greeted once by you. You want every potential customer to feel welcome and wanted. Think of the Know, Like, and Trust factor for this one... People are more willing to buy from some one they know, like and trust so the best way to start that relationship is with a simple "hello."

BONUS POINTS: We love vendors who set themselves up front and center. Customers shopping small want to know the people they are buying from and showing off your pretty faces and shining personalities connects your face to your products. This is a good things my friends.


4. Sample/demonstrate where possible

Ann and her Dad engaging with Market shoppers.

- Selling candles/soaps/oils: have them available to smell and interact with.

- Selling jewelry, clothing, or accessories: encourage people to try items on and have a mirror for them ready to see it on

- Got something yummy for sale: provide free samples (it only has to be a taste!)

- Selling something a bit larger or trickier like furniture: provide dimensions, have it staged how they could use it in their home, encourage people to touch the item (open drawers, sit in it, feel how smooth the surface is, etc.)

The point is that any extra interaction you can give customers with the product is good.


5. Pack it full

Bring ALL THE THINGS with you. If you have the space and displays to put it all out then the more options the better in our opinion! Customers like choices and selection. More items should equal more sales if you are doing all the other things right.

If you don't have space to put it all out at the beginning of the day wait and restock when you can. Then your booth will continue to look full for shoppers throughout the day. An empty looking booth at the end of the day is often a skipped over booth.


6. Have a Variety of Price Points.

Some people will come to a market ready to shop and spend some money. Others will be there for something to do and not necessarily looking for anything in particular. The best way to get a purchase from somebody who's just looking is making sure you have items in all different price ranges. Having items in that $5-$15 range is crucial to Market Success for those quick grab purchases. You also want to have items in the $20-$45, $50-$95, and then a few larger items in the $100+ category.


7. Be Social

We know, you are busy! It's a full day of work at a market, but make sure you make time to talk to other vendors and the market hosts if you can. It's a small world here in Maker Land and Makers love to support other Makers. All Makers have customers and some day their customer might be looking for something that they don't sell. If you make a connection with that vendor at an event and happen to sell the thing their customer is looking for that Maker can send their customer your way.

We have customers ask us all the time for things we don't do but it is great having a network of Makers that we can refer our customers to. Not to mention you can then return the favor and we can all be active and apart of our wonderful maker society.

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