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Thread: FORT Koffee Klatch

  1. #23111
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    Wow, that flea market is HUGE! 600+ vendors is crazy. The booth fee is pretty low and if they supply the tables that's one less thing for you to have to haul. Do you need to have a canopy or is there shade....or are you not a pale person like me?

    Funny that you mention American Girl clothes. A friend of a friend makes them as well. Is that a popular thing now? Since I don't have kids, I have no idea.

    With this sort of business, it's all trial and error. You'll learn what sells and what doesn't and which displays work and which just don't. Every time I do a show, I learn something and, for a few years, what I learned was what NOT to do BTW - I scoured Pinterest for display ideas. I didn't copy anyone, but I got little ideas here and there.

    The trick is to not take it personally if things don't sell right away. Just have faith in your work and your ability and know that your customers will find you. If I have a piece that I am sure will sell and it just doesn't, I tell myself that the person who will buy that just hasn't seen it yet. If people go to a neighboring booth and spend money there instead of with me, I just say, "those aren't my customers." It's hard to not take those things personally, because these are things you created. I pay attention to what people buy and don't buy and adjust accordingly, but I stay confident in my abilities.

    I know lots of artisans who just hate doing shows and find other ways to sell their work. Aside from the hauling things around aspect of it, I love shows. I think people are interesting and I love meeting customers or even having a great conversation with someone who doesn't spend a dime with me. When I was first starting out, a very experienced seller gave me some advice: You're not only selling your work; you're selling yourself. YOU are the product. If they like you, they'll stay in your booth and the longer they're there, the more likely they are to spend money. I tend to be a little shy (I know - shocking) and have a bit of social anxiety, so this business has actually helped me get over that a bit.

    Oh, and I HIGHLY recommend getting a Square or other credit card payment system. I can't imagine doing craft shows without one. If you sign up on the Square website they'll mail you the Square for free. I bought one for $10 at an AT&T store and when I linked my bank account to my Square account they deposited $10. No monthly fees and just a small (2.75-@3.5%) transaction fee and the money is in your account in a day or two.

    Okay, enough with me hijacking the thread. If you have ANY questions, just PM me
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  2. #23112
    Best Buddies Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    GREAT advice! Thanks! I'm going to copy the whole thing for future reference. If/when I get started, I'll be sure to pick your brain.
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  3. #23113
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    Gutmutter, I think craft fairs and community festivals are a great way to sell your crafts. Flea markets may not be the best venue because people go to flea markets in search of bargains, not quality craft items.
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  4. #23114
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    Critical Thanks for posting about the Square. I've been rolling the idea around to get back into showing at craft fairs but have been concerned about how to take payment's. It's been a long time since I sold at one but they were so much fun. I met so many nice and interesting people both customers and vendors.
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  5. #23115
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    Quote Originally Posted by inthegarden View Post
    Critical Thanks for posting about the Square. I've been rolling the idea around to get back into showing at craft fairs but have been concerned about how to take payment's. It's been a long time since I sold at one but they were so much fun. I met so many nice and interesting people both customers and vendors.
    I know Intuit has a similar product, but I don't know anyone who's used it. I know LOTS of people who use Square. I can't say enough good things. When I started my business, I lost sales because the gallery I showed at didn't take credit cards and I didn't either. Square has changed the face of art/craft shows. It's SO easy. Plus, it doesn't cut into your profits that much. It used to be that if you wanted to take credit cards, you paid a company a monthly fee - even if you didn't use their services - on top of the per sale fee. Square is MUCH cheaper - just the fee for each sale.

    If I run a sale, an email confirming the sale is in my inbox within minutes. Then, within 1 or 2 business days, the money is transferred to my bank account. Easy peasy. You can order a Square right from their website and, unless they changed things really recently, it's free.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  6. #23116
    Best Buddies Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    Quote Originally Posted by Photobabe View Post
    Gutmutter, I think craft fairs and community festivals are a great way to sell your crafts. Flea markets may not be the best venue because people go to flea markets in search of bargains, not quality craft items.
    Good point. I'm going to go and walk around tomorrow to see what kind of vendors are there. I just thought it would be an easy way to get my feet wet without any prior commitment. If you sign up for an outdoor fair and it rains cats and dogs, there's not much you can do about it. At this venue, you just go and pay for a table at the gate as you drive in. You park your car right behind your table, so that's easy, too.
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  7. #23117
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    That's the fun of outdoor shows - "no refund for weather." If it rains, you lose your booth fee. I think that, even though a flea market isn't optimal, it'll be an easy (and inexpensive) way to start.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  8. #23118
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    Quote Originally Posted by Gutmutter View Post
    Good point. I'm going to go and walk around tomorrow to see what kind of vendors are there. I just thought it would be an easy way to get my feet wet without any prior commitment. If you sign up for an outdoor fair and it rains cats and dogs, there's not much you can do about it. At this venue, you just go and pay for a table at the gate as you drive in. You park your car right behind your table, so that's easy, too.
    Gutmutter a lot of people make a good extra living at flea markets. You said you go to the dump and get some decent to good stuff maybe you could take that and resell it. Also if you have people just wanting to get rid of their junk as they call it maybe they can give it to you so they don't have to dispose of it. Chachki and knick knack stuff.
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  9. #23119
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered prhoshay's Avatar
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    I've never been to a flea market. I adore craft shows.

    It's kind of goofy, but I find the name "flea market" off-putting!


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    Last edited by prhoshay; 04-12-2014 at 10:18 AM.
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  10. #23120
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    It's true - our "recycling center" has a Quonset hut free room and all kinds of stuff from week to week. Today there were two full-sized fake Christmas trees. I'm also addicted to yard sales and if you make an offer, people will usually come down. I've also been known to see something I like, but am not willing to pay a lot for and go back just before they pack up and make a really low-ball offer. I have to be willing to walk away, but most people just want to get rid of stuff and not have to lug it all back inside. Also, if I go to the "dump" during yard sale season around 2:30/3:00 (or right when it opens the next week) people who have had yard sales just take everything to the free room instead of back inside their house.
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