Circumstances Outside Your Control
There are some things that really are outside of your control. If no-one is there to buy, you can’t sell. That tells you either the weather is a bust or the promoter didn’t advertise. All you can do then it wait it out and not go back to that event. It could be, when you look around, that this is a flea market event and people are only looking for a bargain, not beautiful handcrafts. Again, don’t go back next year. These things happen, especially when you’re new and inexperienced. Never blame other vendors. They are just like you, trying to do their best. Hopefully, you’ll make enough to cover your booth fee.
Circumstances You CAN Control
But if everything is good, there are lots of people spending money, the event is all about handcrafts, and you’re still not selling, it’s time to look at yourself. First, check your attitude. Are you friendly, welcoming and outgoing. If not, get with it. I don’t know about you, but If someone looks disgruntled I tend to steer clear.
As often as not, I have found, it the display that is the problem. Your work is beautiful, but it is not drawing people in. Maybe your product is too crowded and people can’t see the beauty of your work. Rearrange your items and think about having a nice focal point. Put something flashy or unique near the front to draw people’s eyes to your booth. Highlight different items as you rearrange. There seems to be an optimum number of any specific item. Too many, cheapen them and too few appear to be leftovers. Even if I’m not sure it’s my display, I still rearrange. It keeps me busy and it makes people look to see what I am doing.
After the show, rethink your display. Think about how you can make it better. We only have ourselves while big businesses actually hire people to just study and create better displays for optimal selling. I try to research other people’s displays with similar products to mine to give me more ideas to try. We vendors usually have limited budget for display so get creative and think outside the box.
You love your product. If you didn’t you wouldn’t make it. Maybe now it is time to look at what you are making. Can you tweak it to give it a broader appeal? If I’m making something for me, I can do what I love. If I’m making something for a friend or family member, I take into account their tastes. When I am making for the public, I have to take into account a broader spectrum of tastes. I like natural tones, but I make things in the current or classical color trends. I like organic shapes but I make things in geometrics. I do have my limits. I can’t bring myself to do anything with cutesy cartoons or product placement. That is just me, but if someone special order something like that, I will make it for them. I listen to my customers and ask their opinions. I never thought much about putting owls or dragonflies on things until some customers asked about them. I now sell lots of owls and dragonflies.
I’ve had my share of bad days. Sometimes, I just chalk it up to the error of picking the wrong event. Always, I look at myself for ways to get better. I want to succeed and I can’t do that by blaming others or doing the same things over and over and getting the same results.