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My First Show... (Read 5,968 times)
 
John Grace
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
Bel Air
Maryland
USA

My First Show...
Nov 2nd, 2015 at 12:22pm
 
My town has added an Artisan's month to the traditional farmer's market for the month of November and I've signed up for Saturday the 21st.  This will be my first attempt at selling items in a market atmosphere and I'm more than a little nervous.  If anyone can share their thoughts and experience with best set-up practices, table cloth cover colors, and anything else that may help I would be most appreciative.  Thanks...John
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“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Kipling
 
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JimQuarles
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Glendale, AZ, Arizona, USA
Glendale, AZ
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #1 - Nov 2nd, 2015 at 1:01pm
 
Are you equipped to take credit cards.  My sales almost doubled when I started using Square.
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Mentor Basics, Pens, small stuff, Acrylics, EasyRougher.
Just Turnin' Around!  Glendale, AZ  Cool Cool

"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.
I think I've forgotten this before." - Steven Wright
 
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Ralph Fahringer
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Ellsworth, Maine, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #2 - Nov 2nd, 2015 at 1:01pm
 
If it's outside, remember the wind!!!
Make sure everything doesn't blow away or tip over.

I remember one show i sold my photos at where there was a potter a couple booths down from me that had all of his really nice pots and vases all lined up on shelves for all to see.... annnnnnd then the front came thru and the winds picked up and almost ALL of his pieces blew over and broke!!  Both tragic and astounding to watch!!

My booth almost lifted off but I hung onto the framework.

As for table cloth colors, nothing loud or bold. Neutral tan or grey would work. Even white is too much contrast.
Remember also... if everyone is buying your stuff, your prices are too low.

Take careful note of their comments and do not take them to heart.  Hear what they wished something was or how it feels in their hands, those sort of things. This will give you a road map of sorts for the next batch of goodies to sell.

Lastly, there is no rhyme nor reason to any of it. What you might think will sell, won't and vise versa. Purely the whims of the buyer that day.

Remember... Do what you love and you will always have boxes full of things you love!! Thumbs Up
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Ron Carrabotta
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Dawsonville, ga, Georgia, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #3 - Nov 2nd, 2015 at 1:40pm
 
John,

+ 1 on using the Square, doesn't cost anything to get one, 2.75% of your sale goes to them on a swiped card sale. Makes a HUGE difference in sales.

I'm always amazed when we put something out at a show, someone picks it up and says, "I'll take it", and I think to myself, "I was gonna put that in the burn pile after the show" Wink

Good luck.
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John Grace
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
Bel Air
Maryland
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #4 - Nov 2nd, 2015 at 2:44pm
 
Thanks for the feedback guys...much appreciated.

No...I've not signed up for 'square' as of yet.  As this is my first go around I'm keeping my expectations rather low but if it goes well then next year for sure.

Another question I forgot in my first go around.  How many pieces do you typically take to a show with you?  At current rate, I'll have about 35 or so pieces available by the time the show comes around.

Again...thanks.
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“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Kipling
 
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JimQuarles
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Glendale, AZ, Arizona, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #5 - Nov 2nd, 2015 at 2:55pm
 
I take about 425 pens when I do shows.

Go ahead and order your free Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register reader now.  Check that your smart phone is compatible.  The free reader works on the magnetic swipe strip, but not on the newer EMV (chip) contacts on the front of the card.  The new EMV reader is still in development and last I heard it will cost about $50.
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Mentor Basics, Pens, small stuff, Acrylics, EasyRougher.
Just Turnin' Around!  Glendale, AZ  Cool Cool

"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.
I think I've forgotten this before." - Steven Wright
 
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John Grace
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Everyone needs a good
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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
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Maryland
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #6 - Nov 2nd, 2015 at 3:08pm
 
Thanks Jim...I've been doing some reading on square and certainly looks simple enough, probably get one this weekend.  Their web site says they have the reader that works with either card now...or at least that's what I thought I read.  Sorry, I've not gotten into pens yet...just bowls, platters, and other assorted dishes.
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“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Kipling
 
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Ron Carrabotta
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Dawsonville, ga, Georgia, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #7 - Nov 2nd, 2015 at 3:48pm
 
John,

Take a variety of items if you have them available, we usually have items rom the $20-$25 range all the way up to $400-$600. Of course most sales will be at the lower price points but we've sold items at both ends of the spectrum, so be prepared. Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up
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Andrew Abercrombie
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Eagan, MN, Minnesota, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #8 - Nov 2nd, 2015 at 7:49pm
 
I find that people who come to farmers markets are looking for unique things and often times are ready to pay more for quality work when they can meet the designer/maker/painter, etc. Good luck, let us know how it goes!
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JimQuarles
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Glendale, AZ, Arizona, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #9 - Nov 2nd, 2015 at 11:18pm
 
John, the EMV card reader is still "coming soon."  I ordered mine early last summer and will get it in the first batch going out.  They are available to reserve.
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Mentor Basics, Pens, small stuff, Acrylics, EasyRougher.
Just Turnin' Around!  Glendale, AZ  Cool Cool

"Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.
I think I've forgotten this before." - Steven Wright
 
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Donald Jordan
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #10 - Nov 3rd, 2015 at 12:25pm
 
John,

If you can do more than one table, a "U" shape or "L" shape works best.  Put yourself at the bottom of the "U" or "L" and give your customer the ability to come "into" your space. Fill milk jugs with water and strap them to the legs of your canopy to stop the wind from lifting it. Bring a chair. Put all your pieces out as long as it does not look cluttered...otherwise rotate the pieces thru the day..
Good Luck!! Thumbs Up
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Gary D Baker
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #11 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 7:27am
 
John,
Good luck to you.  I spent 20 minutes writing a response to this post but was informed that I was sending spam.  Couldn't get to a moderator, and as disappointed because I think I had some helpful information.
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John Grace
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Everyone needs a good
wingman...

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Bel Air, Maryland, USA
Bel Air
Maryland
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #12 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 12:40pm
 
Sorry guys...one more question.  I've seen it posted several times but I cannot find any of the 'threads' that suggest the relationship between blow/platter size and pricing.  While I consider most of my things better than the mass produced store stuff my goal is that all of my pieces have been made to be used as food safe bowls and range from utilitarian to modestly ornamental in woods both common and exotic.  Anything that can be suggested relative to pricing would be fantastic, again...thanks.
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“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Kipling
 
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Glenn Jacobs
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #13 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 12:56pm
 
Unless things have changed, general rule for bowls was $10 per in of diameter.  5 inch diameter bowl = $50.00

Glenn j.
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Ron Carrabotta
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Dawsonville, ga, Georgia, USA
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Re: My First Show...
Reply #14 - Nov 5th, 2015 at 5:18pm
 
John,

When I first got back into turning and began to sell some of my pieces one of the master turners in our Club suggested that if you had to BUY wood, it should constitute 10% of your final selling price, $10 block of wood should yield a $100 bowl. As you can imagine, with some of the more exotic wood species your selling price would be quite dramatic. I paid $25 for a piece of Flame Box Elder, and sold the resulting hollow form for $325.

Fortunately, most of the wood I turn is local and a lot of the wood I get from friends so there is no cost, in cases where I make something out of free wood, I price it either on the $10/in method or based on what a similar item sold for in the past regardless of the size.

In general, in my area, high gloss sells better that satin finishes.

Good luck at the show, and remember, it is always easier to lower your price a bit at point of sale but almost  impossible to raise it.

RRon

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