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Inventory (Read 842 times)
 
Frank Padden
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Inventory
Aug 13th, 2016 at 7:38pm
 
I have not done a show yet, I am working on building my inventory. How many turnings do you usually take to a show to make a good presentation?
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John Grace
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Re: Inventory
Reply #1 - Aug 13th, 2016 at 10:33pm
 
It's difficult to say without knowing the types of pieces you make and/or the size of the space you've rented.  I've read here where some specialize in pens, tops, and other small items and they'll take many dozens plus.

Last year I participated in my first show...bowls, plates, and a few vases and had four tables worth of materials.  The number of items goes further than you first guess they would with proper spacing and presentation materials (signage, pricing cards, etc).  Believe I had 45 +/- and hope to take between 50 & 60 this year.

Best thing I did was tour a couple of shows taking pictures of what others did...saw what I liked and what I thought would work best with my materials.

Hope this helps...John
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Bert Delisle
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Re: Inventory
Reply #2 - Aug 14th, 2016 at 8:33am
 
One could consider doing a mock-up display of your product in your own drive way. This would give you a real time feel for just how the display space can be arranged to best advantage. It also will provide a good opportunity to see how much "storage" space is available, ( like under tables ). Consider using a table skirt to hide the storage area from customers view.
Good luck, hope you do well. Remember to have fun.
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John Grace
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Re: Inventory
Reply #3 - Aug 14th, 2016 at 9:22am
 
Thanks Bert for the 'duh' suggestion...LOL.  I'm actually doing that very same thing later today...providing the heat doesn't dissuade me first.  Your suggestion is of course spot-on and it is simply the best way to determine what you have vs what you may still need.
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Frank Padden
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Re: Inventory
Reply #4 - Aug 14th, 2016 at 9:59am
 
All good ideas. This gives me some place to start. Thank you!!
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Bill Neff
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Re: Inventory
Reply #5 - Aug 15th, 2016 at 9:22am
 
To me trying to guess inventory is like playing pin the tail on the donkey.  Last year large (10-14") sold, ornaments didn't. So this year I made extra large bowls and only sold 3.  Last year not a single birdhouse ornament sold, so this year the wife said "I wouldn't bother making more", but since they are fun & easy to make I made 9 more.  So this year all but 1 of the 15 sold along with 4 hollowed ball ornaments.   Interesting observation was that women bought all but one of the bird houses and same xxxx couples bought the rest.
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Arlin Eastman
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Re: Inventory
Reply #6 - Sep 26th, 2016 at 8:39pm
 
Frank

There is a lot of YouTube out there on setting up a booth in a craft fair or farmers market or others out there and I highly encourage you to watch them and take notes.

Just got to YouTube and type in the top "How to do a craft fair" I watched about 30 or so of them and I feel I still have a lot to learn from more of them.
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Al Wasser
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Re: Inventory
Reply #7 - Sep 27th, 2016 at 9:37am
 
For me it is not the number of items you take, but the variety of items.  The more variety you have the better off you will be.  Even if you just take bowls for example you want different shapes, sizes and wood.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Inventory
Reply #8 - Sep 27th, 2016 at 10:18am
 
As it's already been said numerous times, it depends.
Site, skill, people, weather, other vendors, and so on and so on...
Your first show will most likely be a learning experience no matter how much you prepare. That said, you should probably take a variety to determine what sells the best out of your pieces.
After your first show is over, then you can start to tailor your inventory based on what you've learned.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Inventory
Reply #9 - Sep 27th, 2016 at 7:32pm
 
It is possible to have too many choices preventing some from making a decision.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Inventory
Reply #10 - Sep 27th, 2016 at 7:48pm
 
IMO no, as long as it's presented well and not cluttered.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Inventory
Reply #11 - Sep 28th, 2016 at 8:27am
 
Around 1980 I worked for a while in a retail computer store.  We had two or three from each of several manufacturers of every type of printer on the market, some could print on wider paper.  Ink jet hadn't been invented, but 9 pin mechanical, thermal, IBM ball, . . .  At least once a week a customer would express an interest in a printer, but then would want to see sample from each type of printer and features of every one on the display.  After 10 minutes they were just overwhelmed by the range and said they needed time to digest.  Never saw them again, if they did in fact need a printer they probably got one from another store with just a few choices.

I've had people in my studio look in turn at each bowl on display, pick up a number, and then leave as if they couldn't choose one in particular.

Many galleries seem to have just a small number of items on display, as if trying to call attention to each piece, while co-ops seem to be jammed with items.

I don't know the ideal number or mix, but I think it is certainly possible to have too many items on display - they all run together.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Inventory
Reply #12 - Sep 28th, 2016 at 10:29am
 
Its a coin flip, you can't sell what you don't have and having too many different items of the same thing may confuse your customers. Also, a full table attracts more people to your display than a half full table.

IMO, take as many different items as possible and display only a few. In other words maybe you can keep the pens under the table while displaying boxes. If the boxes don't move replace them with your pens. Or maybe only display a small number of pens and boxes instead of few dozen of each. Of course this isn't confined to just exchanging pens and boxes.

It may also be advantageous to have a sign stating something to the effect, "If you don't see what you want, just ask and you may be surprised."

Lastly, remember each venue is different and has its own personality, what works at one show doesn't mean it will work at another show. Be creative and practice your skills at selling your wares and reading your customers.
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« Last Edit: Sep 28th, 2016 at 10:30am by Ron Sardo »  

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Ed Weber
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Re: Inventory
Reply #13 - Sep 28th, 2016 at 11:29am
 
I agree with Ron 100%, very well said.

I think you just really need to be aware of what's going on around you and be flexible as it pertains to what you're selling.

Don Stephan wrote on Sep 27th, 2016 at 7:32pm:
It is possible to have too many choices preventing some from making a decision.

To clarify, I still say no but within a certain category.
IMO
If you sell bowls don't just have two dozen of the exact same bowl, have a variety of bowls.
If you sell pens, don't put out every pen you have, maybe put out a few in each style and as Ron said, have a sign that says ask for more choices.
I do think you need to bring enough pieces to be able to replace an item after one has been purchased. Empty tables can have the same off-putting effect as cluttered ones, but with no possibility of a sale.
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