Friday, April 26, 2013

Get Ready for Vending 2013: The After

Welcome to the 3rd and final installment of my series on vending tips that I've learned from my own experiences.  Enjoy!


1. STAY UNTIL THE END: Packing up early is rude and sometimes against the market/fair rules.  The organizers don't want to have an empty event after all!  Unless arrangements have been made prior or your have some dire circumstances, do not pack up before the designated time.

2. STAY ORGANIZED AT PACK UP: It will make your life so much easier to keep your gear and product organized and neat as you pack up.  Don't just throw everything in the box in an attempt to get out of there quickly - trust me you'll be glad you did!  I keep all like perfume & lip balm together because if I mix it up it makes setting them out on the table next time take so much longer.  I also sell online so when I keep my inventory organized I can easily reach it in my work room when needed.

3. LEAVE NOTHING BEHIND: Do not leave anything, specifically trash, behind once you are all packed up.  I always keep a plastic bag on hand to dispose of trash throughout and at the end of vending.  Some people may choose to bring a broom too. 

4. PUT IT AWAY WHEN YOU RETURN HOME: It takes a short time and you'll be glad not to see boxes and such all over your living room for the next 3 days.  I keep my inventory in my work room and my tent, decor, tables, chairs and such in my garage.  If you do events back to back just keep things in your car, packed neatly.  I have a farmers market or craft fair Wed, Thur, and Sat every week so things tend to stay in my car from Wed - Sat.  After every market I unload my product so I can do inventory, make new product, etc. and after every Sat market I unload everything.

4. RECORD INVENTORY & SALES ASAP - I know, I know... vending can take a lot out of you, but the sooner you get the boring back-end financial & bookkeeping stuff out of the way the better.  Take out your sales book or other sales record that you used during vending and plug it in to your program or books right away.  Otherwise you may forget something that you didn't even know you had to remember that effects your records.  I've been there and it's frustrating when it happens.  Always to remember to take a physical inventory, that is count everything you have, compare it to your books/program, and reconcile as needed.  I posted about the programs I use in the past: Outright for Income/Expense records, and StitchLabs for inventory management.  My accountant has suggested I look into Quicken for an inexpensive all in one program, which I plan to do after the vending season.

Well, that's it folks!  I hope you have found this helpful and interesting.  Feel free to email me with questions/suggestions, or just comment below.  Good luck and lots of sales to you all this vending season!


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