Monday, April 22, 2013

Get Ready for Vending 2013: On Vending Day

Here is part 2 of my 3 part informational post about vending!  Again, these are tips about selling your wares that I have learned in my vending experiences.  I hope you find it useful - please feel free to comment below.


1. GIVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME TO SET UP - Know how long it takes you to set up your table and allow at least 15min more.  If you are going to vend somewhere for the first time allow maybe 30min extra to talk to the event organizers, find out where you are setting up, where to park, etc.  If you can try to find out if you will park by your space, and if not allow extra time for trips between your car & table.  It takes me about an hour to set up my tent, signage, & table.  Also, the more you vend the fast you will become!

2.CLEARLY DISPLAY PRICING - It just makes buying so much easier for your customers!  You can either put a price tag on every item, or do what I do and make signs for each different item with pricing and place it in front or beside them.

3. FILL YOUR TABLE - No matter the size, nothing looks worse than a table with empty spaces.  Make sure you have enough inventory, and you can always fill in spaces that look sparse with some nice decor to draw people in.  On the other hand, don't over fill your table to the point that customers are knocking things over to look at other things, or it just looks like a jumbled mess.  Keep your arrangement simple and user friendly, and don't forget to restock sold merchandise!

4. SAFETY FIRST - Always make sure that your tent is weighted down and your table is locked open and securely flat on the ground with no wiggling.  Vendors should have liability insurance where they are "in the field" but there's no point in taking chances of someone getting hurt or damage happening to your property or product. If you are vending outdoors be especially aware during windy or rainy weather.

5. SIGNAGE SIGNAGE SIGNAGE - I suggest getting a banner made that clearly states your company name, slogan, contact info/website, and what you sell.   I got mine from (Helpful Hint: Vistaprint offers a free subscription to a magazine of your choice with your purchase but you can waive that offer and get about a $20 rebate!  With my 6x2' banner costing me around $41 that cut my cost in half!  Just fill out the form and mail it in and they will send you a rebate check.)  Nice A-frame chalkboard or dry-erase signs are good to put out in front of your space too.  If you are vending with a lot of people in a large space, and you are allowed to do so, have signs printed up to hang on walls directing people to your location.

6. ENGAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS - Say hello as they walk by, it gets their attention to you and your table and it may get them to stop and look.  Be friendly and helpful, but don't breathe down their throats.  Some people like to announce themselves carnival style (::loudly:: "Step right up!  Buy some lip balm! I got your lip balm right here!")  Use your judgement on this.  There is also a school of thought that you shouldn't stay seated the whole time as if you are just waiting for someone to come over.  You look more attentive and professional when standing behind your table, this is true, but don't kill yourself if your feet and back are hurting from a days vending.  Take short sitting breaks when you are slow.  Lastly, try not to eat when customers are going to come up to your table.  No one likes a vendor talking with their mouth full or getting caught mid-sandwich. It can also make customers not want to come over and disturb you during your "lunch". 

I hope this helps!  Part 3 about After Vending coming soon!

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