June 6th, 2010

how to make sales and not irritate people

I went to the Indoor Car Boot at St Gemma's yesterday (despite feeling like death warmed up). I noticed similar things to the Pannier Market last weekend regarding what people were saying and how they were acting, and as such I wanted to write something.

The pannier market was indoors due to the rain, as was the car boot sale even though the weather was very hot. As such, and for the opposite reasons, both were fairly quiet. I made almost the same amount at both sales (almost £50) despite everyone complaining about how quiet it was.

In a not entirely serious posting, although there might be some useful tips, here is my list of things to do and not to do in order to have a successful day.

1. DO NOT be a miserable cow. Anyone who complained about it being quiet seemed to have a bad day. One woman was even kicked out of the indoor car boot sale for whinging at the organiser too much. I wish they did this at all fairs/markets as it saves me listening to people being pains in the arses.

2. DO engage with everyone who comes to your stall. A quick hello takes no time and keeps them looking at your stall for longer, as well as making you more approachable (especially if you have tattoos and pink hair). If you don't know what to say and they have children, just have a chat with them about their t-shirt. However....

3. DO NOT annoy everyone who comes to your stall by over-engaging. One woman at the pannier market talked so much to everyone who came to the stall she annoyed a lot of buyers away. Not everyone wants to hear all the intricacies about every detail of your item.

4. DO put a basket on the edge of your table with little cheap items you don't mind children looking through. This relates to engaging the buyers - if the children are being entertained looking through the basket, the parents will hang around looking at the stall longer. If the cheap items are cheap enough, the children might even be allowed to buy something. TOP TIP - mobile phone charms at 50p.

5. DO offer multiple purchase price breaks. It works for Boots and Tesco, why not us? Yesterday I was selling all my cards at 50p, or 5 cards for £2. I sold bucketloads. TOP TIP - spend a tenner on a proper card display - it really makes all the difference if people can flick through them properly.

6. DO price everything individually. If people pick something up without a price, even if there's a sign saying 'all necklaces £2' for example, they'll be less likely to buy it. I've learnt this by doing it wrong and losing out on sales.

7. DO NOT forget to take carrier bags to a car boot sale - this was the one big mistake I made yesterday. Someone didn't buy something because I couldn't give them a carrier bag.

8. DO always take loose change, at least £50 worth if you can manage it. Again, if you can't change a £20 note, you might lose the sale. I have, even though the item was only £2, they didn't have anything smaller, and I only had £10 worth of pound coins.

9. DO take something you can be making while you're there. This also gives you a conversation topic with your buyers, and people are usually really fascinated by the creative process if they don't make things themselves. I always walk around and see what people are making.

10. DO NOT smoke behind your stall if the market is outside - someone at the pannier market does this, it's disgusting.

11. DO eat or drink discretely. I've been caught out taking a huge bite out of a sandwich.

12. DO make friends with the other stallholders. If you're miserable, snotty etc, I personally don't recommend your stall to people who come over. If you're nice to me, I do. I'm sure I'm not the only person like this. IT'S KARMA DUDE.

13. DO take time making your table look nice. I know this is obvious, but some people spend more time farting around getting breakfast than actually arranging their stall. Take props to display things on, create height on the table with boxes, and fill all available space with items - another reason to individually price so you can put anything anywhere on the table and not have to have it all together with a sign.

14. DO keep looking at your table from the other side, and moving things around if you sell anything. If you sell something, there should be a space, so fill it again.

15. If it's a recurring market, keep an eye on what sells, and bring more next time. Also let anyone who ums and ahs about buying something that you'll be there next month if they want to come back and buy it. Also give anyone who buys anything a business card, and tell them you'll be there next month as well. TOP TIP - make an events diary handout, and have it on your stall so they'll know where to find you - it also helps to promote other markets and fairs, which helps out the other stall holders.


If you could have a tattoo of anything, what would you have? money and the fact it's permanent aside, if you could have ANYTHING

I need challenges for drawing. I'm just drawing, drawing, drawing for the shop - it's good practice, and I actually feel useful doing flash sets for the walls.

so far i've done these cupcakes - honest opinions please. I know they're not great, but I'm just practising the actual technique of drawing, scanning, colouring with the computer, and filling in the background (this is how kim's are done, so i think it must be like a shop default.)