Updated: Mar 6
After the last vendor event, I've been a little hesitant to hand my money over for a vendor space. There have been several events that I came across that wanted over $150 for a vendor space. I am definitely not established enough to be able to afford that type of fee, essssspecially after my last experience. As a business owner, you have to assume that you won't recoup those fees, so you have to ask yourself if you can afford to be out that type of money. Not only is it money; it's time. Can you afford to be at an event for almost an entire day, basically for free? Because if you don't make a profit, you are paying someone to sit in a space for 8 hours.
Mi Gente Comes Through
La Pulga Flea Market hosts a vendor event every month and it is always well-attended. They do a great job of interacting with the community through social media and for providing an inexpensive space for vendors to sell their wares. I had tried to apply for a space for a previous event, but they get filled up fast. So, when I saw the most recent event open up, I submitted my application immediately. Luckily I was selected to be a vendor and once I paid my fee I received my confirmation. The fee was minimal compared to other fees that I had paid and that I had been seeing recently, so I was a lot more confident preparing for this event.
The week leading up to the event I made sure to push out a lot of info through social media, and La Pulga (if I tagged them) would always re-share my posts. Anyone that tagged them would have their posts re-shared as well. It was a great way for the organizers to create positive connections with the vendors and the community; it really showed that they were paying attention and that they weren't just herding the cats through the door. And as promised, a few days before the event I received my information packet with all the pertinent information. Everything was pretty self-explanatory so I was pretty pumped.
When I arrived to the event, I was greeted at the gate by a gentleman with a clipboard. He asked if I knew what my space number was and then checked my name off the list. Another gentleman led me to my spot and guess what..... IT WAS MARKED! If you read my other blog post, then you know that this is actually a big deal to me. lol. Honestly, just having someone greet me and take me to my MARKED spot was more than enough to make me happy. It really showed how organized the event was.
Time to Sell!
The event was extremely well attended; there was a lot of other vendors; there was food; and there was music! I interacted with several other vendors, and purchased a few little goodies for myself. I am a firm believer in supporting other artists because I know how hard you have to work in order to just break even. And speaking of breaking even.... I was able to do that at this event. I really wasn't expecting to sell out because I know that different people have different tastes. Some go to vendor events for the food, some for a specific item, and some just go to browse and be out and about.
I think that if you go into an event with realistic expectations, you won't be disappointed. Every experience can be a great learning opportunity. It can help you see the areas for growth when things don't go as planned. At this event I paid close attention to what customers were looking at, the things that they touched several times, and I made mental notes to try some new things at the next event. It can be pretty easy to get discouraged if your products don't fly off the table; I was pretty upset after the first event (there was a lot about that whole experience that was upsetting) but instead of throwing in the towel, I decided to try and see what I could do different going forward.
Although I didn't make a ton of sales at the La Pulga Flea Market, it was a good experience. The organizers were exactly that: Organized! There were great vendors, great food, and the DJ was awesome! I will definitely take the next few weeks to look at what I can do different and see how I can get my sales up. Hopefully I can keep building off of each event and the next one will be even better!
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