I know vendoring isn’t the correct word, but for the sake of this title it is.
You may or may not have noticed that I have been missing this week. If you have, I’m flattered! If you haven’t, well I didn’t expect you to any way. The reason for my absence though was that I was a vendor on Friday for a local Star Wars event. You may have seen my Etsy shop. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, click here or on the Store in the menu on the right side. When the opportunity to become vendors came, we decided to give it a go and see what happened. Since it was our first time, we were exceptionally busy this week getting everything ready.
The Star Wars event was a great prep for other large scale events such as Comic Con. I’d like to share some of my observations and what I took away from the experience. If you’ve ever considered vending, hopefully my experience will help you. It was definitely a learning experience for me.
- Invite everyone to take a look: Maybe this is obvious, but it’s important to be friendly and invite people wandering by to take a look. Don’t assume people will come to you. This was difficult for me, being the introvert that I am, but it became easier as the night went on. Some of the sales we got surprised me because they came from people who initially seemed completely uninterested and might’ve walked right on by otherwise.
- Try to make a genuine connection with people: Aside from inviting people to check out your items, don’t make it completely about the sale. The best way for people to be interested in you is to be genuinely interested in them. Even if folks didn’t buy anything, it made the night more fun talking to people and learning about them.
- Don’t freak out when someone hands you cash: Like most vendors, I used a square card reader, which you can order for free. When people handed me cash however, I wasn’t totally sure what to do with it, even though we came prepared with a cash box. Square has an option for cash. Just remember that!
- Don’t print your business cards two days beforehand: Since it was our first time and we had limited amount of time to get ready, we only had a couple of days to get business cards ready. While I’m glad we had cards for the event, I actually hate the cards themselves. The design didn’t look nearly as nice as it had on the computer. It would’ve been better to have more times to see mock-ups and such before getting stuck with a million business cards that I hate.
- Have items down where people can see them: This was a tricky one for us because our t-shirts were hanging behind us while other vendors had their items on tables so it was more obvious what they were selling. Once we moved some items closer to the front of our space where people could see and touch them, we were more successful. I’m also considering buying an actual clothes rack should we do future events and simplifying our layout.
- Take note of what people are taking the most interest in: We had some items that were clearly garnering more interest than others. This showed us where to put our focus and what to point out to other potential buyers, especially since we were catering to Star Wars fans.
- Have fun: That’s really what’s most important. If you’re having fun, other people will too.
These were the tips and tricks I picked up through the night that I hope will be helpful to someone out there!
Speaking of the store, an announcement is that we’re moving the store to a new platform! We’ll keep the Etsy one up, but our main store is now going to be hosted through Store Envy. It just fits our platform and aesthetic better. It’ll be opening in the next couple of days and will include all of my latest designs and products.
Second item of business, I’m thinking changing the name of the blog and attached business enterprises once and for all (naturally now that I’ve just printed a thousand business cards). I have a name that I like and I think works well. But before I reveal it or make up my mind, I would like your feedback on the current name Of Books and Bailey. Do you love it? Like it? Is it just okay? I think it does great for the blog itself but not for the retail and business side of the company.
Thank you, my darlings, and tootle loo!
5 thoughts on “Our Heroine’s First Attempt at Vendoring: A Guide for First Time Vendors”
I actually did notice your absence. 🙂 I enjoyed reading this post even though I’m not a vendor, and your stuff looked awesome! (I’ve been a huge fan of Star Wars since I was like, 5 years old, so yeah. Drooling over here!) I actually really love your current blog name, but if you have one you love better/think is a better fit for your blog, it’s your blog and you should totally do what you want.
Oh, it looks like you did change it? I love “Fictional Fox!” Sucker for alliteration, which is why I loved your old one, and so I’m glad you kept that going! 🙂
I’m glad you like my stuff! I enjoyed designing it and tried to think of things that I would want to wear.
I decided to just go for it and do it because I couldn’t get it out of my head. I also keep saying Fiction and Fandom Inspired to describe what I do lol. My husband though keeps saying I’ll probably change it again in a month or two. But I think I’m going to stick with this one. Foxes are my favorite animal after all.
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I really love it!
This is a unique yet interesting post! I like it. 🙂