Fair’s fair

Ouch! My back hurts but my pocket is feeling fine. Yes, I’ve done the Edinburgh Antiques, Vintage and Collectors Fair and we learnt a lot over the two selling days as well as the set up and take down time. I’ve written up my checklist for what to pack and its attached here – it may not be exhaustive so if anyone has any ideas of what to add then let me know and I can put them in.

Glad it’s not raining!

Perhaps it was because of my first time at this fair but I was really moved by the friendliness and supportiveness of the other stallholders, the wonderful fair staff who lent us covers for our stock overnight (note to self, add this to the Fair checklist – done!) and gave us important advice, and the parking attendant who helped us bring the car in for the take down – especially as it was raining!

Finally in place.

Everyone I came across was so nice – there was no feeling of competition – and I have to say that was special. Of course, we were all competing to sell to the same group of customers, but this had absolutely nothing to do with us as people.

Everyone was happy to give advice and share their experience. There was a strange and sudden lull on Saturday afternoon – I had thought it was just my stall but was much relieved to hear from others that they were suffering this as well.

Here are four lessons I learned:

  1. Be two, not one – I have a wonderful husband who helps shift, sell, drive, etc., but most of all chats to me when no-one is buying and lets me go walkabout/to the loo and helps me stick to my prices and resist bullying punters. Of course, there are single stallholders – I would recommend that they get together to help each other out where possible. Sales are not always that frequent that one can afford to miss one while away for a break, and two days plus set up and take down can be a long and lonely gig. Perhaps the fair organisers could offer an option for single stallholders to be placed next to each other?
  2. Get out and walk about – of course, this depends on point (1) but I gained so much from being able to walk the hall. I could see what others were charging and how they were laying out their stalls, who was doing well, who had crowds of buyers, etc. I was even able to buy a few bits of stock. All this is called business information and is very valuable. Being able to walk about also meant I could meet stallholders and, I hope, make some friends.
  3. Know when you have sold enough to cover your costs – you will feel a whole lot better about the rest of the sales because you will know that you’re in profit. Amazingly, the Rainbows stall did this by 11.30 on day one and it really helped in decisions about discounts and being upbeat with customers.
  4. Prepare all stock in advance – there’s no time on the day, especially if there is an early start for trade buyers.
Ta-da! The stall!

Ooh, yes, and prepare to be exhausted! Nine-to-five workers should book the next day off work, and after two days of selling it’s taken me ages to get sorted out again. I recommend an alcohol-free weekend, painkillers, and early nights.

Sounds dreadful but it was a great buzz and I would recommend doing a big fair to anyone!

Rainbows on Instagram — SOLD!

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