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To stay or to go, cant decide


TheWickChick
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My sister and I currently have a booth at a local flea market.

Cons:

The problem is that the market is new (just opened 2 months ago) and isnt getting much traffic. I barely, and sometimes not even, make my weekly booth rental, so basically I'm loosing money every week. And I'm working 2 jobs besides this and i'm tired. My sister is willing to do the market herself, so that helps, but it's still a drain on me. And I dont have much storage room for the candles if I close the booth.

Pros:

The market just signed with an advertising agency and now has 4 billboards up, so that may bring in the customers (I hope!). I like having a steady place for our candles rather than just doing shows, that way if someone wants to see what we have they know where to go. I get a lot of... I'll be calling you to order these for my wedding... kind of comments, and I'd hate to loose that potential business. And my sister is working on a portfolio to take to local flower/bridal shops to market our champaign glasses and other centerpiece candles, so it would be nice to have a "store" for potential clients to meet us at rather than my house.

So, my heart says stay, but my wallet says go. What do you think?

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Without knowing all of the circumstances, I would probably give it more time. They couldn't have picked a worse time of year to open a business, but in a way, that's kind of good--it gives them time to work out all of the kinks for when shoppers come crawling out of the woodwork again once warm weather gets here.

Also, provided they put the billboards up in a high traffic areas, the advertising could drive more vendors to set up booths there, which could result in them not having a space for you if you give yours up and later choose to come back.

Is this place located in a place in a busy area, or off in some area where few people travel? If it's in a dud location all of the advertising in the world may not help it. How many other vendors are there and what is the quality of merchandise they carry? If people there are selling tube socks and used car parts I could see why candles wouldn't be a hit, so that's something else to examine--how your merchandise fits in or compares to the others.

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From personal experience working at a craft market it takes time to build up a good customer base. If your pocketbook can take it a bit longer you should see business start to pick up when the weather starts getting warmer. If your pocketbook says no its just too much stress and not worth it. JMO

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That happened to me last year. It is slow now but about May through December, I am real busy and good sells. Esp. in the fall and winter. I look at this as my time to get candle scents ready for fall and winter and welcome the break, lol, after a busy fall and winter.

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I would give it one or 2 more months to see if things pick up. If you have to sign a long term contract before then, I'd definately think twice before doing so at this point. BUT, if you don't and you can wait it out, as someone said before, the traffice may get better and you may not be able to get a spot there again in the future. Things should start picking up soon.

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Give it more time definately. It's new and sometimes it takes a bit for word to spread. That's great news that they've taken up some advertising.

What about you? Have you told others about it? I guess I view those type of shows as something that can benefit from my own word-of-mouth. If I were traveling to another state, that may be different. Sometimes you just can't leave it up to the show holders to do all of the advertising/spreading the word. Especially when they're just starting out too.

Good luck! Craft show season is upon us. It's exciting! :)

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Being a totally new venue it is going to take quite a bit of time to build up a customer following, plus this time of year is really bad anyway. Traditionally spring & summer shows ( and first time shows) are even much worse than your ones in the cool fall weather nearer to the holidays. Is there anyway you can help get the word out about the market? Maybe spread the word by posting flyers at your jobs, the local bulletin boards in markets etc. Do they advertise in the small local papers? Around here we call them Pennysavers, weekly papers where folks sell things and advertise garage sales and church rummage sales etc.

Good Luck.

Glo

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