Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Super Sales at the Flea Market

Once again, I decided to try my bath, body and skin care products at the monthly flea market held at the Civic Center in our town. I wasn't sure how well I would do, but determined not to give up. My previous experience at this market had not went well, but if you read my blog about that experience, a lot of the blame lied with me and my attitude at the time. This time, I was determined to put a big fat smile on, and sell! sell! sell!

I also used a few ideas from my previous flea market fiasco's. Someone once told me that everything is a learning experience. So, as to feel that I did not waste my booth fee's the previous times, I was determined to use the knowledge I had learned and consider it an investment!

This time I set up a "Try me" table that held sugar scrubs, lotions, lip balms, solid perfumes, and a spritz. I made a big sign that said Try Me. Next to this I set up a Contest where customers could enter their email, address, and name. The winner would be put with my web site contest entries to win a sampler basket. Several people stopped just to sign up for the contest, or the try me table. This gave me an opportunity to approach them and discuss my products. Now, some people were rude and told me they were not interested (but some people are just like that), while others listened to my intro, thanked me and moved on, but some actually listened, look and bought! That was fantastic. So, the Try Me Table and the Entry form contest are "keepers" for future shows.

An added benefit to the contest/drawing is that I got people's email addresses to add to my customer list for future sale flyers and email promotions. And the winner will receive a sampler basket, and after trying the products, will hopefully return. All people who entered the contest were given a business card so they can check my web site for the winner in the next two weeks! That also gets the people to my web site and to my stores- along with all the other people, shops, and social networks I promote on my web site. So, I look at the contest as an investment.

A second change I made for this flea market was a special DEAL. People at flea markets are looking for low cost, great finds, and special deals. So, I offered a 2 for 5.00 soap special (which is an online offer I have right now to build my customer base). This went over well. Especially when I informed people of all the great ingredients in my custom blends like organic cocoa butter, shea butter, lanolin, vegetable glycerin, organic kokum butter, olive oil, and more. I talked to EVERY single person who came to my booth and explained (if they let me..) the benefits of each ingredient. Before they could get rid of me, I asked "What scents do you prefer" once they answered I would find a product that had a similar scent, get the product out, and ask them to smell it. This helped get people's interest.

Besides those changes, I also brought some items to the flea market that are not handmade. I used those as my "grabbers", or product that perked interest and would get people who typically would not stop at my booth over to my booth. I took books, old jewelry, some glassware, and vases. This helped tremendously. I had more traffic at my booth than any of my previous flea markets. Now, this is a tactic you can only use at a flea market, as farmer's markets and craft shows generally have strict guidelines on what you can and can not sell.

Finally, this time I spent twice as much time with the set up. I set everything out in easy, organized fashion. I usually go for the "pretty: factor and arrange things esthetically. Instead I set things up according to like items, fragrances, price, etc. I put items that I had several of in a basket and turned the basket on the side for easy access, but left out a few of the items for people to see. This saved me space, and avoided too much distraction for the buyer. I made big posterboard signs with block lettering (instead of fancy pictures and script), that clearly lined out prices and specials for customers. Sometimes individuals do not feel comfortable asking about prices, and although all items are usually tagged, those tags can fall off. I don't want to lose one single sell or over a missing price tag.

Towards the end of the day I put out a big sign that said 1/2 off End of the Day Special- although I lost some money on this, it gave me new customers who may not normally have tried my products. Not everyone is willing to splurge on themselves when it comes to bath and beauty- this gave them a chance to try a product at a really good price. Hopefully, they will come back.

One thing I did this time to help bring customers back was I listed my web site and web store on every box, label, etc. Not just on the tag, I literally wrote it on the box. A lot of times people will lose a tag, but if the site is directly on the label, once they find they like the product can look for more. Even if the product isn't used up for another 3 months, that website is still on there and as they realize they are out, they can order more!

So, I had a great flea market this past weekend. Unfortunately, that is the last one for the season. I had to try 2 before I really got the hang of it, but now I know for the future events!

I hope some of these tips will help you in your ventures. I would love to hear your thoughts, tips and ideas when you sell at different venues! Please comment and share!

Next Saturday I have a booth at a "Biker Show", so I can't wait to tell you all about this. I can safely say, this is my first Motorcycle show event- but I have created a few items that I hope will be tailored to this group of customers (without stereotyping)- I have created a sunburn bar, super moist lip balm, new jewelry items, ponytail holders, and tattoo care bar!

PS : see my new items just listed at my stores below! The super fat butter bath bar is amazing- it's like lotion and soap all in one step! My Shades of Green is the first piece in my jewelry line utilizing a new wire technique- Please tell me what you think! Excited for feedback!


Kora said...

Oh, I am so happy that you didnt give up. I do flea markets all the time and you have to be creative. I like how you put out used goods to attract those customers; I do that all the time.

Very Good, Kudos.

Kora"CoCo" ONeal

Anonymous said...

Great ideas for the flea market. Glad you're having success. I'm interested in using organic kokum butter in one of my products. Who is your supplier?


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