I know I’m a little late (or early), but let’s call this a Tipsy Tuesday post anyway, ok? I’m not pretending to be an expert, just wanted to share some random tips to make a booth inviting and attractive, as well as keeping your brand consistent and noticeable. My booth last weekend was outside, so some of these tips will be specific to that, but others will apply to inside booths as well. Here goes, in no particular order, my top 10 tips for a successful booth:
1. Get a Square card reader or other device to handle credit card sales. The Square device is free and they only charge a 2.75% fee for each transaction. The money is deposited directly into your bank account. Receipts may be sent to the customer’s email or via text message. There were several sales I would have lost if not for the ability to accept credit cards. Some people made multiple purchases on their cards because they paid, then saw something else they wanted. Yay! (Note: I haven’t been compensated for recommending the Square, just sharing my own experience.)
2. For an outside booth, get a canopy and make sure you have heavy weights at each corner. If you’re on dirt or gravel, you could use stakes, but we were on pavement. We (Richard) filled gallon jugs with sand, drilled holes in the canopy legs, and tied the jugs to the legs. If you find you need even more weight, just add water to the sand. Not a pretty solution, but while everyone else was desperately trying to hold their canopies in place on a super windy day, ours stayed nicely grounded. We simply placed items in front of the jugs to disguise them. I may try to cover them with fabric next time, if there is a next time. Still haven’t decided.
3. Keep your brand in front of people: Make price tags with your logo and website. Place business cards in several locations throughout your booth.
4. Following along with number 3, provide receipts with purchases, again with your branding. Keep a carbon copy for yourself for future reference. This is particularly handy if you are accepting credit cards. I numbered my receipts and put the receipt number on the description line when running the card. This is much quicker than typing in the individual items on your phone. Then if there is a question about a credit card transaction, it’s easy to go back to that receipt number and know what the customer purchased. Oh, and I also wrote the last 4 digits of the card number on the receipt.
5. Get an apron to hold your money, phone, and card reader. Things can get hectic- you want to know where your money is! I bought a couple of 77 cent canvas aprons at Home Depot and covered up their logo with my own. I used a pencil pouch from the dollar spot at Target to hold my money- it fit perfectly in one of the apron pouches. The other pouch held my phone and Square.
6. Do an inventory beforehand. It may be really obvious what sold well, but then again, it may surprise you when you go back over your inventory at the end of the show. This is also a good way to determine if some things “walked off.”
7. Rearrange your merchandise several times throughout the show. Different items will catch the eye of different people. It also keeps you from being bored during those slow times.
8. Just as you arrange vignettes in your home, use different heights and textures and fillers. Since this was a fall show, I cut bunches of fall leaves out of music pages and purple card stock and scattered them here and there.
9. Have another person helping- someone wrapping breakables or filling out receipts while you’re taking payment speeds things along. If it isn’t possible to have someone stay, at least make sure you have relief occasionally so you can get relief, if you know what I mean….
10. Miscellaneous items to take along, just in case: Tarps- and duct tape or rope to hold them down- you’ll need them to cover your stuff at the end of the day. Packaging tape, pens, scissors, hammer, picture hangers, glue, packing paper for breakables, bags for the customers’ stuff, garbage bags for- well, garbage. Some sort of padding to protect your items when displaying- I used place mats under scratchy items on my tables, and car mats to protect pictures I was propping on the ground. Snacks and drinks in case you can’t get away for a meal.
That’s my 10 Tips for a Successful Booth. Hmm, have I left anything out? Oh, yeah, Smile! ‘Cause you’ll have a blast! What tips do you have for selling at market?