Now that we’re counting down the days until our first Marietta Marketplace, some vendors may be a bit nervous about their first flea. Of course, all our vendors may be seasoned veterans and have no need for these tips. But if I’m not the only one experiencing the first-flea jitters, perhaps some words of advice will make for a well-oiled Marketplace.
I’ve been garnering advice from various bloggers and vendors, and I’ll share some of the pared-down information. If one word could sum it up, it would be…..preparation!
— Pack smartly. Keep your supplies labeled and organized, so you’re not trying to set up wondering where your scissors/tape/safety pins/hangers are.
–Pack like a scout. Think of any scenario, and be prepared. Rain? Bring covers, poncho. Wind? Make sure your canopy can be secured. Customers? They may want bags, receipts, your business card. Hunger? Thirst? Sun? Make sure you will be comfortable all day. Are you using a Square for the first time, to accept credit card payments? Be sure to try it out beforehand so you know how well it works.
–Arrive early. Our first event has less than 20 vendors, so we don’t foresee people jostling for parking and loading space. The armory has a parking lot on the side and rear, and is situated with street parking and sidewalks. Nevertheless, you don’t want to be setting up when the first potential customers arrive.
–Know your space. Will you be on level pavement, or grass? It never hurts to have some cardboard or wood squares along in case your canopy needs a little help standing level.
–Max out that space! I’ll be bringing some of my items in old suitcases. I’ll use the suitcases for display, too, and stack them for height. Crates on their sides, a small dresser with the drawers open–lots of ways to display small items among the large ones. People enjoy the “search” for treasures, so provide them lots of items to browse and seek out that special something.
— Selling jewelry and clothing or accessories? It’s always nice to have a mirror on hand.
–Rehearse! Again, if you’ve been doing this for a while, you likely have your routine down to an art, and know exactly how you will set up. But I’ll be doing a mock-up of my booth next week, then taking pictures so I remember how I want to set it up.