Are we still saying “issa”? In case you are not familiar with the term “issa”…It has gained popularity from a video of an interview with 21 Savage. It’s a slang term for the phrase “It’s a”. So “issa” slang term–get it. Hopefully I can ride the #issa train a little while longer with my blog title.
So, what is a “pop-up shop”? In the most basic of terms, it is a short term retail space. I like to think of it as a fancy version of a vendor fair; but pop-up shops are typically small and more intimate, with very few (or only one) retailers.
For the handmade vendor, pop-up shops and vendor fairs are a major source of revenue for their business. For the purposes of this blog, I use the term “pop-up shop”, but many of the concepts apply to vendor fairs. I am still new at vending at pop-ups and selling my handmade products, so I wanted to share what I am learning along the way. This blog is a part of a series of posts regarding vending tips. The fall season is full of vending opportunities for the handmade artisan, and preparing for these opportunities can lead to a profitable 4th Quarter in business. Today’s blog is focuses on budgeting when selecting vending opportunities.
Things to consider:
Vendor Fee: Based on the price point of your product and your estimated sales (we’ll talk about this in a future blog), you should first consider if the fee is set at an amount that would be profitable for your business. I vended at an event recently, and the audience was not my typical demographic. I chose to vend at this event for market research versus making a huge profit. The event is a monthly community event, with a surprisingly low vendor fee. My monetary goal was to break even. Happily, I did well in excess of the vendor fee that I paid.
As you become experienced in vending, you will be able to estimate your sales based on your set profit margin and your captive audience. Eventually, you will find your “sweet spot” when it comes to your target vending fee. The goal is always to be profitable, but in some instances, the exposure may be more valuable than a host of sales.
Tent: It your event is in an outside event, a tent is a necessity as it distinguishes your space from other vendors and it protects you from the elements. Make sure when choosing a tent, to select a quality tent. Also, invest in tent weights or have a solid and safe way to secure your tent from flying away or, even worse, striking some one. Please note if the venue has specifications in regards to the color of the tent—white is typically a safe option. If you choose to brand your tent with logos and/or colors, you want to make sure that a solid white replacement tent cover is available for your tent model. Also, confirm the size of the tent space that the venue is providing. If the event is in the evening, you should also include a source of lighting and this should be included in your budget as well.
Table: If your venue does not provide tables, you may have to provide your own. In my experience, most venues will allow for a 6 foot table. Pretty self explanatory. Please makes sure that you have seating as well.
Display: Invest is a quality table covering. Presentation is everything. Inexpensive plastic table cloths could subliminally send a message to your customer that your products are not of high quality and value. Seasonal decor will attract customers to your area. Please make sure that you have flyers, business cards, etc. for the customer to take with them. Candy is a good idea as well–keep in mind, candy will result in “sticky little fingers” and if your items are in arms reach of small children, you may want to have some hand wipes available.
Insurance: Liability insurance is always a good idea as you never know what can happen and that you may be liable for. At a recent vending event, the organizer required proof of insurance from any vendor whose products were to be consumed or used on the human body (i.e. food or body care produces). If your product fits into one of these categories, definitely factor this cost into your budget.
Our next blog in this series will focus on preparing for the event. Happy Vending!