It’s “TNT” time…This -N- That Thursday!
Today’s post is in honor of the many people I will see this weekend, as I share my art at a craft fair two-day event.
Shopping at a craft far, a business expo, an art exhibit sale or even a large rummage sale can be stressful. Allow Club Creative Studio to share tips to perhaps make it easier.
Avoid an overwhelming event, by considering my smart shopping tips.I’d like to offer suggestions in what you may want to consider before, during and after participation. In this post I am not writing as through the vendor or artist’s eyes but, from the view of the customer in attendance. I hope that this type of information can make your visit and experience enjoyable.
If attendance is a spur of the moment decision, then only a portion of these hints listed may be helpful.. In part, you can consider as many tips that can apply to you.
This first point is crucial:
1. Mark your calendar in advance and accurately. Take specific notes of time, location, parking and special attractions to remember. The more you know in advance, the smoother your start will be. Take note if there is an entrance fee so you are ready and prepared.
2. Dress for your personal comfort. Appropriate clothing and especially walking shoes will take you far in comfort as you walk. Depending on the size of the event, you may plan to be there for over an hour at least. Being comfortable can extend your shopping experience if you need it to.
3. Drive a vehicle that has adequate room for the number and size of purchases you may be bringing home or, be ready to make additional pick up arrangements of an oversized item purchased if possible.
4. If you are bringing children in tow, hopefully adequate room is available for strollers or a wagon to tote them in. More often than not there is not much room for running, spirited children to be physically expressive in these spaces. It also may not be safe to allow a young child to wonder because of the close quarters, many tables, cords, or blocked spaces. It is also noteworthy to bring bottled water for your comfort, know where the restroom location is and take note of the fire escape doors, not to mention where you parked outside. Safety first, please.
5. Bringing many different types of payment forms can work to your benefit. While not all vendors will or can accept the same payment methods, this gives you options to pay as you wish. Be aware that businesses that are serious and legal are charging all appropriate taxes on their products. Some may “round-off” on the price of an item to include it and avoid dealing with coin change. This is what I prefer to do to save time for myself and the customer especially. And, if you think that you may be bringing home many treasures, I also suggest that a large carry shoulder/tote bag be brought from home to collect your goods. Some vendors may not box or bag your purchases the way you’d like for collective shopping.
6. If you know a particular vendor or item of interest will be there, make that booth or person an early stop, you will want to be focused from the beginning no matter how leisurely you have planned out the day. Once you set foot in a venue, you can get easily distracted and over-whelmed by the crowds, the number of booths, and the items that you happen to see first upon entering in the doors.
7. Having a list in hand of your needs, wishes, gift suggestions, specific colors or styles to keep a look-out for, even questions to ask would be helpful to keeping your viewing, and buying on track.
8. Many shoppers have a technique that I have seen in practice, especially if there are many booths or similar items offered at an event. I call it “making the rounds”. This implies a shopper literally walks by each booth and has taken visual and mental notes of what is offered. Then, on their second visit (walk around), they elect to spend more time in viewing a product or talking. For me, as a vendor, I can’t tell if that is your intention so if I am able to hand you a flyer, business card or other literature on your first round, you can remember to return to me specifically or have the needed information at hand to visit me on the website, blog or Facebook if you have to leave. Also, I tend to add additional items to the tables at different times, so making numerous rounds past my booth means that you will be seeing new items that you may not have seen in the other views you had, while at the same time if something is missing it was sold!
9. Take all information handed to you. If you run out of time or want to explore a business and their offerings later, you have their
information for your records if you need it or you can pass it along as a referral to someone else. Also, take time to ask questions. This is a valued time that you get to be face-to-face with a business, the artist, or a customer service representative and this is the time to ask what you are wondering about. If you are shy or find that information is being shared in a group setting, then simply listen and gather information as it is being offered. You are surely going to learn what makes the item(s) in front of you so special, if you don’t learn something and the person behind the booth table looks or acts like they do not want to be there take that as a hint. I feel that most people are and should be proud of what they can offer you I know I am.
10.If this event is billed as a two-day event, do not assume that prices will drop on the second day. If anything, especially at craft fairs, the first day has the most variety and selection because artist’s can only bring a limited supply of their art for display. Also, reputable business booths may not “haggle” with you on their prices. Some event planners do not even allow it or signage to be displayed to indicate specific price reductions, flashing lights, or calling out for such attention. To me, I value my artistically created products just as much as the start of an event than at the end. With fair prices to begin with there is no real need to dispute, question or expect price reductions at the end of the day.