Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tips for Shows and Sales 103 What to Bring Practically Speaking

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When we go to a sale, we are there all day (sometimes the early dark day). I want to take what will be needed or anticipated so that I will have a good day.

 Food  I don't know of anyone that can go for 12 hours or more and not eat. But then, food is an important part of my life...  There has always been food for sale at the shows I have been to. You may decide to purchase food that is available there. (I don't judge you, what works for me, may not work for you. You will have to leave your space and goods, (not such a big thing if you have someone to watch your space) walk a little bit to find what is available, pay more for it than you want, and the choices may be to your liking or not. Most of the time I take things for breakfast, snacks, lunch and sometimes something to eat/drink when I get back into the car after packing up. Sometimes we "splurge" and get an incredible sausage sandwich at one of our shows. It has been worth every penny, every time.

Breakfast - a couple of sweet rolls for Mr. I package them ahead, freeze them and grab them for the bag. Instant Oatmeal - I know, it is probably not really as good for you as the real thing, but we are talking convenience here. We use yogurt on our oatmeal, so a small container will do both of us, or I sometimes put enough in a small plastic w/lid to put on it. Brown sugar - ditto. Fruit - apples, bananas, grapes, etc. We may eat this really early, after we have unpacked.

Snack- I take a couple of peanut butter & jam sandwiches for Mr (it can be done ahead and not be too yucky to eat later), also celery, small peppers, cheese and bread or crackers, granola bars, etc.

Lunch  - A chicken sandwich (I have learned that you can get small packages of mayo or mustard at grocery stores and add them when you eat) salads, more fruit, perhaps some cookies, sweet bread, etc.There are brands of soups that just have you add hot water and wait. They don't always reconstitute right, but they are a hot meal - sorta.  A drink is something I always enjoy when we are getting in the car to leave.

This sounds like a portable restaurant, doesn't it?  Well, here is a secret - some of this is already packed for the next sale.

  • granola bars
  • instant oatmeal
  • brown sugar
  • instant coffee (via from Starbucks)
  • tea bags
  • instant soup in packages
  • sweet rolls in the freezer
  • sometimes the fruit bread in the freezer
I make our lunch stuff the day before and refrigerate it, ready to grab in the early morning hour. I always take hot water in a thermos. It is used for oatmeal and coffee/tea. I also take a gallon container of just water... Hot days you need it and cold days you may not think you do, but you do.  My Tupperware bowls for oatmeal and plastic spoons, forks, etc are in the bag that holds them for sales. I also have two thermal cups that have lids for our hot/cold drinks. As soon as we come home, they go in the dishwasher and then right back in the bag. That way I know where they are for the next use. I have purchased a "31" bag from a friend and it has been with me for over a year (probably over 35 shows/sales) and shows great promise of going with me for many more shows. It holds a lot of these items and is packed and ready for the next show. If you want more information on where I got mine, just comment and I can put you in contact with my dealer/friend. I have a smallish ice chest that hold our cold things (bigger than lunch size). It is packed the morning of the show.

COMFORT ITEMS  We take our jackets, of course, but a change of shoes can make the day go faster. I have mittens, hot packs (you purchase these in the camping section of the store) extra socks (a great thing if your feet get wet) some hats, etc. (If it is a rainy day - we take a change of clothes for the ride home) I have some fleece throws that are in a container and if needed, we break them out to sit on in our chairs. We have a portable heater, but I prefer to move around and not sit next to the heater when we have customers. (I never like to disturb someone huddled over their heater and I figure that would apply to me if someone saw me doing it) Lanterns - (with matches or lighter) if you are setting up in the dark. They also draw in early customers and make things look so homey.  All of these are standard supplies that are in a container and they just go in with everything else. 

CANOPIES We have two Ez-Up white canopies. We did many a show without them, but now we love them. They are an investment and if you plan on doing only a show here and there, they may be too much of an investment for you. They give your space boundaries. They come with sides and those sides have saved many pieces of furniture from getting wet (beside me not getting wet) We set ours up side by side and it makes a space of 10 x 20 (each are 10 x 10) you can get quite a lot in that area. Depending on what space you have rented out would depend on what you use. You can also hang things from the sides and center supports.

Coming up -- how to price your items

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