As I mentioned on Sunday, today was the day of the craft fair at work. As this is the first time that this has been done at work I had no idea what to expect and so I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived to find all the tables covered in red and white tablecloths and trimmed with tinsel. (not knowing what to expect, I brought my own red tablecloth just in case, but didn't need it!)
I quickly found my table and saw that I was sandwiched between a woman selling Christmas Cakes and another woman selling cards and pictures with pictures of pets on them and I thought that I would be ok there! There were quite a few card selling stalls though so I didn't know if I would be helped or hindered by that.
Anyway, after spreading my cards out on the table I sat back and waited. The doors opened at 12noon and people started trickling in, it was slow at first, but it soon built up and then for the next two hours until the doors closed it was quite busy with people popping in and out all the time. I saw many friends, colleagues, and strangers and so I wasn't the least bit bored as I love people watching!
I didn't sell as many cards as I thought I might but then I think that fairs like this can be a bit hit and miss, but I did sell some and whatever is left can be used for my own Christmas card stash which saves me from having to make any more!! And in fact, I don't think that I could even face making any more just yet, I need a break from making so many Christmas cards.
What was interesting though was being on the other side of the stall as I have never been in that position before (not since being 'volunteered' to look after jumble stalls for a while as a child!) and it was quite an eye opener. The people that come to visit the fair don't make eye contact with the sellers, instead they just wander around looking firmly at the tables eyes always downcast with the body slightly turned away. It was quite fascinating actually and really made me realise how lonely it can be sometimes sat behind the stall all day; as it was the fair was only open for two hours and I don't think that I could have sat there all day. In fact, one or two acquaintances looked at my stall and I don't think that they even realised that it was me behind the table; naturally I didn't want to call out and engage them in conversation because then that might have made them feel obliged to buy something.
As a seller it was also interesting in that I had to lay out the table as best as I could in order to catch people's eyes, smile at those that did look up and chat to those that were interested in having a bit of a conversation. I think that I also learnt a bit more about sales techniques, for instance, I had a sign on my table that said "buy five, get the sixth free" when in fact if I had put "buy three get the fourth free" then I may well have sold more as people don't really want six handmade cards for special people, but may consider buying three instead of just two - it's all psychology really!! It was also quite interesting seeing the different ways in which people consider the products on display, some people just peer about, others like to pick up stuff or talk to the seller before buying.
There was even one woman who made me laugh because she picked up three cards and was considering others so I pointed out that she could buy five and get the sixth free. She then proceeded to pick up others, discard some, look at some more, put some more down, rummaged about a bit more and then....only bought two!!! It really was a fascinating process to watch! (but again, highlights that I should perhaps have said buy three get four!!)
Given that it was a first time experience I was quite pleased with how it turned out and I would do it again next year if they ran it again. Although I most certainly wont be turning it into a regular thing by doing it every weekend as some people seem to do. Particularly as I want to keep this as a hobby that I enjoy doing rather than something that becomes work that needs to be done if I want to recover my costs and make a bit of profit.