Tips and tricks for being a vendor at a vintage market

I've been doing the show circuit for nearly 3 years. I'm by no means an expert at this, but I want to share with you what I know.

I have a list of 10 things I never leave the house without(or try not to at least).

  1. Tape! I swear I always end up needing it. 
  2. Money for change of course! $1's, $5's mostly, a few $10's and $20's. Plus coins. 
  3. A pen and notebook. 
  4. Always your business cards. 
  5. Anything you might need to for touch up repairs, etc.
  6. Bags and any tissue paper you might need for breakables.
  7. Chargers for all devices.
  8. Your preferred form of credit card transaction. Keep with the times and accept more than cash. :-)
  9. A marketing strategy. So, a future discount or free shipping code to give to your new buyers AND get their emails.
  10. A smile. I'll be honest I've failed at this occasionally. You all know if I'm feeling salty. It reads on my face. Try your very best to leave your salt for your margarita and bring the sugar to the show. 

If you can bring these, you'll be less likely to get frazzled and have more success. Now the fun part! Setting up your display. I love to anchor my space with a rug and table.

 

I like to have height and try every time to vary my textures and display. The 2 F's are important to create a welcoming space - flowers and fabrics. It's also nice if you can affect the smell of your space, maybe with a candle or some essential oils in your space. 

 

Height with filing cabinets, anchored space with the table and rug, fabrics and florals.

Another option for how we incorporated all of those pieces when my theme was golden farmhouse. 

To make all of the display come together, I collect and make the pieces I want to use for whatever vibe I'm feeling. I'll set up trial runs for the display. 

The trial run above, was the collection I wanted everything to build off of. Often times there is one specific inspiring piece that moves everything in the right direction. The piece that did it for me in that show was the type writer. I mean, how could you not love it? Take a closer look, try not to drool. 

 

 

My favorite part of our set up is everything is on wheels. The worst part of shows is packing and unpacking and trying to get your trailers to your booth. If it's all on wheels, you can be like, "see you suckers!", and wheel all that out. No, just kidding, but we really do pack the fastest, then we help everyone else. Some times I wanna roll out there singing, "They see me rolling, they hatin, trying to catch me riding dirty". Look out vintage and made market, that might be my anthem.

The top is removable and there is normally 2 shelves where the black circles are. Those are just plumbing pipes. It's a fantastic way to show case signs and any wall art. 

Lastly, how do you get to all these shows? I'll tell you, for about a year we caravanned with my van and my husbands truck. My breaking point was when my best friend and I were loading up my van from an event in Columbus, Ohio. We stood on the sidewalk trying to Dr. Mario all of the things back where they were when we unpacked. We had a shelf that would not go back in and we nearly left the thing there. I'm happy to say I still own it and we didn't have to leave it. I now bungee strap it to anchors attached to our trailer walls. 

The big wall is ratchet strapped. It's important to secure everything down so it doesn't move. Not only will your stuff get banged up, but you'll be driving with a trailer that could be all over the road from weight shifting if it's not secured. Don't be afraid to invest in a trailer. You'll be able to fit more in there and your displays can be more involved. 

If you're thinking about trying this, you can do it! You can start small with a 10'x10' and work your way up. Do you have anything to add? Did I miss something YOU always bring? What do you think about before creating a booth space?

 

Share this with a friend who wants to learn tips and tricks on markets!

XOXO

-Jess

 

 

 


1 comment

  • I’m SO GLAD you bought a trailer. I never want to relive that moment on the sidewalk trying to figure out how the hell we sold so many things and we couldn’t fit what was left back in the van 🤣🤣

    Mer

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