Monday, May 25, 2009

My First Craft Show of the Season

So I do a craft show this weekend – I had high hopes. A woman sets up next to me selling jewelry too – but very different from mine – she is spread out all over the place – I have hardly any room to even get behind my display.

The day starts and she is like a spider – she pounces on anyone that comes into her display – with her spiel – I am giving a 10% discount just for the morning, this is my signature piece, you won’t see any other jewelry like this at the show, etc. If someone looks at something she jumps up and puts the piece on them, offers a mirror and proceeds to tell them how stunning it looks on them and how it is her “favorite piece”. She is the pushiest person I have EVER seen.

In the afternoon her spiel has changed to giving a 10% discount as her stimulus package. People are not even stopping to look at my stuff because they think it is an extension of her display and they are trying to get away from her. Anyone that was in her space and looked at a piece of jewelry and didn’t buy, she chases them over to my display telling them they will kick themselves if they leave without the necklace/bracelet – this is in my space now.

The best part of this story (there is really not a best part) is she did not even make this jewelry – it is imported junk that she is selling and people are buying it like crazy. She is saying it is one of a kind and when people leave with a piece she pops another just like it in its place. It is cheap and she is relentless. By the afternoon all the other vendors in our area were disgusted with her and they were not selling jewelry, so it was not just me. At the end of the day she comes over to me and says “well it could have been a better day”. I know she made a LOT of sales while I was selling nothing I watched her ringing up the sales. I could have killed her.

I was so upset after the show I wanted to throw my jewelry into the lake and never think about making anything again. I am trying to analyze this situation. Am I jealous she sold and I didn’t – I did sell a few pieces but did so much better there last year? Is it me – I tend to stand back, let people look and ask questions if they want to – I figure if someone wants to buy they do – I will admit I am not a good sales person. I hate it when I am pressured – I just don’t know and am very confused at this point – what could I have done differently?? I know it was not the price because a lot that she sold was priced way higher than my beadwoven handmade pieces.


AJ said...

I am so sorry that you ended up having such a bad time at the show :(

At the last show I did, when Mom and I arrived to set up, the people next to our table had their stuff spread out onto our table, too, and they were also selling jewelry. I was not happy! Luckily when the organizer saw that, she moved us to a different table and we ended up next to a nice lady custom-engraving ID tags, and she bought some of my jewelry. In fact, she may have been my only customer.

So in the future, if there are less vendors than spaces and your "neighbor" is making it difficult for you to set up, maybe you can ask the organizer to move you? You can even kill them with kindness and make it seem like you're worried that you're getting into the neighbor's way ;)

Also, does the show you were doing require vendors to handmake all of their items? If so, you and the other vendors who were around her should complain to the organizer. At the very least, you might want to give them a heads-up about her dishonest selling practices. If I had purchased something under the assumption that it was OOAK, and then found out it was mass-produced overseas, I'd be very upset.

I hope that the rest of the show season goes better for you!

No Easy Beads said...

Jean that is a hard one and very discouraging. BUT don't give up.
The last show my sister and I did a few years back we were up against the same problem. The person next to us sold manufactured jewelry. She didn't even bother to take it out of the cellophane wrapper. You can't complete with $3.00 items. But you can talk to the coordinator of the show or asked to be moved. Some times we have to be pushy too. Speak up at crafts shows that market handmade items and allow flea market merchandise.

Amber Leilani said...

jean, i am sorry to hear that this happened to you. please don't be discouraged. i would definately find out if the show was for hand made exclusively and report her if it was. i know that's just hindsight, but you will feel better. there is nothing you can do up against a pushy person like that - we have all been there, trust me. just don't give up.

Melody Marie Murray said...

Oh, Jean! I'm so sorry, what a bummer. Please don't throw your stuff in the lake, or even let yourself get too discouraged- there's one in every crowd, and this time it was your bad luck to have to be right next to the bad one.

Anonymous said...

Peronally I would do business with someone like you and your approach ...the other lady would send me running away fast. I cannot stand pushy people. I am sure she had alot to do with your lack of sales. I know your stuff is gorgeous..and I love it. Chalk this one up to a crazy, wild person next to you. It's HER, not you or your beautiful things.

Triz Designs said...

OMG what a nightmare (I mean that woman)!!! I'm so sorry you had such a bad time (I would have screamed at her) - don't give up! and as a buyer I much prefer your approach to hers, when people are invading my space and especially trying to sell me something I make sure I run!!! I hope the next one you do will be much better for you!

Kokopelli said...

I'm so sorry for that bad day, Jean! All the advice I can think of has already been given here: ask the organizer to move you, report her because of the imported stuff etc. But don't get discouraged and in the next show you'll do better!