As a seasoned swap meet vendor, you know summer selling and holiday selling are a night and day experience. Warm-weather flea market goers are often tourists, day-trippers, or families looking for a fun trip. Winter shoppers are often locals looking for unique gifts and low prices. As you make the switch this fall, keep in mind these seasonal differences:
Protect from the Elements
Depending on where you are in the country, more than just the clientele will be changing for the holiday season. Winter is coming, which means snow for many of us. Products will need to be displayed and stored extra-carefully in waterproof bins to avoid any unnecessary damage.
Shoppers may also need more assistance in carrying and transporting their purchases in less than ideal weather. Simple shopping bags can make a big difference in customer service.
If you are expecting a lot of gift-giving shoppers this season, consider splurging on some gift-wrap. It will be a huge convenience to your customers, help protect the goods from the elements, and give you an opportunity to slip in your business card. These extra touches are details that customers will remember, especially if they are not expecting them.
If you are selling bulky items, especially furniture or large electronics, be prepared to load them to shopper’s cars or hold them until the end of the market day for pickup.
Beef up Your Staff
Having an additional friend, family member, or even seasonal employee may be a worthwhile investment for the holiday season. Larger crowds and higher stress levels can be difficult to manage alone.
Having another team member to discuss products, prices, and proactively engage shoppers can lead to increased sales. Depending on your market’s traffic, it can be nearly impossible for one or two people to assist everyone. More face time with each customer also allows for more opportunities to upsell and provide better-personalized service.
On a similar note, larger crowds mean more threats of theft. If your booth is well tended, it is less likely to draw unwanted attention from ill-meaning visitors.
A different crowd will be looking for different products. In summer, souvenirs and outdoor products dominate. In the gift-giving season customers will be looking for unique, handmade, or value priced items. However, there is no one-size-fits-all product and no one knows your business better than you do. Take note of what sells well year round and what your customers are asking for. New products can help create excitement and draw in visitors. However the bread and butter of your business is not likely to change drastically.
Display trendy and eye-catching items at eye-level spots by the register. Use these conversation pieces to draw in customers and spark conversation. You likely won’t have much time to organize your display as the day goes on, so make sure you start out as organized as possible. Racks for clothing will help keep everything visible and wrinkle free. They will also help add some visual dynamic in the booth by adding a different height.
Once customers are drawn in, make sure there is enough stimulation to keep them there. Interactive elements don’t have to be complicated. Mirrors for apparel and accessories will encourage shoppers to test different items. Beauty and body products should have samples or demos. The more customers interact with your products, the more likely they are to make a purchase.