Be prepared for all customers
Rude, strange, hagglers, bargain hunters, etc.…
- Being a vendor means interacting with many different kinds of people – including some who will ask you bizarre questions, treat you and your merchandise with disrespect, and otherwise act bizarre and rudely toward you.
- If parents are allowing their children to run rampant through your booth without supervision, making sure the parents are in hearing distance, ask the children “not to touch” or “run around”. If it doesn’t create a response from the parents … then direct your comments to the parents. The important thing to remember as an artisan is to always remain as polite as possible.
- If people are thoughtlessly blocking traffic to your table while holding a conversation amongst themselves, try to find a way to encourage them to move on without directly ordering them to do so. For instance, find a reason to have to go to the front of your table and re-arrange a display stand or put out different merchandise. A firm but polite “Excuse me” as I urge them to step back tends to get the hint across.
- If someone is mishandling your merchandise or displays – such as putting a sweating drink container on your leather display pads or dropping delicate items on the ground, do not feel guilty in asking them to please not do such things. Be firm yet don’t yell at them. Your merchandise should be treated with respect and care.
- If a person actually appears to be a hazard to you and/or other vendors and customers, alert the craft show staff as soon as possible. At open air events, you never know who may pass through a craft show, and sometimes you may get mentally unstable individuals drawn to the crowds, those who have had too much to drink or illegal drugs and are not operating at normal mental capacity. The event staff should be able to evaluate the situation and the individuals involved and determine how to handle it, or potentially need to call in the police or emergency services to do so.
- As an artisan, it is your choice to allow bargaining and haggling over your prices. A good sales trick is to offer deals to customers interested in more than one item, or to offer a discount on purchasing a set versus individual pieces, but don’t feel obligated.
- Don’t offer a sale price just because a customer asks for it. If your sales are slow, you may wish to start bargaining just to make your expenses. Remember that a craft fair is not a flea market and customers should not be encouraged to think they can offer you a dollar