To begin with, our Watkins Products are starting to sell much better in Oliver. Both George and I contribute this to our continued online promotion and that we are beginning to see some repeat customers. We are still fairly new to the Watkins family (started carrying their products in July of last year) but we know the strength of the brand has helped us a great deal. We also have been careful on what we carry opting to stick with mostly food-related products and some ‘old favorites’ that long-time Watkins customers will recognize. I will also order for people, if they so desire. To date, our Watkins business has grown slowly but it has grown. March was easily our best sales month so far for this brand and it continues to be popular.
The main reason for our vending is my homemade canning products. I have found some new recipes so we have introduced a couple of new items including Sangria Jelly and Margarita Jelly. Both of these are new entries in our ‘Boozy Line’ of products. The first weekend we had the Margarita Jelly it sold out so I know it will become another popular item in our inventory. We are still ‘retiring’ the odd item once the last jar sells and tracking what items need to be replenished. We have also added a giveaway program. We call it the Jar-A-Day Giveaway and we take names each day we vend in Oliver and draw a winner from them. The prize is one of our $7.00 jars of product of the winner’s choosing. It has encouraged another vendor to do the same.
Record Sales Weekends
As for sales, JamBusters! continues to carry the weight. Although we had one very slow weekend in March, we also set a new two-day sales record the following weekend. That was not only amazing to us, it told us we were most definitely onto something with our brand of specialty canning and preserves. As if that wasn’t enough to keep us excited about vending weekly at the indoor market in Oliver, the following weekend matched the record set the weekend before. George keeps track of this data and it tells us a lot. Not only do we tally the daily jar totals, we also track what items are being sold so we can try to determine what products are moving and what ones aren’t. Apparently there is no real pattern developing when sales of individual products are examined. Weekly totals, on the other hand, tell a different story.
New Rules Changing Our Schedule
The Oliver Indoor Flea Market has changed a few of the guidelines used for vendors. We support the changes simply because they are aimed at improving the look and feel of the market for customers. It has added a little extra work for us but without customers coming to the venue and having access to all vendors, we would have no reason to be there. Our customers are everything to us so changes made to enhance the customer experience only make sense to us. It also means we will likely chop several events out of our regular vending schedule if the weekly market continues to be successful for us. We will still travel but maybe no more than two other venues per month in addition to our regular spot in the Oliver Indoor Flea Market.
Weekly Routine Is Going To Keep Us Busy
Aside from that, I am really noticing my energy levels are increasing compared to last year and the year before. George says it’s a good thing as we will likely find ourselves vending twice as many dates in 2018 as we did in 2017. That means we could see ourselves vending close to 100 dates this year. It’s near the end of March and we’ve already had 16 dates so far this year. That compares to just 2 dates in the same time frame in 2017 and just one date in 2016. We are not trying to set new records in that category but as long as I am able to keep up with the production and George and I can keep attending the dates we have scheduled, it should be a busy but enjoyable year of vending for both of us in 2018.