The trip this morning took us two hours and we pulled into the community hall parking lot 15-minute AFTER the sales event started. That is so out of character for us as we are usually one of the first vendors on site setting up. The drive had frazzled me somewhat as the roads were not completely clear and although we have new snow tires on the car, I was still driving well below the speed limit to get to the event safely.
Luckily George was quick in unloading the car and that our vending tables were just steps from the main upstairs entrance to the hall. We were set up in minutes and I actually sold a couple of items before we were completely ready. That made things a bit easier as well as the fact that the hall was a good sized building with several vendors on the main floor with us and a number of additional ones in the basement.
The cross section of crafts offered for sale during this event was nothing short of incredible. The average person could have bought several Christmas gifts there and stroked off a number of the names on their gift shopping list. There was also a selection of hot food so I was quite pleased to discover cabbage rolls were one of the menu items and that was my lunch.
As for the sales during the event, we did not too badly considering the weather. The snow never let up but there were people coming and going throughout the four hour sale. We had a few people interested in the ‘try-before-you-buy’ tasting samples we offer when vending but most of our customers were buying items as stocking stuffers or as hostess gifts so tasting didn’t play much of a role in our sales.
George and I more or less ‘tag-teamed’ our way through the day and with 20-minutes left in the sale vendors started packing up. One nearby vendor looked at George and I heard him tell the story about the lady in Kamloops who came to the vending event we attended at the last minute only to discover most of the vendors were packing up. He told her that there were only a couple still set up, including us and that the lady spent a great deal of money on our products as we were still selling.
A short while later, when everyone was packing up in the Lower Nicola Community Hall the vendor who looked at George mentioned that she was glad she decided to stick around as she had made a large sale just before she started to pack up. As for us, it was a good event which also had Santa on site for the children who came. I also noticed that for a change we had gone through a lot more business cards than usual and mentioned it to George.
He said he had noticed the same thing. Speaking about ‘sames’ happening, the drive back home was another two hour haul only this time the roads were in far better shape although many drivers were driving too fast for the conditions as far as I was concerned. We were going to stop for something to eat in Merritt on the way home but opted to just drive straight home. I’m glad we did as we pulled into the driveway at home at 5:00 PM, which meant we had driven home in twilight as opposed to darkness which made it easier on me.
I am happy that our winter vending season is over. It will allow us to take a good look at our inventory to see what we have left. As we have kept rather detailed notes since we started vending seriously this past spring, we will be able to see exactly what products sold well and that will assist in determining what products we will have in 2017 and which ones we will retire.
It also allows me to take it easy and only do small batches off and on as we build up our inventory for the start of the 2017 outdoor vending season. We have already decided on one venue we will go to weekly and are always looking at other events we can plug into our spring and summer schedule. We will also look at what worked and didn’t work in the winter ‘off-season’ of indoor vending. We both enjoyed sharing JamBusters! in different places and intend to continue to do this as long as we can.
We are also trying to keep JamBusters! from exploding into too big a job for the both of us. At this point it is manageable and we do get asked frequently about mail orders and setting up off-site sales locations. We are hesitant to go into either of those areas as we just want to keep a handle on the hobby aspect of the products. We are trying to keep it from becoming a job and losing the fun part. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in 2017.