Category Archives: Fairs & Selling

Another Fair

Today I sold my soaps at another local holiday fair. To my dismay, and that of other vendors there, it wasn’t the best turnout we were hoping for. I’m not sure if it was a combination of the rain, slow economy, and the fact that there were other craft/holiday fairs going on this weekend in other nearby towns. Who knows? I did okay, maybe half of what I’d like to have made, but I met some interesting people, and a friend who was also there told me about a fair next weekend that I’ll probably do.

All in all, fairs are a lot of work. I had to bring my own table and chairs to today’s show, usually the venue provides tables and chairs – at least if it’s being held at a church. I guess it’s just part of the deal with selling at fairs. I was there from 8:00 am to set up, until 5:00 pm to breakdown. I’m not sure I would do this fair again next year, unless things turn around. I’ll see what next Saturday brings.

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Another Cool Looking Soap

I love how this one looks, and it smells divine. I have another fair coming up in two weeks, I’ll have to test this bar to see if it’s ready to use.

Coffe Mint

Coffe Mint

Saturday’s Fair

Yesterday I had my second fair of the season. I set my soaps up inside and got to sit next to a woman selling fudge—YUM! While she sold almost all her stock, I did okay. There was a lot of traffic, but I just don’t think it was the right venue for selling my soap. Most people were there for the giant Tag Sale. I think if it was more of a craft fair, there would have been more people looking for crafty items. But, overall, I sold some soaps and made some bucks.

I don’t have any other fairs lined up until December, which is fine with me. It’s a lot of work getting prepared and lugging all the stuff to set up and sitting around all day. I enjoy it, but back-to-back weekends took it’s toll on me pyhsically. If I learned anything it’s my target market. Also, people really like lavender scented soaps; I sold all but one. Gotta stock up on Lavender for the future.

Fall Fairs

This weekend I had the opportunity to sell my soap at a small agricultural fair. It wasn’t crazy busy, but I still managed to sell a decent amount of soap.

But there was one woman who gave me some grief…isn’t there always someone? Here’s what went down:

Annoying Woman: Hi. Can you tell me about your soaps?

Me: Sure. (Give info about the oils and natural ingredients I use) blah, blah…

AW: Well, you see, I’ve shied away from handmade soaps because I find they leave an oily scum around my tub and I don’t want to buy soap that’s going to cause me to have to clean my tub.

Me: Hmm…I’ve never heard of such a problem. None of my soaps cause an kind of “ring” around the tub, and I use them every day. Maybe the soap you tried in the past was made with different ingredients.

AW: Well. Let me go and get my glasses so I can read the labels. I’ll be right back.

Me: Sure okay. (Thinking to myself, please don’t come back, I don’t need to make a sale that badly).

Half an hour later she returns.

Annoying Woman: Okay, so which do you recommend?

Me: How about the shea butter, it’s good for the skin.

AW: Okay. I’m only going to buy one bar and see how it goes. If it causes a ring on my tub, I’m going to email you and let you know. (Picks up one of my business cards).

Me: Um…okay, give it a try. I hope you enjoy it.

Later, after I’ve had time to process this exchange, I think: Maybe she’s just an extra dirty person, and THAT’S why she has a ring around her tub. Not that I would have said that to her, but it could be her and not the soap. Also, when I gave her the total she was all like, “Oh, you charge tax?” and I said, “Yes, legally, I have to.” and she says, “Well, you never know if you have to pay tax. Some times you do and some times you don’t.” and I’m thinking, hey, do you want the bar of soap or don’t you. You could just go to the supermarket and buy a bar of soap PLUS TAX, and be done with it. And then go complain to the manager about why you had to pay sales tax, and let me know what he says.

But I guess that’s the nature of selling to the public. There will always be someone who is unhappy and projects it onto the seller. I can’t make soap that pleases everyone. I hope she uses it and likes it and I never hear from her again!

UPDATE: In response to the commenter on this post. Let me clarify: I should have mentioned that this woman was NOT VERY NICE when asking her questions. She was very defensive and spoke to me in a condescending tone. I welcome all questions from customers and don’t hesitate to answer them. It doesn’t mean I will accept abuse or nasty behavior from someone just because they are a customer. I don’t treat people that way when I am looking for information. So, again, it wasn’t her questions, it was the way she asked them and her snotty attitude that annoyed me.