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direct selling book agent - just did my first fete and am a bit disappointed

(8 Posts)
MamaHobgoblin Sun 14-Jun-09 22:42:22

I recently started as a Barefoot Books 'Stallholder' (poncey name for person who gets 20% for selling lovely, ever-so-slightly lentil-weavey books to the Public) and I've done a baby group, an At Home, and now my first fete. It was about 6 hours of alternating sitting and standing (couldn't work out if people responded better to a welcoming standing person, or someone more laid-back sitting in deckchair), making sure the bloody gazebo thing didn't blow away, and trying to stop small sticky boys from getting ice cream on the puppets. (Yes. There are puppets too. They're quite nice actually, and you can play with them when things are slow.)

I sold 6 books in 6 hours. sad Ok, that's 6 more than I'd have sold sitting in the garden at home, but still. Since I make 20% (I buy the books at that discount), my takings were a grand total of £6.10. Before I had to pay over a tenner for the stall fee, so I actually made a loss. sad

People just were not buying. Has anyone else with a direct selling business (Barefoot, Usborne, Phoenix Cards etc) had crap fetes recently? Is it the recession? I've got another one in a couple of weeks and my hopes aren't high.

bumsrush Mon 15-Jun-09 01:05:30

Seen stuff like this at fetes and it doesn't always go well, similarlly with card stalls, lots of people say oh lovely then walk away.

If it was a bog standard village fete, I don't think people are there to buy stuff like books they bring money for the bottle stall the tombola and some ice creams and juice.

I used to lots of fetes etc and the wooden toys never did well, crappy sweets sold much better.

Christmas fairs at schools are good as people are there to buy 'goods' especially if they advertise the type of stall there will be.

bigeyes Mon 15-Jun-09 18:17:21

I have just booked my first event thingy and I see it this way, if I make a loss at least will still get my name out there.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Mon 15-Jun-09 18:21:01

We have had Usborne Books at our school fete a couple of times and also Phoenix Cards and they tend not to do too well. People are geared up for a different sort of spending at a fete I think - it is all about jumble, cakes and tombola and spending 50p here and £1 there rather than buying more expensive items.
I love Barefoot books but I suspect school fairs might not be the right place to sell them.

MamaHobgoblin Wed 17-Jun-09 22:04:01

Hmm. Think that's about right, Bumsrush - people don't plan to buy books at fetes, they're expecting tombola, hotdogs, maybe plants, but brand new books require an impulse purchase, and a generous one at that. sad

I think Christmas will be a lot, lot better (if I'm still trading by then).

LGP - nice to find someone who loves the books - so where would you think they'd sell best, then? I'm trying to get a local folk festival stall (disorganised 'organisers' aren't replying tho) which struck me as more the right sort of lentil-y environment. I do think Usborne are easier to sell to people, but it's riddled with Usborne sellers round here.

vitality Thu 18-Jun-09 21:00:52

Hi MamaHobgoblin,
I'm a Phoenix trader and have found that even if people don't buy much at fetes and table top sales, it's a good way to find new customers who end up ordering after the event. Hope that cheers you up a bit!!

SolidGoldBrass Thu 18-Jun-09 21:08:10

It depends very much what the other stalls around you are like (and I say this as someone who sels her own ranges of goods at events and occaisonally Avon at a local indoor market). If everyone else is selling handmade items or jumble-for-charity, then that's what the attending shoppers will be in the mood for, and you will not do that well. However if it's a mix of secondhand, Camden-type tat, some handicraft and a few other franchise sellers, you should be OK.
Mind you at the momet a lot of peopl are organising events and not exactly getting off their arses to promote them, so you sit on your stall and watch tumbleweeds all day...

overthemill Fri 19-Jun-09 16:42:50

i agree fetes are for cakes, hotdogs and win teh coconuts type activity - think you'll do better at school/playroup type venues.
good luck though

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