Folksy Ltd

Craft Fair quota restrictions

(Joy Salt) #1

Help I need advice.

Since almost day one of my glass making I’ve been a member of C…ntry M…kets (already WI member) and have the opportunity to sell my glass at 4 Staff…shire county WI events a year.
I do pretty well, the ladies now all expect me to be there and I have lots of regular customers.
The events themselves though are a real pain - apart from the actual selling part which I enjoy, that is.

C…ntry M.rkets are a cooperative so the arrangement for an event is that I write out an invoice for everything I’m taking
5 suncatchers @ £7.50
10 “” “” @ £8.50 etc etc

When I get there I spread all my stock across the table and it has to be counted and matched against the invoice.
At the end of the day this is repeated and I am paid the difference between what was counted in and what was counted out - less 10% commission.
With me so far ?

The whole thing is a total nightmare. I usually take my mini suncatchers so take about 60, then maybe 20 earrings, 30 pendants etc etc so everyone Hates counting me.
To be honest there is no need to count me as I always take exactly what I say I have taken and I keep an exact record of what I’ve sold as I always sell my own stuff.

  • It takes me about 8 hours the day before to get my stuff ready because I am so careful to make sure it is accurately recorded and packed so it can be counted.
    The people who count are ‘not quite’ as accurate and frequently make mistakes when checking me out again . Last time they said I’d sold 2 things at £14 which I hadn’t !
    I always leave the Treasurer with an exact list of what I’ve sold so she can match against my checked out invoice as I know my count is accurate because I check it !.

I also have an awful rush to get set up as can’t do a thing until I’ve been counted. So I do an awful lot of moaning at my poor husband about this stupid check in / out system .
Still with me ?

Just heard that we craft people are to have a quota just like the people who sell cakes and other perishables.
My quota is to be what I sold at equivalent show last year and add 10% !!!

Is this the moment to resign from C…ntry M.rkets and book myself onto an extra 4 craft fairs a year if I feel the need to make up my ‘customer facing’ experiences ?

(Christine Shephard) #2

Yes!!! it sounds like a nightmare - what are they thinking!!!???

(Jan Ryan) #3

It sounds a nightmare, I’ve only ever done one show were there was a ‘count in count out’ system and they tended to take our word for how we done.
It seems an awful lot of work, I think it really depends on how much you are expecting to sell balanced against your sanity. xx

(Amberlilly) #4

Oh dear! What a nightmare! You need to ask “is it worth it?” :weary:

(Joy Salt) #5

What I didn’t say was that on a fairly regular basis, when I can bother myself and have no good excuse, I also go to the Wednesday market 8am to 11.45 with a box of my stuff. I sell the odd thing but it’s not well attended and certainly not worth my time - I’d rather stay at home crafting and sell via Folksy - far easier. But i have to go every now and then to keep my place at the “events”.

A resignation is very very close…

(Deborah Jones) #6

Sounds like a real pain and probably quite expensive especially taking all the extra faff time into account.
I think I would resign , but maybe go along as a customer with a pocket full of your business cards and if you see your regular customers let them know where they can find you in the future.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #7

What a complete nightmare surely they are going to lose stall holders.

(Joy Salt) #8

That’s not a bad idea, I could always take a stall at the town’s indoor market every few weeks - I feel a bit mean to my ‘regulars’ who don’t shop online, to suddenly disappear. ’

(Joy Salt) #9

Just sent a response to the email informing me of the quota. Very carefully worded but suggesting my only option is to resign unless anyone has any better option.

(Diane Burton) #10

Sounds like a nightmare, I bet they don’t get many people selling small but ‘one of a kind’ products with a wide range of prices, sounds like you’ve reached the point where it’s no longer worth the time and effort, selling face to face should be fun (as well as profitable :smile:) if it’s too much of a chore then it’s harder to get enthusiastic about your creations which can put people off buying from you.

(Rachel) #11

I am amazed, I have never heard anything like this what a lot of effort they are going to and what a lot of time you must spend on this.

(Leathermeister) #12

If they don’t want to loose you as you have been attending for a number of years and are popular, they may be willing to accept a straight fee for the stall size. Offer a stall price charged at a similar event that they could refer to.

(Joy Salt) #13

Can’t do that really as it’s a cooperative - I’m a member. It’s available space which is the problem and also time - as it takes so long to check everybody in that there’s no time to get set up before people start arriving.

(Deborah Jones) #14

Sounds like they need to trust their members a little more -

(Sams Gemstone Jewellery) #15

Sounds like hell. I’ve never done a craft fair where you have to tell them how many items you have at the start and at the end !!! The only restrictions I have come across are good ones such as you can only sell what you have put on the application form - ie if I have put I sell jewellery, I can’t bring scarves and handbags as well. I gave up doing fairs at the end of 2013. I loved the face to face bit but I got fed up of giving up my Saturdays/weekends and not make a decent profit.

(Joy Salt) #16

It’s because it’s a cooperative and we share tills.
The Treasurer takes all the money and then gives it back, less 10% according to an individual sales.
Not all producers attend, they just send their stuff, all priced up and an invoice but it is indeed Hell.
At the October one last year I said that unless someone came to my table and checked me in I was leaving - as I was running out of time to get set up but not allowed to set up until counted. Someone came and counted me but I really didn’t like having to stand there stamping my foot !

I far far prefer my own fairs where there is no counting system except my own (as I do like to know what I’ve taken for my own purposes). I just wish they would trust me to count myself but they can’t without then having to trust everyone else too !

(Heidi Meier) #17

@JOYSofGLASS I think you have articulated very nicely all the reasons why you should go!! Just a thought though, could you do one last event and use that to tell all your regulars where they can find you in the future?

(Helen Smith) #18

It does sound a nightmare. And especially the new quota, what if you develop a new product? It means you can’t try it out with losing an old faithful…

I don’t understand though why you can’t get at least partly (or even mostly) set up first and then be counted?

(Joy Salt) #19

Because they ‘count’ according to my invoice so all £7.50 suncatchers need to be together, all £8.50 etc etc and once I’ve put them up on my screen they won’t be …so in reality it is quicker to get them counted when they’re in a nice neat row of piles of boxes, all same price in a pile, piles in price and therefore invoice order and all box contents price labelled with price clearly showing ,… of course …

(Helen Smith) #20

I think I’d still be getting set up at my own pace and if they don’t come and count in time then tough… but maybe* I’m a bit stroppy :wink: I’m also very fussy about what fairs I do, they have to make enough to pay for my time and effort as well as covering all fees and costs etc. Sounds like it might be time to give up on this one.

*my OH would say there’s no maybe about it!