TITTLE TATTLE AND TANTRUMS IN THE TRADE AUGUST 2012
OMG! If you are an outdoor trader you must be crying in your Pimms this “summer”. That is if you can afford one after this awful trading period. A stiff whiskey is probably more appropriate to warm you up. I can’t recall anything like it in my thousand years in the business. It simply has been awful for traders and organisers alike.
I guess the plus side is that indoor events will have been better attended, as people haven’t had a lot of other things to do, but if that has involved field parking, Argh!!!
Moving on to other, dryer, things I have decided to add Social Worker and Psychotherapist to my list of qualifications. In fact most dealers should do the same because it seems that in order to make a sale we are increasingly required to share the life experiences, both ups and downs, of our customers. Those customers also include fellow dealers so perhaps fairs should be listed as therapy groups? “Hello, my name is John. I’m an antique dealer!” “Hello John, welcome, you’re among friends and can speak freely”.
“Well John, let’s start with a reality check! You’re not an antique dealer”. “Oh yes I am, I’ve been in the business for six months and have 30 Millers Guides and I watch every TV show about antiques that I can!!!”
“Perhaps John, but none of your stock is more than 10 years old and most of it isn’t worth a light. If anyone wants to buy it it would be a miracle. You are clearly deluded and think your geese are swans. Maybe try a different therapy group? I hear they are recruiting at AA.”
I know that’s a bit naughty but I have felt like having that conversation a few times in recent years. As a fair organiser you have to take on trust the description people give when they are booking stalls but what appears on the day is often very far away from the stock that was portrayed. Needless to say a little note then appears beside the name in the data base (sorry, otherwise known as an address book).
To trade realistically now at a fair, of any kind, or in a centre the key ingredient is quality. Even if it only costs £25 for your table you will need to sell quite a lot of junk to cover that whereas the customers are actually looking for something special. The market has changed!!! Up-grade to survive and forget all that you see on the telly.