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Bake sale disappointment / "Beautiful things" do n - Page 3

post #31 of 44
Maybe you could clear the table some and only put out 1 or 2 of each item you are selling - it's hard for your eye to focus on anything with so much going on. Keep the rest stored under the table to refresh as people buy. Also a lot of people tend to buy if they think they're getting the last one of something. Like, oh, I better go ahead and buy it now b/c it might not be here later if I come back to get it!!! Maybe make up some lager signs too that you could stand up with what each item or groups of items are. Make it easier for people to "see" what you're offering. Maybe you just need to organize the table a little more, keep all the cookies in one area, breads in another, etc. I like the idea of having maybe a few at different heights - maybe use some cake stands to have a few bags of cookies or muffins sitting on.

Hope that helps - if I was shopping that would be something I would think about when walking past your table. Lots of great stuff but too piled up to really get a good look at everything!

Good luck - maybe try some of the suggestions in these posts and see how it goes next month. It can't hurt and if you want a spot for Christmas then you can see if any of these changes helped any and then adjust accordingly! But I agree, make it easier on yourself next month and plan on taking a little less.
"He who passes on dessert drives home with a stomach full of regret."
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"He who passes on dessert drives home with a stomach full of regret."
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post #32 of 44
I hope that your next experience is better!
post #33 of 44
wow, thats too bad!
dont let it disapoint you.
i peeked at your photo's. nicley done.
i know its tough when you put so much time and energy into a project.
good luck with your next endevor.
Wilton Method Instructor. If you're lucky enough to be on a beach...you're lucky enough.
DANCE as though no one is watching you, LOVE as though you have never been hurt before, SING as though no one can hear you, LIVE as though heaven is on earth...souza
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Wilton Method Instructor. If you're lucky enough to be on a beach...you're lucky enough.
DANCE as though no one is watching you, LOVE as though you have never been hurt before, SING as though no one can hear you, LIVE as though heaven is on earth...souza
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post #34 of 44
I just backed out of a fair/bazaar. (for vairous reasons)
I'm starting to feel relieved icon_rolleyes.gif

I really like the suggestions here.

my 2cents about the cookies is to do 'Winter cookies' like a warm up to the fully-loaded Christmas ones. (I'm thinking of clothing stores that have 'early Christmas' and 'Christmas' lines that come out)
maybe have snowflake cookies, and snowmen...etc...

good luck with Nov, I'd love to hear how it goes!
'Why sleep when you can bake!'
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'Why sleep when you can bake!'
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post #35 of 44
I work in retail and there is thought line that may help. When you stack out lots of say, white t-shirts you will not sell as many as if you stack out only 3 each size. The thought line is that people look at 20 size larges that you have out and their thinking is that they will come back later and buy it because you have plenty in stock and there is no way that you will sell out. If you only put out 2 larges then there is a sense of urgency that they have to buy now because you may not have them later. And everybody knows that no one comes back later to purchase. Narrow your assortment to family favorites, offer other services, and keep your table stocked but not overloaded. Hope this helps.
post #36 of 44
Another thing to think about is how YOU present your table. For example, in our town's Apple Festival, my DH and I had a booth. If I was sitting in the chair behind the table people weren't stopping. Once I got on my feet and started greeting passers-by, I got noticed. A family would walk by and may not be even looking my way until I said, "How are you guys this morning?" They'd say, "Fine. How about you?" To that I'd reply, "Great! Let me tell you about my cakes that I have brought with me today. We have three kinds: chocolate pound, lemon pound with bc, and almond with bc which is my most popular wedding flavor. Would you like to buy a slice?" It is quite important to market your table as if what you have is the best around and they really are doing themselves a dis-service by not purchasing from you.
post #37 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thank you to everyone for your ideas and feedback. I wanted to give you an update.

we did two sales in November and two in December. Two of them were at the same church we did in October (St W). The second November sale was a two day affair, Friday and Saturday, at another church (St G). I had to take a days' vacation from work to help at that one. The final one was also two days, a weekend at a French church closer to home (St J).

At each sale we did progressively worse and worse. All of the tables were suffering not just us. You can't blame it all on the "recession", there was simply not a lot of people attending. I tried to get the word out for ourselves, with Facebook and little flyers, and each flea market was promoted centrally by the churches.

At St W we listened to what pople asked for and tried to make what they asked for. we continued to have competition undercutting us, and it got worse in December when the church itself had its own bake table with proceeds to their building fund. No prior warning and when we asked the flea market organizers about it, we got little more than a shrug. I felt betrayed.

I liked the people and atmosphere at St G the best. But giving up a day of work to make virtually nothing was no picnic. There was also virtually no traffic, thanks to the Santa Claus parade and the GRey Cup elsewhere in the city. (Yet no one wanted to buy football cookies!!) We did ok till the table next to us set up (in the middle of the day) with surplus commercial baking and candy. Potential customers would look at our homemade goodies, not care for any of it, then blow $10 on leftover Halloween candy next door. The workers at that table kept glaring at us like we were offering live scorpions!

The weekend at St J, there was a LOT of snow. Too much for the bundle buggies, we carried our stuff in 8 large bags. People stayed home -- or so we thought, the malls were packed according to reports. On the last day at St J, we only sold $20 because the snow removal machinery blocked the streets and anyone who drove could not park nearby. Vendors who went out for smokie breaks came in and made announcements that people had to move their cars or else get tickets. (Didn't affect us, we took the bus) Best seller at St. J was packets of coffee from hotels, some vendors swarmed us and bought those, leaving the goodies there.

Mom is most discouraged that tins of cookies (average $10 / 3 dozen) won't sell. I tried adding the number of cookies in each tin, but it didn't help.

I am discouraged that people will look at every single item on the table, pick things up, roll them over (I'm surprised the St. Nicholas cakes didn't fall apart) and then spend just 50 cents on one little packet of cookies. Efforts to upsell don't seem to work.

I don't want to do these anymore, it's so discouraging. Our freezer is packed with leftovers and I'ms sure to be eating Chrsitmas cookies in my lunches till February. We gave some items to charity food drives and as pressies. But I don't enjoy giving all my baking away. Sorry that sounds bad in print.

OK it's suppertime, rant off for now.
post #38 of 44
My friend and I made a couple hundred cookies for a craft show....I made pretty floral cookies in pots, and then some individual....and my friend made cute ones more for kids.

We probably sold 5 between us, over three days! It was awful. Never again. I don't like doing cookies, anyway!
post #39 of 44
No more craft shows for me either. I've done 2. One on a Saturday, and one at a school where the kids get to visit. The one where the kids could visit, I made and priced stuff accordingly. I had asked when registering, if baked goods could be sold, they said yes, and then the teachers wouldn't let them buy food. icon_confused.gif
post #40 of 44
Well, I sold gingerbread house kits for $25 a pop at a craft sale, and I sold 17 of them. I made 29 in total, but at the sale itself I felt that I did quite well. pm me if you are still interested in knowing what I think about bake sales and craft sales. hth
Eat Smart... Eat Cake!!!
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Eat Smart... Eat Cake!!!
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post #41 of 44
Sorry to hear that your hard work was in vain. The problem with sales like that is you have no idea how many people will come and what they'll buy. Last summer I did a farmers market and it drove me crazy. One week I'd make a few crumb cakes, and they'd sell in the first 20 minutes, so next week I'd make double, but nobody would buy - this week all the pies went, and so on.

I did a craft show before Christmas and my experience was similar, quite disappointing - just not enough traffic through the door. People ooh-ed and ahh-ed over my stuff, and quite a few bought, but I only sold about half of everything I made. Turned out there were two other popular shows the same weekend - I should have done my homework better.

I don't plan on doing any more shows.
- Natalie
"Blessed are the cheesemakers?"
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- Natalie
"Blessed are the cheesemakers?"
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post #42 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanH

Your baked and other offerings sound wonderful. icon_biggrin.gif

However, I don't think a craft fair is a great venue for marketing anything "gourmet" or "upscale"....
(Unless the craft fair site is on Rodeo Drive.) icon_lol.gif

In my experience, craft fairs draw bargain hunters who are looking for a "deal" and primarily shop by price point.

JMHO



Exactly what I was thinking. Church. Flea market. 'nuff said. I'm sorry you went to all that work and didn't get good results.
post #43 of 44
I am sorry you had a bad experience. I have sold stuff at the flea market (not baked goods) and it's amazing how cheap people can be. I am not saying this to be mean because I like to get a bargain myself, but when I have something marked at $.50 and it's clearly worth more than that but I just want to get rid of it, I always had someone come by and offer $.25. It's the nature of the beast is what I'm saying. People go there to get something for nothing, or next to nothing.

It was the venue...not your goodies.


Lisa
post #44 of 44
I have helped my friend with her booth several times and we have had so many people tell us "those cookies are so cute but I don't like the taste of those fancy cookies." Now mind you, they had not tasted her cookies at all !! I believe they were having in mind those cardboard-tasting decorated cookies you get at Christmas and Easter in local stores (mass-produced). Now she just does basic (but flavorful) cookies and does quite well with sales.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
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As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
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