the CIS marco polo bazaar. in list form

I spent the first two days of the last month of the year peddling my wares. For the first time in my crafting life, I sold items in a traditional manner. And by traditional, I mean actually meeting my customers during the sales process.  Something new for someone who have always relied on online transactions.

A few things:

1. Quantity – I was not able to sew a lot of merchandise for the bazaar, sadly. And the ones that sold out first were the ones that I thought to make a day before the event. Of course, I was under the impression that I made more than enough. But during the vendors’ briefing, I had a painful realization. “Golly, these are big-time bazaar vendors! They probably have warehouses full of merchandise!” I thought. I wasn’t wrong.

2. Display – The boyfriend and I stressed out about our display. It slipped my mind that the bazaar wasn’t a craft fair and that other vendors didn’t really care about being creative with their booths. In fact, only about a quarter of the vendors gave their display much thought. Not that I regret spending time thinking about the display since I reckon a decent presentation helped attract potential buyers.

3. Name / Labels - I had a framed BORED & CRAFTY sign on my table. Many of the people who noticed the sign chuckled. A good number of them took a calling card from the pile of cards I placed beside the sign.

I made sure to add labels to my items, too. I used THIS FREE EMBROIDERY/SEWING FONT from Font Space.

4. Essentials - Change. As mentioned above, calling cards. Packaging (green, if possible). Prices of the items you’re selling. An endless supply of hellos and smiles.

5. Coffee - One of the booths at the bazaar gave away free coffee all day during the two days we were there. Can you imagine how fantastic that was? It was good coffee, too.

6. Nourishment - The bazaar was held in a hotel that didn’t allow visitors to bring their own food. The snacks that they sold to the vendors were overpriced but they were good. And the one time I bought a meal from them, their staff made sure to give me twice the serving size. Yay for good hotels.

7. Entertainment - We brought the Kindle and my netbook. We also made sure our mobiles were fully charged.

8. Handmade love - Since the bazaar wasn’t a craft fair, we made sure to tell our customers that our merch were handmade. That elicited smiles. In fact, my biggest customers were the ones who recognized handmade. One lovely lady bought 9 belts and several art rolls from me. She was my first customer and gushed about my products endlessly. She was so nice.

It was a wonderful experience. I made a lot, I learned a lot. A day after, we experienced a hangover, something akin to an after-trip exhaustion, but it was a good kind of buzz. Said buzz motivated me to finally redesign my online shop for a future relaunch. It’s looking good so far; will keep you posted!


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9 thoughts on “the CIS marco polo bazaar. in list form

  1. If you were in Manila, I’ll surely drop by and say hi. And of course, it would be impossibe not to buy. Do you sell online? Haha! I really love your stuff!

  2. So awesome, I’m really happy for you Meream! Sana you’re here in Manila and join Bloggers United bazaar next weekend, I’m sure you’ll also sell a lot there! And kahit may shopping ban ako I wouldn’t be able to control myself din :D

  3. Wow, I’m glad you got to sell so much. It must be so difficult to know how much to make and bring for a bazaar. I mean, anything can happen and the first times you don’t really know what grab people’s attention.

  4. wow! congrats on this one, yam. this is definitely a big step out of the comfort zone (online transactions). your goods are meant to be seen by the world, gyud. padayon, yam^^.

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