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Hi! I don't think I've posted here yet. In October, I'm doing my first outdoor vendor/arts fair and I was hoping I could ask a few questions. Specifically, I'm looking to compile a checklist of all the things I will need to own and bring with me. (I've only done 1 craft show before and that was more than 3 years ago.)

I know I will need:

  • White 10x10 Canopy Tent - looking at this one: Eurmax Canopy
  • Filled sandbags for tent
  • Stakes for tent (I think it will be in the grass but I'm not completely sure of that yet)
  • Cash drawer and $? for change (how much do you recommend bringing?)
  • Square chip card reader and Square store set up
  • Jewelry and other goodies to sell! (I'm so far behind, eek!)
  • Bags and possibly gift boxes?
  • Price tags (except for the high-end items, which will have descriptions only)
  • Sunscreen and maybe a hat
  • ... I know I'm missing stuff here, please add to the list as you see fit!

Should I bring craft supplies to show my process and work on it while people walk past? Or should I just sit there and force myself to talk to people?

Do I need to have a tax license on-hand? Or just be prepared to notate and file? I think the show requires us to hold taxes but it didn't say we need a license. 

Do I need to file for a DBA to collect taxes? I'm so far out of my league here.

Everything I have yet to do is now hitting me full-force and I'm mildly freaking out here. 

Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

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Pick and choose

ART SHOW OUTSIDE BOOTH    
LAST UPDATE: 6/2019   DUMMY GUNS
    PINK HARD HAT
PUT UP TRUCK BARRIER   CHAP STAND(S)
PEG BOARDS, RAIN DEFLECTORS   6 SADDLE BLANKETS
PIPES   RAIN JACKETS - 2
4 TABLES   STRAW HAT,JAEN'S HAT, BALL CAPS
LARGE ART WORK TUBS   SUNGLASSES
SMALL ART WORK TUBS   JACKETS
BANDANA TUB   SUN SCREEN
SADDLE RACKS - 2   CAMERA
PEG BOARD HOOKS - 3 BOXES   CELL PHONE & CHARGER
TENT   EXTRA VEHICLE KEYS
PIPE CONNECTORS   TOOL BUCKET: RUBBER HAMMER
WOOD BLOCKS   TAPE MEASURE
ROPES, YELLOW TIEDOWNS   2 ROYBI SCREW DRIVERS
4 BUCKETS, 4 PVC WEIGHTS    CHARGE BATTERIES & LIGHTS
STICK HOOK   BATTERY CHARGER CORDS
LADDER   FASTENERS, SCREWDRIVER, PLIERS
2 STOOLS   TWINE, SILICONE SEALANT, DUCK TAPE
SILVER CASE   BOOT TOPS & BELTS, PLASTIC TIES
SILVER BUCKLES   COTTON GLOVES
EMERGENCY TARP   CASH BOX: CASH BILLS & CHANGE
BLUE HAND TRUCK   IPAD, CORD
COFFEE CAN & HOSE (ESTES PARK)   CHECKS, INVOICE BOOK, NAME TAGS,
OFFICE TUBS:   BINANCA, PENS, MARKERS, TAPE, 
PHOTO ALBUMS - 2   STAPLER, HP CALCULATORS - 2, JEAN'S 
PRICE BOOK   TOOLS: ROUND KNIFE, ROUND AWL, 
PRICE LISTS: BELTS-3, BUCKLES-1    ROTARY PUNCH, DRIVE PUNCH, BLOCK,
SADDLE SPEC SHEETS   PAD, RUB RAG, HAMMER, SCREWDRIVER
BUSINESS CARDS & HOLDER   SIDE CUTTER, TIP NAILS, DYE, BRUSH,
LEATHER CARD HOLDERS   BAG-KOTE, MAUL, EYELETS, SETTER
STUDIO WALLET FILE:   HEAD LAMPS & BATTERIES
SILVER CATALOG   TWO STRIP LIGHTS
SPECIAL ORDER FORM   HALIBURTON: PLANNER, EVENT FILE,
SALES TAX LICENSES   SALE NOTEBOOK, CREDIT CARD SHEET
HORSEMAN'S HANDBOOKS - 4   BLUE BOOTH NOTEBOOK
IMPRINTED BAGS: LARGE & SMALL    GO CLOVER DATA, SWIPER, CORD
DROP CLOTHS - 3   ZIPPER POUCH, GUN
PLASTIC SADDLE COVERS - 2   VEHICLE LOG BOOK, ATLAS, GAZATEER
BUCKLE BOXES - 3   LAP TOP, JUMP DRIVES, CHARGER 
RESERVE BUCKLE BOX - 1   ARTICLE NOTES
CHICAGO SCREW DRIVER   WATCH, BELTS, SUSPENDERS
PRICE TAGS, PRICE STICKERS   VITAMINS, ALLERGY MEDS, TOOTH GUARD
BELT HANGERS & BUCKLE LEATHERS   LAUNDRY BAG
LEATHER SWATCHES   HANGING, SETB UP, TRAVEL  CLOTHES
SPUR STRAP EXTENDERS   BOOTS, CASUAL CLOTHES, SWEATS
POLISHING CLOTHS - 2   RAZOR KIT, DEODERANT
TOWELS & WOOLSKIN, WINDEX   BACK PACKS, CAMELS. CANTEENS
TABLE SKIRTS   TRECKING POLES, HIKING BOOTS
CUTTING BOARD    
MIRROR   STUDIO LIGHTS, WINDOWS
LARGE SIGN   SOLDERING IRONS, TANKS, HOT PLATE

This is pure gold. Thank you for sharing.

Wow, thank you so much!!!

Hi!

I am guessing from your post that you do jewelry, so make sure you do have a few gift boxes just in case, but bags seem to do it for most people. 

I usually take at least $100 in 5s and 1s, I don't worry too much about small change, it is easier to round up or down and back figure the taxes than to worry about all the coins. 

You won't need to bring any license info, unless the show specifies it. Usually there is a way to submit your sales taxes directly to the state, and some shows provide the forms. You do not have to be a DBA to collect and submit taxes.

The tent is fine, if you have the appropriate weights, you should not need stakes. 

My own experience (and I am an introvert, too!) is that making eye contact and talking to people is much more effective to get them into your tent to browse and buy than to be working. They tend to walk by and not want to interrupt, or they feel that they aren't noticed. It's not really difficult, once you figure out a good "elevator speech" to have ready when the conversations start. 

Since this isn't until October, see if you can find at least one show between now and then that you can go and just wander and observe. 

And good luck!

Susan

Hello Veronica,

Congratulations and welcome to "The Life" [I just made that up, but it sounds good].

Makin' a list, huh? Checkin' it twice, eh? Well, do know, this will not be a "one-and-done" thing though. This will be a continuing evolution for as long as you do shows. We've been doing shows for 30+ years, with a variety of products, and we never stopped revising our list. But this is good! It means you are growing, evolving, and getting ever better at your business.

Now for my 2-cents... I was going to send my list as Richard did... but he already did. And then I was going to write pithy advise as Susan did... but ditto. I will add a bit here though: DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT use a cash box!! Keep your receipts on your person! Keep any extra squirreled away. Discretely hidden in the back, under something else, blocked by a third thing. A cash box simply screams. "LOOK IN HERE WHILE I'M DOING YOUR TRANSACTION. SEE HOW MUCH MONEY I HAVE. THIS IS WHERE I KEEP IT. HAVE A BUDDY DISTRACT ME WHILE YOU GRAB IT." Don't. Do. It. !!

Good Luck to you. And Have Fun!

--Chris Fedderson

Cash box: Chris, good advice for some, but I've been using mine for over 20 years with no problem. Not easily accessible and maybe all those holsters on one wall of the booth mentally deters a thief to "easier/safer pickin's".  Also, I would rather a thief take the box than roll me .... LOTS of cash sales at most shows. Just another point of view.

Thank you.

I'm going with my mother-in-law, so we'll both be handling sales and I already have a cash box, so I just figured that would be easier.

Do you recommend splitting the change so that we each have some on us, if we don't use a cash box? 

Do you use half-aprons, to stash the change in? 

I figured the cash box, with my tablet for Square transactions, would look more professional. I'll be bringing my cheap tablet rather than my nice one, just in case.

I prefer to keep the cash on me, that way it isn't in a cash box that can wander away, but also it is more accessible for me, particularly when the booth is full of people milling around. I found that a travel pouch that I can hang around my neck works well for keeping change handy, you can find a multitude of options for little cost on Amazon.

Also, as mentioned by others, always have multiple places to store money in out of sight area. I have a table I put browse bins on and under that, I store bags and such, and keep my backpack with water and snacks, and use that to stash extra cash. Think of how your booth will be set up, then think of where you can put things out of sight and out of reach. 

If you insist on using a cashbox, periodically transfer cash to a safer location, like your pocket. Try to only keep enough in there to make change. If a potential thief gets nosey, a bunch of 1s and 5s might not seem worth the risk. And if someone does happen to snag your cash box you won't be out that much money.

I use a cash box to hold receipt book, pens, small notepad, calculator, chalk markers for signage, etc.  I have an apron for folding green, and use the top tray for the coins. If someone steals my coins then I figure they need them more than I do.

Veronica: Info from show should help in making up your list as to what tax/licensing info you need to take.  Some say licensing will be checked, but I have never encountered it. Some require payment of taxes at end of show by check only-be prepared. Take a notebook with you and write down what you forgot which need, comments from clients which might lead your work in a different direction, things to do at next show to make life easier. I am always updating my list. Good luck

Thank you!

I'll talk to the people running it when we submit our application, so I'll double-check with them on the tax info.

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