Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

My husband and i have been doing art fairs for 4 years now, and always try to be carefully strategic as to where to put our check out counter and cash area to ensure it is accessible only to us.  And until yesterday it was a great strategy.  Neither of us are certain how, but believe that it was toward the last minutes of the show that someone got in and took all of our $20 bills from below the till.  i am certain this was while i was distracted to the front of the tent by one customer, and my husband was pulling the vehicle up behind to begin the load out.  I shared our story with some of my friends who are fellow artists, and have had a variety of responses for how they handle cash.  The majority have indicated either an apron, fanny pack or some sort of bag that fits snug to the body.  I would love to hear your thoughts on how you handle cash.  I feel like such an idiot that i must have left up my guard for just a moment or two.  The only other explanation is that my neighbor has light fingers... because i expected her to be at the back of her booth, and thought nothing of seeing her close by.

Views: 1522

Comment by Diane Wright on September 22, 2014 at 3:35pm
Always on your person. Never in a cash box.
Comment by Barbara Pitorak Bloom on September 22, 2014 at 3:46pm

That seems to be the concensus, thank you Diane

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on September 22, 2014 at 3:48pm

Tackle box at back of booth and below table top. Doubt any one would attempt because I have half a wall of holsters with all sorts of Blue and dummy guns in them. I think I come across as too risky of a target for robbery.

Comment by Connie Mettler on September 22, 2014 at 4:02pm

Never anywhere except in your pocket or your bra.

Comment by Barbara Pitorak Bloom on September 22, 2014 at 4:11pm

we have always kept a box behind a counter hidden inside a big wine crate, shielded from customer.  in the picture it is behind the yellow scarf, and you would have to climb behind the booth.  I went into my closet and found a cross the body small bag with a deep pocket... i think it is now going to travel with me wherever i go.

Comment by Dianne Miller on September 22, 2014 at 4:16pm

I do have a money box but while the show is going on there's nothing in it. I take the sorting part out and it goes in the top drawer of my plastic drawer thingy (yes, that's a thing, lol!) under a table where I do transactions. Larger bills - 20s and up get taken out as we go and put in my pocket or give to my over 6' hubby.  I need to tell my niece of this for this weekend, she's covering at a show for me - I've been really lucky so far. 

Comment by Alison Thomas on September 22, 2014 at 4:16pm
On my person at all times until breakdown and the first thing I do at breakdown is lock it in the front of the van. Since I have a barrier between the front and back of the van and I only need to access the side and back of the van I've never had a problem.
Comment by Brian Billings on September 22, 2014 at 4:34pm

People use cash?! I use a money clip and put it in my pocket. For load out I have a locking console in my car. 

Comment by Tina Pietsch on September 22, 2014 at 5:27pm
I lock mine in the SUV until setup is complete, and keep a basic cash box in a bin under my covered tables. I sell cross body purses so keep most of it attached to me in a purse.
Comment by Ruth Jellema on September 22, 2014 at 5:28pm

Saturday night we were leaving the Birmingham, MI show, driving down the street, and maybe 2 blocks from the show I spotted a youngish  female exhibitor heading to her vehicle.  She had a backpack on her back, a bag in her left arm, and, swinging along in her right hand a metal cash box.  I wanted to leap out of the van and grab her and shake her until her brain rattled and say, "ARE YOU CRAZY?!?"  Well, the light changed and I couldn't - don't know who she was.  Even if the cash box was empty, do you really want to make yourself a target?


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