May 3, 2012

What Sold and What Didn't At The Fancy Flea

Since this was my first time being a vendor I had no idea what to expect.  I'm sharing with you my experience.....The good, the bad, and the ugly

Lets start with what sold

It was a thrill to sell all of the big stuff.  All of the furniture,  some I showed you, and some I didn't, sold.  The only exception was one of the "Twin" desks didn't sell, the green one.

Suitcases, I sold suitcases and I saw lots of people walking around with vintage suitcases they had purchased

Hats and hat stands, I sold 6 hat stands, the paper towel stands and the styrofoam head hat stands, along with all but 3 of my altered vintage hats.  I sold two of my hats to "Brides to be" along with the veil I altered with vintage flowers

I sold a lot of small crafting supplies

Also a good seller was 15 vintage bottles I added the water slide decals to, the ones that sold first where the ones I had fancied up with lace, ribbon, and jewels.  I didn't know if people would like them fancied up, but the answer was yes!

Now, What didn't sell

I was surprised my cute little curio cabinet did not sell, although I have had a couple people on Facebook interested.  

Although people liked looking at them, I did not sell a single wedding dress.

And my cute little laundry sign did not sell, now, it may be because not a lot of people in Orlando have laundry rooms.   Since we don't have basements, many people like myself have the washer and dryer in the garage....Or maybe they just didn't like it!

I sold about 70% of what a brought, but if I was to do it again, I would not bring wedding dresses, but I  would bring aprons because they sold along with vintage slips, tops, and dresses.  I did not sell any pillows so I would skip those. I also did not sell any large mirrors,  I did see people walking around with mirrors, but more people with chalkboards in ornate frames.   

This is just my experience!   I am sure there were vendors that were able to sell everything I couldn't, and visa-versa.  

I know from experience that a lot of things that did not sell at the Fancy Flea will sell in my booth.  The Fancy Flea is a 7 hour sale, when you have a booth, you can mark products down, move them around and leave them in the booth for a couple of weeks.

OK, the good, the bad, and the ugly

 The Good-I did pharmaceutical sales for years before I started living this dream, so I love sales!  I worked tons of medical conferences where I would chat with Dr's about the drug I was selling and give them a pen or a canvas bag with my companies logo on it.   This was soooo much better, I gave my customers a canvas bag and they handed me a $ cool!  So, I enjoyed chatting with everyone and loved the instant gratification!

The Bad-Oh goodness, this was a lot of physical labor, now, I am no weakling and I had my friend Janice with me, but she had to set up, work, and pack her own space.  I was saved when a former coworker stopped by to shop and stayed to help me pack up (Thank you Mary P.)  I think had she not helped I may have resorted to tears...Hate that!

The Ugly- Getting up at 4am (Tough for a girl like me that gets up at the crack of 10 every morning!) and I honestly thought I was going to blow a disc in my back, I expected it to shoot out and hit the brick store front behind me.  Oh my gosh, standing for 12 straight hours with only a combined 30 minutes sitting (Mom brought me lunch and watched my booth while I ate....We love Mom's!) Oh my aching feet!!

Would I do it again????
The Fancy Flea is twice a year in April and November.  I won't be able to do the November show because Baby boy is getting married in November, so I would do the April show Only if ......I was able wrangle a lot of help.  It brings bile to my throat to say this because, I think girls can do anything boys can do but, a nice strong guy would be a big plus.

Wow, this got a little long!  I just wanted to give you the whole scoop incase you were contemplating walking down the vendor road.

Happy Creating!

Before I close the book on the Fancy Flea I will do one more post to show you pictures of other vendors drool worthy spaces


Jamie said...

Your pictures are unbelievably gorgeous! The bottles, the flowers in the french book pages, and the veil with the dried flowers are beautiful. I would have wanted to buy the green & white table and the curio cabinet for sure! Both are stunning. I really like the laundry sign a lot. ~ Jamie

Connie said...

I KNOW how grueling it is so there is no chance in the world I'd do it, sugar! I'm too lazy and 70 years old. NO WAY!!! You did good though, honey.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your had a great sale based on all that sold. having done this i know what hard work it is, grueling comes to mind. Foolish me even sets up my garage sales like a booth..last years took me a month to recover from! (not doing one this year!) You should be soooo pleased with your success! And i love your blog!!!! cheryl in kansas

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Carol,
Fabulous stats and not surprising at all. I know about the good, bad and ugly from my show/sale days too. It is certainly a lot of work, but when the peeps arrive it is so worth it. Not sure I want to do it again though. You sure did great and now deserve a little break.
Happy Thursday,
XO Celestina Marie

Little Miss Maggie said...

It sounds like you had a very successful show to me. I bet it's like childbirth. Not so anxious to do it over again, but then we do. You have a whole year to get ready. Overall, I bet it was fun.

A Paris Flea said...

I think you did great...nice job on all the big, heavy furniture going. It sounds like you did really well. And as for that just to cute curio cabinet...what were the buyers thinking. If you decide to go again next April you will have a whole year (minus wedding time) to get ready.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

It's interesting to see what sold and didn't, Carol. I'm surprised about the pillows and the mirrors. I would only hesitate about a mirror if I was concerned about getting it home intact. If I went prepared with blankets and such, I would buy one. Too bad about the cabinet ~ I love it! I actually saw one similar at my local antique and flea mart. Every time I see it I think of you and yours. If I had somewhere definite to use it, I would buy it.

Cathy said...

Gorgeous booth! Boy if I still lived in Florida, I would have loved to have been there. What treasures!
Just a thought on the wedding dresses. When I look at wedding dresses I look at them for their lace, buttons, fabric etc. So if they aren't selling, what if you disassembled them and sold them in bits and pieces for their lace, fabric, buttons etc. You might be able to sell them that way for the same price or more as the whole dress.

Cathy ♥

ebru said...

Hello, it was lovely to hear about your experiences, it is very valuable because you are an experienced sales person, so thank you. About the cabinet, I sooooo wish I was there and not on the other side of the world, would be sold to me within seconds.

Sam I Am...... said...

I'm glad you did well and also glad you didn't hurt yourself! Your stuff is beautiful and all the work you put into it. I've thought about consignment and flea markets and then decided "no". All that "HAULING" would not be my cup of tea. I like staying home too.

mizdarlin said...

I totally mpathize...imagine doing this four times in a day (load the truck, unload the truck and set up, drive home, and unload the truck) every Saturday...and I am 63!
I don't have heavy furniture (thank goodness!) but everything else is heavy - boxes, tables, tent-canopy..and I ache for all of the next day...but, like you, I love are lucky to have a bit of help and someone to bring you lunch..I'd love that!
Good luck with future outdoor sales, I'd say you did quite well!

Anonymous said...


I imagine it must have felt like moving day - yuck! Then all that work and it is all over in 7 hours - that is a short time span to sell. That said, it sounds to me like you did extremely well and hopefully talked up your booth at Orange Tree and will get new customers there.


Dawn's Craft Place said...

I know the fairs are lots of work but so worth getting your projects out there.
Thanks for sharing with us...I know I would give a lot of your didn't sell items a

✿ⒹⒺⒺ✿@ A Lapin Life said...

Hi Carol,

I did it when my kids were little. My husband and my family helped me out so it was pretty easy. Just as my kids started getting older they hated hanging around waiting for it to be over :)

You did a fantastic job at selling and your stuff all shows so well.

I hope you have your feet up and your drinking a cold glass of lemonade.


DownTheLaneWithDaisy said...

It looks as if you did a great job of selling! I can't imagine anyone not liking the laundry sign! Everything is pretty.

Nancy said...

I think you did a Fabulous Job!! By next April you will be ready to go again with me!! I may do November, depends on what week end she decides on though. I have already started collecting as I won't do as many Candylights in the Fall. I like the idea here about disecting the Wedding Dresses too.

Huggs, Nancy

Createology said...

Carol dear there is nothing wrong with needing a good strong man and his muscles. Your booth and items were so gorgeous. I do know how much work it is to do this and you really outdid yourself. Thankfully you have your store booth to place things in for selling. It is always interesting to learn what people will and won't buy. Of course that only works for that particular show and demographic. :o) Thankfully you got help from your friend and lunch from your mom. Bless them. Overall I think you were a huge success. Next year...less heavy stuff and a masseuse and foot soak during the day! Blissful Dear...

Rona Gregory said...

Yay for you! Great news that you sold so much! hard work, yes...but you sound like you totally had a ball! I suggest a WHOLE week of lie-ins till 11 to make up for all that hard work!


Anonymous said...

Your stuff was GORGEOUS!!! It sounds like it was very successful! And, on a side note, the story about thinking your were going to blow at disk out your back, had me cracking up so much, I had tears in my eyes! Thank you, I needed that!

NanaDiana said...

Oh- Thanks for all the information. It is funny what is a "hot seller" and what is not, isn't it? I am surprised about the mirrors, though...but not about the bride dresses. I think either you collect and display them or just admire them in passing.

I hope you CAN round up some help for April because your stuff is beautiful ad I know that you love what you do. There is just something so satisfying about seein things you made, and love, finding a new home.

Blessings to you, xo Diana

ps. I don't know WHY that Laundry sign didn't sell- it is darling. said...

Thanks so much for the info. I am selling at First Monday Canton this weekend, so you gave me helpful ideas! I agree about the strong man to help. I have my husband and two boys that have been helping me. (Though my husband did scare me when he got really short of breath and nauseated.) I am having so much fun with the decals! I will have to make some of my own. Glad you did so well, but then again, why wouldn't you? You are awesome!

HeartVintageDesign said...

I loved your booth and am glad you had a good show. I didn't sell any pillows either but I think they do better in the fall. Mr Vintage pointed out that everybody had them and no one seemed to be selling any.

Tracy said...

Wow, sounds like you did really well, though I am not surprised since you always have such great ideas! I hope you find a helper for next time so you get a few breaks, it sure sounds like a lot of work. I have that exact curio cabinet, and also painted mine white, and love it!

Laurel Stephens said...

Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information with us. It sounds like your experience was physically demanding, but mentally rewarding. Glad it was a success!

Lina - Fancy Frugal Life said...

I love that green desk! cute stuff! I'm always wondering if it's worth it to do shows like that or rent space... Hmm maybe something to do when my kids r in school full time..:)
Lina at fancy frugal life

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

I'm so glad you wrote about your experience and it's no surprise to me that you sold as much as you did. For me, the smalls ALWAYS sell and jewelry is huge too. The crowd is different at every show and what doesn't sell well at one will be a huge hit at another. You never know, dresses and pillows could be big the next time. At least you have your booth where you can always sell your gorgeous treasures.

GARAGE SALE GAL ~ Deb's Earthly Delights said...

Sounds like a very sucessful sale!!! I would be very happy.
I would help for sure if I lived by you!
Rest Up!!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed hearing all about it. Oh how I would liked to have been there. Looks like so much fun. You looked great and your sign and items were super. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful ideas with us.
Patricia in TN

Debbie said...

I think selling 70% of what you brought to your first time ever is magnificent! You had no point of reference to know what might sell.
You made me laugh about swallowing the bile to admit a strong man might be helpful. I say you rent some strong arms for the next time!

I'm glad that despite the long hours and hard work, you still thought it was fun.

Little Susie Home Maker said...

I am so proud of you for getting all this organized and set up , getting through the day and packing it all back up. I truly got a knot in my stomach when you said how grueling it got to be, and your back wanting to throw a disk. Good job at making it comical, by the way! It made me want to cry. You are so sweet, I am sure you can wrangle some help for next time if you decide to do it again,

lynn said...

congrats on a successful show! its always a great thing to sell the big stuff--saves your back:) thanks for sharing, carol:) it's interesting reading what was popular and what wasn't!

Diane said...

Ouch....I'm aching just hearing about your neck. And if you're like me, standing is alot of pain in the lower back. You are a peach for sharing the Vendor Experience with us. Thanks

sissie said...

Hi Carol,
I'm so glad to hear that you did so well. I know it took a lot of work and countless hours of painting, creating and finding stuff.
I'm not sure that I would have it in me to do a vendor show, I work hard on my booth and I can't imagine taking on what you did. I applaud your enthusiasm and efforts.
You said that the green desk did not sell. What is it with green???
I can't seem to sell anything green. People have just started buying blue and gray is slow. White seems to be my best seller.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience and thoughts. You done good girl!!


Gina said...

For your first time, I think you did excellent! It's all good though because you learned alot too and now you know what to bring & what not to bring.

Patty Patterson said...

Thanks for the updae! That's very interesting and I can see why people would like the bottles fancied up. Those are gorgeous!

Nancy said...

Hey Carol,
All in all, it sounds like you were very successful. I think it was just a fluke that the little curio, laundry sign, pillows, etc. didn't sell. It just wasn't their day!

So happy for you that you're doing something you absolutely love!


It's All Connected said...

I have to say I'm surprised about the curio shelf. 70% is pretty good for a 7 hr. sale! I was sure the bottles would go. They are so pretty! ~ Maureen

Stacy's Shabby Shoppe said...

Carol ~ I am so glad you did so well! Everything looked so beautiful! But yes, it is a lot of work! I've only done two large antique with a friend and the other by myself, but with the help of my husband. If he wouldn't have been there it would have been pretty ugly! LOL! xoxo

Kasia said...

Im so happy you had a good time! (minus the disk damage and near-tear experiences!) I think that 70% is great! And Im not surprised people bough you up! Im surprised the green desk didnt sell though, I'd grab that up so fast.... LOl Glad to see you back!


Shabby chic Sandy said...

Thanks for sharing this--it helps people like me that are thinking of doing something like this someday. I used to work scrapbook shows so I know all about setting up and tearing down--exhausting. Thank God my husband is 10 years younger than me and has lots of friends..if I ever do a show I have them!

frstyfrolk/Cyndi said...

Thanks for all the wonderful information you have shared with us! I have not yet done a show and appreciate your knowledge!

Smiles, Cyndi

Judith Tetley said...

Beautiful stock and booth Carol. Would love to see one of your fairs in USA. I agree selling 70% of your stock at your first fair is nothing short of "fantastic". You worked hard at it and deserve to be congratulated!
Thankyou for sharing your story.
Kind REgards
Judith from Australia

berlykim37 said...

I am so happy for you . it is a lot of work. thanks for sharing your experance with us...:}

Kim @ Cheap Chic Home said...

I'm so glad you were successful, Carol. Selling 70% of your stuff sounds really great--less to pack up, too. All of your merchandise was lovely, I saw a couple ladies try on your hats and they were adorable! Blessings, I'm sure we'll meet up again! P.S. I just posted the photo of us!

Linda said...

Carol - Congrats on such a successful show. Everything was gorgeous! I can relate to the thrill of the sale and how much fun it is to schmooze with everyone! I really really miss it. I don't do shows for the very reasons you mentioned -- just knocks me on my rear and takes too long to recover!
Just wanted to say ... YOU are always a ROCK STAR to me!
Blessings, L

Perfectly Printed said...

All in all it sounds like you had a good experience...I sell at a local flea market once or twice a year and it is a TON of work!! Thanks for sharing!!

Debbiedoo's said...

Overall Carol you did fantastic. Thank goodness you had some help to pack up. I can see all the work this would be. Can't believe that cute green desk did not sell. Oh well, like you said it will sell at your booth. Oh and the laundry sign..your right they just have no place to put it. It is way too cute.

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

So interesting to read about your experience.
I do 2 small craft fairs a year and setting up is a bugger, for sure. I am lucky that Joe does all of the heavy lifting for me. If he didn't do it, I would not be able to do the fairs because of my back.
I also find that even though the 2 shows I do are 2 miles and 2 weeks apart, different things sell at each show. There is usually no rhyme or reason to it. I always say that each craft fair I do is a crap shoot.
The Fancy Flea looked to be a fantastic event and I sure do wish that had events like that around here!


Larain said...

Hi carol
Congrats on your sale everyone here has said what I would have said. After the euphoria settles you have to do a costing, for all the time you spent and what came in the cash drawer,
Then add in a whole lot of fun, new friends, lovely lunch from mum and I think you will have made a profit. Also it has been fun or all of us watching your journey with finding and repurposing the warts that turned to roses. Maybe a these shows they could have a sort of hire a hubby, to do the heavy lifting.

Thanks for sharing.

SavannahGranny said...

Hey Carol, I think you did fantastic. To have sold seventy percent of your wares is so great. It does sound like a lot of work but you seemed to have fun.
I wish I could have been there. I love everything that produce. You have such neat ideas.
Keep 'em coming.
Hugs, Ginger

BECKY said...

Hi Carol! How great to hear an honest insiders scoop on what all this "show" stuff entails! I have been considering it for some time, but am not sure it is for me just yet. I have a big strong man that would help me, but it's just not time for me yet!!

It is fabulous to sell 70% of your offerings! What a joy!! You do such lovely work, I am not surprised!!

You are so refreshing!! After this next 12 days...we need to hook up for lunch again!!

Have a wonderful week!

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

so excited for you - having attended the Country Living Fair - thinking this would be fun to do - but also realizing the enormous amount of hours put behind all the beautiful items and set up! I hope you get your much needed rest and get even more inspired! I do appreciate you!

The Dixie Gypsy said...

I love it, the crack of 10! lol You are my kind of gal!

Vicki said...

Carol, first of all your booth and goods looked absolutely gorgeous. I can picture you just chatting away and making all kinds of new friends. So glad you sold 70% and that overall this was a great experience for you. I can see where it would be a tough job to set up for sure, especially with furniture. Sorry I missed it! Just getting back to normal here. Work and family with all kinds of crazy and unexpected things but everyone is happy and healthy so we'll take it. Hope to start blogging again this week and catch up with all my friends. Miss you!

Shabby Jen said...

I am so thrilled that you gave us such detail on your event. I love all the items you sold. And it's so awesome that you sold all the furniture! What did you set all the goodies on when all the furniture was gone?
I see a little shovel in one of the pictures, did you make it? So cute!! Carol, thanks again!! That was fun~