How are you finding trade ?

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Teagirl
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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Teagirl » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:34 am

Annie the Pedlar wrote:Who's saying we are doomed?
I'm saying my takings were going up at Warwickshire and have come down at Bruntingthorpe. Both shows, not just this one.


Essentialy what I said. We are not telling anyone else not to trade at any show, we're dropping several this coming year because they are not really our kind of venue, but the ILHF got a mention by me because our takings were down significantly, we felt it's in a very large part due to the venue and because of that we don't feel it's worth our trading there.

I did say we've had a good year otherwise, and that two shows won't make or break us but as a decision based on takings it seems that our choice is to not book there again. As for other shows, it will be ones with a heavy late medieval theme that we'll be giving up, we haven't looked at which ones but there are several including Cressing, Tatton and Tewks, all of which we enjoyed but all of which seem to not be suitable to our kind of items. It doesn't mean they aren't great for other traders but we find it difficult to sell to people whose selected time periods preclude wearing beads.


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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Martin » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:46 pm

Annie (the Hinnie not the Pedlar :) ) this is a chat page and we're chatting, no one is saying anything bad, wrong etc, we're traders discussing trade on a traders discussion page lol, where else are we supposed to toss idea's about ? Im sure Dave wont mind and in fact he'll get a better overview from seeing an actual discussion about things :)


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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Treaty Money » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:31 pm

Pontoise will be my first real trading event with the proper branding and almost a 'launch' after 5 years of slogging it out with academic work.

I am finding my trading to be healthy with orders that are word of mouth and even now, at what is traditionally a quieter time of the year receiving new orders every couple of days for the higher end stuff. This probably won't stay as bouyant, but I am surprised as to how many people are still ordering some really high end stuff from me.

I am thankful and am not sure how successful the stand will be in 2 weeks, but we'll see....


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Graham Ashford
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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Graham Ashford » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:36 pm

Hi there

Starting my business at the beginning of the recession has given me a bit of a rough ride, but business is slowly going up hill, admittedly if you where on that hill on your bike you'd barely notice the incline, but like so many folk are saying in this post, we are in a recession, one of the worst globally that history has given us, so I am told everytime I turn oon the news.

This may be due to the bespoke nature of my work, but increasingly I am finding that my route to market is through the internet, it keeps peoples costs down and folk are becomming increasingly internet savvy. I use ILHF to keep my profile up and try to do some business.

The small item side of my work (small blacksmithed items between £10-£50) has all but stopped at the markets, but the bespoke armour side continues to do 'ok', but this I think was in part due to people being made redundant, getting some money and thinking they would treat themselves with their money while they get another job ... as the job market has has continued to diminish people are being forced to be more canny with their cash.

Just my two pennies worth based upon literally moments of scant consideration :D



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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Runesmith » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:44 pm

I mostly sell to the general public, either at touristy re-enactment events or muggle markets, and it's a bit down but so far (touch wood) not too bad. My experience in the last recession is that people go on spending on silly little things when times are hard because it cheers them up.

The big problem is fuel, I'm getting much more choosy about what events I pick because of the cost of getting there.


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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby paste » Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:43 pm

Hi Everyone,
:thumbup: Interesting reading this discussion - good one to start Martin!
There are always lots of negatives and positives from over 119 traders which give us feedback for organising the International Living History Fair, as well as the many other shows that Pike And Shot Events organises and runs during the year.
From the Commercial perspective, we only make our money on those visitors who pay to come into the Event, so yes, we were hit slightly moving to Bruntingthorpe this year, however, we needed to move due to several different reasons, the biggest being that our show is popular with traders for both the October & February Indoor Markets and we were over subscribed with a large waiting list of new traders wanting to come to the show.
The move to this new larger venue, which is still being developed by the site, enabled us to tap into this extra interest, and make the ILHF more attractive to visitors by enlarging the choice at the Market.
Our policy of inclusive, rather than exclusive choice for Traders who attend other shows means we get some people who come and go, and a loyal trading base that continues to support our Market, despite financial as well as other pressures.
As Martin suggests, we value ALL our customer's feedback, especially our Traders, for without them we have no Market.
In the next couple of weeks we will be sending an E-Mail Marketing newsletter to all traders, past and present, as well as those new ones who have expressed an interest in attending the next ILHF in February to update everyone on the new sites continuing improvements, and within 5 years we hope that the Fair will expand to include new attractions and traders to boost everyone's trading possibilities.
Please send us all your feedback, negative and positive, in response to this mail.
The AA signs are already being tweeked to overcome the directional problems we currently know about, and the Site is busy working on various local aspects to ensure a better visitor experience once you have arrived. We have tried to get a positional marker sorted out on Google Maps for the show, but it is a slow process, and it doesn't help when the signs we have paid for are then removed by some unhelpful souls who have nothing better to do with their lives!
Keep the flow of information coming back to Pike And Shot Events, and we will strive to correct/amend the organisational aspects to smooth out the problems.
Having completed a wash up meeting with the site, I can now report the floor has been completely sorted!
A second outlet for hot/cold drinks and a bar, together with a cake/snack outlet will be placed inside the Exhibition Hall to alleviate the queues for food, especially those who just want a quick drink, instead of a full meal.
The local area is now being thouroughly investigated on behalf of some of you who are looking for accomodation and pubs or restaraunts that have meeting rooms or large customer areas to host small groups, and we have just renewed a booking at the 18th Century Greyhound Inn at Lutterworth for the February show for a 50 seat Regency style meal! This will be along the lines of the trial dinner this October, on Saturday February 25th from 19:00hrs. Cost is £20 per head for 3 course dinner with Coffee & Mints, and a complimentary Mulled Wine on arrival. There is also a discount rate available to all those wanting accomodation in the Inn - just mention the show at time of booking.
Hope those of you that trade at the TORM had a good show selling your wares, and hope to see most, if not all, of you back in February 2012.
Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Dave :coffee:



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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Martin » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:03 am

oi oi geezer, nice seeing you on the w/end :) , if you dont mind I have a suggestion I'd like to put your way, I was talking to another trader and we thought that as you had the room why not run talks / demos to keep people there after they have done their initial shop ? for example I could do a food demo making native American Indian Pemmican, jerky etc, then Suzie said she could do a sweet making one using historical recipes in her new Mrs Beeton style outfit, then get an archery dealer to demonstrate fletching an arrow ? some one to show how to use a flint and steel, a talk on specific battles in history that type of thing ? every move to a new venue will generate a few squeaks/ probs etc but its in everyone's interest for any show to work, the more good shows the more places to tout our wares lol and if your looking for another food vendor I can highly recommend the Giddy Kipper proper food, they do a delivery service to traders who cant get away to buy food and its nice grub not just burgers 'n' chips :) , hope you dont mind me making suggestions but almost every trader who makes their own items is a potential demonstration and many love to show of what they can do :)


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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Graham Cooley » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:16 am

We now have TORM to compare with ILHF. And the trading was very similar. No one buying large items of pewter and everyone only buying what they needed and a few Christmas gifts. The buying patterns were what we would have expected at the different markets. The fact that people were not buying larger items means that our trade was down significantly but by a similar proportion at both markets.

Graham
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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby lucy the tudor » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:40 am

We sell more items of lower cost, but to be fair some which- to me- would be a biggish purchase, and had the best turnover we have ever had at TORM, ie the best turnover we have had at any market, by about £100 .
We are not a big operation, and this turnover is still probably not approaching what a lot of you chaps usually take, but it hasn't half helped. I can now go and replace our dead hoover ( wood shavngs, grit and pet hair tend to kill them).
I am firmly of the belief that the two markets help each other in the long run. Lots of the people who bought at TORM had looked at ILHF, and made their decision in the intervening time- after pay day/nearer to Christmas/whatever. I don't like to rush decisions about stuff I'm going to be using for years, and to be able to check something out at one market, and take your time to decide before the next, would be the way I would go too.
The foot fall on Saturday was stunning, very patient customers having to queue round the building due to sheer volume of numbers, no matter how quickly they were getting people in, it couldn't quite keep up, we got head spin by mid afternoon just with so many people around.
Well worth both pitch fees.
Off to Tesco's now- to buy the hoover with my vouchers- well I'm still careful, don't you know, there's the winter to get through yet :angel:


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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Teagirl » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:50 pm

Our sales at TORM were only slightly below the best show we'd had there, but well above the average shows, even with a very quiet Friday. We were amazed at the number of people on the Saturday, but the Sunday was much busier than usual, people there till the very end rather than it going quiet for the last hour.


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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Skevmeister » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:25 pm

I went to TORM, and thought that it was fantasticly busy.... I even got out of my stinking pit early to avoid teh rush !!!! what a bllody failure that was. I tried to spend what little amount I had round as I didn't really want or need anything.

I wish I could give everyone a fiver, as without teh work that the traders put in teh wouldn't be any market for me to go to and go wooooooooooooooo and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Thanks to you teh traders and teh organsisers for making me happy parting with my moeny.


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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby lucy the tudor » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:39 pm

AND YOU DIDN@T SAY HELLO< AND TELL ME WHO YOU WERE!!!!
Harumph!
You know I have no brain or memory...


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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Skevmeister » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:08 pm

Sorry Lucy,

Everyone was so busy trading, I didn't get to say hello to veryone I owuld have liked to anyway. And by about 3 I needed to go home as I was knackered. I did see you and Tim trading in the corner I think opposite Derbyshire Arms. But everytime I cycled past you were busy.


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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Teagirl » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:48 pm

A woooo or an ahhhh is as good as a fiver, because it helps us a lot when people just stop to talk about what we do and maybe go away understanding it a bit more. Appreciation goes a long way.


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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby lucy the tudor » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:06 pm

You went past more than once, you have done your duty Sir, and are duly given reverence for trying.
It was a busy but fun time, and the woo's and aaa's are always appreciated.
I always enjoy showing my stuff, and get the odd chance to help people understand the use of some of it. Lucet lessons, weaving and spinning sessions happen fairly spontaneously, and if someone enjoys what they are doing it can really make my day.


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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Graham Ashford » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:34 pm

Dave, thanks for listening to our moans, thoughts and suggestions. Sounds like things are developing well.

As mentioned before I find the market a really powerful profiling tool and even in these times of recession I'm dubious as to whether or not I would be able to continue trading without attendance. When I started I thought that the internet alone would be enough, but was advised to attend the market and am glad that I did as it accounts for over 40% of my annual business these days.

Keep up the good work mate.

Graham



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Re: How are you finding trade ?

Postby Brand » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:45 pm

Interesting stuff- as this was my first season trading I have nothing to compare with. Handily as I combine trading with LH/ Cannon displays and the pyrotechnics I am finding a reasonble balance- just landed a big local display firing cannons/ small arms for 3 days so that pays for a lot of new equipment.

Dave- interested in trading at ILHF but can't afford to book in just yet- when do you reckon you'll be booked out?




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