Today was not an exercise in ROI. In fact it was very much the opposite. We did our first vendor event since the pandemic started. We had been planning on doing some for awhile now but none were happening. Then we found one and signed up for a fall marketplace.
You couldn’t have asked for better weather if the weather you asked for was the exact type that would drive people indoors. The mild fall chill of the day before gave way to a biting cold of an overcast and windy day. It was the type of wind that drives right through you, chilling your bones and causing muscles to ache. The rain wasn’t much better. It was the small pinprick drizzle that drills into your pores. It was perfect weather to not be out of doors at a fall marketplace.
Still here we were trying to do our first vendor event in over two years. We had put together our pet first aid kits, figured out the pricing for them, hired a babysitter to watch the kids, and we were ready to talk to anyone that stopped by our table.
Before that could happen though it started to rain even harder and the wind increased its gusts. One of the other vendors gave up and went home and then they told us we could move inside, but before that happened one of the tents was blown away taking out a second vendor. That left us and four other vendors retreating inside.
At this point I think we’d given up on the day. I was well into listening to a book and my wife and I were discussing ordering food. We had the babysitter and if nothing else we could enjoy each other’s company kids free for once. Eventually we ordered food and just as it arrived a customer showed up to talk to us. He was far more interested in the skinny 28 year old at the other table but he still asked us a lot of questions when we weren’t expecting any interest and had food sitting in front of us. We might have lost a sale there but we can’t control timing.
As it happened we did eventually make one sale. A cousin or friend of the skinny 28 year old across the way stopped by our table and purchased one of the medium first aid kits. This is the one we had priced the worst. Between credit card fees and sales tax I’m certain we didn’t make any money on the sale. Add in the cost of babysitting and the food and we were well in the red.
At the end of the day though we got out of the house and away from the children for a bit. We made one sale and now know our first aid kits will sell. We just need to find bigger events on nicer days and do it all again.