Monday, 28 December 2009


I have just been reading an interesting piece on making a success of a stand at an antique or other Fair, and thought I might pass on a few hints. First, arrive in good time so that you can park near your 'goods' entrance, be it house, hall or marquee. When booking, remember that most people go round clockwise, so a stand near the entrance is good, also corners can be useful if you want to display hangings, curtains and long pieces of linen.
Find your place and mark it out well with table(s) and chair - sometimes your neighbours have adjusted things a bit to your disadvantage so check size with what you have paid for. Spread your cloths over tables and bring your containers in so they can sit either behind or directly in front of tables and display furniture. Then remove your car to exhibitors car park which is a courtesy to other stallholders waiting to park and unload. If you have a lot to show, make a good square or semi circle so that everything is within reach from the front, except stuff which is hung back of your stand on rails or screens. Do not set up a table across the entrance of your stand, as your aim must be to persuade buyers to come into your 'shop' and linger and discover, and to discuss things with you. Remember good lighting is a huge bonus, but be careful that spotlights cannot be touched and burn - and textiles are highly inflammable.
Finally, give yourself time for refreshment before the opening and time to dress yourself as attractively as possible (after all, you are selling good taste and style) and do not think of reading a paper or book sitting on a chair with your back to the customers; they then feel that you are not interested in them and will not disturb you. Eye contact and a smile give a much better impression! Have a good supply of printed trade cards with details of goods and services available, offer one to every person who passes, saying they might need to contact you in future.
Personally I have always found it very effective to have a large basket or other attractive container, really full of something small and inexpensive, price clearly visible, not available elsewhere, whether it be bundles of scraps for quilting, little jam jars full of buttons, little pill boxes or any old haberdashery items like wooden cotton reels, lengths of tape or ribbon, which intrigue children, and tempt the grown-ups, and give you the chance to engage in conversation.
Everything you do on your stand must be to encourage the public to stop and look - passers-by are of no use to you and your sales results.


  1. Well said Buffy. As always your posts are full of useful information. Happy New Year.

  2. Lots of really good advice there. We can all do with helpful ideas and I have picked up a new tip thank you xx Linda