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Discussion Starter #1
We did our first booth today. We were set up at the "Tour de Donut" bicycle race. It's an event here in my home town. It's a 30 mile race in stages. At each stop you can eat donuts. Each donut shaves 5 min off your overall time. Last year they had over 600 riders. I don't know what the count was this year but there were a bunch of them. This year was also the first annual rib cookoff. We were set up in a OK location. We didn't get to choose.
We sold a handful of shirts and a couple of decals. We had a lot of lookers. Our shirts weren't aimed at the demographic that was there today but we figured we'd try anyway.
What I did get today was the name of a plumbing company looking for shirts. The guy running a car show tomorrow invited us to attend. That's more of the type of shirts we sell. Mostly biker and hot rod stuff for now. I had another gentleman from a near by small town practically insist I come to his "fall festival" in Sept. He said he doesn't have a t-shirt guy yet. A few people I know told us what they want to order from us. And a guy in town that does signs wants me to make a few shirts for him.

So I guess the lesson is, even though I didn't make much money today, I made alot of contact and have more business coming my way. All I can do is hope!!!!
 

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I think you did good. Contacts are important They tell someone about your and then they tell another person... before you know it.. tour doing a respectable business. Just give the service and quality to all no matter how big or little. Good luck Dennis.
 

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So are you going to the show tomorrow? If so be sure to let us know how you made out on that if you would. I am also considering doing some possible shows in the future after I find quality transfers which I am working on now. I have to get in touch with BADLOU for some help on printers and a few other questions.

Thanks Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looks like rain this morning. We'll have to see what happens.

Diva, I had business cards to hand out. I don't have a website yet. Hopefully I will before too long.

Cookster, I don't know how familar you are with car people. This is the first car show for me but I come from a racing background and work at a race track.
What worries me about shows like this is that if you don't carry shirts matching the kind of cars attending, they won't buy them. If you show up with a lot of old hot rods and coupes, and all that show up ar "fast and furious" cars, you're screwed. You might as well be taking Ford stuff to a Chevy show. I just figure I'll set up (it's free) and take notes. I'll use that info to plan for next year.
 

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I do these shows all the time and a key for carrying what everyone wants is to do custom right there. If you have a heatpress and a vinyl cutter {you sold decals so I am assuming you do} get some thermoflex plus and put whatever they want on a shirt. All those businesses will become instant buyers. People love to have thier own little sayings on shirts. On the decal end we precut and tape about three to five plastic bins full of decals for point of sale. Those bins travel from show to show and we restock for every event. You will get people rummaging through those bins all day long and it attracts more folks. Funny...I was watching the world cup on Saturday while weeding about 200 decals for a big show at the end of July. Preparation is the key to success.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We're not set up to take the press with us yet. I don't have a cutter at home, I use a summa 750 pro at work after hours. Yes, it's ok with the boss. One of the problems I have is that files on my home computer won't transfer to my dinosaur of a work computer. I am looking at buying a cutter, probably a Graphtech, and a vendor trailer.
I had alot of people ask for Chevy stuff. I need to find a supplier. I've found Dodge and Ford. We did sell more today than yesterday but still not alot.
The main thing is we enjoyed ourselves. I'm sure sales will increase as we learn more.
What did sell? Black shirts by far out numbered the other colors. Route 66 logos sold good. Sold some Indian/ biker stuff. Old cars and coupes

What didn't? Kids shirts, all I had was red (last minute purchase) with classic cars and trucks, chopperss, and biker themed. I had to work with the transfers that would fit on the shirts. They were only priced at $5. Didn't sell any dirt bike stuff and only a couple of 4 wheeler shirts.

We need Chevy, pink shirts with hot rod logos, and more for stuff. we carry shirts up to 2xl and need to have a few 3xl to 5xl. Yes we were asked by 2 different people for 5xl!!!

We were invited to another carshow in Aug. So we'll load up and try it again. Maybe I'll be set up to take my press by then.


Sorry for the long posts.
I hope this helps anybody thinking of doing the same thing.
 

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Dennis:

Sounds like things went really really well!

I don't know if this would be appropriate or not but maybe you could think of something to give out as "rain-check" item..or "sorry we didn't have a t-shirt for you item"... something they would be willing to keep and that would have your contact info on it so if they needed future orders or knew of another show. Do you have a schedule of shows yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The rain check thing would be a good idea but I'm not sure when the next show will be. Right now I have been invited to a carshow in Aug. and a Fall festival which has about 6000 visitors in Sept. I talked to the dragstrip manager about having a booth at "midnight madness". It costs $200 for a booth. It's once a month. It draws about 3000 young people for drag racing, drifting, and bands.
I'd like to get a couple more free shows in before I drop that kind of cash.

I stopped and priced a new trailer today. A single axle 6X12 starts at about $3300. A tandem axle 7x14 is $5600. Those are standard cargo trailers with no vendor windows. The salesman gave me a brochure and told me to figure out what options I want and give him a call and he'd work up a price. A trailer would be nice, no more loading and unloading everything all the time. I think it would look more professional than just the pop up that I have.

We're watching the paper and asking around to find more shows. Each one we attend is a learning experience.
 

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Stop...stop stop!!!! You are spending capitol you cant redeem until you find a game plan. Two 10x10 popups and six tables are way more affordable than a $6500 vending trailer. I am doing this every weekend in your same environment....not looking for ways to look better...looking for ways to make more sales and cash with what is available. Open your mind just a bit and understand the consumer at an event!!!! It really is a simple sale if you have thier attention....offer them something personal and one of a kind!!! Dont buy the trailer....it makes you feel more proffessional and changes nothing...solve the inate problem. Talk to the consumer and ask what they want!!!!! They are gonna want custom shirts done right there...so ya need a cad cut machine!!! That opens up the decal market!!!! Please dont spend the cash on something that has no return....yes I want a trailer meself but I know right now an open booth gets me more looks and more sales!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I agree with you. I'm not looking to buy a trailer right now. I was just price shopping. I figure that is a purchase next year. The problem I have is with the pop up, tables, shirts, chairs, racks, and whatever else I need, takes up too much room in my Pontiac Aztec. I have a Dodge pickup also. When we went to the carshow we had to take both because we couldn't everything and everybody in one. There was a chance of rain so I couldn't leave it in back of the truck.
I am going to buy a cutter, probably a Graphtec. I want to sell some more of what I have before I buy anything. Right now, We figure when we sell 160-180 shirts, We'll have everything we've bought already paid for. That includes, heat press, inventory, office supplies, bus. license, .....Everything. At that point we'll buy the cutter. I don't want to take on too much debt on at one time.

At the next show that we can get power at, we're going to take the press so we can make shirts there.
 

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You may want to keep an eye on the postings at craigslist.com - it's a free classified and sometimes you can find some really great deals. You may be able to find a used trailer that's in great condition for a smaller price.

I agree with David though - until you start making a profit, you should be using what you have. Come on now.. you're going to a DRAG race... professional? :) I don't think they care.

Getting people to your table? Now, if you gave a way a beer coupon with every purchase...hmmmm... they would be lining up! :D ;)
 

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66shirts said:
I agree with you. I'm not looking to buy a trailer right now. I was just price shopping. I figure that is a purchase next year. The problem I have is with the pop up, tables, shirts, chairs, racks, and whatever else I need, takes up too much room in my Pontiac Aztec. I have a Dodge pickup also. When we went to the carshow we had to take both because we couldn't everything and everybody in one. There was a chance of rain so I couldn't leave it in back of the truck.
I am going to buy a cutter, probably a Graphtec. I want to sell some more of what I have before I buy anything. Right now, We figure when we sell 160-180 shirts, We'll have everything we've bought already paid for. That includes, heat press, inventory, office supplies, bus. license, .....Everything. At that point we'll buy the cutter. I don't want to take on too much debt on at one time.

At the next show that we can get power at, we're going to take the press so we can make shirts there.
Look into getting one of those receiver racks that slip into your trailer hitch receiver. I lay both my popups and my fold up chairs on there and just bungie them down. Works pretty well and opens up space for the other gear. I can pack my whole set-up into my 00 Jeep cherokee but you have to be creative for sure. Packed is probably an understatement...its jammed. I am looking around now for a simple cargo trailer to put the gear in. I looked into vending trailers pretty hard there for while but realized for right now the tents were actually working well. Get creative with your table setups...you can form them into a u shape on oneside of a 10 x20 and gain more table space to show product. With a 10x30 space the middle 10 feet becomes a walkin for customers surrounded by tables. We used this setup at the drag races in Belle Rose La. Works very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
hostingdiva said:
You may want to keep an eye on the postings at craigslist.com - it's a free classified and sometimes you can find some really great deals. You may be able to find a used trailer that's in great condition for a smaller price.

I agree with David though - until you start making a profit, you should be using what you have. Come on now.. you're going to a DRAG race... professional? :) I don't think they care.

Getting people to your table? Now, if you gave a way a beer coupon with every purchase...hmmmm... they would be lining up! :D ;)
Just to let you know, I'm one of those DRAG racers. And yes it does matter. I don't know who are the racers that you know. The racers at our track range from the guy in the beater that searched his couch to find enough change for entry fee, to many people in $150,000 toter homes with $30,000 trailer and a $100,000 car. We have mechanics, trash truck drivers, aircraft engineers, doctors and lawyers to name a few.

I talked to a guy who sells shirts at big events (20,000 people). His business tripled when he went from a car trailer to a vendor trailer. He said he was going to sell 1300-1500 shirts that weekend. He was selling them for $15 for 1, $25 for 2. He also did decals.

We have 2 concession stands. One is the tracks. It is a plain metal building. The other is a stand like you would see at a carnival, bright colors, flashing lights. The carnival style out sells the tracks by a big margin. They even carry a lot of the same items.

My dad just put in a new soda machine at his business. It has A&W rootbeer in it. The supplier said the rootbeer was selling really bad. They redesigned the bottle, kept the soda inside the same and it's selling big time now.

So looks do matter.

A beer coupon would work, but when beer is $3-$5. It wouldn't leave much profit,lol.

Then again if I had a bad night I could use a few myself,:D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
MotoskinGraphix said:
Look into getting one of those receiver racks that slip into your trailer hitch receiver. I lay both my popups and my fold up chairs on there and just bungie them down. Works pretty well and opens up space for the other gear. I can pack my whole set-up into my 00 Jeep cherokee but you have to be creative for sure. Packed is probably an understatement...its jammed. I am looking around now for a simple cargo trailer to put the gear in. I looked into vending trailers pretty hard there for while but realized for right now the tents were actually working well. Get creative with your table setups...you can form them into a u shape on oneside of a 10 x20 and gain more table space to show product. With a 10x30 space the middle 10 feet becomes a walkin for customers surrounded by tables. We used this setup at the drag races in Belle Rose La. Works very well.
I've got the wife talked into taking out her bedliner(yes the truck is hers) and putting on a camper shell for shows. So that will help. I can take even more stuff now.
 
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