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so i participated in a sidewalk sale with an art non profit org i show with sometimes. and i worked saturday 9-4, sunday 10-4. sold $380 in revenue. about 25 shirts. i am really happy. the women snagged my ladies design, and i only have a few left.

i know its not much considering some of you guys are selling bulk orders to organizations, but im trying to build a clothing line of my own art designs. ill probably try to pick up orders from groups and stuff in the future to supplement the income, but for now im concentrating on getting the word out on my designs.

im finally in the black for the time being... and i have 47 printed shirts, and 22 blanks shirts waiting in stock. guess what my peeps are gettin for xmas? haha.

so... heres what i learned.

1. women buy more (of the genre of tees i do at least)... im moving my designs towards catering to women. (BTW... being a single guy... usually trapped in my apartment doing art... this was an awesome experience. there were many a lovely lady talking to me weekend! hehehe)

apparently

light brown with sky blue trim HYP129
forest green with dark green ringer AA m304

were the most popular. they loved the colors like crazy! :) im doing some market research on myspace, and im getting about the same answers.

2. if involved in tent sidewalk sale... walmart has a sub $100 easy tent that goes up in a jiffy. i had a $20 manual tent, the guy next to me had one of the $100 ones. his was easy up and sturdy with many places to hang stuff. im getting one! if i decdied to do the public sales alot.

3. get a notebook. take emails. guy next to me did, i did not. i have no names... he has many. ;)

4. people like to look through racks. i had one of those rack on wheel things. i placed the most popular ones on the end, and they would immediately be attracted... and they would sift through the designs.

the least favored design... i had a bunch of ... so i might actually just take a few down and hide em... less there are.... the more they want maybe?

5. although i had no problem, cash wise for the weekend for the till, i had 10 $10, 50 $1, 10 $5. i guess it depends what you sell your stuff for... i sold tees for $15/piece. cash box. i need a cash box. i just used a bank envelope.

6. talk to the other vendors. they might trade. two of them bought a couple shirts! hell yeah... got some good trades too. art for tees.

7. i tried to talk to most customers. i told them jokes. i told them my shirts will give them a random super power.... i also talked with a lisp a couple times to a few ladies and told them.... ooh... that would look fabulous on you. HAHAH.

8. business cards. i had many. now i have very few. they have my website on it... so they can always keep an eye out.

9. before i had the tees printed i didnt check my shirts packing list in cause i thought ship and recieving guy had done so for me... so i was shorted 3 shirts... lost. never got back.

10. myspace hasnt been proving to be a great market ... YET. YET. i have accumulated over 2300 friends... and ive probably gotten 3-6 shirts from it. i probably need to focus more on who i add... need to be more specific. i havent been as active with the bulletins either though.

11. there seems to be a bigger demand for larger sizes L, XL, 2XL. i had been ordering ratio of 1-2-2-1-1, now it seems i ought to be doing 1-1-2-2-1. (S-M-L-XL-2XL) dunno. trying to figure it out. im probably gonna go the plasticol transfer path too...

thats all for now i guess....
 

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sold $380 in revenue
nice going. remember, a dollar is a dollar on the bottom line. even though $300 in sales doesn't seem like much it is $300 more than what you had the day before.

women buy more
earth to jimiyo...DUH!
 

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jimiyo said:
5. although i had no problem, cash wise for the weekend for the till, i had 10 $10, 50 $1, 10 $5. i guess it depends what you sell your stuff for... i sold tees for $15/piece. cash box. i need a cash box. i just used a bank envelope.
In my experience, fanny packs are better than cash boxes. It's better to keep your cash on you at all times.

Glad you had a good experience with it, and thanks for sharing.. :)
 

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Thanks for taking the time to post your results, jimiyo! You have some pretty cool designs :)

there seems to be a bigger demand for larger sizes L, XL, 2XL
I wish more t-shirt sellers would learn this sooner rather than later :) There's a reason why threadless/oddica/etc carry sizes up to XXL :)

According to a recent survey I ran, L-XXL make up over half of the t-shirt buying market. That's a lot of customers to leave behind.

Heck, just XXL and up make up over 10% of the t-shirt buying market. That's worth rethinking carrying those sizes (at the very least, XXL...just for me :))
 

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Jasonda said:
In my experience, fanny packs are better than cash boxes. It's better to keep your cash on you at all times.

Glad you had a good experience with it, and thanks for sharing.. :)
Yes...fanny packs are great for event sales. Every now and then take the cash made and put it away someplace safe. Should always just try and keep your bank within eyeshot of the public. Actually we use a two pocket fanny pack but still have to remove cash to our hard box in the vehicle.
 

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Jimiyo,

thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience.
I am going to be doing a fair in 2 weeks and will use a lot of your learned suggestions including taking a book to get peoples e-mails.
 

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Jimiyo,

I hear what you are saying. My crew and I did 2 street fairs this year with different results.

First, we invested in one of those tents that ended up costing us $70 from ***** Sports. Set up fast and easy. We hung up our banner that we purchased earlier that month which had our name, logo, website and slogan. We ended up paying about $120 for a 6' x 2' full color, waterproof banner that fit perfectly in the back of the tent. We hung all our shirts along the side of the tent for a visual effect with the folded shirts, mailing list and business cards on the main table. Check out the pix here.

So at both of the street fairs we had the same setup, but as I said earlier, we had different results. Here is what I think were the main drivers to having completely different results of sales.

The first street fair event was a huge success for us. It was a 2 day event in a street fair that was held in center of the town. It seemed that this street fair has been advertised a lot and from word of mouth we heard it drew a lot of people. The 2 days we were there, the weather was absolutely great! Sunny and warm, essential t-shirt weather. There was a good amount of younger people (who we cater to) at this event. We ended up giving out all our business cards, getting alot of email address and sold about 90 shirts total. Due to us giving out cards, we had about 15 online orders generated from the cards over the next week after the fair. Needless to say, huge success for us.

The next fair didn't match up. It was cold most of the day, people were not thinking of buying shirts, it was a smaller street fair, set up down a residential street and did not have many of our targeted buyers walking around (younger people). Eventually, at the end of the day, the weather turned better, got sunnier and warmer. At the turn of the weather, people started buying our shirts. Weather plays a big part! Ended up selling about 23 shirts, which ended up being a somewhat profitable day.

I recommend doing some research before you commit to the street fair if you have to pay to be a vendor (like in our 2 cases). Also, hold out as long as you can until you pay the promo company setting up the fair - this will give you maximum time to check the weather of the day you are selling. Make sure its a well advertised street fair so that you maximize your customers being there.

Good luck to all!
 

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DirtyJerseys,

Congrats, your first show seems extremely successful, im going to assume that you guys were out there for 8 hours each day.. That translates to selling a shirt roughly every 12 minutes, thats a busy a day! Keep it up!
 

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What type of items do people usually sell at street fairs? We deal with only vintage clothing so we don't actually make our own shirts. Was curious if you saw any vendors like that out and about? Any good places to find out about upcoming fairs / events. I am in the Chicago land area so there has to be a lot! Thanks!
 

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Everything. The ones I have been at you see everything from $1 box lots of random junk, to handmade jewelry, to $5 massages, to tie-dyes, to homemade spices and herb mixes, etc... These street fairs are usually accompanied by kiddie rides as well as the fair food vendors! Your best bet is to research for local promotional companies that set up these fairs. They usually will mail out their calander of events.
~Good Luck
 

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DirtyJerseys said:
I recommend doing some research before you commit to the street fair if you have to pay to be a vendor (like in our 2 cases). Also, hold out as long as you can until you pay the promo company setting up the fair - this will give you maximum time to check the weather of the day you are selling. Make sure its a well advertised street fair so that you maximize your customers being there.
This doesn't work in a lot of cases. Many vendors require plenty of advanced notice/advanced payment, and often only offer a partial refund if you drop out close to the even date. Some also offer additional discounts if you sign up extra early. Always be sure to check out the specific requirements for each event.
 

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Twinge said:
This doesn't work in a lot of cases. Many vendors require plenty of advanced notice/advanced payment, and often only offer a partial refund if you drop out close to the even date. Some also offer additional discounts if you sign up extra early. Always be sure to check out the specific requirements for each event.
I agree and there is usually a contract involved with larger promoters. Early sign up also may dictate a better spot within a vendor midway...close to a major draw, sponser or food!!! There may also be a second contract with the electrical provider and they usually offer a discount until about a week or two before the event. You dont want to get to your booth space and find out that you have no power.

We do about 24 events a year and plan them just like a tour. Know your market for each event you attend...it will make all the difference in the world. Building relationships with promoters is super beneficial. If you say you are going to an event and they set aside space for you....plan on being there.
 

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Anybody have any advice on where/how to find out about street fairs/sidewalk sales, etc. in your own state? I live in MA and would love to test out my idea there. thougths? Thanks!
 

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I like your songbird tees, do you have tank tops?

Yea, us women are freaks, shoppers, I tell ya...We buy more than 1. Especially if it has a unique design to it, I tend to buy one in every color...LOL! :D
 

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dkdc said:
Anybody have any advice on where/how to find out about street fairs/sidewalk sales, etc. in your own state? I live in MA and would love to test out my idea there. thougths? Thanks!
Why not check your state Government Customer Bureau if there is one, that's how we found a Calendar of Street Fairs etc for NYC for the entire 2006
 

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>i have accumulated over 2300 friends

Did you get them all manually or did you use a friend adder software?

>i probably need to focus more on who i add... need to be more specific.

I read a book that said it doesn't matter how many random people come to your web site. It just matters how many people in your target market comes to your site.
 
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