• Joan Wilkening

Can you sell what you don't like?

Updated: Jun 11, 2018

You've filled your booth space with all your favorite desks, chairs, dishes, and lamps but nothing is selling. You’ve rearranged, added plants, hung lights from the ceiling, and added a rug but still ... crickets. You’re scratching your head, thinking what am I doing wrong? I’ve always sold this stuff before!

Take a walk around the store. What is in the other booths? When you talk to other booth vendors what do they say is selling? Can the store owner tell you what’s popular? What’s hot? Sit in your car and “secret shop” the customers leaving the store - what are they carrying out?

If you love Mid-Century Modern but the clientele is buying Modern Farmhouse you’ve got a problem. Are you willing to forgo your personal style and love of Mid-Century Modern and switch to Modern Farmhouse? Many vendors are faced with this decision.

When I moved from California to Virginia, I spent almost a year selling in booths in several stores before I was ready to open my own store because I knew what sold in Sacramento may not sell in Norfolk. And, I was right. I had to learn what was popular, what folks were

looking for, and what price they were willing to pay. I also discovered this changed just forty miles up the road too!

Only you can decide if you should stop selling Mid-Century Modern and switch to a Farmhouse style. Ask yourself if you like it enough to switch, or maybe just add it to the mix? Can you have a variety of styles in one booth? I think you can if each are displayed in their own section, like a mini-store within a store. Get creative in accessorizing with color and “smalls” to create an environment. Customers are drawn to the color and style they are comfortable with; if you don’t have it, they will walk on by.

As much as the Modern Farmhouse trend as been sweeping the country, it just doesn’t sell in some areas. It may never sell! The big question you need to ask yourself is: am I running a business or is it a hobby? Remember, a business makes you money, a hobby costs you money. Can you like something new if it makes you money? You can still decorate at home with your personal style, just adjust your merchandise selection to what is selling. Who knows, you might start to like it!

For more tips, be sure to check out our Facebook group.

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