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3 hours ago, saltedfire said:

I will not do any events until there is a safe vaccine that the masses have taken.  My family has a history of vagal reactions to vaccines and I was useless for about 24 hours after my flu shot.  I'm not looking forward to the COVID shot.

With schools and collages opening back up the numbers are going back up fast.  There are a lot of stores with in 80 miles of me that are having staff test positive and are shutting back down.  We moved to mostly selling on line, 2 local stores, by appointment for some people, and we have done a few popup parking lot sales.

I had to file 2 credit card disputes to get back my booth fees.  I will only pay booth fess by credit card for this reason.  The more charge backs a company gets the harder it is for the company to negotiate terms with the credit card companies.

I'm one of the few stores that have not opened back up to the public yet and do not plan to any time soon.

What state are you located in?

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I went and visited the art market i talked about in my earlier post. I saw nothing in the way of covid changes by the organizer other than a sign at the entrance advising social distancing and mask. T

I've been hesitating on posting some of my ideas because the response taken to Covid here in Canada has been very different, and I'm not sure if some of the things that will be working for me will be

I've started thinking about how to handle my own holiday open studio. It is normally on the second weekend of December, which is pretty late in the season. If all the fall shows get cancelled, I could

saltedfire, if you put your city name in the avatar space for it, you will not have to answer that question again.  you might become a frequent poster.   i am at the top of the shenandoah valley and belong to the shenandoah potters guild.   you might look into becoming a member though with covid problems, the guild is trying to figure out its role today.

Edited by oldlady
clarity
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Any Florida potters wrestling with doing shows or not? I have one twice a month art market taking signups but so far i have resisted cause masks won't be required and no one has said if space between booths are going to increase or how vendors will be able to wash hands without the long walk to the restrooms. I can bring my hand sanitizer and lysol spray but i worry if that will be good enough.

Not knowing if snowbird season will play out concerns me cause booth fee would not be returned if the show bombs and they are wanting the whole season of shows paid to reserve your spot.

They say the show is 80% filled tho i have no idea if there are a reduced number of spots for distance sake.

I worry. Sales have not been huge there to begin with but sales are predictable and consistent in the past and definitely helps pay the bills.  But with covid i have no idea if the shoppers will come. Funds are low and i need to use care where i spend them .

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11 hours ago, PSC said:

ot knowing if snowbird season will play out concerns me

The  land crossings to and from the US are still closed to non-essential travel, and while the current ban extends to the 21st of September, there are a number of sources that expect it to be extended into the new year. The Canadian government is telling people to avoid any and all cruse ships, and has travel advisories against going to the US. The most recent newsletter from the Canadian Snowbird Association expressed outrage that a number of travel health insurance providers will not be providing Covid 19 coverage, and that the Ontario provincial government will not be reimbursing medical expenses incurred during travel to the US. So while it's possible for someone who was really determined to argue that their travel was essential (they have business interests they have to tend to, family concerns), it is being very discouraged by officials on this side of the border.

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My friend who did the colorado show labor day show sold more pots to less people than he ever has. He did ok considering they cancelled the 3rd day due to the impending snow storm that day after show. He had to take down his weighed canopy and pro panels on saturday due to 30 mile hour wind before the storm. He was simi packed up when they called off the last day on Saturday at 5pm. His galleries picked up wholesale orders and he left to lower elevations to fly fish again

He said the few that showed upo at show where there to BUY.

I,m on the fence on my outside xmas sale still-I can get county health certified as I talked to them but I;m waiting to see how the winter sets in here with cases and setbacks. I know my customers want it but its up to me.It will be stange year with zero shows. Glad I have so much wholesale

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4 hours ago, Mark C. said:

My friend who did the colorado show labor day show sold more pots to less people than he ever has. He did ok considering they cancelled the 3rd day due to the impending snow storm that day after show. He had to take down his weighed canopy and pro panels on saturday due to 30 mile hour wind before the storm. He was simi packed up when they called off the last day on Saturday at 5pm. His galleries picked up wholesale orders and he left to lower elevations to fly fish again

He said the few that showed upo at show where there to BUY.

I,m on the fence on my outside xmas sale still-I can get county health certified as I talked to them but I;m waiting to see how the winter sets in here with cases and setbacks. I know my customers want it but its up to me.It will be stange year with zero shows. Glad I have so much wholesale

Yeah, that was a nasty little storm.  We got that also.  We are only about 2.5 hours from Breck.  Did your friend say how the show was organized, as in, space between booths, masks in abundance, one way traffic, etc?  Just curious.  The last big show on this side of the Rockies canceled today.  It was in Steamboat Springs.  And we just heard that the National Western Stockshow which is in January in Denver is canceled.  Not only is that show important to the livestock industry but vendors from all over the US.    

 

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The show was controlled as to how many where let in and masks where required by all. Booths where at least 10 feet apart. They moved the show this year a few blocks he said so that is always bad for business and there was Never a crowd. He like me has been a full time potter for 40 tears plus of shows and made a point that the crowd size was very small as in they where in low numbers but the foilks that came wanted to BUY pots-he has NEVER sold so much to so few he said. The few that showed up where HUNGREY to BUY.

He said my little xmas prive outside sale would be a killer with just a few customers -I do know that seems to be true these days with the few that do want to shop are buying more-my wholesale sales show that .

Its a question of do I want to do it at that time-I'm waitin g untiol the end to see whats up with covid in out county in November before deciding-I'll make the work no matter what so its ready. I have compounding issue of a two month off rehab break in January for a bone removal in left hand.I have yet to schedule this and am getting a third opinion from a  just hand surgeon  next month. Seems i have worn out both hands.

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15 hours ago, Mark C. said:

Its a question of do I want to do it at that time-I'm waitin g untiol the end to see whats up with covid in out county in November before deciding-I'll make the work no matter what so its ready. I have compounding issue of a two month off rehab break in January for a bone removal in left hand.I have yet to schedule this and am getting a third opinion from a  just hand surgeon  next month. Seems i have worn out both hands.

Sorry to hear about your hands.  Hopefully with surgery and time off, you will be good to go in the future days.  

 

15 hours ago, Mark C. said:

The show was controlled as to how many where let in and masks where required by all. Booths where at least 10 feet apart. They moved the show this year a few blocks he said so that is always bad for business and there was Never a crowd. He like me has been a full time potter for 40 tears plus of shows and made a point that the crowd size was very small as in they where in low numbers but the foilks that came wanted to BUY pots-he has NEVER sold so much to so few he said. The few that showed up where HUNGREY to BUY.

He said my little xmas prive outside sale would be a killer with just a few customers -I do know that seems to be true these days with the few that do want to shop are buying more-my wholesale sales show that .

Your friend's comments about few people spending $$$ seems to be a common theme.  @Callie Beller Diesel has mentioned good sales  for her in Canada, @GEP  @DirtRoads have all mentioned good sales.  I sold several things on Sunday via text.  I will have my best 3rd quarter ever with small stockists and wholesale.    Interesting times.

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1 hour ago, DirtRoads said:

From working?

Its most likely factor-the 1st 3 bones  removed on my right wrist (PRC) removed about 8 years ago was from some unknown injury as a younger person. most likely a fall  that hurt the Scaophoid tendon .

This new new Left thumb deal is is just worn out from to much use.

As a potter since 21 years old(full time in 76)  I have used my hands more than most and arthritis and to much wear and tear. Fold are worried about the dust but for me its the hands.I have had tremendous gripo most of my life but my thumb is giving up to pain now and  I'm sick of this trend. 

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What do you think would be a better giveaway for this year's holiday sale? An pocket-sized bottle of hand sanitizer, or a metal touchless tool?

I have personally been carrying both things with me anytime I leave the house. I use the touchless tool much more, but I'm not sure if everyone would. 

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Would customers see the giveaway before getting to the sales area? If they would then the touchless tool might be sending a subliminal message not to handle the pots.

I'ld be happy with either,  can always use more hand sanitizer, I don't use a touchless tool but I do keep a box of nitrile gloves in my vehicle for pumping gas etc.

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18 hours ago, Min said:

Would customers see the giveaway before getting to the sales area?

Yes, I’m going to sell the pots online, and the advanced advertising for the sale will say “Free [item] with every purchase.”  (edit to add) So the customers won’t be touching the pots while shopping, no subliminal messages will be involved. 

I normally pack all the pots into reusable grocery bags, but some grocery stores do not allow them these days, so i’m trying to think of a different gift. 

Edited by GEP
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7 hours ago, GEP said:

What do you think would be a better giveaway for this year's holiday sale? An pocket-sized bottle of hand sanitizer, or a metal touchless tool?

I have personally been carrying both things with me anytime I leave the house. I use the touchless tool much more, but I'm not sure if everyone would. 

I had to google the touchless tool!!  Holy cow!  I didn't know such a thing existed!  Clever!!!  I think I might need one of those!!! 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I decided to go with a hand sanitizer giveaway. I use it and the touchless tool a lot, but it seems that hand sanitizer is the more widely used item. I found a 1 oz bottle with a carabiner clip, which can be refilled. Having it clipped to the outside of my purse would make it a lot easier, compared to digging it out of my purse or pocket. 

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My sale is still on even though we are in a worse color zone right now. The sale is outside 12 days before Christmas . I will cancel before the 10th of Dec if we get into purple . I just hope that happens or not before I build the  locking booth on the 10th.

I will hang plexiglass for sales person to be behind-mask as a must. No mask no service.I have been county approved to do the sale. my 41st year at that location.

It no big deal if I do not do this if the surge overwhelms our county.Pots are sedlling very well at all my other outlets. I really am glad I had a real spread of markets and venues when this thing hit the planet .

Edited by Mark C.
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Well, I finished my only in-person Christmas sale up last weekend, and I think it went not too badly.

The usual format is 4 days, everything being quite crowded, and typically 15K visitors through the rural, mostly outdoor venue. They're not kidding when they say it runs in all weather. Because the event is held at a horse racing track in a reasonably affluent area and has nothing else surrounding it, anyone attending typically is there with a purpose. 

This year, in order to control crowd levels they did a ticket pre-buy that resulted in 14K visitors through the same space over 8 days. They did charge us extra for doing two weeks instead of the usual one, but it's a non-profit organization that runs it, and they do need to pay staff and utilities for the extra time. The vendors were spaced out farther then they usually are, and I believe there were fewer vendors, but I don't have the numbers to hand. They instituted a directional flow and a 2 hour shopping limit. The latter was not well policed, but due to the weather not everyone who bought tickets showed up, so it balanced out. We were required by Alberta Heath Services to wear masks or provide an appropriate plexiglass shield, despite being in an area that didn't require them, which seems to have been well supported by the vendors. The shoppers seemed to have about 90% adherence to this, which was nice to see. Masks are generally easier to wear in cold weather, so it's not such a hard sell.

All of the shoppers said how much they enjoyed the openness of the venue, and how the lack of crowds really allowed them to slow down and talk to the vendors. 

For my experience, the extra visiting time seems to have paid off in my favour! I did double the money I did last year, but with the same number of shoppers overall. I also got a nice order for 68 whiskey sipper style cups to go in some "local love" themed corporate gift baskets that will add to that total, and I've had a number of people reach out this week to inquire if I had additional items that they'd seen at the show but didn't grab at the time. 

I'll probably take this week to replenish some mugs and some candle lanterns that were an unexpected hit, do one more online update somewhat after Cyber Monday and tell people after that their orders can't be guaranteed delivery before Christmas after that.

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I decided I cannot hold an outdoor sale with a spaced out display for this year’s holiday sale. The past several years, the sale has been a frenzy for the first few hours. I realized I don’t know how to manage the crowd and also run the checkout table. I don’t think timed ticketed entry would work either. Again, I will be busy with checkouts and cannot man the entry. Plus, the people with the early time slots might clean me out before the later time slots begin. That might be an overestimate, but I can see the possibility and therefore need to avoid it. 

So I’m going to sell the pots online. I will offer free home deliveries to local addresses, like I’ve been doing all year. But I will also designate an afternoon when people can pickup from my house. I will setup a pickup station outdoors. There will be no need for them to show up all at once, but I will draw chalk marks on my driveway in case a crowd shows up, they can form a socially-distanced line. The pots will already be bagged and paid for, so the pick ups will be very quick. Though still allow me to see and say hi to people I haven’t seen all year. 

The frenzy part will happen online, from the safety of everyone’s homes. So far, advance reservations are up above normal levels, which generally correlates to how the sale will go overall. 

The hardest part will be the seconds. I have a lot of them this year, but have decided to make the effort to sell them online too. Seconds will get extra photos and longer descriptions showing exactly why they are seconds. Whether this will work out is a bit of a crap shoot. 

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1 hour ago, GEP said:

I decided I cannot hold an outdoor sale with a spaced out display for this year’s holiday sale. The past several years, the sale has been a frenzy for the first few hours. I realized I don’t know how to manage the crowd and also run the checkout table. I don’t think timed ticketed entry would work either. Again, I will be busy with checkouts and cannot man the entry. Plus, the people with the early time slots might clean me out before the later time slots begin. That might be an overestimate, but I can see the possibility and therefore need to avoid it. 

So I’m going to sell the pots online. I will offer free home deliveries to local addresses, like I’ve been doing all year. But I will also designate an afternoon when people can pickup from my house. I will setup a pickup station outdoors. There will be no need for them to show up all at once, but I will draw chalk marks on my driveway in case a crowd shows up, they can form a socially-distanced line. The pots will already be bagged and paid for, so the pick ups will be very quick. Though still allow me to see and say hi to people I haven’t seen all year. 

The frenzy part will happen online, from the safety of everyone’s homes. So far, advance reservations are up above normal levels, which generally correlates to how the sale will go overall. 

The hardest part will be the seconds. I have a lot of them this year, but have decided to make the effort to sell them online too. Seconds will get extra photos and longer descriptions showing exactly why they are seconds. Whether this will work out is a bit of a crap shoot. 

I cannot express how much I appreciate the creative "out of the box" thinking you have done Mea, along with so many others.  It is not necessarily the sales venues we would choose but I am seeing a lot of lemonade being made these days.  Kudos to you!

Roberta

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I went and visited the art market i talked about in my earlier post. I saw nothing in the way of covid changes by the organizer other than a sign at the entrance advising social distancing and mask. The tents were right up against each other and back to back. Show goers with no masks and some vendors without any on either.  So glad i decided not to sign up. 

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