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Gibraltar Motorcycle Swap Meet part 2

With all that down time, some interesting things happened. We had more time to talk to the other vendors and boy were they a wealth of information. From suggestions on product line and expansion, to other events and just general encouragement, they were great.

Now don’t get me wrong, there may not have been a lot of customer traffic, but the ones that did stop by and a few that made a purchase were great. A few of them commented on if we were conducting a family business and praised us for doing so and bringing our children along.

We had several people that needed bracelets that were custom in terms of colors or size. When they came back for their items, we asked a few to take pictures so that we could document the event. All of them said they didn’t have any problem doing that.

Here are just a few of our great customers

              

Gibraltar Trade Center Motorcycle Swap Meet

Last weekend the family and I attended the Motorcycle Swap Meet at Gibraltar Trade Center in Mt. Clemons. It was an interesting event and was made quite a bit easier since Amy and I had just done a biker swap meet a week before. I was really curious how this one would turn out on Black Friday weekend. For this event the entire family went along, all five (5) of us.


When we went to the swap meet on the 18th of November, one think became glaringly clear. We needed another way of taking our items, which aren’t all that heavy or big, back and forth to our vehicle. Although it was probably only a football field from our vendor spot to our vehicle, I found it quite inconvenient carrying the six foot fold in half table that far. It was difficult, holding that, a couple folding chairs, a backpack and dragging a chest that although it did have a small set of wheels, was quite inadequate. If I didn’t hold that bin at just the correct angle, it wouldn’t utilize the wheels, it would just drag on the side of the case. I was on a mission.

When we got home from the Novi, MI event, I went searching on the net for a good folding cart that we could utilize. I found a pretty decent looking one on Amazon.com and placed the order. I also ordered a few swing arm lights and a power strip for this Gibraltar event since we would have access to electricity for the first time during an event.

Now back to the Gibraltar Swap Meet. In a nutshell, it was slow. Oh yeah, did I say slooooowww. I understand that not all events are going to be jam packed with people but even without a lot of things to compare this to, to me it felt sparse to say the least. We did make some sales and even a profit, but it was hard to stay busy and not get bored at times.

Next time, I’ll continue with what happened, Constant Reader.

 

Put a request out to the universe and Watch Out

I say that because it happened again. Just a few days before the show I told my wife I really wanted to figure out how to get some of our paracord items into a few stores and begin building upon that. I had never done it and didn’t personally know of anyone that had that I could pull their chain and ask a question.

As I said in the previous post, after a couple hiccups in getting to our last event, we finally make it there. I check in with the guy and get our tag for our spot. Amy and I go there and wouldn’t you know there is a vendor with a pretty large motorcycle setup with his things at our area. I check with the guy and show him that we are supposed to be at F-35. A real nice guy, he suggest that I take spots 37 and 38 two spots down since no one was there. I told him that wouldn’t be a problem as long as someone official gives the OK. So we walk back to find someone “official”. They had no problem with it and we took spots 37 and 38.

Now back to putting something out in the universe. As we are setting up there is a lady in spot 36 with her stuff all set up like we should have been. Well I digress…Initially she doesn’t say much more than hello. After we get setup and the initial crowd dies down she comes over to look at our table. While she is looking, she asks real nonchalant if we had ever considered selling some of our items wholesale. BING!! Like I said that is what we were just talking about. I told her I had never done that before. She was really understanding and suggested that we consider a price that she could buy several wholesale that she could put in her store. Well we did just that and told her a price for her to consider. She said that she would think about it and get with us at the end of the show so if she decided to buy any, she wouldn’t be taking away from our stock for the show.

True to her word, she came by in the last hour with cash in hand and we did the deal for 10 bracelets with a commitment for more in the future if it works well on her end. She even said that people had been coming in her shop and suggesting paracord bracelets. She said she was in the process of looking for a distributor of the bracelets when she met us. As I said in the title, Watch Out. I seems to me like our paths were meant to cross. Like energy attracting like energy.

 

Speaking of energy, its time to go rejuvenate mine. See you next time, Constant Reader.

 

I was so nervous for some reason

Not really sure why, specifically. Maybe it was because we haven’t done a show or event for over a month. Maybe it was because, it was a biker centered event which I’m still charting my way through this genre. It could have been all sorts of reasons, but I was a bit anxious about doing the Giant Motorcycle Swap meet in Novi, MI this past weekend.

It started out simple enough, my wife, Amy was going with me. I figured the traffic would be light on Sunday. WRONG!! Lots of construction making 3 lanes, 1 lane. This put us behind by several minutes. We did make it but found ourselves finishing the set-up when the show first started. Note to Self: Get there early and expect traffic problems enroute. I would rather get there early and walk around checking out the other vendors than get there like we did. I can’t complain too much. In the end it all worked out. I’m just anal about being on time and I’m allergic to late.

Next time I will be on time and will also continue with this discussion, Constant Reader.

It wasn’t a joke after all

Really it wasn’t. The translator, says, he wants to get several so he can send them to his family. So I start helping him pick out various bracelets. All three of them liked my King Mummy Double Skull key chain. I had two that I displayed more prominently on the table today since they weren’t getting any attention the previous two days. They asked if I had some more. Darn…I wish I did. The translator guy bought one of these key chains and the other guy that was talking to my daughter bought the other. Right then I regretted I didn’t have another 10 or 20 of them. Lesson learned. At a biker type of event, have more of these types of items ready.

Well I help the guy that I’m talking to pick out a total of 6 bracelets. My daughter helps the third guy pick out 5 items. WOW. This caught us off guard. We had to make one bracelet for guy #3. Another lesson learned. Don’t be surprised by what people may say. In hindsight, if we hadn’t been caught so flat footed, we might have been able to sell many more. Another lesson that I learned…get over being shocked pretty quickly. After everything was over and they came back and got the bracelet we had to make for guy #3, we may have been able to sell more if we simply asked the question. They were obviously primed to make some purchases and we could have brought in some more sales.

Many lessons were learned with this particular event. Goes down in the book of notes to discuss in the after action report with the family.

Constant Reader. I’ll see you next time with more. Take care.

He wants one of everything. Whaaaat?

Sounds like the perfect thing to hear when your selling something. I thought it was a joke and I was waiting for he punchline.

Let me back up and tell you what happened. We had a nice lady come by and inquire about a patriotic colored bracelet with a white ribbon. She wanted her friend to see it and said she may buy two if her friend likes it. She said she would leave her husband at our stand. As collateral I guess, while she took the bracelet to her friend.I thought this was funny, but he went along with it so who am I to talk.

A few minutes later, she returned with not only her friend but also a couple other people. She wanted one for her friend and herself and the two guys wanted one as well. With this order we needed to make 3 identical bracelets.to go along with the one we had already. Around the middle of taking this order, I spot three guys, peeking around the other folks, looking at our table. Not really surprising, as it happened several times throughout the event. Then the people would either buy something or keep going. Well these guys waited until the previous four left. They approached the table and I could tell immediately only one of them spoke fairly good english. The other two spoke very broken english and they were all fluent in Arabic as far as I could tell. As they were looking around, Alyssia and I got to starting the other bracelets we needed to make. Well I’m looking down at the bracelet that I’m making and I glanced up and saw the guy closest to me making a circular motion, sort of over the whole table. The guy, or translator, in this case says out loud, “He wants one of everything.” I almost started laughing, because I think its a joke. Then I look at their faces and could tell right away, they weren’t joking. So now I’m not joking either, right. I stand up and ask, for the translator to tell me what he has in mind.

Tune in next time, Constant Reader, to see what happened from here.

The downtown was waking up.

After we got everything set up on day three, it was pretty slow for some time. The motor officers, were busy on their bikes, getting in their last practice preparing for their skills competition that would be later in the morning. Many of the other vendors, were slowly putting their stalls together. One thing I saw that I guess I could have done if I wanted was to leave the setup as it was and covered up everything with a tarp and lowered the canopy. I didn’t think to do that, but I will keep it in mind for the future. It wasn’t too difficult to set up since we had done it the previous two days.

While we were waiting in the morning, the Mayor of Flint, Dayne Walling walked by our booth. I think he recognizes me from our union negotiations with the city, but I’m never sure. Either way, he stopped by and chatted for a few moments and we chatted about the event. We even joked that between the two of our families, their isn’t one tattoo, motorcycle, leather vest or anything. We both came to conclusion that we are pretty square compared to most of the people and bikers that were at the Bikes on the Bricks.

The first customers we had were a couple ladies from a local Biker church. Personally I had never heard of such a thing, but I was intrigued by the thought of people being in church with sunglasses and chaps. We chatted with these ladies the previous day and they both said they wanted a particular bracelet but didn’t have any money on them. Well I had heard that before so I didn’t get overly excited. Well, they came back on day three and said they were ready to buy a couple Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelets. Of course we took care of them and they even invited us to be one of the vendors at a Breast Cancer Awareness Ride that is to be based out of their church in early October. I told them I would put some thought to it.

Tune in for a new chapter next time, Constant Reader. See you then.