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Some shows are "buying" shows where you will find lots of bargains to purchase for your personal collection or for resale. Other shows are "selling" shows where you do real well selling. There is no way of knowing how it will go.

* Be sure you know the "rules" for selling at "special events" and the additional cost for such. If you are selling your personal collection or it is a one time event, you may not be required to collect and pay sales taxes. Every city and state is different and it is your responsibility to know the rules where you are selling.

* Pay for your table(s) as soon as possible. Promoters may offer early table discounts. Some events will have a limited number of tables that will fit in the facility so waiting until the last minute may not be a good idea.

* Keep in mind, "word of mouth" is the best form of advertising. Promoters can only do so much. We are all in this together and we all want the show to be a success. It is amazing how a little effort goes a long way.

* Double check DollShowUSA.com to be sure the event is listed there. If not, contact the promoter to encourage them to submit an event listing. OR, you can even sponsor the listing yourself. Email reminders to everyone you know. Print out or ask for flyers. Keep some with you to leave, give out or post at work, banks, doctor offices, post office, stores, library, grocery, restaurant bulletin boards -- anywhere else during your daily travels. Don't forget to ask family and friends to come see you. If you belong to a club, remind them of the show and pass out flyers at the meetings. Mail out a few postcards to past customers so they know you will be at the show. Postcards are great to put on the refrigerator door.

* If you are a Facebook person, like/follow/share the corresponding doll show page, if available and/or the actual Facebook event. Check the DollShowUSA.com's Facebook page. If the event is listed there, you can easily share it.

* Do your homework. Get a price guide, research on ebay. Best to look at what completed items SOLD for and not what they are LISTED for. Some events do require that everything have a price so at least have some sort of price on your items. Other sellers will sometimes tell you if the price is too high and believe it or not, even too low. By doing a little research, you may realize that some items are more popular than others allowing you to be more discerning as to what you want to bring.

* Decide how you want to take payment. Most sellers take cash (bring change) or check which is perfectly fine. Some go a step further with online credit card through paypal.com or squareup.com or online bank payments like Venmo or Zelle. With online payments, there are fees involved. With credit card there are fees plus a risk of charge backs. Keep in mind that the facility may not have adequate WIFI. If you do decide to accept online payments, be sure you know how to work it. Do a few test runs. Every system is different and it is important to know how to process the transaction quickly and efficiently to avoid losing the sale.

* Bring receipt books, extra price tags/signs, pens/markers, change and table covers. Have some business cards made up with your phone number/email. Someone may decide to buy an item later during the show or even when they get home.

* You are probably not going to sell everything you bring to the show. (Rule of thumb is about 20%) We have found that a variety of different items and smaller less expensive items are always a plus. Presentation is everything. If people can't find items on your table, you could be missing out on a sale. Put 2 or 3 like items out, if someone shows an interest, you can always say that you have more under the table. Presentation is everything. Make it easy for people to see your items.

* Get to the show as early as possible to set up! You may have your best sales before the show even opens up to the public. Many regular doll show sellers obtain a lot of their inventory this way. Donate a nice item to the raffle or door prize if applicable. Be sure you have your name & table no. on the item. People like to come over and see what else you have and will thank you for the prize. Wear your name tag. If you are able, stand or sit in front of your table during the show. Be friendly. If someone is standing there looking like they want to say something or have a question and you are talking to someone else, always acknowledge the person and say that you will be right with them.

* Provide a receipt with your information for all sales. ALWAYS write the buyer’s name, address, and phone number on the receipt AND checks. There have been times where people take credit cards all day long only to find out everything was lost at the end of the day. Maybe it was a blurb in the internet service or something with the application. Regardless, those that were saved were saved by the receipts.

* Start an email list. This way, you can let your customers know where you will be selling next. If you sell online, you can let them know when you have added items. People may be more comfortable buying from you online once they have met you in person and should there not be any events in a while, you can remind them that you are there for them.

* Do plan on staying for the entire show. At the end, pack up quickly and throw away any trash, etc. Be sure to thank the promoter. They work hard to put on the events so please let them know you appreciate them.

Have FUN!



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Updated ~ 02-12-24