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Peddling my wares!

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  • Peddling my wares!

    There's a local St George's Day event coming up which attracts quite a lot of people locally and I wanted to sell at. However, they only sell pitch space and I don't own a stall so was a bit stumped. I had a brainwave though and, after talking to the organisers, am now going to be a 'pedlar' at the event! I'm going to be in costume (to fit into what else is going on) and I'm going to fashion a tray to go round my neck to put my smaller bits and pieces in. Never tried this before, but the organisers think it's a super idea and for a fee of £5, I'm going to be able to go to where the crowds are (rather than waiting for them to come to my stall) and I'm confident I'll recover costs at least!

    I appreciate it doesn't work for a lot of the crafts that people on here produce, but I wondered if anyone else has tried something similar and what their experiences were?

    If beads were still currency, I'd be a millionaire!

  • #2
    What a great idea! Not done anything like that myself, but best of luck with it & show us photos please
    "Human beings, who are almost remarkable in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so" - Douglas Adams

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    • #3
      Certainly not for the feint hearted, but even really shy folk can come out of their shell if they are playing a role.. I think it is not only a fantastic idea being mobile, but the costume will help you fit in as "part of the event" rather than just a salesperson too.. and for a fiver?? Bargain!!! well done for thinking of something so clever.


      • #4
        Have a tall hat so they can spot you and a bell if you can find one, saw a guy doing this in Freeo Australia selling watches, he had his mate restocking his tray he was so busy


        • #5
          Excellent idea and, as you said, you can be where the customers are, rather than waiting for them to come to you.

          If I had a costermonger's barrow, I'd probably try it myself but, until then, I'll have to take my chances on a static stall.


          • #6
            I've done that! I took part in the October Plenty festival in London a few years ago, as a wandering pedlar. I saw it because a friend of mine was performing with the Lion's Part, the acting troupe putting on the plays, and they invited me to come in medievalish dress, & take a basket along with the apple-seller girls. We paraded from the Globe to Brough Market, where I spent the day wandering around and calling out my sales-cry, and sold quite a lot! Howver, I nearly broke my own back, and my feet were killing me.

            This is the worst photo in the world, of me doing just that. The chap I gave my camera to said "I don't know how to work one of these" and now I believe him! He managed to catch me with such a funny expression - I'm saner than that, really!

            So, I have some hints, tips and advice for you...
            • Get a big square flat-bottomed basket with the back higher than the front. (Or cut up, reinforce and cover a cardboard box) Attach the ends of the neck-strap to the sides of the basket, towards the front. Making a loop and running it all the way under is a good plan, for strength. Wear a solid leather belt, do it up well, and attach the back of the basket to it on both sides and the middle. If you don't do this, or something like it, you will very quickly feel like your back will break in half. I used someone else's basket, where the straps were near the back, and it had no belt attachment... I was in pain for days!
            • I suspect that instead of looping the strap round your neck, if you took the straps over your shoulders, crossed them, and attached them to that sturdy belt, it would work even better, but I had no way of trying this.
            • A belt-hanging bag (I used a lether "bumbag" type of bag and cut ut up to attach it to my own belt and look less naff) is a good idea for your change and takings, plus for your mobile and a pen & paper to take commissions. (I'd put some aspirin or whatever in there too!)
            • Line the basket with a couple of layers of non-slippy cloth, like cotton, or everything slides about.
            • You can hang things from the basket and the straps (I used green garden wire, and wired them on), as well as putting them inside the basket.
            • Take a plastic sheet as cover in case it rains - I used one of thse superthin dry-cleaning bags.
            • If you have stuff that stands up, wire a mug (or c overed cardboard tube or two) at the back to stand them in.
            • Calling out a seller's cry as you wander is a good idea - you feel daft the first few times, but it's very traditional (think that scene in Oliver), it works, and it's actually quite fun. I called "Burnings for sale... wood-buuuurnings for sale!", on a sort of sliding up & down tune, and that worked OK. If you pitch your voice higher than you usually do, it carries better and is easier to do.
            • You can also hang a sign at the front of the basket pretty easily.
            • I did something even dafter, which was to attach one of these stall-hangings to myself - I threaded my belt through the top of one of the narrow ones, and arranged it to hang down over my long skirt at the back!

            Lastly, wear GOOD and comfy shoes - you'll need them!

            I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time - I certainly did.

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            • #7
              Great idea!

              Do check the balance of your tray and make sure there's a broader padded part of the strap at the back of your neck.

              Perhaps even a waistband as well for added stability - particularly to help when you're sorting all the cash you're going to be handling!
              ElaineJ soap and other stuff


              • #8
                They had a wandering seller at the Victorian evening in a local town before xmas, I can't remember what she was selling - I think it was homemade sweets and fudge and she did very well.



                • #9
                  Hope you get on really well, i think its a great idea.

                  Let us know how you get on.


                  • #10
                    What a great idea! Can't wait to hear how you get on!

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                    • #11
                      What a teriffic idea, must be worth it for a fiver and being able to get amungst the crowds


                      • #12
                        Sucha a fantastic idea - good on you for thinking out of the box!
                        Lorna x

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for all your comments and support - and your very useful list of tips, Scorch! I've already got a 'wench' costume which I think will be appropriate and comfy boots - I used to work as ground crew on the jousts at Warwick Castle and I knew it would come in handy again one day. I've got a proper re-enacters corset which is great for back support - tho took some getting used to when I first started to wear them - and was pleased to find it still fits when I tried it on today!

                          I've got a stash of red polymer rose beads which I've made into earrings and mobile phone dangles and some red and white hair bands which I'm going to wind with ribbons to sell on the day - plus decorate my tray with ribbons. We're going to take the kids as well so I'll just keep re-stocking from the car when I need to so don't need to take everything out with me all at once. I'm getting quite excited about it now!

                          If beads were still currency, I'd be a millionaire!



                          • #14
                            What a fantastic idea hope it all goes well



                            • #15
                              What a clever idea, see now I would have just gone out and bought a sturdy paste table to have a pitch.

                              Good luck.
                              Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars