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Topic: The pitchman got pitched!
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 27, 2008 07:17AM)
I recently saw a notice in a weekly community newspaper for a "Summer Bazaar" at a local church, in a community I had not worked yet.

It sounded interesting, so I called and asked all the right questions: What sort of vendors are you having (flea market and crafters) and how many, do you expect any kids (yes, we get a lot of families), are you serving food (yes, BBQ chicken). The price was OK, it was indoor/outdoor and "rain or shine," so I took an indoor spot.

I get there to find that the "Bazaar" was basically a rummage sale in the church basement, with just two people taking money for all the junk that the parishioners had donated. I was the ONLY vendor in the place, there was next to no traffic, very few kids (my prime customers), and mostly seniors looking for stuff under 50 cents.

Amazingly, I still sold about $75 worth of stuff, but I had hoped to do a few yards, which is more like the usual result. I stayed for about three hours, then packed it up. The lady in charge said she was sorry I was leaving so early, and invited me back for their "Xmas Bazaar." I thanked her for the thought, but I think I'll take a pass on that one!

I'm sure these folks figure they're doing God's work, and were glad to take in whatever they did, since they had no expenses (everything was donated). Unfortunately, I'm not in the same boat! Well, live and learn. SETH
Message: Posted by: honus (Jun 27, 2008 11:12AM)
What did you think it would be? When I hear "church bazaar", a rummage sale in the basement is exactly what I think of.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 27, 2008 12:09PM)
Well, to me a "bazaar" is like a small fair, with lots of booths, some food and maybe even some entertainment. When I was a kid, we lived next to a church, and when they had a "summer bazaar," it filled up their entire 1/2 acre parking lot. A bazaar implies a variety of vendors and merchandise; a rummage sale implies a lot of smelly cheap used junk.

But what annoys me here, perhaps I didn't make it clear, is that I specifically asked for clarification about the event, got all the right answers, but the wrong result. These questions are SOP for me, for any show I do -- I need to know that I will fit in with whatever they are doing, and that it will probably be worth my time.

So by telling me that there are other vendors/crafters instead of simply saying that it was a rummage sale, I felt they were not being straightforward. Of course, this works once -- but only once. And believe me, the word gets around real fast among vendors about which shows are worth it and which ones are not, which shows advertise and which ones don't, and so forth. SETH
Message: Posted by: sjballa147 (Jun 28, 2008 04:10PM)
At least you learned something from the experience, stay away from Church Bazaars.

Message: Posted by: sethb (Jun 30, 2008 08:17AM)
Sounds like a good idea. SETH
Message: Posted by: EZrhythm (Sep 4, 2008 02:33PM)
I have seen some church bazaars of the type you were hoping for with many booths, live music, etc. I even know of a church that sets up a whole carnival with professional rides every year.
I suggest asking about the size of the congregation, how many booths/sellers have a space saved, what other activities/entertainment will be happening, etc.
Message: Posted by: DonDriver (Sep 4, 2008 02:38PM)
Praise Jesus !