Vendor 101

Old Mansfield Village

Want to start or improve a career as a successful vendor?

 What could help make it happen?


Vendor Success Triangle

A successful vendor business is based on three basic controllable elements:  Location, Product and Presentation. The elements are interdependent and to ignore any one of them could lead to reduced sales and ultimate failure of your enterprise. Vendor businesses based upon sound business practices and concepts are becoming more common as sales at festival are more competitive and profit margins are reduced.


Location. Like any business location is important to your success. The organization and traffic flow at a festival you are considering is knowable information. People must walk by your business if you are going to make a sale to them. Long established festivals have established walking, parking and purchasing patterns and the more you know about them the more likely your success. And like any other location consideration, price of the location is usually directly related to traffic flow. The larger the crowd the higher the cost. Mansfield Restoration LLC, Mansfield Civic Center, Mansfield Guest Inn, Mansfield Terrace and Mansfield General Store are in the very heart of the Mansfield Covered Bridge Festival. Look at the map.


A note of caution. Do not wait until the last minute to secure a vendor location. The best and most productive sites are leased early. Most, but not all, are taken by returning veteran vendors. A tendency to believe that the one available only a few days before the beginning of a festival can be leased for a reduced price will most often result in a marginal site. It is best to ask to be placed on a cancellation list for consideration. 



Product.  Know your market and know your product. A saying among experienced and successful vendors is.. "do not fall in love with your product."  Nearly all products sold by vendors have a life cycle like any other business. Fads are difficult to predict. The Covered Bridge Festival is a huge event and vendors from all over the United States are there. First time vendors who expect instant success are cautioned that the professional vendors  are here and know how to both select and present a product.


Presentation.  The approach you take to present your products will serve to draw attention to your booth and serve to differentiate you from other vendors. Neatness and daily maintenance work to your advantage. Stacking boxes on a cheap uncovered plastic table brings few compliments. A common mistake is to place a table at the front of your booth along with a chair for your use. Potential buyers do not have a place to stand in a crowded walkway and most often walk by with only a glance. Arrange your booth so that customers can walk into your space and not  be challenged by others walking by. Poor presentation  can wipe out any advantages you may enjoy in Location and Product. Make sure that your signage reflects the quality of your products. Quickly drawn signs do little to convey confidence. Professional signs are inexpensive and pay dividends. You and your employees should always dress appropriately. And remember, presentation is a combination of signage, product display and your personal image.































Mansfield Restoration LLC


November 2018 WRO