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Tag: craft shows

Square Gift Cards Hype and Why I Am So Excited

ImageBig deal on technology blogs and business news: Square has gotten into the gift card business. Some crafters are super excited and according to reporters, it could be a big deal for small businesses by boosting their sales by a lot. Some folks though are lukewarm about it, for two main reasons. First, the whole thing is a bit counterintuitive: the sender has to download wallet (Square’s mobile application for making payments without sliding your card) and then find the business (which has to have a square account and shop enabled), to be able to use the gift card option. Second and most important, the sender has to have wallet, the new Square application; and Square is not very popular yet, as a matter of fact. Yet, something tells me that this may be potentially a big deal for me. I’ve been wanting to offer gift cards through my shop for such a long time, but all the option I’ve explored so far are way out of my reach (aka, too expensive!)

Here’s how I see it:

1) The wallet option per se does not provide gift cards. Gift cards are part of every shop on the wallet shops directory. However, you can enable your shop visibility on the directory. This is done through your account @ squareup.com, by changing your business profile options. If your shop has a physical location, it come up very easily, also because of the relatively low competition at the moment.

That said, I have a “mobile” business and my shop does not come up easily in the business search on wallet if I type generic words such as “jewelry” and there’s not much room for customization on the Square profile. Besides, the person HAS to have Wallet, to be able to buy gift cards, and I don’t see a large number of people having it anytime soon. The next option is my real source of excitement.

2) The person ordering the gift card needs to have wallet. True, but who said that it cannot be YOU at a craft show, ordering the gift card from your phone and sending it to the receiver’s email on the buyer’s behalf?

I think this is the real deal.

Any thoughts?

If you are an Etsy seller and want to participate in the discussion, I have an open thread here.

Stefania – Twice

Creator and Owner

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Five things I’ve learned about shows from being 6 months on the road

Here I am preparing for my next show, the second to last one for this year. It is expected to be a very busy one, and I a thrilled to not having to drive for more than 5 minutes to get there… The season started intensely in August and only a hurricane (Sandy actually, I am not joking) stopped me for 2 weeks.

The best show of the season was a Green Fest in Connecticut. I don’t think Connecticut had too much to do with the success, but the instead a combination of the right crowd for my product and a well advertised event.

 

The worse show of the season was in Philadelphia. Again, I am sure Philly was not the problem because I’ve had some great shows in the area, neither were the organizers who did a great job in the past. My suspicion is that the theme was a bit off. Here’s how it went: people came over after buying a $20 ticket to wait until a cow pooped on the grass. Yes, you are not misreading, people spent something like 2 hours staring at a cow’s ass waiting for her to shit ont he grass. The grass fence was divided in squares, squares were numbered and the lucky winner would be the one whose square the cow shit on. That crowd was not clearly interested in handmade jewelry, or any handmade nothing, for that matters. The only stand that had some traffic was the funnel cake truck. Good for them and for the pro-diabetes community. Bad for me.

Now it’s time to sum it up. Here’s a few things (which will translate in rules for next year) I am taking home from 6 months on the road:

1) Never go to shows involving animal activities.

2) Never go to shows involving poop, of any sort. Also vegetables, fruit and other edible things are banned.

3) Foodies food trucks are good; junk food food trucks are bad. 

4) Never go to shows that cost less than $70/day. That typically means that the shows was not advertised AT ALL. 

5) Last but not least: Never go to shows involving children activities. Their behavior typically ranges from disruptive to destructive and parents can’t focus on shopping if kids are insistently asking for candy.

Now, these rules wont apply for everybody. If you are selling hot dogs or funnel cake, you should probably ignore all the rules stated above.

 

And you? What was your experience with shows this past season?

 

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