Selling at expos

Who here sells at expos? Is it worth vending at expos or do most sales just come from online and that’s easier than doing both. When you go to expos what kind of things do you take with you to sell and showcase. Do you take mostly whatever species you specialize in or a little bit of every species if you breed multiple species, to display do you just use small deli cups or do you have acrylic cases or shelves. Do you sell anything else at the expos, for example I was planning on starting isopod and springtail colonies so I might for example take some isopods or springtails with me to sell, I was also going to make leaf litter (with proper sterilization of course) for my bioactives that I could sell, so do those things have a market at expos. Does anybody sell products, plants or any other things other than just reptiles?

The more diverse your display, the more likely I will stop to peruse. I’m not much of a BP guy, so if that’s all you got, I might pass by.

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That was one of the many reasons I’ve added to the number of species I work with, the more likely somebody stops for one thing the more likely they’ll buy something else. So it’s always good to have a variety of things and display them so people walking by notice them. So that’s a good point about trying to have a large diversity of products

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So a few things consider with selling at expos

*who is putting on the show Repticon/local promoter/ NARBC

  • Who else is selling at the show

  • established show or new show in the area.
    The more professional looking your booth the better, most people make snap judgments on how good your animal care is based on how your display looks. Have clean table cloths, good bright unobstructive lighting. Deli cups are fine but try not to do a whole table with them, most people associate that with cheap import dealers/ flippers.
    Isopods sell great if you are one of the few that sell them, but make sure you bring a variety. Plants are also good sellers but try and stay in the lower end of around $5 if you can, and bring hardy plants as people just love to fondle them.
    If you have a variety of species to offer, bring them. Alot of the people do the quick scan to see if anything catches their eye, if you have more than one thing they actually have to slow down and LOOK.

Hope that kind of helped

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Also what methods of payment works best and how do you accept credit card. Do you have terms of sale like online and how do you show them. Do you have them laying out or do you have the customer read them before purchasing.

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Just a reminder to keep this thread free of advertising.
Discussion of the expo, how it works, tips and tricks are encouraged.
However, please don’t mention any animals you will have for sale at the expo :blush:.

I’ve vended at local shows a few times, but haven’t been able to sell any animals yet.

I think it’s due to my rather plain setup (I haven’t invested into a proper expo setup yet since it hasn’t been a priority) and the fact that I haven’t had many animals to offer + I’m not a reputable breeder in the area yet.

I also bring merch like stickers and have had decent success selling those. It’s great because I can design my own stuff and all I have to pay for is the products themselves :grin:
I’m hoping to expand on my merchandise so I can also offer things like pens, tshirts, cups, etc. and even some freebie stuff as well.

Great way to get your name out there besides selling animals imo.

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I sell 90% of what I produce in my local area. I have quite a few of the same people that buy snakes from me every year. I also have a good working relationship with several store fronts. And I sell a few here and there online. I sell everything I produce without vending shows. But I produce roughly 60 to 100 snakes a year. I imagine for larger breeders shows and expos are a necessity. It never hurts to broaden your customer base.

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I like the expos put on by HERPS they seem to do a better job of policing their shows then the local repticon. I purchased red runners, 2 snakes, and a snake rack while there last weekend. I am attracted to sellers who have a professional looking setup. I always check my favorite local sellers booth first, he is on morphmarket. I then walk around and look. I stopped to look at the snake racks and ended up with the rack and a little boa. The seller was knowledgeable about his snakes, answered my questions and made a sale. (I remembered looking at his snakes on morphmarket which helped with trust) I stopped at another booth to ask about a mystic. The people watching the booth asked me to come back later, the breeder was at lunch. I saw another mystic at a nearby booth. They were nicely displayed in a case, the sellers were friendly and knowledgeable. I purchased their mystic.
Professional setup, I do stop at acrylic cases before deli cups, professional knowledgeable sales person and variety would be the way to go. About payment methods, most sellers I deal with take either PayPal or credit cards as well as cash. Good luck.

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Besides all of the obvious things that are stated, there are a few aspects of expos that you need to take into consideration.

  1. Not all show promoters are created equal. In my experience, many of them are unprofessional and tend to treat new vendors (or vendors that they don’t know) like trash. There are some great ones though, and I have given those guys repeat business. When you find a good one that you like working with, do your best to maintain that relationship.

  2. Have a method of processing credit cards, especially if you have animals on your table over $300. I have seen vendors lose a sale because they could not take a credit card.

  3. It does help to have more than one type of product on your table. I’m a ball python breeder, but I’ve done enough shows to have noticed the sheer number of people who walk past your table with the “its all ball pythons, I’m going to keep walking” look on their faces. I always try to have something else, whether its a few blocks of ReptiChip, some F10, or occasional other species that I got in a trade or produced out of a for-fun project. Unless you are a bigger breeder that is known for BPs, variety can really help at a show.

  4. Selling online is easier than expos. No question about it. But there are things that you can get in person that you aren’t going to get through an online marketplace. Doing these expos is worth it if you can get face time with customers and actually have real conversations with people. Have business cards and stickers available, remind people that you are on morphmarket and that you are happy to ship.

The bottom line is this - if you can ensure that you can present yourself well at an expo with good foot traffic and a promoter who actually cares about the success of the vendors and the show, then yes, selling at expos is 100% worth it.

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When you sell products do you have to have a partnership with the company or some other thing or can you just buy the products and then resell them?

There are certain supply companies that will grant you a wholesale account if you provide your EIN. So you can buy (there is a minimum) in bulk to resell. I don’t do it often but I like having the option.

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Does anyone have experience using Square at Expos for card sales?

I have seen a ton of sellers using square at shows.

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I’ve seen them to, I thought about signing up for it but didn’t really know how it worked in that aspect.

The one thing I’m still confused about is terms of sale, do you have any at expos and if so do you just set them on the table or have the buyer sign them or what?

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