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Blind Maille

Securing your product at fairs

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So, had my first fair Saturday (Which went great) and one of the big things that went through my head before going out was the risk of someone doing a grab and run with any of my product. The display setup I am using is metal mesh so I think I figured out a good way to avoid anyone snatching anything. I used larger 14g aluminum rings to secure the items right to the display. That way nothing was just laying there. People could still touch and inspect the items all they wanted but they weren't going to get those items off without a pair of pliers (Which I did of course bring mine) or without grabbing the whole display which isn't exactly a subtle snatch. I plan to actually secure the displays to the table next time since they'll be more items to watch at the next fair.

 

I just figured this worked a lot better than having the items in cases because it's hard for people to just come up and interact with the product when it's stuck in a case and has to be pulled out before they can even touch it. Even with groups of people flocking around the table, more than we could keep eyes on at some points, we didn't have a single item stolen. All stock and sales are accounted for.

 

I'm sort of curious how others secure their items though. There's always the risk of someone snatching something, especially when your table has a crowd around it and any loss with handmade items can be pretty bad. I know some items can't be secured with the trick I used, such as small hook earrings (Those I kept right next to me on the table so I knew if anyone reached for those things) but there are many ways to secure items to avoid thief.

 

What are some ways you guys keep your items from being snatched? I figure maybe getting this conversation going can also help other people with ideas to keep their products from being stolen.

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Precious metals like silver and gold are in a case.

Everything else is tactile and should be handled and tried on without fussing.

Being vigilant works for me, though haveing an extra pair of hands for high volume times or so I can run for a snack or the restroom helps.

Securing stock after things close is another matter. I have scene some great break down crates that attach to dog screws with all the hardware inside the box.

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Don't have gold and silver yet here but yea, those are most certainly going to be put in a case and that case will be secured to something big and heavy. Thankfully it seemed people were still able to try on items without them being detached from the displays (they were bracelets)  so that worked out. Gonna have to figure out a good method for the necklaces I'm gonna have next round but I'm sure I can figure something out.

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Just got done with Labor Day Michigan RenFest. Lots of people and loads of kids. Chainmaille has to be picked up and felt to make it understood. All my product is out there to be felt and held. Not much gold and silver yet but they will be protected further to keep them from running off. Extra hands are a definate plus when the crowds get big.

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I've been to about a dozen fairs over the last 2 years. Silver and gold go in a case, all the other items are not secured. The fairs I go to usually have somewhere between 5.000 and 10.000 visitors a day and fairs are 2-4 days. I've never had anyone snatch anything.

 

People want to touch everything. I've noticed that the thing they like best about chainmaille is how smooth it feels to the skin. It flows, you can't resist taking it in your hands and playing with it for a bit. If you don't like people touching every single item though, it usually works to have some big non-jewelry eyecatcher for people to play with. To big RenFairs I usually bring a coif and one or two scalemaill tops. Having a few big dicebags or juggling balls lying on the table also helps. People notice the big items, pick them up and later on have less of an urge to pick up other things, unless they are interested in the item. I've also tried putting a few small baskets around with keychains and stuff like that.

 

For earrings you could take the kind of display that has holes in it, instead of the ones with large eyes. The holes are small and you have to lift the earwire out, which takes a few seconds. Also, if you put earring displays somewhat higher (just put a box covered in cloth under it), peoples hands are very visible when they take them. They can't quickly hide the item away, have a larger risk of being seen doing it and will usually not snatch it. Also, if you put a mirror beside it at the same height, people can try the earrings on (or hold them to their ear) without having to bend over. 

 

Oh, and I've also tried the Mongol thing. Works like a charm. :P

Edited by Nightingale

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