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Band Of Merchants

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Band Of Merchants

Band of Merchants / Vendors

The purpose of this coalition is to gather as many vendors together as a collective group for the following reasons:

1.  To share festival locations and dates

2.  To provide the power of group buying power to get better pricing at shows and events

3.  To help shows that have no idea of what to do with knowledgable vendors willing to work together to promote the event

 

By joining our efforts together, we can increase the overall traffic to a festival.  And, let's face it, we all know that the more vendors there are, the more customers there are.  And, the more customers there are, the more money we all make.

So, if you participate in festivals, bike rallies, and other such events across North Louisiana and South Arkansas, then shoot us a message with who you are and what you sale.  If we feel like you're a good match, we'll add you to our list of vendors.  We are family friendly, so please keep that in mind when considering our group.

Contact Us

 

PARTICIPANTS

 

Something Wrong With Us

 

            As last month’s issue of Louisiana Road Trips announced, FESTIVAL SEASON HAS BEGUN!!! You enjoy going to the festivals, but have you ever thought about what makes them so much fun? I’ll tell you, it’s the people that you meet there.

 

You see them at the flea markets. You see them at the festivals. You see them at the fair. And sometimes, you even see them on the side of the road. Today, you get to have an inside look at them…us. We are vendors. We exist for your enjoyment.

 

            Unlike popular belief that we don’t have any money invested in what we sell, we have more than money tied up in it. We start by finding a good product that we can get at a reasonable price to pass along to you at a bargain. Then we transport it.

 

            Our day starts like most of yours’; we get up, get ready, and go to work. Only thing is that we start before you even think about waking up. You see, those tents with tables and merchandise in them do not just magically appear. We start setting up long before the show even starts.

 

            We can’t call in sick on days that are too hot or too cold. We can’t take a day off because we don’t feel good. We soldier on, because we have to make money to pay back what we’ve invested in what we sell, to pay for our booth space, to pay for the gas to get there, and to pay for the extra food and hotel costs of being there.

 

            There is definitely something wrong with us. To think that we invest our money into hopes that you’ll want what we have. We fight the wind, rain, heat, and snow to offer you an enjoyable weekend getaway. We travel hours from home to set up our booths in the dark. Then we wait until the crowd is gone before packing it all back up to go home.

 

            Of course, once we get home we still have to put everything up. Pack it into storage just to do it all over again next weekend. Finally, we’re able to get ready for bed, but not before showering. You see with all of that wind comes a tremendous amount of dirt. With all of the heat comes a tremendous amount of sweat. And, with all of that work comes a tremendous amount of muscle ache.

 

            So, why do we do it? Because we love it! Like I said before, there is something wrong with us. Once you taste it, you either love it or hate it. And, if you ever let it get into your system, you can’t live without it.

 

            Strangely enough, we develop “families” while we’re away. Our kids have several extra grandparents, many aunts and uncles, and a whole lot of regular customers that have watched them grow over the years. We all come together to help one another when a tent blows away or the rains start to pour without warning. We trade merchandise and share markets. We help each other when the crowds are high and extra eyes and hands are needed. Some of us even sell each other’s merchandise while the other’s away.

 

            So, the next time you see us out, remember that there’s a lot behind the scenes that you too often miss. Most of us don’t mind a good back and forth haggle as long as it’s not an offensive offer. Come on over and say “hi”, we like a good visit, too.

 

            When you come up, don’t worry about not being welcome. We encourage Christians to shop with us too. We may even have a mini-revival right there on the grounds. And, if you don’t know Jesus, we’ll even sit and tell you about Him.

 

            We look forward to seeing you this “Hunting Season” (bargain hunting that is). May God bless you and keep you safe in all that you do in His name. Remember, the fastest way up is to kneel down.

 

Written by: Robert Lemoine

 

 

Band of Merchants

 

                It’s official. Festival season is among us again. Late to bed, early to rise makes a vendor tired, tired, tired. But, that’s another story. This is a story about a new idea to help vendors and the volunteers who organize all of the great festivals around the state.

 

                Band of Merchants sounds like something out of Robin Hood, but it is actually a modern day group of vendors who travel to festivals across North Louisiana and South Arkansas. Its purpose is to unite vendors seeking family friendly shows and to help local volunteers build up tourism in their town.

 

I’ll pose a question to give you a better understanding: There are two festivals happening this weekend. Both of them are equal driving distance from your home. One of them has 95 vendors. The other has 5. Which one do you attend? More than likely, you chose the one with more vendors. Vendors think the same way. The more vendors there are, the more customers there are. Without customers, we don’t make any money.

 

By banding together, we travel as a pack much like a traveling carnival does. By forming a network, we also make it easier on the local bank employee that has no idea how to set up a show. We come in as a team and setup how we see fit within the guidelines we’re given. This also helps regulate the price for a booth space. We generally pay between $25 and $100 for a 10’ X 10’ space.

 

Most festivals only want to make enough money to pay for promoting the show. If the show only needs to make $2,500 to cover the costs and make a little extra, we divide the number of spaces we need by the amount needed. In this example, let’s assume we have 45 vendors needing a total of 75 spaces. (We use 2 or 3 spaces when we set up.) So, the cost for each booth is less than $35 each, but we’d round up to $35 for easier math. By placing the fee at a reasonable rate, more area vendors are likely to attend.

 

As we travel, we complement each other with what we sell. Summer and I carry an assortment of Christian themed jewelry, purses, du rags, caps, and such. Another vendor carries an assortment of pocket knives. Another has air brushed t-shirts. While still another has Avon, Limu, Mary Kay, Plexus Slim, or any other number of products. By teaming together, we offer the luxuries of a big city mall right in your backyard.

 

If you would like to join our team for free or if you’d like our vendors at your event, visit www.BandOfMerchants.com for our contact information and to see a list of others joining with us. Let’s work together this festival season and make it the best that it can be. Remember, the fastest way up is to kneel down. May the Lord keep you safe and bless you in all that you do in His name.