Swarm Con is over and not only did I take home some money but a lot of advice and things to keep in mind the next time I table at a con!
Swarm Con was my first American convention ever and also the first con I’ve ever tabled at where I was selling my own merchandise. Here’s what I learned.
I prepared for the con by printing 6 sets of each print in 8.5×11, 6 sets of the 3 books, and 10 of the postcards. Then, at the last minute, I made 8 keychains.
I thought this was a pretty modest and realistic amount of stock to have for a small con allowing me to sell at the con and take some home for me to put online. In the end I sold 0 prints and postcards, 2 books, and 4 keychains. It’s kind of depressing not to sell any of your prints but seeing the quality or work at the con from seasoned veterans, you can definitely tell that there is a certain style and aesthetic and level of finish that sells. I noticed that people like buying flashy pin-ups of their favorite characters, usually waist up.
While I think I chose the right fandoms to sell art of, I think I just didn’t tap into that convention aesthetic enough. I chose NBC’s Hannibal, BBC: Sherlock, and Daft Punk. Throughout both days I got a comments about each of my prints from potential customers saying how they liked it or recognized it but no one ever bought.
Another thing that I noticed is that people get really excited over super cute things (like my tablemate Kelsey‘s merchandise), stickers, and anything from a popular anime/manga. All of which I didn’t have. So far I’ve learned: be flashy, have stickers, and work on chibis! A friend of mine who is a well seasoned veteran on tabling, Grace Park, told me that variety will suck people in.
I also found that it was important to be able to take credit cards and have business cards available because, while I may not have had anything anyone wanted to buy, people took a lot of my business cards!
As for pricing, I found that lowering the price can only help you so much. I started out the con with my large prints at $10, postcards at $2, and books at $5 which bundle deals for each type of item. By day two I added buy 1 get 1 free deals and lowered my books to $3 each and 2 for $4. This helped me sell a set of the books but I still didn’t sell any of my prints. Fortunately, people were really into my Hannibal keychains. I believe I was the only booth selling such merchandise, so I think I will invest a deal more in making Hannibal keychains!
I have a lot of left over merchandise which brings me to the second part of my post! My webstore!
I’m launching my webstore through storeenvy and all of my convention merchandise will be available there. I will be able to ship worldwide, so everyone will be able to make a purchase no problem!
Check out my store at http://kristihoi.storeenvy.com/ or click the link at the top!