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Monday, March 28, 2016

Pop Market

"Me, selling bracelets at a *pop market!!!???", I gasped. The mere thought was staggering! I didn't know the first thing about my merchandise! "What if the shoppers come in droves? What about toilet breaks? What about shoplifters? What if I screw up?", I spluttered.

But I couldn't possibly refuse my good friend, A, who only out of sheer desperation, sought my help. She knows what a klutz and muddlehead I am. Both of us had visions of me tripping and tipping the table over, bracelets and money scattered everywhere!

I owe A big time for the many favours she had done for me in the past. Her son, T, who owned the business was out of town to attend to an emergency and he had booked a stall for the weekend at the pop market months ahead. Not turning up for the event meant getting him blacklisted and he may never get a spot again in the future. He had been on the waiting list for vendor selection for a long time. Moreover, the stall rental was not refundable.

Freaking out at the daunting task ahead, I tried to enlist the assistance of Rodney, my sixteen year-old son. "What!!!???  Sell girly stuff at a market stall and horror of horrors, with my mother!!!!", he baulked, mortified by the thought. "What if my friends see me?"

After my desperate pleas, much cajoling, blackmailing (I was going to tell his elder brother something he did) and finally a bribe (a set of  new headphones), Rodney relented.

*Somewhat like a flea market, a pop market is a seasonal bazaar organized by and for young urban adults. Stall vendors are members of a pop culture club.

Can you spot Rodney trying to look as inconspicous as possible?
Turned out, the  bracelets were unisex and a great hit with the guys. Rodney bought these 3 for himself.

Sharing what I learned from the 2-day experience

1. Men are easier customers than women - they are decisive and quick with their selections. Women, on the contrary are picky, picky, picky! We had a lady who spent almost an  entire hour rummaging through the bracelets, finally snagging one only to return a minute later to exchange for another design!

2. Crowd attracts crowd - An oddity of human nature, people naturally follow the crowd, assuming the stranger in front of them knows more than they do!

3. Product display - Our stall attracted more people when the bracelets were disarrayed than when they were neatly organized in rows according to sizes!  Trolling through the merchandise in the hope of snagging the ultimate find made her less guilty, a shopper shared.

4. It pays to be trilingual!

5. Malaysians are an honest lot! Not one bracelet was pocketed despite the crowding!

We sold a total of 197 bracelets! Not bad for a first-time effort, I was told.

So will I do this again? Nah! While I enjoyed the two-day experience, I don't see myself doing this everyday. I would really rather have a work-at-home job.

This week's cookies

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


  1. You looked relaxed in the picture :) I think its something I would want to do only for a weekend's experience, but that's about it too :) I like how you "coerced" Rodney to help you (bribery and blackmail are always a good combination) and I triply admire you for being trilingual! Adorable cookies!


  2. Pretty bracelets! My Mom had many booths at craft shows over the years. She crocheted lots of items and sold hand made dolls and doll clothes. I helped quite a few times and it was A LOT of work, especially when the booth was busy. It's just like you said -- people came by to see what others were looking at!

  3. It looks like a fun experience. I like the bracelets Rodney picked out! Especially the red and black one.

  4. Well, I'd say that was a pretty good haul for 2 days! Aw, chock it up to experience. Now you know what you are saying "no" to when someone wants to do that again. Once is enough.

    Too funny that Rodney ended up with some of the goods!

  5. They are pretty. That's funny about the crowds, and interesting that the disorganized group got more attention than neat rows!

  6. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop

  7. Good for you - these bracelets are so cute. I can imagine men are much simpler shoppers than us women - we can be a bit indecisive!! xx '#KCACOLS

  8. It looks like a lot of fun, having worked in retail for many years I'm not sure I would be great at selling things myself as opposed to stacking shelves and working a till! #kcacols

  9. Your son sounds like mine!!!! I'm sure there would have to be bribery as well. ;) I used to have a shop on Etsy and enjoyed making things and selling them from home, but having manned a stall for a business I used to work for, I don't think I'd like to deal with that again!

  10. Sounds like a very interesting couple of days. So nice of you to help your friend, even when you were a little apprehensive. Thank you so much for linking up to #KCACOLS Hope you come back again next Sunday xx

  11. Well this was for sure a different experience for you. I know what you mean when you say that you enjoyed it but you won't do it again. I think it is very difficult to sell in general. Glad you did a good job. The cookies you are sharing this week are so cute! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS, :-) xx