We have surpassed 50 vendors planning to participate with us this year (about 25/day for our first two weekends thus far), and more continue to register by the day! Just today, we added a makeup, clothing and jewelry vendor (HABI JOLIE), spoke with a local vendor for Dri Wash ‘n’ Guard car products, talked with two couplse specializing in antiques and consigned good, and followed up with a pre-registration from Shelrae Design, who does face painting, feathers for the hair. hand sculpted bottled bath salts & Memory crowns.
Plenty of outdoor space is still available for our first two weekends (Sat/Sun) occurring on the 7/8th and the 14/15th. Take advantage of our “Referral Rewards Program” and receive commission on referred vendors purchasing space from us for two seasons! More details may be found on our home page and the June 21st post. We’re specifically looking for some good food trucks that operate throughout the Twin Cities, so if you know any, please send them our way! Thanks again!
//vaughn - ”I love it when a plan comes together!”…
T-minus 8 days and counting…
We’ve updated our online payment options to provide vendors with more versatility if they’d rather pay in advance rather than the day of. Let me know of any issues you encounter so I can look into it further.
We’ve been publicizing our opening in several different ways, looking to hit may areas around Dakota and Scott counties in preparation of the Grand Opening on July 7th/8th. We’ve placed in ads in the SUN ThisWeek beginning last week in the Burnsville/Eagan edition, this week in the Apple Valley/Rosemount edition and next week will be in the Lakeville/Farmington edition. We also had an ad in today’s Star-Tribune “Variety” section, and should run every Friday. We should also be listed in their calendar of events going forward as well. Online, we’ve been getting a lot of Facebook, Twitter and Yelp love. The Google searches have been quite popular as well.
Today, we’re meeting with AM950 to see what they are able to do for us, and if we agree that their radio publicity is priced within our budgeted marketing expense and will be beneficial to our marketing efforts, you may be hearing our ads shortly. I’d be interested to hear from those with any experiences either working with or listening to their station. Where I live in Lakeville, my vehicle does not pick up their frequency, so this has me concerned since it’s the same story as I drive around Burnsville and Eagan.
There has been some feedback from some would be consumers that we should not be charging for public parking. We feel we have much to offer those who come out for the day, so if you’re unwilling to attend for this reason, we are sorry that we’ll not be seeing you. If you’re interested, here is reasoning behind this $1.00 charge.
We have limited space onsite of 500+ parking spaces, of which more than half will be utilized by our marketplace and vendor’s displays or vehicles. We’re also highly committed to our local charitable endeavors. All dollars raised from parking are being donating to the American Cancer Society’s “Relay For Life of Scott County” (to be held July 13th in Shakopee) as well as several other recognized 503(c) organizations throughout the season. We feel a $1.00 fee is reasonable with the limited parking that will be available to the public, none of which is added to our bottom line. I understand some people will not like our justification, but we’re in business to help the community and benefit many causes that can use assistance in building awareness or a more funds to continue their fight towards curing a disease. We apologize if you’re one of those offended, but this is how we are operating and won’t alter our stance on this subject.
We welcome all comments and suggestions, so please comment here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for you’re support, and we look forward to seeing you here! //vaughn
Stop, Swap & Shop (The Marketplace) is opening on July 7th at the Buck Hill Ski and Snowboard Area in Burnsville. This is an outdoor marketplace and Swap Meet where many different items will be sold by a variety of businesses, artists, craftsmen, entrepreneurs and local residents selling their merchandise, used goods and services.
If you’re looking for a well paid part-time position to make a few extra bucks for yourself referring vendors you know deciding to participate with us during the season, you earn commissions for each paid space they buy for two seasons! You make money from the initial referral and sale, plus make residual income if they decide to purchase additional space in the future for both this year and next year!
We’re looking for vendors with something ‘legal’ to sell of quality and good value that is acceptable in the eyes of our management. For just $29/day, we provide them lot space and handle all of the marketing and advertising campaigns for them. They will need to (1) pre-register online at our website, (2) make payment for their desired dates and space fees and (3) provide your name on the application/registration form or notify us within 48 hours how they were referred. It’s that easy! You earn 10% from an initial sale, and 7.5% of future sales purchased later in the season as well as next year’s season!
As examples, say you found a vendor to participate with us all 19 days this year. Maybe they’re an onsite food vendor that makes “something-on-a-stick.” Well, food vendors pay $49/day to sell with us, so multiplying 19 days at $49/day, we get a sale of $931.00. You would earn 10%, which is $93.10 for their participation with us. If they then decide to participate again the following season (we operate from May – Labor Day on Fri/Sat/Sundays next year – that’s 56 dates), their sale would be $2744.00 and at 7.5% commission, you would earn another $205.80! So for the one referral, you could earn over $300.00! Be advised in advance that there is limited space for food vendors, so even though many may apply with us, only those chosen will be considered in this sales program. But there is space available this year for more food vendors. We are looking a variance of food products onsite.
Now, for a $29 vendor of merchandise, consumer engaging activities or business services in the exact same scenario above, you’re looking at numbers of $29/day x 19 days x 10% = $55.10. The following season would be $29/day x 56 days x 7.5% = $121.80. Together that’s $176.90!
If they bought just one day initially this year, but then signed on for the season at a later date, those numbers would be [$29/day x 1 x 10% ($2.90)] + [$29/day x 18 x 7.5% ($39.15)] + [$29/day x 56 x 7.5% ($121.80)] = $163.85 Hopefully, you get the idea of this commission structure. If not, email or contact us and we’ll explain in more detail. At the end of the year, we’ll send you a 1099-MISC (as an independent contractor for us) if you earn $600.00 or more in any given year. It will then be your sole responsibility to file taxes for the year based on the 1099-MISC data we submit to the state.
To pre-register as a vendor or to learn more about Stop, Swap & Shop (The Marketplace) and this Referral Rewards Program, check out our website at www.stopswapandshop.com, or email/call us at (866) 354-5894 x2 with questions or inquiries. As long as the vendor does not sell prohibited merchandise, restricted goods without approval from our business office, or anything we deem offensive or inappropriate, you will receive commissions within 5 business days of the business office receiving payment. How you decide who, what and how to target possible vendors is up to you as long as it’s legal. Any illegal or unethical tactics used will void all compensation payments and opportunities with us immediately.
Thank you for your interest in growing our business, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!
This is just a quick hit about our referral program that virtually anybody is eligible to participate in. As we look to add a wide variety of vendors and merchandise to our swap meet, we have implemented a Referral Rewards Program to help us attract a multitude of interesting products, businesses and entrepreneurs to participate with us this season and beyond. For complete details, see our webpage “Sales Opportunities & Referral Bonuses“, but in a nutshell, receive 10% commission for every new vendor purchasing with us. Additional purchases after the initial one will be paid a residual 7.5% commission rate for two years. This residual commission rate is good for both this season and next season when we will be operating three times/week from May through Labor Day, September 2nd.
There are rules and restrictions of course, but in the fairest sense of this promotion, we know any positive word of mouth about our swap meet speaks volumes to those around you, and we’d like to share the rewards with you for finding quality vendors as we grow from this modest starting point. From a business perspective, we hope to attract over 2500 vendors in the next 5 years and have the largest outdoor swap meet in the nation.
Let us know if you like our Referral Rewards Program. It was conceived initially for our supporters this season to share in our growth in exchange for their patronage, support, loyalty and testimonials about our business and services we provide.
If you have suggestions for us, we are always available to listen to your ideas in bettering our market. By any means in which we can improve our brand as a business, never hesitate to let us know!
Thank you again for participating with us this season! We look forward to opening day, and to a long-lasting and successful business relationship with you all! –Vaughn
We are pleased to say that the last of our licensing is behind us in preparation for the opening of Stop, Swap & Shop (The Marketplace) at Buck Hill.
Last night, the Burnsville City Council approved 5-0 to issue a City Reseller’s license to us. This is very instrumental as it now allows us to blanket cover any vendors selling used/secondhand merchandise for resale including antiques and precious metal coins. If we did not have this particular license, all vendors operating on more than one weekend with us would have been required to obtain their own license at a personal cost of $550.00 for this year’s application and another $100.00 annually. As a result, we can now target a larger number of recreational sellers instead of focusing primarily on businesses.
Our first print ad will be released tomorrow in Burnsville and Eagan. Here’s hoping the public response to it is exactly what we are hoping for!
Nearing completion of our first print ad with the SUN ThisWeek community newspaper! Will have a final proof shortly and should be out in this Thursday’s edition.
Also opened a Facebook campaign to bring more awareness to the social stream of followers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region.
Final hurdle with the city is tomorrow night. Hoping it goes as smoothly as the Amendment process went.
I wasn’t really feeling it before, but now I’m starting to get the nerves and jitters in anticipation of opening July 7th. I guess that means I need to work just that much harder.
Good morning, everyone. Here is an update of the event’s that transpired this last week and what is on tap ahead in the coming weeks as we approach our July 7th grand opening!
Of concern to a great many people we’ve spoken with over the last week regarding the difficulties arising from an increase in the rental fee for the outdoor space we were planning to operate from in Burnsville, we are pleased to inform you that we’ve reached and understanding and new arrangement with the property owners and management at the Buck Hill Ski and Snowboard Area. Essentially, the reason for the change in the proposed lease had to do with scope of our venture and how the business is beginning to evolve into a much larger operation than was initially discussed back in March. This is a good thing for us, and both sides are pleased with this immediate growth opportunity presenting itself and with the local buzz created throughout our local communities. Both sides were concerned about costs involved to operate a venture this size and was not wanting to feel as though their interest was being taken advantage of or was being exploited going further. I believe a fair compromise and understanding was reached, and this should no longer be an issue either this or next season.
We’ve also undertaken our first series of print advertising to bring our venue to the front of the community audiences in the south metro. We will be target those households in the neighboring cities around Burnsville, including: Lakeville, Eagan, Bloomington, Savage, Shakopee and Prior Lake. As we continue to grow and build an efficient business process, we plan to expand to those communities around 494, then into the Minneapolis/St. Paul city region, and finally to the western, northern, eastern and more southern suburbs in & outside the Twin Cities.
Other notable events this week included meetings with several local music groups and artists interested in playing daily at our venue, the installation of our new phone system (goodbye Google voice!), purchase of a new cell phone for on the go (Goodbye Blackberry, hello Nokia Windows phone….still wondering why this and not an Iphone or Android, but this was the highest rated product today in the research we’d done, weird really), an opening day vendor count currently at 42 and agreements with 9 food vendors. Not bad for actively soliciting for just 14 days to this point! And strides are being made to bring in a complimentary team of talented people just as interested and motivated as I am to make our marketplace vision a true reality.
In the coming week, I will be in San Diego to attend my daughter’s eighth grade graduation ceremony, and we both will be returning on Friday for the summer. I’m looking forward an opportunity to spending the entire summer together as this will be the first that I’ve not had to place her in Y-camp (they do have an excellent program at the Minnesota Valley YMCA and Camp Streefland) during the day while I trot myself of to some morale killing and creativity suffocating corporate environment I’d been a part of for the last 20 years. So if I do not respond as quickly to your emails and calls, I’m going to blame it on the new cell phone and the fact that I’m most likely sitting on the beach just 1 block from where I’m staying (If you’re interested, you have to try the online site “AirBnB” where you find truly genuine people opening up their beautiful homes to you and allowing you the flexibility to enjoy luxurious surrounding for a fraction of the cost of a typical hotel chain or business. You receive more personable service and are catered to like no other. It is truly a BnB experience, and I cannot state enough how pleased and happy I am to have tried it out!)
Later this week, I’m hoping to nail down a contract for our rental supplier, find permanent office space and actually make our business’ first actual dollar in physical form (theoretical dollars are nice as we’ve filled our lots to 10% of seasonal capacity thus far, but now I’m trying to get that figure to 25% this week
Until next time, “stay classy, San Diego” (And all of you metro residents, too). I look forward to meeting each and everyone of you very soon! Regards, /vaughn
So as part of my due diligence in creating my business plan, I looked into existing businesses, established outdoor markets and local events that hosts vendors similar to those that I am planning to focus my marketing towards.
In my mailbox today, I received a notice and application for an event to be held indoors in November by the event name of “Craftszaganza”. First off, there is no direct competition between this event planner and our marketplace. The reason I’m posting on it today is that I found several things about it surprising when you compare what we both offer to our vendors.
The primary difference is the time of year this is held. Our events are held outdoors, while this particular event appears to be held inside, occurring in November when it might be just a bit chilly to be held outside. (Sometimes I wished I still lived in San Diego, then we’d have a year round business, but the competition would be fierce).
Another difference is that vendors are purchasing a spot that measures 10′x5′ (50sf), whereas we provide a base lot measuring 10′x15′ (150sf), 3x the area, meaning more room to display more of a vendor’s product, and in theory, have a greater likelihood of earning more money because of the increased selection of items on display. In addition, vendors will need to cart their equipment as none are available onsite, if needed.
The last difference that caught my eye was the amount vendors needed to pay to participate at their venue, which is “The Soap Factory” building. Vendors are being charged $100 for the right to participate once they have been “juried in” and their crafts judged to adhere to the quality standards required to exhibit at this prestigious day event. So to summarize the event for a space that’s 50sf they pay $100 once they have been accepted into the event, and they could be turned away due to quality of what they have to sell. (So, $2.00/sf if someone’s personal standards are met)
So I compare this to what I have to offer vendors and small business that need an outlet to make sales to the public. For $29, they would receive space amounting to 150sf and for $49 they could work out of a 300sf space. Everyone may sell what items they can as its not prohibited like narcotics/alcohol/guns etc, and long as space remains available (first come/first served). We also have rental equipment like tables and tents if so desired. But the cost per square foot is between 19.3 cents/sf – 16.3 cents/sf without any additional amenities or rental equipment.
I’m not sure what value the additional markup of 10x or more amounts for any vendors signing up for this event, but I hope they sell a lot of product to cover the overhead associated with that single event date. Either that, or its a pure cash grab and exploiting the people that wish to be a part of this organized event. All I can think of is that the amount of consumer traffic must be huge!
I’m going to detail other comparisons in future posts to find out where the true value lies. Hopefully, it is with us, but we’ll see!