Hey everyone! Thank you for accumulating all these wonderdul resources. I’m excited to be tabling at my first artist’s alley this weekend! I tried looking through your tags to find the answer to my questions. I know that the information is definitely here, but I can’t find it! When you all finish at a con for the night, do you take your merchandise with you and re - setup for the next day? Do you leave you products displayed and at your table overnight? Do you have a method of locking up your products? If you do take your merchandise with you, what is your priority stock to take back to your room? Last question! Do you have any special tips or tricks for displaying your prices? Thank you so so much. 😊
Kiriska: Hello! These days, a vast majority of Artist Alleys are in secured rooms which are locked after hours. I usually cover the front of my table with a sheer cloth and leave everything else (stock, misc materials) in my suitcases under the table. If the hotel provided a tablecloth, I’ll use that to cover the suitcases under the table. I take all valuables (money) with me.
I usually feel pretty secure doing this because all stock is out of sight and casual thefts are thefts of opportunity – if someone sees a laptop lying around, they might take it, but few people will rummage suspiciously through someone’s suitcase to look for valuables.
My cover cloth for the front of the table is sheer, meaning you can see through it, but I’m honestly not too worried about people walking off with one or two display items. It’s generally unlikely, but if it doesn’t happen, isn’t a huge loss. I like having the cover sheet sheer so other artists and passersby can still see what sort of art I have available even if I’m not there. Plenty of artists choose a regular opaque cover sheet though.
A lot of craft artists will take their entire stock back with them to their room at night, even if the Artist Alley is secured overnight. Crafters’ stock tend to be more valuable than print artists though, so I can understand the heightened concern.
It’s pretty rare for people to take down their entire display every night though, even if the AA is unsecured, because most AA structures take a lot of time to setup and no one wants to do that every day. (Indeed, I will no longer attend cons where I have to completely re-set up every day for whatever reason.)
As far as displaying prices – the most straightfoward way is to individually price everything. General signs will always be overlooked, though they don’t hurt to have in addition to individual pricing. That said, I don’t individually price everything because that’s time consuming, but neither do I have a problem with answering people’s pricing questions 2376232678 times, really. Have prominent general signs to clearly denote prices for shy people, but expect to field a million pricing questions anyway.