When “Sew Pretty!” Isn’t Enough, Hook ‘Em With Candy

bags.jpgWhen I took the girls to the weekly Fulton Street Artisan’s Market last Sunday I wasn’t able to visit with vendors for very long because the good behavior clock was running. There comes a point during every outing where the kids just can’t take it anymore. They’re 2 and 4, so this is completely expected.

My goal every time is to get through as quickly as I can before reaching the point where the girls lose patience. However, the clock ran out on me last Sunday. By the time we were headed back to the car, the girls had lost interest in the art show and whining quite a bit, and I was feeling frazzled.

Then we got to Karin’s “A Window Into Whimsy” booth and the girls perked right up. I thought wow, my girls have great taste and appreciate the lovely handbags displayed beautifully in the booth. How fantastic is that?! I know, sometimes I just let myself go with these crazy notions. Then, I finally clued into the candy dish that had captivated my daughters. Ah, yes, candy. Those suckers worked like a charm to revive Amelia from her wilted flower state and Abby seemed more agreeable with a sucker in her mouth.

candydish.jpg

I don’t normally use candy to revive my children at art sales, but this happenstance occasion made the car ride home a little more pleasant and probably helped Karin make a sale – which brings me to the point of this post.

I had been meaning to make myself a key fob for some time, but hadn’t gotten around to sourcing the little metal piece that makes the fob complete. I’m busier than ever, so I realized that I’d probably never get a key fob if I didn’t buy one from someone else.

fob.jpgKarin had a great selection in her booth. However, I probably would have had to pass if she wouldn’t have had that candy dish. Without that candy distraction, my kids would have continued to melt down, making me want to continue my rush to the car. While I know candy bribes are a clear violation of perfect parenting rules – and not something I recommend on a regular basis – the candy bought me enough time to buy a $5 key fob.

In the end we all won. Karin made a sale. My girls were happy to get a treat. And I finally got a key fob. (It works great, by the way. I used it all week and didn’t misplace my keys once. I’m beginning to thing this little fob is magic or something. : )

So, I’ve been thinking about this “free candy” thing all week and wondering if having something free for the taking in your booth actually increases sales. Or, does this tactic only work on desperate moms? What do you think? Have you had success luring people into your booth with chocolate and doubled your sales? Or, do you find that people take the free stuff and keep on going? You’re invited to weigh in on the discussion and share your tips below.

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