When you’re running a booth in an art & crafts show, shoplifting can be a major concern. Here are 5 quick tips you can use in order to make it much less likely that customers will steal from you.
1. GREET YOUR CUSTOMERS
Whenever someone approaches your booth, greet them. Not only this encourage sales, it makes your customers feel more welcome and decreases the likelihood that they’ll shoplift. Many potentially suspicious customers will turn and leave as soon as you say “Hello” to them and make eye contact. It’s a lot harder to them to go and take something from you when they’ve been acknowledged, since you could identify them later.
2. BE OBSERVANT AND HAVE A PARTNER
It’s a lot better to have two people running your booth instead of only yourself. This way, one of you can work with customers whilst the other one rings up the sale. This way, you can give good customer service while remaining observant of the others. Having one or two partners in your booth is an excellent way to deter theft, since another pair of eyes makes it a lot less likely that any part of your booth will be left unattended. If you need to step away, for instance, it’s a poor idea to ask another exhibitor to cover your booth, since they might be busy and not give it full attention, allowing an experienced opportunist to simply enter your booth and walk off with pricey items.
3. INCREASE SECURITY THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
If you really want to step it up in terms of security then you should consider getting some CCTV security cameras. You can get some that are designed to be portable – have a company help you pick a security camera system that will suit your purposes and your market stall. The Logitech one below is a perfect example of what I would personally use.
4. SET UP YOUR DISPLAY IN A WAY WHICH DISCOURAGES THEFT
Make sure you arrive early and have plenty of time to set up your display. Set it in a way that nothing important is out of sight – especially your cash, of course. It’s best to wear a fanny pack or a vendor apron that has money pockets. Obviously, don’t leave it lying around – keep it on you at all times.
Some display items can make it a lot harder for someone to steal – such as a T-Bar necklace display for pieces of jewelry. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be ready to take it down to allow customers to see it at close range. I usually display y metalwork jewelry in gift boxes – so it’s a lot more obvious if someone tries to walk away with it.
Some other displays, such as cases, help keep thieves away, but may be counterproductive, since buyers who aren’t allowed to touch an item might be discouraged from purchasing. If you sell very small items, this can be necessary, since it’s very easy for them to get the five-finger discount – so place them behind glass or Plexiglas in order to discourage them. Be aware of the displays you’re using and how you arrange them – you never want to seem like an easy target for thieves.
5. BE A NICE NEIGHBOR
Have a good working relationship with neighbor booths. Be courteous and nice – after setting up, clean up your packing material and boxes, in order to remove potentially distracting cluttering, and set up completely when the customers are allowed in, so you can pay attention to them. It’s best to give yourself extra time when setting up – this way it’ll be a lot less likely you’ll cause disturbances and discourage shopping.