How to get ready for showtime.
For a description of what the show is all about and how it works, check out our “For Dealers” page.
We’ve come close to replicating the Brim experience in some ways, but selling on social media is not the same as selling on a field. Users navigate Instagram and the internet in a very different way than our customers do at Brimfield, and so we need to change our setup to suit buyers who often have short attention spans and who will be checking our booths while on their smartphones.
Less is more. Try to limit yourself to two or three folding tables and maybe a half-dozen large items. Or, if you deal in larger items like furniture or signs, make it two to three dozen pieces at most. If you deal in jewelry or smalls, keep it to just a few display cases. If you sell textiles, maybe limit it just a couple racks of clothing or a few tables. In any case, because of the format, it’s a good idea to have less than fifty to a hundred items, and better still to stick to just a few dozen items (though of course it’s dependent on what kind of things you sell). Ideally, from seeing your first picture alone, a customer would be able to see everything you’ve got for sale and will be able to start making purchase inquiries immediately.
Create a “photo booth.” Find a place to photograph your @thebrimfieldshow merch apart from the rest of your inventory. You can do so and photograph your items days or even weeks in advance of your show. Try to make it look like you just set up at a real antique show or flea market!
We strongly encourage our exhibitors to make their booths look and feel as they would at the real Brimfield. Set up outside if you can, maybe in your backyard, a nearby field, your driveway, or in front of your store. Realistic outdoor booths may seem silly given it’s an online show, but seriously, customers love it. It makes buyers feel like they’re actually on the fields and creates the sense of immediacy and urgency that makes @thebrimfieldshow so much fun to shop.
We highlight dealers who go for realistic booths with extra posts featuring them on the @thebrimfieldshow Instagram account. Plus, the most authentic Brim-style booth gets to sell at the show for free — we announce the winner at the end of the show and refund their exhibitor fee!
Setting up outside can be hard for some people, though, so don’t worry about it if it’s too difficult! Maybe stick indoors and set up in a corner of your store or living room. However you present your inventory, just remember you want buyers to identify what’s for sale easily and quickly. @thebrimfieldshow exists to get your business in the spotlight, but try not to overshare with pictures of your entire store, warehouse, barn, or basement — otherwise customers will be overwhelmed and confused. Limiting the number of items available for sale and presenting them together will command the attention of buyers and make the show a success.
Keep your presentation simple. So many of you have beautiful booths at Brim and you’re welcome to replicate your signature look if you like. But honestly, “quick and dirty” is part of Brimfield’s democratic appeal, with dealers at every level displaying their merch on the same plastic folding tables, whether items are priced at $5 or $50,000. Just remember your photos don’t have to be perfect — in fact, we strongly discourage using photoshopped images, especially those with whited-out backgrounds. Make your merch look good, but customers like that sense of raw, unfiltered discovery at Brimfield and it’s important to replicate that as far as is possible.
Get your preferred contact method out there. Get ready for @thebrimfieldshow by providing your contact information on your Instagram profile and in each of your posts. Do you want to receive phone calls or texts? (We recommend it, so customers can reach you quickly.) Or would you prefer Instagram messages, comments in your posts, or emails? Indicate how you’d like to be contacted clear in both your profile and in each of your posts if you’d like. Just remember, at showtime, you’ll be fielding lots of questions and offers from buyers just as you would on the field.
Decide on what payment methods you’d like to take. Do you use services like Venmo, PayPal, or Square? Are you taking credit cards over the phone? Will you email invoices to buyers? Will you accept mailed checks? Will you take cash on pickup? It’s entirely up to you, just have your options ready in advance and plan to include them in your posts. Make the sale in whatever way you’re comfortable with and find most convenient. And if you haven’t used online payment platforms much before, we can help you get started there, too. (Contact us here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Think about shipping services beforehand. Consider how much each item might cost to ship and what services you’ll provide. Including free shipping for smaller items might be a good idea to streamline the process. If you’re selling especially large items, there are many services out there that you can use, such as www.uship.com (also an app) which provides shipping quotes in minutes. Again, you’re totally in control.
When your show opens at 9:00 am, you’ll begin posting photos of your booth to Instagram.
Please: DO NOT POST BEFORE 9:00 AM. It’s important the show open on time to recreate the “Brimfield rush.” Dealers who post images of their items prior to showtime may be removed from the @thebrimfieldshow account.
Start with two or three photos of your entire setup. Then, share photos of each object individually or in groups as you like throughout the day.
The text of each of your posts should ideally include:
- Item description
- Item condition
- Item price
- Shipping cost and details
- Example: “Free shipping in the US on all purchases.”
- Contact preference
- Example: “Message me on Instagram but call me at 555-555-5555 for the fastest response.”
- How to purchase
- Example: “Comment ‘sold’ in the comments below and I’ll follow up with you later in the day.”
- Explanation of what’s going on for your followers
- Example: “I’m selling @thebrimfieldshow today and will be posting more than usual. Click here to shop all the great dealers: @thebrimfieldshow.”
This may seem like a lot of information, so you may want to copy and paste the basic details from one post to another.
Though we strongly recommend positing tems with prices and streamlining shipping options, you’re welcome to present your merchandise in whatever way works for you. Remember, however, that you may find yourself overwhelmed with inquiries from buyers when the show opens, so try to include as much information as you can in each post
As items sell, please clearly mark them “SOLD” in the description or comments as soon as possible so buyers are aware and won’t be frustrated in their inquiries.
Most dealers post in real-time during their show, but if you are an experienced Instagram user and tech-savvy, you may want consider an automatic Instagram post scheduler such as www.later.com. These services require your Instagram account to be a business account and come with a paid monthly fee. Given how complicated Instagram can seem to new users, we only recommend schedulers to experiences users.