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SMŌK Brand

Question for the folks selling at Farmer's Market's, Expo's and other "Live" events...  We're about to do our first large "live selling" in 9 days , it'll be on a street fest with expected attendance of 30,000 folks (last years numbers)...  Here's what we have:
- We've got a 10'x10' spot reserved by the food booths plus a 10x10 canopy tent to block wind/rain/sun as well as hold extra cases of sauce (bringing about 2000 bottles)
- An 8' and a 6' table to set our hot sauce on
- Our banner telling folks who/what we are (hot sauce, all natural, veteran owned, etc.)
- We've got sampling spoons from EcoTensil in hand
- We're got hundreds of business cards, stickers and our sell/spec sheets on hand.
- We have a PayPal dongle for our smartphone to accept credit card payments
- A paper receipt pad for anyone that wants a receipt for a purchase (most people seem to not want that)

Are we missing something that you experienced folks can think of?  We've never done a huge 1-day event like this and we don't want to blow a huge opportunity like this by being unprepared.  Thanks a TON for any/all comments and suggestions!!

Pat and Tanja
#streetfest #farmersmarket #expo #livesales  #directsales

Question for the group- I see from expo/farmer's market pictures that many of you have posted on Facebook, etc that you have Tshirts and other things available at your tables, on your websites, etc.  Has anyone found a really inexpensive place to order these things?  Google "Cheap Tshirts" and see the tons of results (most of them NOT straightforward w/ price).  Looking for some tips on this.  Thanks!!


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How Cool is THIS??!!!
Went to see the band Winger in Denver and got backstage after the concert (with two bottles of SMŌK Brand Hot Pepper Sauce)!!  Got pics with the group and ALSO Kip Winger holding the bottles!!! Super nice guys and an AWESOME concert!! Kip is originally from Denver and was STOKED to see a Colorado Business that was making products IN the U.S.A.!!!  :)
These guys haven't lost a step and Kip's voice is as great as it was 20+ years ago!!! Go see them if you have a chance! \m/ \m/


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Coolest. Thing. Ever.
Went to see Winger in concert and got backstage afterwards with two bottles of SMŌK Brand Hot Pepper Sauce!!! Pics with the group and also Kip Winger holding the bottles!!! Super nice guys and an AWESOME concert!! Kip is originally from Denver and was STOKED to see a Colorado Business that was making products IN the U.S.A.!
These guys haven't lost a step and Kip's voice is as great as it was 20+ years ago!!! Go see them if you have a chance! \m/ \m/

Question for the group --  Pricing (loaded question, I know)

As we're approaching stores, shops, restaurants, farmer's markets, people on the street, etc. we seem to need multiple prices for our hot sauce.  On our website we sell our bottles for $5.99.  On we sell for $6.49 (due to fees).  For restaurants/shops we are asking $4.00.   Some shops are ok with it, others are looking for $2.50-$3.00 / bottle.  They of course need to make money, too.  That being said, we know that everyone has different costs per bottle, but is there some "rule" or guidance that ya'all have gone by?  We look at what our competitors are charging and try to fit in retail.  From what we've read, it seems that the math formula to use is "take your costs and double = wholesale cost (restaurants, shops) and then take it and double again = retail.  Well, no one we know will pay that much for a bottle of hot sauce (so we think).

So, until we get our costs down bu ordering larger shipments, does any one have thoughts on pricing structure to the different outlets?  If a bottle costs (for easy math) $2.00 to produce, what is a good price for shops, for farmer's markets, for online sales, etc?  As we approach some of the big online hot sauce shops and they ask us for our pricing, we're scared they're going to turn us away because the price is to high (and we can't counter at that point - or can we?  Should we?).

Hope my email was clear, I'm a little rambly today.  Apologies in advance if I'm asking "personal" stuff here, but we are winging it and don't have a good idea on this subject...  Thanks for any and all thoughts, comments, suggestions!!

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New Hot Sauce Company Tips and Tricks (#2):
Currently, we ship everything flat rate in a small/medium/large USPS box.  If we're shipping a lot of bottles or a long distance (overseas, APO/FPO, etc) we ship  3 bottles in each small flat rate box and then put the flat rates boxes into a medium or large flat rate box.  Each bottle is also wrapped in a layer of bubble wrap.  This provides "Box-In-Box" protection and they fit perfectly so it's been very successful for us as far as preventing breakage goes.  We can ship 12 bottles in a medium flat rate and 18 in a large flat rate this way.  Flat rate boxes are free from USPS - order online and they'll ship to you.

Question for anyone/everyone - especially the Hot Sauce Barons that do their own order fulfillment:
How do you keep shipping costs down and how did you pick a shipper?  Maybe that's not even the right question.  Here's what we're doing:

We are currently fulfilling our own orders and shipping for us is 3 flat rate box choices (boxes are free from USPS)
1-2 Bottles goes in a USPS Small Flat Rate box which costs $5.25 to mail
3-12 Bottles goes in a USPS Medium Flat Rate box which costs $11.30 to mail
13-18 Bottles goes in a USPS Large Flat Rate box which costs $13.80 to $15.80 to mail

We went to UPS and FedEx and their prices were WAY higher to ship anything.  We don't qualify for Fulfillment By Amazon because their cutoff for glass sizes is 4 oz. and we're a 5 oz. bottle.  It almost seems like USPS flat rate is the only option.  Surfing other hot sauce sites didn't give me a good idea on what others have done to solve this problem.  We use to save $$ on postage, too.

Can anyone point us in the right direction or provide some tips?  We especially hate the small flat rate boxes because they're thin and you can barely fit 2 woozy's in there (so not much room for padding) and we're afraid they'll get broken (already had 1 broken delivery this week).

Thanks, All!!
Pat Tolbert

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SMOK Brand founder Patrick Tolbert was just on John Dilley's DEFCON-versations show on the Grilliant Ideas Radio Network!!

If you're interested, the show is available for replay.  John is planning on having a different guest each week - who will be next?  For sure someone from HotSauce+ is my guess! : )

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We just got our first review back for our hot sauce and it's a WINNER!!  A very big "Thank You!" to Allen Fry of "Two Fry's" fame ( for making time to review us!!  Whoo Hoo!

Read the review at:

Go SMŌK Brand Hot Pepper Sauce!! 

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