Wimberley Market Days Booth for 2013

So for those of you who follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen that I took the leap and bought a booth at Wimberley Market Days for the 2013 season! My lucky number is 392, and if you’re local, you need to stop by and say hi!

Since a lot of you were interested in the process the last time around, I’m going to do a little more “shop talk” today. I met with SCORE Austin (a non-profit for small businesses) to hash out my business plan. It was okay, but I wouldn’t recommend driving there unless you live nearby. I didn’t really get much useful advice. I did decide to start out as a sole-proprietor, which means reporting my business taxes along with my personal taxes. Why? Because my booth cost more than I expected.

When we sold our home last October, we got a sizable refund check for our windstorm insurance. It’s crazy-expensive insurance when you live in hurricane alley. I used the funds from the check to pay for the $1000 booth. The booth costs included the dues for the year ($520 I think?) and the price of the structure, which is two wooden platforms. I actually really like the setup. It’s interesting. Plus the deck is much easier to level than rocks and dirt. People weren’t too keen on wobbly furniture, even if it was sitting on pitted ground. Anyway, I had hoped to just get a dirt lot and not pay for a structure and use the remainder to file for an LLC. But now I’ll have to wait to turn a bit of profits and file a month or so down the road.

So, why an LLC? For a lot of people, sole proprietorship is enough. It was fine when I did graphic design, an intangible product. But if someone gets injured on my furniture, they could sue me for everything, including personal assets. My car, house, savings, all of it could be lost. So to me, it’s worth the $400ish to file and separate my business from my personal assets.

As of now, I have a sales tax permit for the state (it was free to file) so I can operate my booth. Once I get things in order I’ll file my LLC, business name, tax ID and open a business account for easier bookkeeping. I’ve also been building up some inventory for my first market day on March 2.

My last tidbit to share? A revamped pricing formula! As I now have overhead expenses (booth cost, filing, bookkeeping, etc) I needed change a few things up. Now my method of pricing furniture is a minimum of this formula:

Cost of Materials + (Hours worked x $20/hr) + (subtotal x 30%) = Minimum Price. If that price seems a tad low, I’ll pad it just a little bit. Since it’s a flea market, there’s a lot of haggling. I don’t want to go below my minimum, as that covers my expenses. The goal here is to not lose money my first year. So I’ll tack on a bit, and if I get it, awesome! If I don’t, then I’ll haggle until I hit the minimum. I’ll pass if they try to go lower. The good thing is that since I used a rebate to fund my booth, I’m not in the hole yet. I can only go up from here! Sorry for all the words today. I hope this helps anyone else out there thinking about starting a small business! And should you have tips and tricks to share that you picked up along the way, please leave a comment!


6 thoughts on “Wimberley Market Days Booth for 2013

  1. Killer I really admire your spunk…Good Luck….Pricing will be the toughest unless you keep really accurate records of all of your expenses. I prefer to just take the cost of the item and inflate it 200%. Then I compare it to a similar item by the internet (plus shipping and handling) and expect to be interestingly below it. That means the asking price is reasonable and you have plenty of room to haggle. For example a $500 table at Restoration Hardware that can be built for $100 you would charge $300. Maybe even have the RH catalog near at hand to show the difference. If I have over-inflated the price I just make an adjustment from there knowing full well my haggle room is reduced.

  2. By my earlier comment I do not want to imply that you should not keep accurate books. As an LLC you will need them with all expenses included. Be careful of the home office deduction.

    1. Right you are Jake! I’m not planning on any home office deductions, as I don’t have one. I don’t plan on deducting any tools either, as I use them for home projects more than on furniture to sell. Really I’m getting one simply to separate my assets. I want to protect my family. You never know when a screw will scratch someone or a board will split and cause an injury. I was much more easy-going when I did design work before I had a family, now I’d just like to cover all my bases!

      And my personal issue with inflating 200% is that most of the time it comes out much too low. Take that 5 board console. I used reclaimed wood, but even if I purchased new lumber would be $30, tops. That would put me at $60, which is close, but I’d like to price at $85 to $100 to include my overhead costs and time. I typically don’t purchase lumber and materials, I try to do my best to find reclaimed things. But it’s going to be a work in progress, I think. Pricing is such a tough aspect for me!

  3. Thanks for the post! I have a formula that I came up with to match a similar piece found on the internet (most of my jobs come from people who want something they see online without having to pay those high prices) but for a much more affordable price. Anyway – here goes. Cost of materials x 2 = final total. That is just for a new build. The reason I did it that way was when I was first starting out, it would take me a long time to build things (perfectionist) and I didn’t feel it was right to charge my clients for my slowness, so I didn’t charge for my time per se. So if the projects materials would cost $100, I would charge $200. When I started doing refinish work, I changed it up to charge for my time now. Refinishing supplies would typically cost a small amount so I figured that if I charged $15/hr for my time (and I do keep meticulous records) that would be good as a place to start until I got even better at what I’m doing.

    I’m glad to see how you do it, nice to see Im pretty well on track! Keep up the great work and I wish that I lived closer to see your booth! We did a booth at the local farmers market for the first year, but now I’m too busy to go down any more.

  4. I just found your blog from Hometalk (the awesome buffet and table you built for your mom! wowzer!). I love finding Texas bloggers – I live between Wimberley and Blanco, and go to Market Day pretty regularly, so I look forward to finding you there šŸ™‚ I missed yesterday because I went to an auction in San Marcos (McClellan’s). I hope your first Market Day was a success – it looked like a good number of people were out, even though it was a little chilly. Now I’m off to check out more of your blog… happy Sunday!

    1. Thank you Patty! It did have a good turnout, and I’m happy with how things went. Hope to see you in April!

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