Christmas 2015: Please contact me for local Vancouver pick-up available until December 17. Otherwise your lovely new jewelry will be shipped out within 3 business days, with NO guarantee of arriving before December 24th.
On holiday from December 18th to December 29th. Anything purchased during that time will be shipped out after December 29th.
Even thought the title says fellas, this technique works for anyone trying to find that perfect gift for their special someone.
Since I sell at a lot of artisan markets (aka "craft fairs"), and I also attend a lot antique fairs, I've participated in this sneaky technique several times as both the surpriser and the surprisee. Quite frankly I'm astonished that this doesn't happen more often.
First step; keep your eyes peeled for any upcoming artisan markets. (If you live in Vancouver, Got Craft has a great resource page for several really good ones here).
The whole point is you need to attend the market with your significant other, so chose a date that works for both of you. Now, it's possible to pull this off on your own, but if you can enlist some help from a friend, it will probably go a bit more smoothly.
Next; casually suggest that she invite one of her good friends along. Say something like "Hey, you know who would love this kind of thing? (Insert name here)". Your lady will think that is very thoughtful of you (bonus point!).
If you have the friend's number - text said friend in advance and alert them to fact that they will be basically be playing "wing man" in this subterfuge.
Still with me? OK - arrive at the market and immediately check your coats, scarves, umbrellas, etc. It's amazing to me how many ladies try to shop at these events while hauling around a giant winter coat and wearing chunky infinity scarves. Observe a busy Got Craft market below... See what I mean?
Plus it will be hot and you will get sweaty. Trust me - ditch the coats!
Now is the time for your to PAY ATTENTION. Most people will want to do a round of all the tables first before making any decisions on purchases. Pay attention to what she oooohs over the most. Does she pick it up? Does she try it on? Does her friend tell her it looks amazing on her? Most importantly - does she come back to it more than once?
Now here's where the sneaky part comes in. Probably, she will be humming and hawing over weather to purchase it or not. She will probably walk away and think about it. Now it's your GO time. Hang back as the ladies walk away, or even step behind her as she's trying to decide and catch the person's eye who is selling the object. Mouth something like "can you put that aside?" while making some kind of gesture that you will return for it.
If there is a risk that she might impulsively buy the object herself, make the sneaky suggestion that she should probably think it over. Suggest taking a break, grab a coffee, step outside, etc. Hang back while her and the girlfriend walk off ahead and tell the artisan to put the object aside and that you will be back as soon as possible.
Do not feel shy about doing this - I've had this happen many times so I have no problem setting something aside for you. I've even had someone drop their credit card on the table as they walked away and whisper "wrap that up!" Did I then use his credit card to charge thousands of dollars in an elaborate scam? Of course not. That would be unprofessional, oh, and against the law. We are artisans and business people, not scammers, so don't be afraid to leave your credit card with us.
Photos: [stu-di-o] by jeanie
Now all you have to do is excuse yourself (bathroom break?), and return to the table to pay and pick up the gift you now know she will love. Or, arrange to send the friend off to pay and collect while you make sure your lady is distracted with something else.
Part of the fun can actually be seeing how disappointed she is if she comes back to buy the piece herself! OK - slightly fiendish, but think about how thrilled she will be when she opens the gift and discovers it didn't "get away" after all!
And the bonus in all of this is that she will LOVE how much trouble you went to to pull one over on her.
So - get ready for holiday market season. And check the list below to find out where I'll be ready and willing to participate in sneaky subterfuge with you this 2014 holiday season...
Photo: Kris Brownlee
Eastside Culture Crawl
November 20 to 23
Thursday and Friday 5pm to 10pm
Saturday and Sunday 11am to 6pm
Studio 201 - 1000 Parker Street
Delbrook's Holiday Bazaar
November 29 & 30th
10am to 4pm
Make It Market
December 4th to 7th
Thursday & Friday 11am to 6pm
Saturday 10am to 7pm
Sunday 11am to 5pm
December 13th & 14th
10am to 5pm
Maritime Labour Centre