I went to a craft fair two weeks ago. I had to pay to get in. $5.00. They charge the vendors to set up, then they charge the customers to get. Oh well, I don’t like that but now that it is off my chest, I feel better. I wouldn’t have minded paying the $5.00 so much if when I entered, I had entered into the world of wonderful homemade & handmade delights. That wasn’t the case. I didn’t keep a tally sheet but my guess would be of the 100 vendors, 20 vendors were selling their homemade wares. Everyone else was selling products made elsewhere. It is hard to complete with products made in China or with products being mass marketed. I will not go back next year since I’m a supporter of artists and small business. Yes the people selling the mass marketed items are small business owners but I felt cheated. This was a craft fair.
Anyway, the method to my madness or the reason to my rambling is the dip mix vendors. There were 9 vendors selling dip mixes. All had big lines in front of them with customers dipping and tasting and buying. The first row I traveled down had 3 dip mix vendors. Two were directly across from one another. (Personally I would have been a tad upset if I paid for a spot and they put me across from another identical vendor.) Didn’t seem to matter though as both booths had customers.
I went to booth #1 and tasted the ranch dip. Delicious. I went to booth #2 and tasted the ranch dip. Delicious. Hmmm. Both delicious but what was funny was that they tasted the same amount of deliciousness. So I bought the pack from booth #2. So as not to appear a creep, I sat down and wrote all the ingredients of the ranch dip in my phone. I then went back to booth #1 and looked at the ingredients in their ranch dip. Casually looking at my phone, I compared the ingredients. They listed the same ingredients in the same order. The little package labels had different names on them but the back of the label looked very similar.
Phone in hand I continued browsing the fair. At the end of the row, another dip mix vendor. All those delicious dips sitting there for tasting. I went for the ranch again. Delicious. I said to the girl “This is delicious, do you make these yourself?”. She said she didn’t but her aunt makes them. I picked up the pack, pretended I got a text and again looked at the ingredients. Same ingredients, again listed in the same order.
Her aunt may make dip mixes like I make dip mixes but she isn’t selling them. These people are buying these dip mixes wholesale. It never occurred to me that the vendors selling dip mixes were buying the mixes. They simply were repackaging them. Maybe not everyone selling them is buying them wholesale but from my experiment, 8 of the 9 had the same back label as others at the craft fair. I tasted every vendor’s ranch dip and looked at all the packages. It didn’t appear they all used the same wholesale vendor as some were different from vendor #1, vendor #2 and vendor #3. Unfortunately only one didn’t match any other pack. I should have bought her dip mix but I make my own and I had already bought one.
If you haven’t followed along, I’ve posted lots of dip mix recipes. You can find them here. This post will link you to all dip mix posts.
There is nothing wrong with making money selling wholesale dip mixes. Maybe that is the easier route. To make dip mixes at home, it is easy and inexpensive. Delicious and fresh too. You can’t beat them. Whenever I make a batch, I always quadruple the recipe. I have a stash on hand for myself or I give them away as gifts.
In the past two weeks I have done some research and found several wholesalers and I have contacted them about prices. When I get all the information and pricing back, I’ll be posting my finding with contact info.
See you next time.