Andy here. I’m about to lay down the lowdown and the downlow on the whatnot and the what’s what about being a vendor at Oddmall. Much of the gab spouted here applies to just about any art, craft, or vendor show in which a person might participate, although every show has it’s own rules and guidelines.
To keep things organized, please enjoy the following bulleted list:
- How can I become an Oddmall vendor?
- What are Oddmall vendors allowed to sell?
Food and Food Trucks
Tattoos and Body Art
Pets and Exotic Animals
Items of an Adult Nature
Charities and Non-Profits
- What if I can’t afford the booth fee?
- What is included with my vendor booth?
- May I have some tips and advice about being a vendor?
- Tell me about Oddmall rules and guidelines?
How can I become an Oddmall vendor?
That is a very interesting and handsome question. Becoming an Oddmall vendor is simplicity itself. All you have to do is visit the Oddmall Vendor Registration page and fill out the form you find there. Once you complete the form and press the SUBMIT button it will take you to PayPal to finish the transaction. You do not have to have a PayPal account in order to sign up. You can use just about any credit card.
Oddmall is a juried show, but that’s mostly to make sure we don’t have too many vendors selling the same thing and that we don’t have anybody selling items that violate the Oddmall rules and guidelines. We want to give everyone a chance, regardless of experience level. There is no need to submit your items for jurying unless you aren’t sure they are appropriate. If we review your wares after you sign up and decide, for whatever reason, they aren’t a good fit for Oddmall we will let you know right away and issue a full refund.
Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns.
Oddmall, unlike many other shows, does not charge an application fee.
Please note that your PayPal receipt will say Con on the Cob on it. This is because Oddmall and Con on the Cob share a bank account and Con on the Cob was on the account first.
What are Oddmall vendors allowed to sell?
Oddmall is a haven for artists and vendors who might not fit in with mainstream craft shows. We encourage weirdness and individual creative expression. Of course, not everything needs to be weird. Less odd jazz just makes the weird stuff weirder by comparison.
Oddmall welcomes all things odd, geeky, horrific, fantastic, beautiful, crafty, LGBTQ+, handmade, or wonderful! We also welcome all things collectible, including toys, figurines, glassware, vintage clothing, games, comics, books, plants, furniture, musical instruments, art objects, and other such niftiness.
Food vendors and food trucks are encouraged at most Oddmall shows. Please see the Arts & Farts: The Oddmall Caravan of Food Trucks page for more information.
Tattoo artists and body piercers are welcome at most Oddmall shows. Please visit the INKcentricity: Tattoos & Body Art page to learn more.
Pets and Exotic Animal vendors are also welcome at many Oddmall events, subject to the laws and regulations of the state of Ohio. Allow me to direct you to the ZooODDlogy page for more about that.
Items of an adult nature are permitted as long as the bits and pieces in question are covered in some way to prevent underage visitors from casually seeing them.
We do allow home products and MLMs on a limited basis. Only one representative of each business is allowed per show and some MLMs are not permitted due to their predatory nature or questionable business practices. Please inquire by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are an MLM vendor and have any questions.
Commercial enterprises, such as gutter guards, bathroom remodelers, travel agents, and the like are welcome on a limited basis but such businesses are subject to a $150 commercial enterprise fee.
Here is a list of items Oddmall does not permit:
- Any items that promote or encourage racism, homophobia, transphobia, hatred, offensively political sentiments, or any other form of bigotry.
- Any item that is illegal in the state of Ohio or is forbidden by local laws or regulations.
- Garage sale items and random junk.
- Guns, ammo, or any real firearm.
- Taxidermy projects created from animals killed for that purpose. We do allow taxidermy vendors if such creations are made from animals who died of natural causes.
- Venomous animals, reptiles native to the state of Ohio, and constrictor snakes longer than twelve feet.
- Artwork created by another artist that you are presenting without permission from the original artist. This also applies to altered representations of said artwork.
Charities and Non-Profits
We usually reserve a few booths at each show to donate to various charities and non-profit organizations whose missions align with our own. If you represent such an organization and would like to be considered for a free booth please email Andy at email@example.com.
Animal sanctuaries and adoption groups are encouraged to apply. We love helping good boys and girls find their forever homes.
What if I can’t afford the booth fee?
I understand that not everyone can afford the booth fees for Oddmall shows. I also understand that it can be an intimidating investment for vendors new to the game. The prices are set as low as I can make them while still making it viable for me to continue hosting events. That having been said, I never want money to be the reason a vendor can’t participate. There are several ways a person can volunteer to help with the shows and thereby earn discounts or even free booths. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss…
Several contests and promotions happen throughout the year to provide discounted or free booths for various Oddmall shows. The best way to find out about these is to participate on the Oddmall Ohio Vendors Hub Facebook group, which I encourage everyone to join.
What is included with my vendor booth?
That’s another fantastic question!
Most Oddmall booths are sold as bare booth spots. That means the vendor is responsible for furnishing the booth and we provide a plot of land or a space inside the building with the dimensions specified by whatever booth type is selected on the registration form. Vendors may furnish and decorate their booth however they want as long as it doesn’t violate any of the rules set forth by the event venue, the state of Ohio, or the guidelines and procedures of Oddmall.
We do not provide pipe and drape or similar barriers between booths. I just don’t like the look of that stuff, personally, and the extra cost would raise booth fees, which I’m pretty sure none of us want.
Some venues include chairs and tables at no extra charge. Some require an additional fee for tables and/or chairs. Others do not have tables and chairs available at all. It all depends on the individual event and such options are reflected on the vendor registration form. Please keep in mind that a BOOTH is your actual vendor spot and a TABLE is an actual piece of furniture to put in your booth. Reserving a table without a booth will not provide you with a vendor spot.
Some venues provide electricity for free, others have a charge for electricity, and still others do not have access to electricity at all. These options are either described on the page for the individual show or on the registration form.
Outdoor vendors are responsible for providing their own canopies or tents, should they desire such things. All tents and canopies must be properly weighted or secured to the ground with stakes. Oddmall is not responsible for damage caused by weather or wind and we can not guarantee good weather for any event. It would be cool if we could but I haven’t quite developed that level of meteorological prognostication yet. That’s one reason why outdoor vendor spots are less expensive than similarly sized indoor spots.
May I have some tips and advice about being a vendor?
Of course you may! Here’s another one of those bulleted lists. These nuggets might not work for everyone or at every show, but the gist should be useful, nonetheless.
- Decorate your booth in a manner befitting your style.
Make your booth stand out from everyone else’s by decorating it to match the items you are selling. Consider using lights, table coverings, shelves, and other implements to build your booth upwards in order to draw attention to your booth and maximize your space. That being said, don’t clutter your booth with unrelated objects or things that detract from the items you are selling. Be interesting but not cluttered.
- Engage your customers.
Create an experience for your customers. Be friendly and memorable but not pushy. Be present and engaging. Stand up if you can. It is harder to connect with somebody who is quietly sitting behind their table playing on their phone than it is with somebody whose eyes are on the same level as yours and seems interested in talking to you. You are selling yourself as much as you are selling your products. If your artwork has a story connected with it it gives the buyer something to tell their friends when they show it off and it gives you something to talk about while connecting with the customer. Eye contact is important. So is a smile.
- Price your items appropriately.
This can be a challenge. It’s often very difficult to decide on a price for handmade pieces of art. In general, you want to charge as much as someone is willing to pay. Of course, determining how much someone is willing to pay can be tricky. A lot depends on the individual. As a general guideline consider how much time you put into the work and how much material cost went into its creation. Assign an hourly wage for yourself, multiply it by how many hours it took to create the artwork, add the material cost and you should arrive at a minimum value for the piece. For example, if a painting took you ten hours and cost you $20 in materials you might want to price it at a minimum of $120 so you can make $10 an hour as your wage. This doesn’t take into account the years of practice and education that you put into developing your skill, of course. Ideally, as you develop a fan base and your work becomes popular among the shoppers, you would be able to increase your fees appropriately.
Another option is to start with a higher price and allow yourself to negotiate with your customers to find a price you both agree on. Also, keep in mind that people like to brag about two things: what a great deal they got on a cheap purchase and how much they spent on an expensive purchase. Considering that, it’s a good idea to have a broad range of price points at your booth, depending on what you are selling. It really just takes that one superfan to pay the big bucks for an expensive piece of artwork, but while you’re searching for that person it pays to have some stuff to sell to less fiscally abundant customers as well.
It can also be useful to check out the prices more experienced vendors have set for similar products and price your jazz accordingly.
- Stick around!
Unless you have a legitimate reason to do so please do not pack up and leave before the show is over. If vendors start closing down early it looks really bad and makes shoppers think the show is ending. This hurts the other vendors. It is often the case that things slow down towards the end of the day. This is normal and provides a good opportunity to interact with the other vendors, make some friends, enjoy the entertainment, do some trades, and get to know the community.
- Be prepared to take payments.
Make sure you have enough cash on hand when the show starts so you can give change for cash purchases. Sometimes it is easier to just charge a dollar amount for your items that takes sales tax into account than it is to add the tax at the time of purchase and end up with a result that requires coins for change. That removes the need to trouble yourself with actual coins.
For credit card transactions you have several options. Many payment gateways, such as Square, PayPal, and others offer credit card processing through your phone or other device. Consider credit card processing fees when pricing your items.
Offering your customers a variety of payment options is also a good idea. Venmo, Cash App, and others provide a quick, easy, and free option for accepting payments onsite.
- Be appropriately licensed.
The state of Ohio requires vendors to possess a transient vendor’s license, which is attainable online through the Ohio Business Gateway. We do not check to make sure you are licensed (we take your word for it) but a state inspector could potentially ask to see proof of such a thing.
Food vendors, tattoo and body artists, and vendors selling animals may require additional licensing and inspections as required by the State or County Health Department.
Oddmall Policies and Procedures
Policies & Procedures
Rule #1: Don’t be evil.
Oddmall is dedicated to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all people (except evildoers and people who want to create an unsafe and unwelcoming environment for others). In pursuit of that we offer the following guidelines, rules, and procedures.
What to do if there is a problem.
- TELL A STAFF MEMBER. The Oddmall Souvenirium is constantly occupied by staff during show hours. Outside of show hours we are usually socializing with our Oddmall family members. We are not difficult to find. If you have trouble finding an Oddmall staff member please find a venue security representative (most of our venues have these, but not all). If things are desperate just call out and we’ll probably hear you.
- DO NOT attempt to contact us through social media or email during a show. Although we do our best to monitor such things it is often impossible for us to do so during a busy convention. COME TO US IN PERSON.
- We will thoroughly investigate any complaint and deal with it according to the guidelines listed below. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to get both sides of the story and make an educated decision, so patience is occasionally required.
- We will treat everybody with respect and attempt to make a decision informed by the provable or observable facts, interviewing witnesses and doing other research as necessary.
- If a situation requires law enforcement intervention we will contact the necessary authorities.
- Anyone who attempts to get our attention by instigating a smear campaign or deliberately posting unfounded bad reviews will be permanently banned from all Oddmall shows. We are doing our best. Attempting to get our attention by attacking the community we’ve spent years creating is supremely uncool.
- Although we prefer a more diplomatic approach, Oddmall reserves the right to remove any person, without refund, for violation of any of these rules.
- If it is illegal in Ohio it is illegal at Oddmall.
- Don’t be a jerk.
Harassment and Intimidation
- No person shall intentionally cause another person to feel inferior, frightened, unwelcome, intimidated, or uncomfortable.
- Unconsensual touching of any nature is prohibited.
- Cosplay is not consent, as the saying goes. Just because someone is wearing a sexy outfit does not mean they want you to approach them in a sexual manner. Treat people with respect and dignity regardless of what they are wearing. Do not take pictures without asking.
- Nobody is a nobody. Everyone deserves respect, regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion.
Shoplifting & Criminal Activity
- Anyone caught stealing from any entity or person at Oddmall or willingly causing damage or destruction to personal property will be prosecuted.
- If the person who stole our mannequin’s arm and head at Con on the Cob a few years ago returns it unharmed we will make an exception to rule #1 of this section.
- Oddmall and Con on the Cob are not responsible for items stolen from or lost by vendors or attendees, although we will do our best to help recover such items and prosecute those responsible.
Costumes & Props
- Attendees and vendors are encouraged to attend in costume.
- Metal weapons with points or sharp edges (knives, swords, spears, shurikens, etc…) are permitted as cosplay items but they must be safety tied or properly secured. Exceptions can be made on a case by case basis with the consent of Oddmall staff.
- No real guns or firearms are allowed. Fake guns are allowed if they are obvious toys. Any fake gun designed to look like a real gun must have an orange safety tip in place at all times.
- Any weapons purchased at the show must be secured (either safety tied or in a box) while the bearer is on the show floor and should be taken to a vehicle or hotel room as soon as possible.
- No explosives or volatile or poisonous chemicals are allowed.
- Bows, crossbows, and similar weapons and props must be unstrung. Exceptions can be made during the costume contest.
- Be aware of the size of your costumes and props.
- Do not misuse props or attack innocent people. If you are engaging in a mock battle or something of that nature make certain the area around you is clear. You are responsible for any damages or injuries caused by your costume or props.
Outside Promotions and Distribution of Media
- We encourage promoters of other shows and events to distribute their promotional materials at Oddmall (although it’s in bad taste if your event falls on the same day as one of ours).
- Event promoters should feel free and encouraged to speak with vendors and visitors about their event. Please only do so when the vendor in question is not otherwise engaged.
- The distribution of literature or espousal of events that promote discrimination, hate, or run counter to any of the ideals expressed elsewhere in these guidelines is vehemently forbidden. That means you, Nazi guy who snuck into Con on the Cob 2016.
Refund & Payment Policies
- Due to previous experiences Oddmall does not offer refunds under any circumstances. If you have a medical or family emergency or must cancel your booth for any reason please let us know. Sometimes, given enough time, we can transfer your booth to a different Oddmall show on a case by case basis.
- Outdoor shows are Rain or Shine events. By signing up for such shows vendors acknowledge weather conditions and other circumstances beyond anyone’s control might hamper the event’s attendance and that Oddmall is not responsible in such cases.
- Booths must be paid for at the time of registration. We will not hold your space for you until you pay for it. In the past we have held booths without pay and, as a result, lost thousands of dollars in unpaid booth fees. Exceptions can be made on a very limited basis.
- If a show must be canceled due to situations beyond our control (such as severe weather, damage to a venue, disease outbreaks, acts of nature, etc…) no refunds will be enacted. We will, however, attempt to reschedule for a later date or carry booth payments forward to future Oddmall shows if possible.
- Sales are permitted only by vendors who have actually purchased a vendor booth or made previous arrangements with Andy. Selling items without a purchased booth is unfair to vendors who did purchase a booth.
- No vendor may leave his or her booth in order to initiate a sale or address a potential customer that is currently visiting another vendor’s booth.
- Harrassment or overly aggressive marketing toward customers is forbidden.
- Please inform an Oddmall staff member as soon as possible if a child or impaired adult is missing. We will initiate a lockdown, if possible, and help you search, contacting authorities if necessary.
- If we are in a venue with a loudspeaker or intercom we will make announcements attempting to locate a missing child.
- When reporting a lost child please present the child’s name, age, identifying clothing, physical description, and last known location so we can be more efficient in our search.
- Although we will do our best to help find a missing child, Oddmall assumes no liability in such cases.
- Parents or guardians are responsible for the actions of their children.
Lost & Found
- The Lost & Found is located at the Oddmall Souvenirium. We will do our best to reunite people with their lost items.
- Unclaimed items become the property of Oddmall.
- Oddmall assumes no liability for lost, stolen, or damaged property.