If you are looking to grow your home-based business you may want to try your hand at wholesale trade shows. We do a lot of gift and craft shows all around Ohio and recently in Tennessee. You can gain wholesale accounts by doing local retail shows but to maximize your reach you might want to try wholesale trade shows.

That's exactly what we're doing. In order to reach more buyers we decided to dedicate this year to wholesale shows. We first started with the Columbus Marketplace (read our review). The next wholesale show for us was the Offinger's Marketplaces show August 22, 2015.

Again, like our review of the Columbus Marketplace show the staff is really nice to work with. Not only are they nice to their vendors you get a little welcome bag when you sign in. Plus (at least at this show) we got two vouchers for free lunch from the concession stand.

Before the show started the buyers were lined up and ready to buy. I'm talking a lot of buyers with carts, wagons, and trash cans on wheels to zip through and start spending. The sound is unreal of all those shoppers rushing into the show wheeling their carts and trash cans. Sounds great right?

Primitive items available at Offinger's
Well not so great if you are a producer of handmade items. They are not there for you! They are there for the buy and sell imported items. For that reason we give it 1 out of 5 stars. Also it was all primitive home decor. If you are home business of primitive decor I don't think they are there for you either. We had a neighbor with handmade primitives and I don't think they can compete with pricing.

We have nothing against imported items being there we just wish someone had told us it's not a handmade market.
It wasn't just us that had this experience. We talked with other makers of handmade, made in the U.S.A items and they had the same experience.

The other big disadvantage for this show is most buyers didn't want to meet wholesale minimum purchase amounts. The handmade booths held to a minimum purchase amount and the buy and sell booths did not. People were able to buy one or two items at wholesale pricing. It seemed like most buyers are there to shop at half price and have no intentions of carrying your product line.

I would not recommend this show to someone with handmade items but you need to decide for yourself. Sometimes we have to experience things for ourselves. If you decide to do this market I wish you much success! Besides you never know. You only need one good account to make it worth your while.

I will keep on eye on this wholesale show and will jump back in it again if it becomes a market for handmade items. But until them we will not do this show again simply because it's not the right market for handmade. If you have a buy and sell import business I highly recommend this show. It may be the right fit for you!
Chickenmash Farm booth display at Offinger's Marketplaces Show