Colorado is one of those unique places where you can use the heat and the air conditioning in the same day. Don’t like the weather? Wait 15 minutes, as the amatuer weather forecasters like to say. But when it comes to selling goods outdoors, fickle weather can cause headaches and heartache if you’re not prepared. Use these five tips to stay on top of changes come wind, snow, rain or sun.
Tip #1: Be informed and prepared
Weather forecasting has made leaps and bounds in recent years thanks to advancements in technology. That’s why today’s forecasters can predict the weather as far as 10 days out. Be sure to check the forecast before you sell and on the day of. Download an app on your smartphone or check the local news so you know what’s on the horizon for the day.
Forecast says: rain or snow
It’s all about the coverings. Invest in tarps that are water-resistant or, even better, waterproof that you can throw over tables, racks and booths in a hurry. Have a lot of paper products? Invest in plastic envelopes. Not only will these help protect your items from moisture, but they’ll also help protect them from dirt and oil on people’s hands.
It’s a Windsday
A fresh breeze can be lovely, especially on a hot day. A huge gust, not so much for you or your items which could be carried off or damaged with strong winds. Here are a few tried-and-true ways to beat back the wind:
- Industrial-strength magnets do wonders to keep thin, lightweight items in place on metallic surfaces. You can find them at hardware stores or online.
- Zip ties are great for attaching tarps overhead as well as items to racks or screens. Plus they have the added benefit of extra security.
There’s a sudden turn for the worse
It’s hard to do, but staying calm in a frantic situation can help you pack up quickly and safely. If you feel yourself getting worked up, take three slow, deep breaths from your belly inside of your chest. This kind of breathing helps slow down your nervous system like when you’re sleeping or after you’ve eaten. Then you can think more clearly rather than run around without a plan. If you know about a nasty storm brewing in advance, set out fewer items that day and display them in a way that makes it easy for you to pack up.
Tip #2: Keep it cool
The blacktop can get hot because the asphalt absorbs heat and releases it back into the air. Here’s how you can beat the blacktop heat:
- Stay hydrated. Choose water over coffee, tea or soda. Why? Water helps you cool down, replenishes your body’s water levels from sweat and does a whole bunch of other stuff like balancing your body’s chemicals, lubricating joints and delivering oxygen. Read more about the wonders of water’s effects on your body here.
- Cover up. It’s tempting to wear as few clothes as socially acceptable when it’s hot. But doing so puts your skin in the position of doing a lot of heavy lifting against the sun and heat. Here’s what to wear:
- A wide-brimmed hat. Whatever style you choose, select one that creates shade for your face, neck and shoulders.
- Breathable clothing that wicks away sweat rather than trapping it. Choose natural materials like cotton, linen and bamboo. Some athletic wear is specifically designed to help you stay cool.
- Sunblock that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Typically, these types of sunblocks are made from minerals.
- Cooling neck wraps or a personal mister to keep you cool on extra-hot days.
Tip #3: Layer it up
Daily temperature swings could mean warm days sandwiched by chilly mornings or nights. Dressing in layers can help you adjust for the ups and downs of the thermometer. You’ll have the flexibility to stay comfortable all day long. This is probably most true for spring and fall here in Colorado. Have two to three layers to choose from, like a jacket or sweater, long-sleeved shirt and tee or tank top.
Tip #4: Stay toasty on cold days
The Mile High Flea Market is open year round. Hello, holiday sales! Keep yourself warm with these cold-weather tactics:
- Ditch cotton socks for wool ones, which keep your feet better insulated and drier. Even with great boots, cotton socks can cause your feet to sweat, which leaves you with cold, damp feet. Wool socks will keep your feet dry and warmer.
- Get a great winter coat. Look for a coat made for temps below zero as well as one that goes down to your knees. You’ll be surprised just how much covering your rear end helps keep you warm.
- If you need to use a smartphone, use gloves and mittens made for touching screens. That way, your fingers are protected and warm all day long.
- Drink and/or eat warm things like coffee, tea or soup. Plus, you can wrap your hands around the cup to stay warm.
Tip #5: Have a good attitude
You can’t control the weather, but you can control how you respond to it. The good and bad news about the weather? It’s always changing. If it’s bad, it won’t last forever and clearer skies are ahead. Same goes for those perfect days. Relish it while it lasts, but don’t get so attached you can’t deal with a cloud or two.
The weather isn’t personal. It’s not out to get you or ruin your day. It’s just doing its own thing. If you find yourself getting frustrated or upset, try that deep belly breathing we talked about in tip #1. Try to see the humor in the situation. Did a great big raindrop hit you square in the eye? Did a burst of wind blow a leaf directly into your mouth? What are the chances of something that silly happening to you? Delight in those odds. And, if all else fails, look around at your fellow sellers. You’re not alone. They’re in this weather pickle with you.
Ready to become an all-weather seller?
Put these tips into practice and book a space today.