Merchant Frequently Asked QuestionsAll your questions answered!
Thank you for your interest in becoming a merchant at the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire (WMRF). Please read the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) prior to filling out the application. If you still have questions that are not addressed here, please send those questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the process for becoming a merchant at the faire?
Prospective merchants should fill out the on-line application, and submit photographs of their booth (set up and decorated for a renaissance faire), their merchandise, products, or services, and of booth staff dressed in renaissance costumes (garb). Failure to submit photographs of the above may result in your application being declined due to lack of information. Prospective merchants can apply for one, two, or all three weekends of the faire. Applications for all three weekends of the faire are given preference over applications for only one or two weekends as it is difficult to fill an empty space for only one or two weekends
Applications are reviewed over a period of months based upon the type of products, merchandise, and services offered, and available booth space. Some categories of products or services are impacted (multiple merchants selling the same products or services). If your application is accepted, you will receive an acceptance letter with information about what is required and other important information. Acceptance letters begin to be sent out in late January and continue until May. You will also receive a contract, which you must read and sign, an invoice for your booth fees, and costume guidelines for you and any booth staff at the event.
What is included in my booth fee?
Your booth fee covers the booth space, ID badges for you and any booth staff, camping in participant camping or in your booth, and security on the weekends, day and night.
Does the faire have booths/tables for use by merchants at the faire?
No. Merchants are required to bring their own tables, chairs, carts, booths, tents, pavilions, or other items used to sell their merchandise, products, or services.
Can I reserve a specific spot for my booth?
There are no reserved booth spaces at the faire, although merchants may request to have a booth facing a certain direction due the positioning of the sun and how that may affect some merchandise, products, or services.
Is there power available for my booth?
There is very limited power available on the faire site. Only food booths have available power at the faire, and that is included in the food booth fee.
Does my booth have to be open all day?
Yes. Your merchant contract will state the hours your booth will need to be open during the day on the days of faire. Faire hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Your booth is expected to be open for patrons at 10:00 a.m. each day of faire. Your booth will close at 7 p.m. each day of the faire. Security will be doing a site patrol to escort all patrons inside the faire gates at 7 p.m.
If you sell out of all your merchandise, you are required to have at least one person in your booth to speak with customers and hand out business cards to those interested for the remainder of the day or faire.
Do I have to take my booth down each day or at the end of the weekend?
Your booth may remain up for the duration of your contracted days at the faire. It is highly recommended that your booth be securely tied down and any valuables are not left behind in the booth. Wind, rain, and weather do occur, and you may wish to drop your booth to the ground, and secure against any weather that may be forecast.
How much does it cost for a booth space at the faire?
Booth space pricing is based on the size of the booth or cart, and is per weekend. For example, the lowest price is for a mobile cart, which must move every 30 minutes. The next size up is a kiosk, which can be no more than 5 ft by 5 ft, and is located in one spot. The largest booth space for merchandise, products, or services is 35 feet (frontage) by 35 feet (deep). Food booths may request a deeper space based on specific needs, and will need approval by the merchant coordinator, and the site director. Prices start at $125 per weekend.
Why do I need to have insurance coverage?
Insurance coverage is mandatory for all merchants at the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire. Insurance certificates cover you, your booth, your business, and your products, merchandise, or services in case of accidents, or other incidents. For example, a wind storm may blow your pavilion over and destroy some of your merchandise, for which you may make an insurance claim. Or a patron may knock over a display or trip over a guy line, stake, or even the ground and fall in your booth, which could result in a lawsuit against you, or your business. Insurance would help in the event of a lawsuit, and protect some of your assets and/or future earnings.
You do not need to have an insurance policy in force to fill out the merchant application. If you are accepted as a merchant, you will need to submit the additional insured certificate to the merchant coordinator at least 3 weeks prior to your arrival for setup for the faire.
What is a UBI and why do I need one?
The state of Washington requires all persons selling any product, merchandise or service to have a UBI (Unified Business Identifier), which is also called a tax registration number or business license number. This nine digit number allows you to do business in the state of Washington, and is also used to pay any sales taxes collected on the sales of your products or services. You may find more information about a UBI on the following website: https://dor.wa.gov/open-business/business-licensing-and-renewals-faqs
Please note that if you are not a resident of Washington, and will only be doing business at the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire, you do not need a UBI for a year-long business. Please read through the information on the website to apply for the correct license.
You do not need to have a UBI to fill out the merchant application. If you are accepted as a merchant, you will need to submit the UBI number to the merchant coordinator at least 3 weeks prior to your arrival for setup for the faire.
What if I am accepted and have to cancel? Do I get my booth fees back?
Booth fees are refundable up to 60 days prior to the date of the first Saturday of the faire. Cancellations received less than 60 days prior to the date of the first Saturday of the faire will result in forfeiture of any paid booth fees. In the event of a cancellation of the faire prior to the event, refund requests will be honored.
Is there a preference for any type of merchandise, product or service?
Hand-crafted merchandise, products, or services are preferred over mass-produced or imported goods. Unique, one-of-a-kind items are also preferred.
Is there a discount offered to those who demonstrate their crafts or art, or make their items during the faire days?
A demonstration discount is available to those who make or demonstrate the making of their products, merchandise or services during the day at faire. The discount amount is determined on the amount of time demonstrating and the booth space price.
Are there any merchandise, products, or services that are not sold or allowed to be sold at the faire?
The Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire is a themed event, set in the mid-late 1500s. Certain products, merchandise, or services do not fall into that category (for example: plastic food storage containers, certain make-up product lines, cellular phones or cellular service plans, insurance policy plans, auto warranties, cookware, or power tools). Alcohol of any type is only sold in the ale houses (bars) at the faire, and may not be sold by any merchant. Toy wooden swords and shields are also sold only by the souvenir carts/stands and may not be sold by any merchant.
What about camping at the faire? What is offered? How much does it cost?
Accepted merchants may camp in your booth or participant camping at no cost. Booth staff may also camp in participant camping. You may camp in your car, tent, trailer, or RV, based on available space. You may camp on the weekends and mid-week. Only those with participant ID badges are allowed in the participant camping area, which has a security check-point. There is no available power for participant camping. Water is available to fill water jugs or tanks at some faucets, but there are no water hook-ups on the site in participant camping. Porta-potties are placed throughout participant camping and are cleaned on the weekends and Monday mornings. There are local places not too far from faire site with black and gray water tank dumps.
What if I want to camp with my friends who are not merchants?
You may choose to camp in patron (guest) camping with those who pay to camp for the weekend. There are available porta-potties in patron camping.
Are there noise limits or quiet hours in the camping area?.
Quiet hours start at 10 p.m. each evening in the camping areas and continue until 6 a.m.. Noise is limited to conversation level. Security will patrol throughout the night and advise those who are making noise above the allowed levels. Failure to comply with the quiet hours may result in removal from the camping areas.
When am I allowed to set up my booth?
Merchants who are accepted for all three weekends, or only for 1st weekend, are allowed to set up on the Thursday or Friday prior to the first weekend of faire. Set up is by appointment only, and requests for setup times are taken first come-first serve by the merchant coordinator. Setup appointments are scheduled every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., with a break for lunch of one hour.
Merchants arriving for setup for the 2nd or 3rd weekend of faire are allowed to set up on the Friday before the applicable weekend. Setup appointments are scheduled every hour from 9 a.m until 7 p..m with a break for lunch of one hour.
Can I stay to see the after-hours entertainment?
Your participant ID badge will allow you no charge access to the evening entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.
I have children. Do I have to pay to bring them to faire with me?
Your family members may help you in the booth, or stay in your camp during faire. It is important that all children under the age of 18 be with a parent or guardian at all times while on faire site. Unattended children will be escorted back to the parent. Note: there are no babysitting services at the faire.