I was recently talking with a new sale organizer who was struggling with competition. Some big names had moved into her town and she was wondering why people would choose her business over their businesses?
I always try and convey to my new sale organizers that your business is about you. People come because they like you. They like how you organize, they like how you do business, they like the way you treat your consignors/volunteers or maybe they like that you have a large or small following. Let's talk about two different real life sale scenarios.
A friend of mine moved away to another state where there was a big name sale. She said she loved the sale, she loved consigning/volunteering/shopping. But then the sale organizer sold to someone else and she said that they weren't as nice, so she quit volunteering, but still consigned and shopped. They sold out a year or so later and the new sale organizers were bitter and nasty. She didn't volunteer and quit consigning and shopping with them. Just because you have a name (perhaps from buying an existing business) doesn't mean that people are going to flock to your it. They may have more money, they may have more polished and professional advertising material, but it doesn't mean that they people are going to flock to them. This is a people business. If you aren't a people person, you are going to struggle, just like they are going to struggle. Just like this business lost people because of the attitude of the sale organizer.
When I started my sale, the very same season a lady partnered with a local radio station to hold a consignment sale. They moved into another sale's location with the promise of $40,000 in free radio publicity for the location via advertising this event. This new sale offered an 80/20 split. I went out and asked to leave fliers, after all, I can't compete with that kind of money on my shoe string budget, but I can capitalize on their big advertising budget! When the event was over, I was talking with the radio station volunteers and asked them how it went. They said it was "okay" but for the amount of advertising they invested, it was considered overall a bust. If I remember correctly, they had around 125 consignors. They never held another sale.
My point being that all the money in the world and all the flash in town doesn't necessarily convert into customers. Your first and next couple of sales are all about the community getting to know you. So don't fret. Don't worry about anyone else. Focus on your sale and your end game if you want to succeed.