Pennsic War  


Merchanting at Pennsic War

Street of Gold
A view from Street of Gold in the Merchant Area

How to register as a Merchant

Merchanting at the War can be fun, prestigious, and profitable! Space for vendors is very limited, and each merchant must go through an application process each year. Acceptance of vendors is based on the following:

  • Vendors who participated the previous year
  • Merchandise that is "period," or could have been from the medieval/renaissance ages, or things appropriate to the S.C.A. Star Trek, Magic Cards and many fantasy items are not considered appropriate.
  • "Authentic" period selling pavillion is a requirement for those in tent spaces
  • People who did not give the Merchant Autocrat problems in a previous year
  • Timely submission of your application (Pennsic 39 Deadline: 31-March-2009)
In order to apply for merchant space, you may request an application package from the Merchant Autocrat by writing to her before March of the year you want to be a merchant. If you are reading this after March, don't expect to be able to apply for this year's Pennsic War.

Official information can be found on the Cooper's Lake website under Pennsic War Merchanting.

Application fees for merchant space were between $100 and $400 at Pennsic 35 plus a $50 per merchant application fee. That means if there are three merchant businesses in one space, they must each pay the $50 fee, and the "primary merchant" pays for the space fee. These fees are separate from your personal site fee.

There are two kinds of booth spaces: tent space and bazaar space. The latter is a 10'x10' space in a large circus tent with shorter selling hours of 11 A.M. - 7 P.M. All other spaces are "bring your own pavilion."

The single tent spaces are parceled in the following (maximum) sizes, i.e. actual size is trimmed down to your tent's requirements.

  • 15' x 15'
  • 25' x 25'
  • 25' x 50'

Business Liability Insurance

All merchants will be required to obtain event liability insurance with coverages at $2 million for general aggregate and a $1 million per occurence limit, minimum. The cost for such insurance is about $150-250 for a 30-day period. Some types of businesses (such as weapons sellers) will have to pay higher premiums because of exceptions and special cases in the insurance industry.

Applying By Mail

To apply to be a merchant, request an application packet BEFORE MARCH to this address:

Pennsic War Merchanting
c/o Coopers Lake Campground
205 Currie Road
Slippery Rock, PA 16057
The official Merchanting page is located at:

Consignment Merchandise

It is permissible for a registered merchant to accept Consignment Merchandise from other participants of Pennsic War. All merchandise must be considered appropriate for Pennsic and S.C.A., and the merchant is responsible for the merchandise including collection of sales taxes. If there is any question whether a consignment is appropriate, you should go to the Merchant Autocrat office and inquire.

Unacceptable Merchandise

Here is a list of items and services that cannot be offered, traded or sold by merchants:
  • Body piercings, fangs, tattoos
  • Chiropractic, massage therapy
  • Children's wooden swords/daggers
  • Unauthorized "knock-offs" of copyrighted items

Advertising Opportunities

Advertising on Pennsic.Net is a highly effective way to have your business seen by a large number of Pennsic War participants both before and after War. If you are a merchant and would like to advertise on Pennsic.Net, please see the Sponsorship Opportunities page.

Each year there is an on-site publication, distributed daily for the eight days of "War Week." This is an excellent opportunity for merchants and non-merchants to advertise services and wares. The current publishers are The Pennsic Independent

Strolling/Wandering Merchants

The following information was provided by the merchant coodinator, for those interested in becoming wandering merchants at Pennsic War:

Wandering Merchant Rules

  1. Must register with the Merchant Office first to receive information and a Wandering Merchant Favor. Only one favor will be issued per registered wanderer.

  2. The owner of the business must be a registered and have a valid PA tax license.

  3. Items to be hawked must be related to the general atmosphere of Pennsic and are subject to the approval of the Merchant Office.

  4. Approved hawking areas are as follows:
    A. Any street area designated as a merchant area.
    B. Area around the Upper Bathhouse
    C. Walkway from the Cooper's Lake Campground Store to the Food Court.
  5. Non-Hawking areas are as follows:
    A. The area around the Cooper's Lake Campground Store
    B. Food Court Tents
    C. Inside the Bazaar Tents
    D. Inside any other Merchants space unless invited
    E. Any area not designated above, such as a campsite, campsite roads, etc.
  6. Wandering merchants must keep moving unles they are making a sale or demonstration. (No more than 15 minutes in any one spot unless doing the above). No sitting and yelling.

  7. Use Common Sense! Do not badger your potential customers. Do not act rude of inappropriate, Do not use unacceptable language.

  8. Wandering Merchants will be issued a favor which must be carried by the person doing the strolling.

  9. If the person wandering is under 13, he or she must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

  10. The Merchant Office reserves the right to revoke Wandering Merchant privileges in the event that complaints are made.

Please review these rules with any wanderer before sending them out. Thank you, and remember to have fun with it when writing your pitch! If your wanderers are enjoying themselves, your customers will also. Home - Search - FAQ - Photos - Pennsic People Database - Comments - Advertising
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Last update: July 2009