Tips for Selling in a Crafts Fair

I'm prepping to sell my crochets and knits at a local indoor yard sale at the end this month and while I'm excited, I also know that working a show of any kind can be overwhelming to prepare for. There's a bunch of products to price, create signage, flyers, advertise on social media, but also there's the intangibles like having enough tables and thank you bags!

I've worked many shows with hubby selling his photo prints and though the product line for him is different from craft items, there's still some basic tips I find helpful no matter what kind of crafts fair it is and I hope these tips will help you as well:

  1. Decide on the product. For me, I decided to do just 2 - 3 types: hats and scarves. Other items I have are only a few, because when you have a bunch of things, it gets cumbersome and confusing. 
  2. Have a specific price point. When you narrow down what crafts you'll sell, make the pricing easy to remember and we usually try to use these dollar increments: $1, $5, $10, $15, $20 because it is usually easy for people to pull these amounts of cash rather than like $8 or say $4.99. And create a price sheet that you can print and have with you at the crafts fair in case you need to refer to it.
  3. Make a to-do list. Organization is key here. I write down things like: (a) price products, (b) make, print, and attach care instruction tags to the items, (c) create a shopping list, etc. And, then I check off each item as I complete it. 
  4. Make sure to have plenty of supplies. I can't tell you how many times we focus on preparing for a show and forget little things like having rubber bands, stapler with staples, or enough black markers or pens. You'd be surprised that you can use these items at a fair. I like to have these on hand: scissors, pencils, hanging clips, packaging tape, extra table cloths, writing tablet, and safety pins!
  5. Know your set up. We like to draw or maybe poorly sketch out (lol) the layout of our space on paper. This way we know where the tables and screens will go. It saves time on the load in day AND a lot of frustration!
  6. Don't forget to have change beforehand. We usually break $100 into 1, 5, 10, and 20s.

Every time we work a show we learn more and hubby and I discuss best practices and how we can improve for the next show. It's important if you are or want to be a regular seller at crafts fairs that you always evaluate your successes and what you can work on for the next time.

  1. Try not to over think things. It's really easy to over spend on cute labels for your thank you bags or having gifts to give away to customers that shop at your booth. I think it's great to have your own branding, but try to budget for what you need so that your expenses are not so high that you'll have to sell out just to break even.
  2. Not every crafts fair is a money maker. Hubby and I decided to narrow down the number of shows we'll do in 2017, because last year we did about 7 or 8 and 4 of them were back to back. We were so tired by the end of the summer. And, while we made money, not all these shows were that profitable for us. You may want to try out a certain fair to be in, but I suggest getting all the information you can and talk to people who have been in it to see if it's worth you being a vendor. You definitely want to come out making a profit and that includes making back your entry fee.
  3. Not every item is a seller. Sometimes as a creator you make something you think is cute and will be an instant overnight success but it turns out not to be. I'm not talking about a one-time thing, I speaking of a product line that you've had in your stash for years and it just doesn't sell. My recommendation is not to include them in fairs and even remove them from your arsenal. It might be beneficial to either gift or donate them and replace them with items that you know do sell.
  4. Listen to your customers. If you continue to get many requests to make and sell a certain item(s), give it consideration. It might be the product line that will really sell out and set you apart from your competition.
At the end of the day, you want your customers to walk away happy with their purchases and you walk away fulfilled that you made a nice profit doing what you love. 

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