Selling at craft fairs is a great way to get more eyes on your handmade products. But, if you want to do it right and get the most out of the experience, learn these tips for how to sell at craft shows.
Hey, y’all! It’s that time of year again and we wanted to revisit the topic of selling at craft fairs. Craft shows are a fantastic way to get your products in front of more people. They offer the opportunity to make a lot of money in a short time and can be a valuable tool for helping you expand your business.
But, there’s a learning curve when it comes to successfully selling wreaths at craft fairs. It took me a few times to learn the ins and outs of selling at craft shows so that it was really worth the time and effort to be there.
Here are some must-have tips that I wish I had known when I started doing craft shows!
*photo credit: Deann Mimi Mokler at Bear Creek Creations
The Cost Of Selling At Craft Fairs
Before we get into tips for success, first we need to cover a major stumbling block for many crafters: cost. Selling your items at a craft show yields benefits, but you pay for those in the form of expenses.
How much could it cost you to do the craft show? Remember to include ALL of these items in your Craft Show fee!
- Table/Booth fees
- Swag Bag Donations
- Production Costs (this is probably 33%-50% of your total sales)
- Display Costs
- Credit Card Transaction Fees
- Packaging/Marketing Materials
- Your wages (see those 2 pennies that you’re rubbing together? That may just be your profit, LOL)
Be prepared to eat some of those costs upfront and the rest later.
Selling At Craft Fairs: Top Tips From Experience
There are quite a few factors when planning to sell your handmade crafts at a craft fair. Marketing, setup, inventory…oh my! That’s a lot to know about if you want to be successful! But hopefully, we’ll save you a bit of headache sharing our own tips that we learned from the experience of participating in more than 63 craft shows.
Before we jump headfirst into our tips, I do want y’all to prepare yourself to get out of your own way. You heard me right. We say that with a little tough love because we know how that inner voice just creeps up. Yep, we hear it too.
So take the time to read The Crafter’s Guide to Managing Imposter Syndrome because you’ve totally got this!
Have Enough Inventory
You have to make sure that you have enough inventory so that if you sell out of inventory, the show was worth it (check out my tip about craft show costs below). The juice has got to be worth the squeeze y’all.
For example, if you get a 10×10 booth in a craft fair selling wreaths. And your set up only allows you to set up 20 wreaths. Depending on your price point for those wreaths you could make anywhere between $900 and $3,000 by selling out.
Make sure you are prepared to handle custom orders, if you accept them! Most of the time people will like the product you have hanging, but will want to modify it somehow. Have a template or a notebook of product examples handy so that you look legit to put the customer’s mind at ease about paying for some of the custom order upfront.
How To Display Wreaths To Sell At A Craft Show
A good display is important, but no need to go overboard y’all.
I stressed over displays for 2 years, bought new things, tried to see what others were doing, and wasted so much energy, money, and PRODUCTION time! Every article on Pinterest, Google, or wherever else you may look is going to tell you that your display is the most important part of your booth.
Take it from me: it’s NOT! Your booth doesn’t need to look like a storefront. Instead, it needs to display the most product that you can possibly fit into your little booth area. That’s it.
Pro Tip: Make sure enough of your best-sellers are visible and right in front of the window shoppers’ eyes so they’re drawn into your booth. Learn even more by reading how to display your wreaths at a craft show.
Pricing Your Product For Selling At Craft Fairs
Prices…make sure your prices are in line with the rest of the show and that they’re clearly visible. I like to use my tagging gun to price my wreaths! 😉
Make sure that you have products that cover a large price range so that everyone who walks into your booth can hand you money. Learn more tips about how to price your handmade wreaths.
Craft Fair Booth Setup Tips
Space is valuable in your booth. Use what you have to maximize the amount of product to display. Pro Tip: leave yourself a payment station.
Exchanging funds for goods can be an insane juggling act if you don’t have a dedicated place. Plus, it looks unprofessional.
Your pay station should have a cash box, product bags, any type of promotional items that you have to give to your customers and a place for them to sit down their purse!
If you don’t have all of these things in place, things will get awkward. I promise.
If you didn’t pick up on the subtle hint… here’s a bigger one. GET A MONEY BOX Y’ALL, because nothing looks worse than watching a business owner dig around in their pockets and pulling up wadded cash for change. I use this cash box from Amazon.
Speaking of money boxes… Don’t forget to bring your coins! Have plenty of change on hand (more than you probably think) to get you through the event.
And, here’s a hard truth: you MUST have a way to process credit cards. It’s past 2020. Cash is practically a novelty item since everyone is swiping that plastic! I recommend you get the Square reader!
Selling At Craft Fairs: Adopt The Right Mindset
While you’re at the craft show, you’re a seller, not a maker.
Show those pearly whites, put on your cheerful big girl/boy panties, and make sure that you’re mentally prepared to be happy, engaging, smart, funny, and personable! As much as you’re trying to sell your product, you’re really just selling YOU. If they buy you, they’ll feel guilty for leaving your booth with empty hands.
If you’re an introvert, fake it till you make it! Talk to any and every one that walks by. No one should leave that show without knowing your products or knowing how to get in touch with you again.
That said, not all folks are right in the head, so be prepared for crazy and rude comments. Hopefully the sweet and rewarding ones will outweigh the ugly ones. No matter what, keep your chin up and don’t stoop to their level. Others may be listening, and they won’t impressed if you get snarky.
Plan Ahead Regarding Food
Make sure you pack snacks and drinks for the entire day. If you’re lucky the show will be so busy that you won’t have a chance to get away long enough for refreshments.
However, also be mentally prepared that 75% of the shows will leave you with enough free time to enjoy every homemade snack in the building.
Ask A Friend To Tag Along
Or, just ask them to stop in for a visit. I’m pretty sure those hangry snacks are going to have your eyeballs floating and you wiggling in your seat at some point. Having a friend or spouse with you will give you the opportunity for restroom breaks without losing potential sales.
While business cards are cool and important – how many of you actually have a stack of business cards at home that you’ve received from people?
Selling your product should be goal #1, but if you just can’t make that sale today, make sure you give yourself the opportunity to make that sale tomorrow! If you don’t do that, you’re leaving so much money on the table. And if that’s the case, I’m just not sure we can be friends! Just kidding…
You are leaving the coins for someone else to grab if you aren’t trying to convince that customer to get on your newsletter! Simply handing them a business card is the equivalent of handing them all the power. Remember, you have your big girl/boy panties on for the craft fair. Take the power & keep it by asking them for an email address!
Selling At Craft Fairs Can Create Customers For Life
Why do you want to get customers signed up on your email list? If you can obtain their email address, you are guaranteeing yourself a 2nd interaction with that person.
However, keep in mind that just asking for someone’s email address doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. You have to sell it to potential customers! Make sure that they understand that if they give you their email address that they will get special benefits. Potential benefits for your customers might include (but aren’t limited to):
- Newest product updates
- Letting shoppers know which events you will be attending in the future
- Special sales/promotions
- Weekly or monthly updates from your shop!
If having a newsletter is new to you, learn how to build an engaging email list to foster repeat customers. It’s super simple to use Mailchimp and just have customers subscribe right on the spot!
Here’s how: use the app called MailChimp Subscribe, link it to your MailChimp account and the customers can fill it out right from your phone/tablet at the show!
Mitigate The Competition
There should be only 1-2 other people selling similar products at your craft fair with you. If there are multiple vendors selling the same product, just bail out! Even if yours are the best.
You see, most people buy on impulse. What if those inferior wreaths happen to be in the line prior to them seeing yours?
I hope these tips for selling at craft fairs eases any apprehension you may have about attending your next craft show. The most important thing y’all… HAVE FUN and ENJOY the experience!
Find me on Facebook and show me your pictures of your craft fair experience and let me know how it went!