Hey y’all it’s that time of year again and we wanted to revisit the topic on how to sell at craft fairs. Here are some things that I wish I had known when I started doing craft shows!
*photo credit: Deann Mimi Mokler at Bear Creek Creations
63 Craft Shows Later… We’ve Got The Nitty Gritty of How to Sell at Craft Fairs
There are a quite a few factors when planning to sell at a craft fair. Marketing, setup, inventory…oh my! But hopefully we’ll save you a bit of headache sharing our own tips. Before we jump head first 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, we hear it too. So take the time to read The Crafter’s Guide to Managing Imposter Syndrome because you totally got this!
DISPLAYING YOUR PRODUCT AT A CRAFT FAIR
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. It’s not y’all… It doesn’t need to look like a storefront. It needs to display the most product that you can possibly fit into the area of your booth. That’s it. 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. For more tips, read our post on how to display your wreaths at a craft show.
PRICING YOUR PRODUCT AT A CRAFT SHOW
Prices…make sure your prices are in line with the rest of the show and that they are visible. I like to use my tagging gun to price my wreaths! Make sure that you have products that cover a large price range that way every one who walks into your booth can hand you $$$. Learn more on how to price your handmade wreaths.
ON CRAFT SHOW DAY…
You’re a seller, not a maker. Show those pearly whites y’all! Put on your cheerful big girl/boy panties and make sure that you’re mentally prepared to be happy, engaging, smart, funny and personable! (Better bring that sweet tea so you don’t get Hangry!) 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! Not all folks are right in the head y’all – so be prepared for crazy and rude comments. Hopefully the sweet and rewarding ones will outweigh the ugly ones and keep your head up! Whatever you do, don’t steep to their level. Others may be listening and they won’t impressed if you get snarky.
Speaking of being hangry… Make sure you pack snacks and drinks. 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, be mentally prepared that 75% of the shows will leave you with enough free time to enjoy every home made snack in the building y’all.
Consider getting a friend to tag along – or just to stop in for a visit. I’m pretty sure those hangry snacks are going to have your eye balls floating and you wiggling in your seat at some point.
Marketing items! 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’re not… you’re leaving so much money on the table… and I’m just not sure we can be friends! JK y’all… I’ll sweep that money up if you won’t! You are leaving the coins for someone else to grab if you aren’t trying to convince that customer to get on your newsletter! If you just hand them a business card you’re giving them all the power… Remember, you have your big girl/boy panties on today y’all – you take the power & keep it! Ask them for an email address!
Okay… Since I mentioned newsletters that needs its own bullet point! First let’s talk about why a newsletter! If you can obtain their email address you are guaranteeing yourself a 2nd interaction with that person. If you don’t have an email campaign set up and not sure how you can purchase a guide from me y’all! You can get my mailchimp training here! However keep in mind, just asking for someone’s email address doesn’t mean you’re going to get it… You have to sell it! Yep… still selling y’all! Make sure that they understand that if they give you their email address that they will get the following benefits (okay now don’t be using my list of benefits if you aren’t planning on providing them):
- 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!
PS… It’s super simple to use Mailchimp and just have customers subscribe right on the spot! Use app MailChimp Subscribe, link it to your MailChimp and the customers can fill it out right from your phone/tablet at the show! Okay that’s all the ranting I’m going to do for emails y’all…
CRAFT FAIR BOOTH TIPS
Space is valuable in your booth so that you can maximize the amount of product to display – but leave yourself a payment station.
Exchanging funds for goods can be a juggling act if you don’t have a dedicated place & it looks unprofessional. Your pay station should have a cash box, product bags, any type of promotional items that you need to give your customer and a place for them to sit down their purse! If not – 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. I use this cash box from Amazon. Nothing looks worse than watching someone dig around in their pockets and pulling up wadded cash for change.
Speaking of money boxes… Don’t forget to bring your coins y’all! Have enough change to get you through the event.
You MUST have a way to process credit cards… It’s 2019 y’all, cash is a novelty item! Everyone is swiping that plastic! I recommend you get the Square reader!
There should be only 1-2 type people selling at your market with you. If there are multiple vendors selling the same product – just bail out! Even if yours are the best, most people buy on impulse. What if those inferior wreaths happen to be in the line prior to them seeing yours?
CRAFT FAIR INVENTORY
This is always the fun one! You have to make sure that you have enough inventory that if you sell out, the show was worth it. The juice has got to be worth the squeeze y’all. For instance.. 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.
THE COST TO SELL AT CRAFT FAIRS
Since we just reviewed the juice… let’s make sure it was worth the squeeze y’all! 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)…
Make sure you are prepared to handle custom orders – If you take them! Most of the time people will like the product you have hanging, but will want to modify it somewhere. Have a template or a notebook handy that way you look half way legit and the customer isn’t afraid to pay for some of the custom order upfront.
The most important thing y’all… HAVE FUN and ENJOY the experience!
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!
If you decide to do a craft fair and you enjoyed this tips! Of if you’ve done craft shows and have pictures of your set up… Find me on Facebook right here and let me know how it went!