Have you ever considered selling your creations at a craft fair? Craft fairs are not only another avenue to sell your goods, but they are also a great opportunity to meet and hear from customers as well as meet other vendors and community members. The power of networking is often undervalued and, for small businesses, it can be an incredibly effective tool.
While selling at a craft fair may seem daunting at first, all you really need to be successful is PASSION and a GIFT (and, of course, an investment of your dollars and time). If you are reading this, you probably already have these two locked down. So, consider yourself two steps ahead!
In your planning for the big day, here are some things to think about.
Typically, there will be a fee associated with presenting and selling at a craft fair. We recommend visiting the fairs in your area to see which would be the best fit. Talk with vendors and ask them which shows they’ve had success attending. Once you have an understanding of this important piece, inquire about the costs and what is included (physical – tables, signage, etc and non-physical – marketing). Carefully understand how much the event manager will be marketing your business and, as a result, how much you need to spread the word on your own. You will need to factor in any additional costs as well as giveaways, additional booth design, nametags, carry away bags, etc.
Another important piece is how you will accept payment – card readers have fees that you will want to understand beforehand. While all of these are true dollar costs, a HUGE cost of selling at a craft fair is your TIME. Preparing for the fair, setting up as well as break down and settling everything afterwards will require a lot more time than selling remotely. But that isn’t to say that craft fairs aren’t worth it. In fact, you can earn good money while also making solid relationships with other crafters and business owners.
Take out a paper and pencil and sketch your dream booth design. Think about visibility of your products from different angles and sides of the booth. Which items are highly coveted and which do you want to highlight? Interest comes from displaying items at different heights, creating an easy to navigate store, clearly exhibiting your most desired products, and simplicity. Keep a clean booth that isn’t too cluttered – you can always keep extra products under the table and refill as the displayed supply runs low. Perhaps most importantly, clearly display your pricing!
If you already have a shop, pricing might come easy. But you should also consider factoring in your fair and travel costs if you think that doesn’t bump up pricing too much.
If you have never sold your creations before, take a look at similar products’ pricing at fairs you visit beforehand. Do those prices make sense for you? They may or may not if your costs are different or if your goods take longer to make – the point here is to not rush pricing your products. Think through how your customers will receive them and make sure not to undervalue your time and talent.
Also, plan promotions and giveaways catered to your audience that serve to drive business throughout the day.
WHAT TO BRING
- Tables, chairs, tablecloths, racks…any physical set up needs you have that aren’t included
- Props and signage
- A mirror for customers to see what they look like wearing your goods
- Food or drink as a treat for customers
- Your products to sell, of course. Bring a wide enough price range so there are options for different types of customers.
- Carry away bags
- Giveaways or freebies
- Method for customers to sign up to hear from you after the show
- Business cards that highlight how they can find you after the show
- Card machine or other form of payment processing plus cash for change (if needed)
- A POSITIVE, ENGAGING ATTITUDE!
Selling at craft fairs takes work but, in doing so, you stand to gain so much. New customers, great income, relationships with vendors and customers and, last but not least, a renewed energy in your craft, which otherwise can sometimes feel lonely. We hope this guide is helpful to you as you start this journey! We would love to hear from you – DM us @ribbonandbowsohmy on Instagram or email us with your craft fair stories!!