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How do i get people to buy my products at a craft fair

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How do i get people to buy my products at a craft fair
October 08, 2019 Events Calendar 1 comment

As American consumers increasingly long for a personal, local touch in the goods we buy, the craft industry seems to be booming. Have you ever dreamed of quitting your 9-to-5 job and starting a career selling handmade crafts? Or wondered whether selling goods at craft fairs would be a lucrative side hustle? Here’s what you should know about the economics of craft fairs, from how much it costs to participate to how much you stand to earn.

Check out our cost of living calculator. 

What counts as a craft?

You may have heard that in the case of craft beer, what’s marketed as “craft” is sometimes owned and produced by big corporate conglomerates. The same can be said for some of the items sold at craft fairs. If you head to a holiday craft fair in your area, particularly one that casts a wide net for vendors, you may be seeing mass-produced items. But in theory, a craft fair should have vendors selling items they made themselves, by hand. One reason to go to a craft fair is to “shop small” and support local businesses.

Pay to Play

As a craftsperson, you’ll generally have to pay for the privilege of selling your wares at a craft fair. The price you’ll pay for a booth or table at a craft fair will depend on several factors: the size of the fair, the prestige, the length of the fair and the perks involved.

For example, an established three-day fair that draws a huge crowd and engages in a lot of promotion and advertising will charge vendors more than a small, local event held in a parking lot or church basement. According to Entrepreneur.com, booth space at a craft fair typically costs between $200 and $300. Some fairs also charge a percentage of your sales.

Craft fairs come in two basic forms: juried and non-juried. Vendors who want to sell their crafts at a juried show have to apply for the privilege. Sometimes there is an application fee. Juried shows also charge higher booth fees. However, because they’re likely to attract customers with more to spend, the financial outlay involved in selling at a juried show is generally considered worthwhile.

The booth fee won’t be the only fair-related expense you have to pay for. In some cases you’ll have to provide your own table and chairs, though these are often included. To attract visitors to your booth you’ll probably want to have more than just a table and the goods you’re selling. You may want to have a nice tablecloth, some cookies and lemonade or other enticements. It’s a good idea to pay for a sign and business cards to promote your business.

You can save money by bringing your own food but you still might end up succumbing to temptation and spending money at the craft fair yourself. Another expense that may pay off is some sort of give-away, whether it’s a free sample or mini product with purchase, or a larger item that’s raffled off at the end of the fair.

Costs of Doing Business

Let’s say you’re a crafter who decides to take the plunge and spend $200 for a booth or table at a craft fair. Your costs don’t end there. You likely have to travel to the craft fair by plane, train, car or public transit. You may also have to pay for luggage or shipping.

Want to get a credit card reader so your customers can pay with a credit card? You’ll have to pay for that, too. Square, which lets you use your smartphone as a card reader, charges a 2.75% swipe fee. Intuit charges the same percentage. Paypal and Shopify both charge swipe fees of 2.7%. All of these services charge a higher percentage for payments you enter manually.

Then there’s the cost of the materials you use to make your wares. If your personal talent is making wallets out of old tires or picture frames out of salvaged wood, your costs will be fairly low. But if you make artisan jewelry out of gold and diamonds, you’re going to need to shell out a lot more for materials. Whatever their materials costs, many makers double, triple or quadruple their costs to determine the price they’ll charge customers.

Those with the highest costs generally charge the highest prices, which means they need to sell fewer items to make a craft fair an economics success. If your goal is to make $2,000 at a craft fair and the average price of your goods is $20, you’ll have a different approach than someone whose average price is $200.

For some vendors, customer volume is key to success, while for others it’s a question of finding a good match with a handful of customers who have more to spend. That’s why it’s important to do your research before you apply to sell at a craft fair. You want to make sure the crowd that attends is a good fit for your merchandise.

In fact, one successful jewelry artist wrote in an essay about why she stopped doing craft fairs that the fairs weren’t a good fit for her business model. Because her materials were more expensive, her prices were higher and craft fair attendees weren’t willing to spend that much. As a consequence, she was paying to attend craft fairs and not making a profit.

For folks with high materials costs, selling online may make more sense than attending a lot of craft fairs. On the other hand, there are high-end craft fairs where a maker with high prices could do well. And selling at a craft fair could provide valuable marketing that would translate into greater online sales.

Making a Living

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median weekly earnings in the U.S. were $803 in the third quarter of 2015. Let’s say you want to do a little better than that and earn $900 per week. At 50 weeks of work, you’ll earn $45,000 per year. You won’t be flying first class but you’ll have a solid income.

In craft circles, there’s a lot of talk about the “7x rule.” According to this rule, makers should aim to sell 7 times what they pay for the booth fee at a craft fair. So, if you go to a craft fair that has a $200 booth fee, you’ll want to sell at least $1,400 worth of merchandise. 45,000/1,400 = 32.14. Does that mean you’ll have to attend 32 craft fairs per year to meet your income goal? Not exactly, because you’ll still have to cover your costs. You either need to make more money or attend more craft fairs.

When you run the numbers, you can see why it’s pretty rare to make an income from craft fairs alone. If you already have a part- or full-time job and do, say, five craft fairs each year as a side hustle, you could rake in $7,000 ($1,400 x 5) in revenue. That’s a respectable side hustle for five weekends of work, plus the hours you spend making your merchandise. Or, you could supplement your craft fair income by selling your wares in a brick-and-mortar or online shop.

Here’s a 2012 quote from an Etsy forum titled “Craft Fairs… it’s a living! Average income from craft fairs.” It shows how difficult it can be to make a living solely from the income made at craft fairs:

“Usually about 10x my booth fee is a pretty profitable show for us. We take what we make and subtract about a third of it for materials, then subtract our expenses for the show (booth fee, gas, meals, possible motel?) and if we have a couple hundred dollars after that we’re good. Of course if you broke it down to hourly pay for two of us, including time to create, prepare, set up, sell, take down, drive to and from, our hourly wage is not too good.”

Paying Your Taxes

The income you make at a craft fair is income you’ll have to declare to Uncle Sam when it comes time to pay your income taxes. For starters, you’ll need to obtain a tax ID number for your small business, which may involve registering with the state where you’ll be selling your wares. If you don’t have a business you’ll declare your craft fair income on your personal income tax returns.

Depending on where the craft fair is located, you may need special paperwork or permits to sell, too. Each time you apply to sell at a craft fair it’s a good idea to ask the team running the fair if there are special licenses or permits you’ll need as a vendor. You should also ask if there will be someone on hand to collect local sales taxes at the close of the event.

In some states, there is a floor for collecting sales tax, which means you might not need to collect the tax if your sales are small. The rules concerning local and state sales tax can be complicated, but it’s important to comply with all relevant tax law. For more details on tax compliance for craft fair vendors, check out this page from the U.S. Small Business Administration. With mobile services like Square and Paypal, you can enter your tax settings before you start swiping payments.

Bottom Line

Anyone interested in selling at a craft fair can head to festivalnet.com or thecraftsfaironline.com. Both are sites that aggregate listings for craft fairs around the country. Unless you have an impeccable record of picking the perfect craft fairs for your work and racking up sales, you may decide to think of craft fairs as a complement to other income sources. One other income source could be your day job. Or, if you want to devote yourself to your craft full-time, you can complement craft fair revenue with sales in galleries and online.

If you decide to become a a small business owner, you may need an advisor who specializes in taxes or one who specializes in another area. A matching tool like SmartAsset’s can help you find an advisor to work with to meet your needs. First you’ll answer a series of questions about your situation and your goals. Then the program narrows down thousands of advisors to up to three who meet your needs and are in your area. You can then read their profiles to learn more about them, interview them on the phone or in person and choose who to work with in the future. This allows you to find a good fit while doing much of the hard work for you.

Photo credit: © iStock.com/PeopleImages, © iStock.com/joste_dj, © iStock.com/carterdayne

Are you doing a craft fair for the first time? Wondering what to bring to a craft fair? You are not the only new designer maker worried if you have forgotten something!

In the last 25 years I have been involved with a wide variety of craft shows such as the Chelsea Crafts Show organised by the UK Crafts Council, Made London,Top Drawer, and many others and I have helped 100s of new and more established makers getting ready for shows through providing workshops and online training.

Every time I have been involved with organising a craft fair there are makers who will forget something crucial during the set up, or worry in advance about what to bring to a craft fair, and what to leave home.

So this post is for all of you who want to have less stress to get ready for your craft fair.

TOP TIP: Print this post off and use it as a handy ticking-off list when you are ready to pack your bags for your craft show, so that you don’t miss anything out.

visitors at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

Step 1: What to bring to a craft fair: setting up

1. Your products

Of course: your products are the first thing you need to bring to a craft fair!

But think about it for a minute: What will you really be exhibiting, promoting and selling?

Your products, your services and skills, or your brand?

Can you create collections of your products that work well together?

If you don’t know how much stock to take click here.

 

2. Display material

How will you be attracting potential clients to your stand?

What is the first impression you want to give? Will your stand look like a white, minimal gallery space with title labels? Or more like a bohemian shop full of colourful products?

An attractive visual display will make all the difference at a very busy show. Make sure that your display reflects your brand values, and add some personality to standout.

Add a splash of colour. Wall paper, felt or a thin sheet of metal can often work well, as often you aren’t allowed to paint the exhibition shell scheme.

Add large images to attract potential clients – especially if you have got small work such as jewellery. Images of your local area can work very well too. I have seen some great Scottish landscapes for example promoting the work of Scottish textile artists and jewellers.

Consider if visitors will be able to touch your work or does it need more protection? Think about professional plinths, showcases cabinets and shelves (Don’t forget the showcase keys … you won’t be the first jeweller who locks themselves out …).

Consider how an antique set of drawers, a blue hand-painted console or a white IKEA shelf add very different personalities to your brand.

Think about the measurements and weight of your display – vital to get the display in and out of your car or van, but also to get them up many dark and small staircases in old Victorian venues! And will you be able to re-use your display again?

Also think about how your display can help you to keep your stand looking tidy, by keeping any additional stock, promotional materials and your handbag out of the way.

 

3. Furniture to sit on

How will you be standing up all the time? Although I do think it looks much better if you are standing when visitors come to your stand, you might have health issues and standing on your feet for hours on end might not be what you are used to.

Are you able to lean against your display or a wall? Or would you be able to have a high stool? Or could you create a little sitting area for yourself and potential clients?

 

4. Styling materials

Can you add a bit more personality to your stand and create a space that you and your clients love to spend time in?

Can you use different senses? Think about a small plate of peppermints, a fresh cup of coffee with some amazingly decorated cupcakes, a vase with the right type of flowers for your brand and the season, or the mulled wine been given out at many Christmas Open Studio events (the latter not a big hit for me personally!).

 

5. Photographic displays & video

Using professional images can really help to attract the right clients to your stand.

If you use the same images on your stand as you use on your website or social media then it will help potential clients remind themselves of your brand. Very powerful!

If you are a jeweller with very small work then large images can attract people to your stand.

Stylish images can also show your craft products in use and add a lot more ‘emotion’ and feeling to your work and stand e.g. think about scarves or bags being worn, or ceramic or wooden bowls or platters with a wonderful display of food.

Images of your studio, work environment or creative process can also add a lot more connection to your brand and display, and make it very clear that your work is indeed handmade by yourself! Adding images of your local environment can attract people who recognise your location and is often a good starting point for a conversation.

 

6. Signage

Often signage is provided but you might want to stand out with your logo on a colourful background.

You can use a banner, but more stylish options are logos in wood or acrylic that you can re-use or get a vinyl sticker made.

 

7. Paperwork to get you in

Most shows have specific times for setting up and often you will need to show exhibitor identification to be allowed to park or to get into the venue. Bring your exhibitor & helper passes, and vehicle displays to the setting up day to ensure that you can get in to your craft fair without any problems.

 

8. Trolley

How will you get your work and display to your stand? Often there is limited parking space available, so make sure that you have got a trolley or something similar to help you. Check in advance if there are additional helpers at hand to get your products and display in to the venue as soon as possible.

 

9. Tools

Check in advance with your craft fair organisers to see what is allowed in terms of drilling, painting etc.

Don’t forget to bring your electric screwdriver (plus batteries), extra electricity sockets and extension leads, nails and screws, S-hooks etc. Potentially bring a ladder too. Also think about any potential emergencies, and bring Blue Tack, heavy duty double sticky tape, and safety pins.

 

10. Cleaning materials

Especially if you are showing glass, silver, mirrors and jewellery (in glass cabinets!) then don’t forget to bring cleaning materials and a fresh cloth.

 

Woven Oak price label – picture by Yeshen Venema

What to bring to a craft fair: when it is open

1. Promotional materials

Will you be handing out personally your post cards or business cards or leaving them out for visitors to take?

Display any press cuttings to show your credibility and to start a conversation.

It is also increasingly common to show your portfolio, video or website on a tablet or computer, which can start conversations about your work and practice. This can also be useful to show previous projects and commissions you have worked on, or to explain your creative process in more detail.

And if your potential client would like THAT piece, but in another colour or size then you can always show it to them on your online shop and get a sale that way!

 

2. Pricing

Will you have a visual price list or individual prices on each craft product, or both? Find out here how to create a great visual price list or line sheet.

Don’t forget to bring red dot stickers to a craft fair to show that you have sold a craft piece (especially if pieces can’t be sold from the stand immediately).

Have a calculator handy too in case your client purchases more than one item.

 

3. Mailing list or comments book

Not everybody who attends your craft fair and shows interest in your work will be immediately interested in buying from you, so it is crucial that you develop a contact list or database. If you create a simple mailing list signup sheet or comments book then you can add these to your mailing list.

You also might like to provide a stapler for professional contacts to staple their business cards into your book.

With the new GDPR regulations it’s very important to ensure that you got permission from people to add them to your mailing list and you must keep the proof that they gave you  permission. Instead you could ask them to sign up online at your stand, because if you use a reliable email management system such as Mailchimp then this will all be done automatically.

 

4. Extra signs (for photography, social media & commissioning)

Do you hate it when people photograph your work? Worried that they might steal your ideas? Then display a sign with ‘Please ask before taking any pictures’.

Many visitors now take pictures on their phones and spread them via social media, without naming you as the source. If you are worried about this or people stealing your ideas then consider becoming a member of ACID (Anti-Copying in Design) who provide a yellow sign to their members to display at (trade) events.

Or maybe you don’t mind people photographing your work, as long as they share your social media details? Then communicate your social media details clearly on your stand.

And if you do provide commissions or are looking for agents, then do let visitors know about that too. You might be surprised that many craft fair visitors are not aware of this option!

 

5. Getting paid

How will you accept payment? It’s now very easy to get direct online payments with a credit card reader (talk to your bank or shop around, a lot has changed in this area in the last two years!). If you are selling with PayPal then you can check out their card reader here.

It is still important to have a cash box (or keep your money in a purse closer to you), but ensure that you have enough spare cash if you don’t want to miss out on any sales. It’s not very common anymore to take cheques!

It is a legal requirement in the UK to ensure that you have individual receipts of any payments so make sure that you have a receipt book. If you use an electronic reader for contactless payments, such as I-Zettle, then this will be done automatically for you. In the case of cash payments you will need to have a (rather old fashioned!) duplicate book so that you can give one copy to your client and keep the other one for your records. It is a great opportunity to ask your new client for their address or email then you can add them to your database too!

 

6. Taking it home safely (and beautifully)

Very often people buy gifts at craft fairs, so make sure that you have wrapping material available, including bubble wrap, a nice paper or branded bag or small (jewellery) packaging too.

If they are buying a present then they want to see how the packaging looks like too.

Maybe have a label with your logo and contact details on too? Don’t forget to bring sticky tape and scissors to a craft fair.

 

7. Creative supplies

Sometimes craft fairs can get a little quiet …

Take advantage of this downtime to catch up with some creative work!

And often visitors love it when you are making at your stand, so it’s a great conversation starter too.

 

8. General stationery & beyond

Have some spare VIP tickets or invites available in case that important client or fabulous friend forgot theirs and is waiting outside.

Don’t forget to bring pens (to write down notes on the back of your new business cards or to write down the specific queries to follow up after the show), staples, paperclips, Blue Tack, red dots, and a calculator.

If you are selling jewellery or scarves to wear then bring a mirror too.

 

9. Your personal survival kit

Have a little box ready with your own emergency supplies of aspirin, lip balm, extra tights, plasters (for those irritating paper cuts and blisters!), hand cream, breath mints (!), perfume, hairspray and hairbrush.

Sometimes there are special award events so you might like to have some extra ‘dressing up’ clothes and make up available too (just in case you are a winner!).

Don’t forget to bring your phone charger and laptop cables …

Somehow many craft fairs are often either too hot or too cold … so bring layers of clothes with you and some extra shoes too.

If you are doing a craft fair outside then do prepare for the worse … rain, snow or the heat can all be conquered much easier if you are prepared with the right clothes and to protect your crafts, visitors and stand.

Bring some additional healthy snacks, fruit and drinks – as the queues might be very long and food can often be expensive at craft fairs. And if you are outside then do bring a thermos can of your favourite coffee too!

 

What to bring to a craft fair? Have I forgotten anything? Do let us know in the comments box below.

 

 

Do the makers selling goods at these craft fairs make a living? why it's important to do your research before you apply to sell at a craft fair.

Craft fairs are great for getting your art out there locally! They can also be amazing for your business. The potential for sales is high. If you make handmade items I encourage you to at least try a craft fair once in your life! They can be a lot of fun and a great way to meet like-minded people. If your interested/ going to participate in a craft fair your going to love these tips from experienced craft fair go-ers!

    Heres my tips for selling at craft fairs:

    • Host a fun giveaway at your booth! When I do a craft fair I like to create some kind of game or contest I can use to get people into my stand. For example, I’ve put a ton of pompoms into a jar made a big sign saying “guess how many pompoms are in a jar for a chance to win a piece of art” Not only does this bring traffic to your booth but it could also bring potential customers. You could even make people enter by them giving you their email to add to your email list!
    • Making your craft right in front of your booth is a great way to get people interested in your craft. People love seeing the process!
    • I also like to make a “SALE” boxes of my older art that haven’t sold yet. I always have a lot of people look through my discounted art and few pieces always sell from there. I think having affordable stuff at craft fairs will definitely increase your sells. Maybe just bring a few of your best higher priced items to show people what you’re capable of. I like to get to set up early, get everything up, and then walk around passing my card out and telling people I would love for them to stop by my booth and to come to enter my give away. Be friendly and try to talk to everybody walking past. 
    • Don’t invest too much money on your first craft fair. I recommend trying a cheaper one out at first. Also, attend a craft fair and take notes on how other people set up and the things they’re doing!
    • Have a sign for your social media/ website so people can follow your work online too! Don’t forget to pass out business cards as well!

      Sarah Caudle creates dreamy resin seascapes! Here’s what she shared:

      • I always artists that the best way to get started is to get your work out there. Become active in your community and sign up for local art fairs. Although you want your booth to look nice, it’s important to not let it take away from your art. White always looks fresh and professional so it’s good to use a white tent, white tablecloth, or white backdrop on your display. Have enough inventory, but keep it simple and don’t overwhelm your buyers with too much art (this also devalues your art) so if you’re worried you won’t have enough, keep some of your art in boxes under your tables or in your car – no need to put it all out at once. It’s also nice to have a bigger statement piece to catch people’s eyes and lot’s of smaller pieces or prints for quick purchases. What’s most important is engaging your audience with a friendly approachable smile – just be yourself and have fun with it! 

        Elena Corradino creates awesome abstract collage pieces! Heres what she shared:

        • My advice is to start small and cheap. Find a fair that has a fee that’s less than 100$. Try to use a table and chairs you already have. You don’t want to be spending tons of money on the first one. If you need to buy anything for your setup keep it simple. Start by buying one thing and wait until you do the second one to buy the next thing and so on.
        • Make your area bright and full but not crowded. If you have too many items it will be hard for people to navigate through your table.
        • Take change with you because people will need change! Have bags ready for sales. People love to not have to carry things in their hands.
        • Business cards are a must. Decorations should be bright but also not overpowering to your art!
        • If you have jewelry have a mirror.
        • If you have neon things have a black light. People like to test things out. Maybe even have some sold out signs to put when things are sold. Seeing that something is selling well will entice new potential customers. 

          Samantha Rhedey creates these stunning wood burned decor! Here’s she shared:

          • There seems to be a lot of formulas out there for how much stock to make (10 x the cost of your booth etc…) and although these can be good guides, the truth is there’s really no way of knowing how much stock to make for a show. You could do a super successful show and sell nothing and sell out at a seemingly small show.  Just make what you can. Start preparing the day you get your acceptance and prepare everyday you can until the week before the show. If you made too much, you have over flow for your next show! If you didn’t make enough, you know you need to make a little more for next time. Just do what you can!
          • Prepare your booth far, far in advance. Block out a weekend in your prep time weeks before the show to set up a mock booth. Find a table or area that’s around the same size and begin planning out how you will arrange your products. Although the way you arrange your products is important, the ultimate vibe of your booth is arguable more important. That is what attracts customers to you. If you’re using a table, make sure to have a table cloth that goes to the floor (so boxes under the table are not visible). If at all possible, work up. Try to keep things at eye level so that when people walk by they are drawn to your products from a distance. This means shelves, walls, stacks, whatever works for your display. Google! Pinterest! There are so many amazing displays to take inspiration from out there.
          • Make sure all of your prices are visible to customers with tags on each product and an overall pricing guide.
          • Put your business cards front and centre for those passing by to quickly grab. Have business cards!!
          • For those who do a lot of custom work and want to show it off, I use an iPad with a photo slideshow of all my past commissions. If you can’t swing an iPad, photos in nice frames around your display work or even a photo album for people to flip through.
          • A big myth at craft fairs is that the products are all cheap and therefore you need to lower your prices in order to sell anything. That’s simply not true. Those who frequent craft markets go because they enjoy the handmade element. I would advertise special deals for the show but I would be very wary about lowering your prices. Don’t sell yourself short and don’t lose a potential profit. *If you’re noticing your products aren’t selling because they are too expensive, think about a small affordable product you may have that you could display instead*
          • Know your market. Every craft fair has a different audience and will draw a different market. Most organizers are quite open about their target market and if not, just ask! Once you know who your primary customer will be, it will be easier to determine which of your products to bring. Example: if it’s mostly students shopping for gifts you may not want to bring only your most expensive products to sell.
          • Make sure you have a big enough float and a method to accept debit/credit. I use Square!
          • Take a deep breath! You can only make so much and you can only prep so much. Craft shows are exhausting but they are such a good way to get your name out there!

            JESSIE MAI creates a variety of abstract art! Here’s what she shared:

            • Do a mock set up at home, this helped me a lot. I could see what I needed more of and how it would look at the craft fair/market.
            • Make sure you can have as many of your paintings upright as possible, this helps buyers to see better and imagine it in their space.
            • Use up as much ‘real estate’ of your stall as you can. Use stands, easels, boxes and shelves to create more display area and it also looks more inviting and draws in potential buyers
            • Have your items priced so customers don’t have to ask you, most times if a price isn’t displayed many people will just move on.
            • Make an inventory of all stock and number them, I suggest pre wrapping your items in brown paper or bags and number,  leaving one side open. This not only protects your items while traveling to your craft fair but it can then be put back into the wrapping and taped up when/if the item is sold. This also saves space in having a table to wrap the sold items and time in wrapping them. 
            • Take a box with items such as a notebook (for all those orders you’ll get), pens, tape, cable ties, rubber bands etc
            • Have business or info cards made and available on your table.
            • Use an online payment system like Square so you don’t miss out on sales from those with cards.
            • Make sure you have a helper. Its great to have someone to help with customers but it can also keep you calm (markets can seem really scary!) and creates a nicer atmosphere with you both interacting with one another and customers.
            • Try to avoid sitting down behind your stall. Move around and chat and smile, this makes you seem more approachable and friendly
            • Don’t be disappointed if you don’t sell much. Sometimes it just might not be the right fair for your items. It will still be a great learning experience and you can make contacts and receive orders, getting your name out is really important to grow your business.

              creates beautiful abstract art! Here’s what she shared:

              • Have a clean, organized setup with multiple varieties of your pieces in plain sight. 
              • If you are selling canvases, its best to have them upright for people to easily see them as they are walking by. I have seen artists use peg boards, cork boards, and grid walls. I have used grid walls, they are heavier than I’d like, but I have the most luck selling canvases when I take the time to bring them!
              • Vibe! Make sure you have a friendly, positive, warm attitude. Greet every guest that comes to your booth. I have seen many people who just look at their phones and don’t engage with the customers, and they have usually not done as well as those that were interactive with the shoppers. 
              • Accept multiple forms of payment and have your payment options displayed at your booth. Most folks pay with cash or credit. (a Square Point of Sale attachment on your phone is easy, fast, and has low fees.)
              • Put prices on each piece. Some folks will be too afraid to ask for a price, they may feel uncomfortable doing so. 
              • Have pieces in multiple price ranges. It’s always a good idea to have some smaller items in the $1-3 range
              • Have shopping bags for your guests to take their purchases in. They likely won’t want to carry it around in their hands for the rest of the fair. You can find inexpensive, recyclable kraft paper bags on Amazon. (Also, if your items are fragile, have some tissue paper/bubble wrap available)
              • Bring snacks, nobody wants a hangry vendor! 😉 
              • Try not to be discouraged if your craft show experience isn’t what you imagined. I have had some awesome craft shows and some that I didn’t do as well at. It will vary greatly depending on the clientele, the advertisement for the event, and the time of year. I think every vendor has had a show that they felt a little disappointed in, but don’t let it stop you from creating your work. Your craft is one of a kind, and even selling one piece means that someone enjoyed your work, which is really amazing! 
              • Share the event on your own social media platforms. I like to share a week or two in advance and then the day of!
              • Have fun with it!

                Rebekah Calderone creates amazing resin art! Here’s what she shared:

                • I have been an artist for a little over a year now. I am self-taught and have been doing craft shows for 1 year. During that time I have learned the following tips that might be helpful for you.
                • Be prepared and organized. If it’s your first show you will be nervous and might forget something but if you plan ahead you’re less likely to have any problems. You might want to bring the following with you; painters tape, price tags, shopping bags, scissors, glue, money apron, plenty of cash for change, credit card machine, cell phone, business cards, paper, pen, extra stands, paper towels and a small cooler with a lunch.
                • Utilize your vertically and horizontally areas within your table space and around your designated area. This will depend on what you are selling and if you are inside or outside. Stackable shelves work wonderful for artwork. I use ones from Inter Design.
                • Mark your prices ahead of time. You can price each item individually or have a large sign with designated prices. A chalk board, dry erase board or preprinted signs in a plastic holder work well.
                • Use a solid color table cloth in order to attract the artwork and not detour from it. Sometimes patterns can be too busy and clash against the product being sold.
                • Remember to be friendly and helpful. One thing that I have learned is to have a go to statement ready to say to customers as they walk up to your table. For example I like to say “Everything I have here is personally handmade. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.” Then watch and see in a few minutes if they pick something up and start looking for you. Usually this indicates they will have questions about how it was made or how it is used. This is your time to shine and to sell the product. You don’t want to be too pushy but if you aren’t excited about what you made the customer isn’t going to be either. You will need to prepare yourself for some who may not like your items. Try not to take it personally. Not everyone is going to like everything. Art is a wonder. What one like’s one might not. This depends on what type of customer base you are trying to attract. This will develop over time. (I am still learning this.) Have business cards ready to hand out to customers.
                • Pack your items at least a few days before your show. Double check the night before what you are bringing. You want to arrive early and never late. Be prepared for traffic, weather and other scenarios. Depending on the size of the show many vendors will be unloading quickly all at the same time.  Bring help to load and unload that day.
                • Protect your artwork for travel. You can use paper, towels, sheets, pillows, pool noodles, boxes and plastic bins when packing. Remember when you are driving the product needs to be protected from being shuffled around too much.
                • Be respectful of your designated area. No one likes when someone takes up more than their allotted space. Don’t take down your displays early without prior approval. Clean up your area from all trash before leaving.
                • Hold your head up high for even doing the show. It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable and put yourself out their like that with your artwork.

                  Kirstie Gilleade creates adorable cards! Here’s what she shared:

                  • Plenty of Stock: Bring enough stock with you of each of your products. You just never know what is going to sell that day. I’ve been to some craft fairs where I’ve sold out of some of my products (which I never expect to happen) and I just think shucks I should’ve brought more with me. So always be prepared for the day, preferably the night before, so that you’re not rushing about in the morning on what you need to pack.
                  • Bits and Bobs: Definitely invest in buying a tablecloth, as it makes your stand look professional and it comes in handy to hide all your bits and bobs underneath your table.
                  • Bring plenty of business cards with you, so that people are able to take one from your stall. As they might not buy anything from you there and then, but they might think of you for a gift idea at a later date.
                  • Stall Test Setup: Try to do a test set up of your display a few nights before your fair. This will give you a better idea of where you would like everything to go, as it does take longer than you think to decide on your set up. where you’re placed at your craft fair, try to think what you would like for people to see first, as this will draw them in to take a nosey at your stall
                  • Change: Make sure you have plenty of change with you in your cash tin in notes and coins, but I would definitely stress more in £1 coins, as you soon notice that you do quickly run out of change (so stock up on those coins beforehand).
                  • Product List: Write out a list of products that you’re taking with so that when you do make a sale at your craft fair, you can make a note of it. This really does help to check how much you have sold by the end of the day and you can also see what has been popular that day as well.
                  • Display Setup: Make sure you have everything clearly with what type of products you’re selling and how much they cost. This will make it easier for people to see what you have at your stall when they’re unable to get close up to it, at those busier moments.
                  • Try to use different props to display your products, as you want people to be engaged with what you’re selling. If your products are all laid flat on your table, people will tend not to come over as it’s just not looking as exciting for them (which I have done before) put your own personal stamp on your setup. Look at using baskets, apple crates, card stands and easels to create high and low displays for your products, which are cheap ways to make your stall look more exciting.
                  • Have Fun: But above everything just have fun with it. Make your personality shine through your stall!

                    ashley snow creates mesmerizing fluid art! Here’s what she shared:

                    • If you’re wondering where to look for craft fairs in the first place, look local! I live in Massachusetts, which means the warmer months are prime craft fair time. Research on what your local, and neighboring towns have for upcoming events. It’s never too early to start because some craft fairs fill up months in advance. Craft fairs often do have entrance fees. Prices are usually displayed on the application, or in the event posting. I’ve experienced fees that range from $15-$200. The bigger the event, the larger the fees.
                    • Create business cards! These are great to have at craft fairs, and carry around in general! You instantly appear more professional by having a business card. I have commissioned pieces for clients that I’ve met at craft fairs. They had purchased a and later contacted me for a commission. Business cards extend your and communication with clients.
                    • If you’ve thought about selling your art at a craft fair, you want to have a few pieces in mind that you plan to display at the fair. In order to display these pieces, you’ll need a table, and possibly a grated wall panel to hang your pieces on (depending on the size). Be on the lookout for these items if you don’t have them already. market place is a great place to start looking for grated wall panels.
                    • If the event is taking place outside, check the weather reports! I’ve been stuck holding down my pieces the entire time because of the wind. If you are attending an event that sure you “” your setup, and for rain!
                    • Make a list of what you need, and go through everything…twice!
                    • Don’t be discouraged if you don’t make a lot-or any sales. I’ve attended fairs where my sales are less than my entrance fee. This is in no way considered a fail, it is a learning experience. Art is vastly objective, it’s different for everyone. If you’ve made little to no sales, try a different craft fair with a different group of customers!
                    • Lastly, be be ready to talk about your art. Many people will stop to chat, and ask about your process. Craft fairs are a great way to put yourself out there and let people connect with you, and your art!
                    • P.S. Bring tape, sharpies, and snacks!
                    • ART
                    • choose your market well. Investigate what else is on in the same area on the day of the market, whilst you might get people browsing, art is usually the last thing people splurge on.
                    • pricing I’ve got so much to say on pricing. My 2 tips for today though a pricing formula, many small lives can take longer and be aesthetically more beautiful than larger pieces. your art is worth it, don’t undercut yourself. Don’t undercut other artists either by going cheaper.

                      Jamie Crawley creates lovely fluid art! Here’s what she shared:

                      • Going beyond the “Hi, how are you?” Engage with your audience! Go in depth on your process, how you made your craft, and different techniques you used. People love to hear about that stuff. 
                      • Making an attractive display is an extremely important part of selling your work and getting a lot of traffic in your booth! People tend to gravitate towards brighter displays. If you are indoors, try to set up next to a window or hang some display lights to brighten up your area.
                      • Make sure you have some business cards to hand out! A lot of people won’t pull the trigger on a purchase right away, so offering them your information gives them the opportunity to revisit your work!

                        Joy Smallwood creates beautiful resin pieces! Here’s what she shared:

                        • Don’t think you have to break the bank to be able to display your artwork at a craft fair
                        • was able to make some awesome leaning board displays that showcased my art in a unique and cost-effective way. I purchased some sheets of plywood and had them cut down to about 12 inches across. They were 8’ tall so they lean up against the sides of the tent nicely. I then drilled 3 sets of 2 holes each spaced out into the boards for some decorative bolts to be screwed in. This is what I set the paintings on. I painted each board grey to give it a nice finished look. The nice thing about these boards is that they stack together and don’t take up a ton of space in my car. I do have to take the bolts out to stack them, but they screw in and out easily each time. These displays are able to hold up some very large and heavy artwork. I also secured the paintings to the board by hooking a wire to the D-rings on either side of the painting around the back of the board. That way the wind was not an issue, or someone bumping into the board or painting didn’t cause it to fall.
                        • Collect email addresses any way you can. Get creative and give an incentive for them to give it to you. Maybe do a prize drawing of everyone who gives their email, or a discount on something they buy. It is important to have email addresses since social media platforms come and go throughout the years, but emails have proven to stay relevant and they are not going anywhere soon.
                        • Make it easy for your customers to find you on your social media platform or website right there on the spot. Create a free QR code for each platform so that they can follow you just by scanning it. That way you are not just hoping they remember to look you up later from a business card.

                        Thank you to all the amazing artist who shared their tips!

                        Don’t forget to go check out all the lovely artists artwork and tell them how inspiring they are!!! If you found this post helpful please share it and follow me on my social media’s to stay updated on new posts! If you have any craft fair tips, experinces, or questions I would love to hear from you! Tag @happilyevercrafty and #happilyevercrafting on Instagram to share your craft fair pics and have them shared! Good luck and happy crafting!

                        X0XO, Taylor

                        Artists share their craft fair tipscraft fair advicecraft fair booth display ideascraft fair ideascraft fair ideas to sellCraft fair tipscraft fair tricks and secrets

                        Five Tips for Selling Your Goods at a Craft Show

                        how do i get people to buy my products at a craft fair

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                        4. Make it easy for customers to buy from you.

                        On the day of the show, make the customer experience as easy as possible, while ensuring that your products are the center of attention. Design a booth layout that looks inviting to customers by showcasing a bestseller directly at eye level. Make payment easy, too, whether this means you get a credit card reader or have change ready. List prices by your products so that customers don’t have to ask. Since my stamps required some explanation, I had a few signs with instructions listed and a small stamp station where people could try out the stamps. It was a Christmas craft show, so I let customers stamp their own free gift tags. A lot of people ended up buying my stamps after seeing how easy they were to use.

                        5. Have fun: Smile, chat, and market yourself!

                        As a classic introvert, the most exhausting thing (in the best way) about that first craft show was smiling and chatting with strangers all day. I was constantly demoing the stamps and answering the same questions (no, I did not invent these, though I wish I had, and yes, they are reusable). But I was excited that people were curious about my products.

                        Remember, this is a great opportunity to talk to prospective customers — especially your target market. (You’ll know them by the sparkle in their eyes when they pass your booth.) Ask them what other products they’re interested in, what they do, and what they’ll use your products for. Use this as an opportunity to invite people to sign up for your mailing list, too — your best future online customer might just be in front of you!

                        MORE HELP

                        Preparing for a craft fair takes a lot of time and energy, but there are a ton of resources online that can help guide the way. I think the best ones are personal blog entries from small business owners about their experience. Also, organizers behind the annual Renegade Craft Fair have a great archive of posts for vendors, and CreativeLive has a good class for people getting ready to join shows. I also love browsing through booth ideas on Pinterest and asking other creatives for advice.

                        If you’ve always wanted to try designing physical products or are looking to start an online business, a craft show is, by far, the best way to test products and get invaluable feedback. Go for it, and get your products out there!

                        Christine Herrin is one of Adobe’s Creative Residents. Find out more about her and the Creative Residency.

                        This may be due to a pull in demand either from a market frenzy for your craft or a increase in demand for seasonal goods. If you do have items that can sell for.

                        The Psychology of Sales at a Craft Show

                        Many artisans become entrepreneurs by accident. Your handmade holiday gifts somehow become a side hustle (or full-time gig), and you find yourself making extra cash creating something you love.

                        Of course, creating the product – whether it be handmade soaps or award-winning honey – is the fun part. It's the business side of things that can stop some makers in their tracks.

                        You may be asking yourself, "How do I get my crafts noticed and start making sales?"

                        One of the best places to network and build sales is by attending craft fairs and artisan markets. Not only do these events offer the opportunity to connect with people in your community, they also provide the chance to showcase your artsy creations in real life.

                        But it's not just about showing off – it's about getting sales.

                        Then the question becomes: How do you make sales and ensure success once your booth is set up?

                        We teamed up with Crystal Randolph, owner and artisan behind The Burning Wic – a hand-poured, natural candle company. Crystal is a regular at craft fairs in her city and shares her top tips below to help you succeed at craft fairs and festivals.

                        1. Stand Out

                        They key is to drive people to your area. You can have an amazing product but shoppers won't realize this until you hook them into your booth.

                        "I set up my booth at home days before an event," says Crystal. "I like to look at my layout and ensure it attracts buyers."

                        Add Decorations

                        Ensure the decor is on brand and helps tell your craft business' story. Ultimately, this will make your booth inviting and drive people from the aisles to your stand.

                        "Sometimes I like to display fall decor in Autumn," says Crystal, "or brighten it up in the spring and summer months."

                        Adding some personality with your decorations can also help attendees make a connection with your company/products.

                        Build An Experience

                        Consider making your area interactive – people like to touch, feel, and sample (when applicable). Open the possibility for potential customers to fall in love with your product.

                        If you make soaps, for example, offer a little station where people can smell and test them. If you design necklaces or unique hats, set up an area with a nice mirror where people can try them on.

                        Additionally, you can offer in-booth games and giveaways to encourage people to walk over. Everyone likes free stuff and a fun activity.

                        Get Creative

                        If you have a solid understanding of your target demographic, appeal to their tastes. Playing music in the background, if allowed, can go a long way. It helps set a mood and gives your area a mini-store, "pop-up shop" feel.

                        Ask attendees to use your hashtag, tag your business on social media, or sign up for your email list, too. These are easy, engaging ways to draw people in.

                        2. Prepare Your Table

                        Presentation is extremely important and it's super simple to give your craft products a professional appeal.

                        Apply Product Labels

                        Branded labels that include your logo and product details go a long way. It helps show that you take your craft business seriously and take the time to pay attention to details.

                        "I've had people ask me if I'm a distributor because my products have such a high-quality look," says Randolph of her soy candles. "I take that as a compliment as they're usually shocked to find out I'm home-based."

                        OnlineLabels.com offers hundreds of labels for all kinds of goods. Used in conjunction with their free design program, Maestro Label Designer, you can create professional-looking products yourself.

                        Put Up Signage

                        If you create a range of products in different sizes or scents, tent cards can come in handy. Use them to help customers identify all you have to offer. They can help distinguish pricing tiers, too.

                        3. Offer Discounts & Freebies

                        These little details go a long way, and people will remember and likely buy from you again.

                        Lower the Stakes

                        Offering discounts to event attendees not only entices them to make a purchase during the event, but can also help turn them into a repeat buyer.

                        "People buy more if they're getting a deal," says Randolph. "They feel appreciated and it helps create returning customers."

                        You could opt for a percent-off discount or BOGO-style promo during the event. Another strategy is to include a coupon off their next purchase. You can even create custom business cards or packaging inserts with the offer details on the back.

                        Give Something Away

                        Try including freebies with a purchase – whether it's a trial version of your product, something you over-produced, or simply an item that was low-cost for you to produce.

                        "I give my first-time customers a discount card to use for their next purchase," explains Randolph. "I also throw in free samples of the aroma beads and wax melts."

                        4. Be Prepared

                        This is your business' first impression to dozens of consumers. Make sure you're putting your best foot forward.

                        Estimate Product Sales

                        While it may be exciting to "sell out" of your product, it's not a good look when eager customers come to your booth only to find you have nothing left.

                        "Being well prepared inventory-wise is key," advises Crystal. "Not having enough inventory can reflect badly. Some people may see it as you're not ready to host large events or assume your business is not legitimate."

                        How do you decide what's "enough" inventory to bring for an event? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all. It really depends on your product and on the event.

                        "I inquire the expected attendance and bring about 8% inventory to accommodate (i.e. 15,000 expected attendees = 1,200 units)," says Crystal. "It's always better to have more than less."

                        Bring Marketing Materials

                        Of course, attending craft fairs and events is not just about selling products. It's also a huge promotional opportunity – a chance to get your craft (and business) out there.

                        In fact, unless you're spending money on advertising or hitting other events around town, it may be one of the only ways for people to discover you. This means you don't want to run out of promo materials including business cards and flyers.

                        5. Get Social

                        In a social media-driven world, being active on Facebook and Instagram is imperative.

                        So how do you use it to drive more traffic to your booth?

                        Create buzz online that you'll be at an event and talk about all the great things visitors can expect. Be your own brand ambassador:

                        • Put up Instagram Stories several days before the event showcasing some of the items you'll have for sale.
                        • Go live on Facebook just after you've finished setting up your booth.
                        • Post photos encouraging followers to tag your business or use your hashtag while at the event for a chance to claim a prize.

                        6. Don't Do Everything

                        Music festivals, farmer's markets, holiday pop-ups, heritage fests, charity events – it can be overwhelming to decide which events are best to attend and will maximize sales for your craft business.

                        Certainly not all events are created equal, and not all attract the right clientele for your product. So don't stress about having to set up a booth at every one.

                        Where do you start, then?

                        Start Small

                        If you're a new artisan or just opening your business, consider attending a local craft fair to get a feel for things first.

                        "I recommend joining vendor groups on Facebook to stay in-the-know of local events in your area," says Crystal.

                        If you're more experienced or are hoping to attend larger events, websites like Festivals.com list hundreds of fairs and events going on across the country. A quick Google search can also do the trick.

                        Research The Audience

                        From music and food fests, to art and craft festivals, the options are endless. And depending on your craft product, certain types of events may attract the type of client who's more likely to buy from you.

                        "It's important to note that all fairs are different and cater to different markets," says Crystal. "If you find an event of interest, do research on it before spending the money to attend."

                        For example, say you create purses made from vintage LPs; setting up a booth at a music festival may be a good bet. Or if you create baby booties made of organic materials, an Earth Day festival or kids-focused event may be a good option.

                        "I had no clue of how to choose which event was best for me, so I spent a lot of money, attended a lot of events and lost a ton in the process," says Crystal of when she began her crafting business journey. "The first year, I lost money attending events that weren't a good market for my product. I then began conducting research to determine which events were more suitable for me."

                        In other words, find events and festivals that cater to your niche. And remember, less is more. No need to overdo it.




                        All in all, Crystal's one piece of advice is this: "Smile, show excitement and be yourself. People never forget the first impression. Do lots of research, contact event planners and ask questions before spending money, and ensure you have the appropriate amount of inventory available."

                        Tackle your next craft fair with confidence.

                        For more articles on marketing your small business, visit our Label Learning Center.

                        how do i get people to buy my products at a craft fair

                        WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Craft Fairs TELL ALL - Things to Avoid when Selling Your Handmade Goods in Person

                        Craft fairs are events that are normally held in halls, schools, churches, If you want to branch out and sell your products at multiple locations.

                        how do i get people to buy my products at a craft fair
                        Written by Sabei
                        1 Comment
                        • Vit

                          VitOctober 15, 2019 5:19 AM

                          It is interesting. You will not prompt to me, where I can find more information on this question?

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