The first time we participated in a craft fair we didn’t make a dime! I was crying deep inside, but not showing my emotion to my family ( my hubby and my 2 little girls were with me), luckily I made a sale in my online store that day, so that was some consolation. I was thinking, “what was it with those people”? They would touch my items, and just say “very pretty” and then put them down! The crowd was big, but there were many vendors, and I found it hard to compete.
That experience haunted me for many months. It just would not go away. The fact that I didn’t make a dime, a penny, nothing at all bothered me, a lot! So, I had to consider why. What are the best practices for being successful at a craft fair? I got an organizer and filled it with post-it notes of things to do, and based on that bad experience,I listed these important things to consider:
If your calendar is not filled yet (you should be 2 months ahead), surf the net and find Craft Fair events, Festival and Craft Fair, Arts and Crafts Festival, Bazaars, or Makers Market in your area.
List them, and make contact.
Go back to your calendar and cross out those fairs where you had a bad experience. Maybe they were disorganized, or they put you in a bad location, or the crowds were too small.
If there are multiple fairs scheduled for the same day, you have to decide what’s important to you, for example; proximity, type of wares, size of the crowd and etc.
Consider the place and area- one of our most successful fairs was in an area near retirement homes. Many of the residents from the retirement homes came and shopped, not only for themselves, but also for gifts for others. We sold lots of hats,scarves and home decor.
Make or bring unique things- Typically, I make crochet items but there are other many vendors selling crochet. Have something that stands out, something unique, a steal, something beyond scarves, hats and blankets (most crochets in craft fair are these three), but if you love hats, then make them extra-ordinary. I sold this poinsettia for $95, and the other vendors’ jaws dropped in disbelief!
Organize your display- Often, space is limited to 10″ by 10″ table only, and you have many things to display. At my last fair, I use baskets covered with wrap paper to look attractive and colorful. I put small items in the basket with just one label to list the price of the items, for example, my label says “Scarves $40 and under”.
Use shoe rack to display bags and mannequin heads- Shoe racks are easy to assemble, and they don’t eat space in your car. I have a spare shoe rack so I bring it with me all the time. You see, if you have your items all on the table, splayed, it doesn’t pique the customers’ interest. They wont be able to see all the beautiful things you are selling. So, if possible, arrange your display in a way that they can shift their eyes to other objects on your table, and not on another vendor’s table. In short, make your display,in your little space,as engaging as possible.
Often, you have items that need to be hung, but there is no way you can do that in just a space with a low table. So, see if you can get a shelf. I got this bathroom shelf from Ikea, it is light to carry, and I can put a hook on it, while putting bags or other stuff on the shelves.
Now, the last one is my own thing that science can not prove, hehe. After you make the first sale (cash), tap the cash on your items, while you utter some mantra in your mind,and surely, you’ll make more. This practice is very much asian, is wishing good luck! Some people doing selling keep small budha figurin in their pocket for good luck!
In all, have a happy disposition, big grin and warm greetings. These three items are the right attitude in making money!