Having a great display and unique items can make your craft fair experience a success. This guide is about selling crafts at craft shows.
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By Linn from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Need ideas on displaying your items at craft shows or in your booth?
The number one thing in displaying your crafts is make sure all of your items are priced and the tag can be easily seen. 9 times out of 10 those few items that are not priced will be walked away from because most shoppers are just simply too "shy" to ask.
Even if your not pricing your items but are using the "Here's your Sign" tactic by displaying a large sign stating something like 1 for 2.99 buy 2 for $5.00, I suggest to still price everything! Shoppers are so excited and distracted from looking through all the products and discussing the oohh's and aahh's with their shopping friends that the signs are sometimes missed especially in large craft shows where they get crowded.
Make your display booths unique and interesting to draw in attention. Using a folding table with a country plaid tablecloth are great, but why not really spice it up and use something out of the ordinary to grab the shopper's eye from across the room. These are depending on your space size of course, or could be scaled to fit.
Some other ways to display items are using baskets, ladders, stacking suitcases, crates, crocks, coat racks, stacking various sized tables, cutting barrels in half and adding shelving inside, Christmas trees, old galvanized wash tubs, dress mannequins, wood ironing boards, quilt racks, shutters, or fencing.
And one last craft display tip. Don't forget the kids! Most shoppers will be bringing along young children. Have items to catch a child's eye down low or invest in a bubble gum machine and fill it with sweets. A few turns on the irresistible machine will make you some profits as well.
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Here are questions related to Selling Crafts at Craft Shows.
What crafts are selling best at craft shows?
Jean from Columbus, Ohio
By Cyinda  03/06/2008
I do craft show for a living (I sell hand painted pottery) and the one thing that always sells and makes money is garden crafts. It may be actual plants, or seeds or live floral wreaths or flowers planted in unusual things like in boots or old chairs or tires. Wooden window boxes always sell too, or even garden art or yard furniture or bird baths and stepping stones, but let me tell you, anything for the yard or garden sells like crazy!
You gotta have 2 price scales; the pricey stuff and also something to sell that's under 20 or 30 dollars. The lower priced stuff is what people will buy without thinking to hard about it.
Craft fairs aren't bringing in the money they used to (Believe me!), with the economy these days being so bad you have to have something either people need and is useful or is super cheap that they can buy for a gift. I'm making less than half what I made before 2000. Really! Even though I have a great reputation and people know me better and better each year). When the economy sucks, so do sales at craft fairs (unless you're selling food items). I sometimes drive 180 miles (round trip) to sell my stuff "where the money is". Try to sell your stuff at a fair where the people with money live. Get my drift!?
In my community, craft fair season is fast approaching and I would like to try selling my own handmade items. Since I have never done this before, any suggestions would be helpful. What sells well? How do I determine how much to charge for each item? (For example, I like to rag quilt, so do baby quilts sell better than twin or full size? I'd rather make 3 baby quilts that sell than 2 twin size that don't.)
Do I need to claim my earnings on my taxes and do I obtain a tax-exempt number to buy my materials? If so, how? I have been told that I can't sell fabric items with licensed characters on the fabric, why? Thanks for the help?
By Marie from Idaho Falls, ID
By Ivalou 05/11/2013
Here in Lawton, Oklahoma our craft club has one large craft show a year. We mark off 211 10X10 ft booths. We rent these booth to mostly crafters. If we do not fill all booth we will allow select comercial booths. Items have to be sold not party set up. We have great sucess each year. We are always looking for new crafters.
Many of our crafters have campers and stay on the grounds where the show is happening. There are hook ups for campers. We provide security inside the building each day and over night to protect our booths. We have some members who live out of state. Many of our crafters who are not members come back year after year. Contact ivazimmerman AT aol.com for more information.
I'm looking for craft fairs that will give you a booth for low cost or free. I'm a first timer and don't want to spend a bunch of money for a booth right now. Are there any craft fairs in Minnesota that have really cheap or free available booths for selling?
By Marla Ball 01/16/2013
You're so right in thinking of doing the lower dollar craft shows. These shows are so. Participating in such shows can be so iffy. You just never know how well things will go. Keeping the expense of participating down betters your opportunities of doing well. Googling "Craft Shows" is a great way to get links to various sights that list shows around the country. I know there is a Church there in MN that does a Summer event each yr. I've donated a gift basket to them for their event before. Best of luck!
Does anyone know of a website or place that lists all upcoming craft shows, fairs, and markets for a certain area? I am in Chicago and I'm interested in selling handmade purses and pillowcases. I am having trouble finding places other than online. I have never sold anything, but now I'm ready with enough product. Do I really have to wait until summer? Don't these things happen indoors throughout the winter?
By down n dirty from Chicago, IL
Please help. I would like to sell my handmade patchwork tote bags (made out of old jeans and new fabric) at a local farmer's market this summer, but I don't know how much to charge. I know how much the jeans and fabric cost, but I don't know how much to charge for labor, thread, use of my machine, etc. I would also need to invest in a canopy and tables for my booth. The bags are an easy technique, but it takes 2-3 days to make a bag, if I don't have any other wife/mom things to do. Plus, I live in a community with a lot of crafters who could make the items they see at a craft fair and people who like to negotiate for a good price. Thus, I need to find a fair price that will not scare away potential buyers, but will give me room to negotiate and still make a decent profit. How do I make my craft fair dreams happen?
By Marie V.O. from Idaho Falls, ID
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.
My daughter Katie and I would like to make crafts items to sell at local craft shows. We have some ideas but would like more. Does anyone know of some good websites for free craft patterns and ideas? Thanks! Sharon Young from Benton, AR
By Mr. Thrifty
I live in Essex in the UK and along with a friend, we would like to start making and selling at craft fairs to enable us to continue to stay home with our children.
I thought I would ask for suggestions on here as being an american site, you would probably come up with suggestions that we don't have over here.
Thanks in advance,
Tracey from Essex
Make sure your displays are really good. If you sell earrings, look for earring racks or some unique way to display your earrings. If you sell dolls, make sure they can sit or stand to display them best. Whatever you are selling, make sure that it is easy to see from a distance what you have. Use nice table coverings that match and tie your booth, table or displays together.
I've bought and sold crafts for years and just like the big merchandisers how you present yourself and your products really helps make sales. It doesn't have to cost a lot but always stand back and look at your displays before starting your sale. Anything that distracts you from the "goods" should be avoided (i.e. a rusty table leg, a stain, dirty mirror, papers sitting around, loose threads).
Once you are selling, figure out what sells the best and concentrate on those items. Also pay attention to where the items were placed as that can also make a difference. Make sure all of your items are priced.
If there are two of you, avoid both of you sitting staring out waiting for people to come. Have one of you stand up, walk out and walk up to the booth, people tend to go to tables where other people are. It's funny but it works. (01/20/2007)
My friend and I have been setting up at craft shows for about 8 years. We have gone with all homemade items and we have made items that are on the normal persons budget. Most of our items are $5.00 and under. We make crochet towels, crocheted slippers, mittens, hats, dish cloths, scrubbies out of nylon net, barbie cloths, and we also make many gag gifts that we sell for 50 cents a piece. We are busy from the time we get set up to the end of the day. People love to be able to buy something even if it just a little item. We do have a few higher priced item at different shows but keep your booth friendly and bright. We sometimes have a tape player playing very soft music, helps make people feel welcome. Good luck! (01/22/2007)
I am a stay at home mom that wishes to earn extra income selling crafts at craft fairs/flea markets. Any ideas or suggestions of crafts that sell well?
I am going to start selling at a local market day in my town and I was hoping for some advice. I like to sew and so far I have decided to sell children's aprons and chef hats.
Is it necessary to disclose the origin of fabric at a craft fair? I sew dog dresses to sell at craft fairs and although I do buy new fabric from the store, I also get fabric from my local Goodwill.
Does anyone know how I would find out who to contact about selling my crafts at craft shows or festivals in my local area?