Selling at a Craft Fair -- Great Idea!
Selling at Cons is great but expensive!! There is the booth cost, food cost, travel cost,
hotel cost, just to name a few off the top of my head. In the beginning you financials are bleeding red. It is something that you have to do, and in another blog I will talk about the benefits about being at Cons. This blog is about selling in a different venue – Craft Fairs.
First of all, local church craft fairs. The table(s) cost anywhere from $10 to $200 depending on the venue. The Shriners Christmas in July pictured at the right, cost $25 for the table. Of course the down side to the lower cost of the table can be: less people coming to the sell. Cons have double digit thousands, festivals have thousands and craft fairs have hundreds of potential buyers. Another problem is client expectation. At a small craft fair, people are expecting to pay less for your product that they would at a Con. Of course you don’t want to sell yourself short, but originally when pricing your product, make sure you have a sliding scale to include Cons, Craft Shows, Church Bazaars, and Family/Friend Discounts.
Product marketing is different. I will take Anime, Marvel and DC to Cons. That is what the customer wants and that is what I make. The purses are fun and let’s face it small. They are good for going to Theme Parks, a night out, ball game, or anywhere else that checks purses. I still sell them and pillows at craft shows but I also take other items, like my Hotz-n-cozy microwave hot pads and Fairy Lamps.
One thing I try to keep consistent, everything is sewn. We keep trying various items also. Earrings did not sell well for Sean so he changed to pins. These sell a lot better at a $3 pricing point for any type of venue.
Indoor venues, in general, have either a 6-foot or 8-foot table set up for you. Some are draped (come with a cloth) and others are not. Always find out before going what you need to bring. Invest in a nice tablecloth. Why? When on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond, I got my black tablecloth for $9. If the table is already draped, I can use the cloth to cover my wares at the end of day. If not, my colors are black and gold and my table has a set color scheme. Yes, the Dollar Store has $1 plastic tablecloths but they rip easily and are one use only item. They cannot be used to cover you items for the night because they rip. So for the long run, it is better to invest in a nice tablecloth. Also, washable without having to iron it is a huge plus. I found out the hard way when my Crafty Weavers sign needed washed and I spent the morning ironing it!
Outdoor venues is another beast altogether. Please let me tell you my mistake. I didn’t get a tent with walls. I live in Florida! I love a breeze! It’s the Sunshine State! If you are not holding your sides in laughter yet, well, quite frankly, you should be! The entire summer or 2018 has been one big rainstorm. Not only that, but at night, it is nice to let the walls down to secure the tent. Breeze is one thing, but high winds are another. Putting down one wall to keep out the winds from blowing over items is really a good idea. I learned this at the Longwood Festival last year. Luckily, everyone around me was nice and I made it through the rain. This was the first time I left items overnight. Normally, I pack up everything and put them out again the next day. Longwood has excellent security for overnight accommodations, just no control over the weather.
Should you want to try your hand at Lake Eola Craft Festival? Then you need a tent that has a white top and walls and weights. So keep that in mind when purchasing a tent.
There are plenty of crafty fairs around so it is a good way to go. Many are well known and do get a lot of attendance. People are there to buy, which is why they came. So it is a great venue for selling.
Remember: “ The journey starts with a step, a small step is a start to a wonderful business venture.”