I hear it all the time… I’m doing my first craft fair and I have no idea what to do. What do I make? How much stuff do I need? Will I make enough money to make it worth it?
Craft fairs can be a great place to sell your handmade items if you have a strong game plan. Since I was a teenager, I have helped my mom with her booths and gift shops. She is the queen at everything from display to making the sale. I’ve learned a lot from her success over the years. With a few tips you can have a successful craft fair too.
What To Make and Have For Sale
• From the beginning, look at your booth as a little shop. Instead of jumping in and making a bunch of random things, make a plan.
• Choose for your area. What sells well in one part of the country or online might not be a hot item in your area. Look around, visit shops, ask friends and watch people to find the local trends.
• Seasonal is only part. If you are doing a spring craft fair, don’t fill your booth with Easter and pastels that you will be stuck with for a year after the fair is over. Look ahead and always include everyday items.
• Have a variety of price points. An afghan might be gorgeous, but it is also time consuming and not everyone has that much to spend on one item. Instead, make several items that will sell quicker, reaching more customers and adding variety to your booth.
Keep your prices down by choosing supplies wisely. That really nice skein of pricey yarn might be gorgeous, but not everyone is willing to pay the difference. There are many wonderful yarns available to use without cranking up the price. Consider this when choosing buttons, ribbons, etc.
• Offer items that can be used for future sales if left over. Adding seasonal appliques with a button can be easily updated after the event.
• Scarves, cowls, fingerless mitts, hats, headbands, wash cloths and small bags are great fair items because they are quick and easy to make, take a small amount of supplies, are popular year round, can be sold at a good price point and appeal to a wide audience.
• Not sure what size to make? Choose a variety and make sure to include signs to let shoppers know you have more to offer…if you do. If you offer items for the entire family, I often suggest toddler sizes because they take less supplies and time.
• Be unique! Put your own twist on things so people will want what YOU have.
Items To Crochet
Watch for more items to sell! We will be adding a ton of suggestions for a variety of handmade things.
• You’ve put a lot of work into your items so make sure to spend time on the presentation. I always cringe when I see a bunch of hats laying on a table, like dominos that fell over. Make your items jump out at the customers by creating displays they want to check out.
Cherie from “Jimmy Pickles” does a really nice job setting up her booth and displaying items. Her booth is well organized, eye catching and draws you in for more.
Huge thank you to Cherie from “Jimmy Pickles” for giving us permission to use her photos. Please do not use these photos without contacting her for written permission.
• GRAB their attention! Put interesting things where people will see them first. Less is more when making signs so don’t get too wordy.
• Pay attention to packaging. That extra little touch goes a LONG way. There are tons of great ideas online for tags, wraps and more.
Check out this awesome way to package handmade items. “Frogging Along” offers FREE templates you definitely need to check out. I stumbled across their shop and asked permission to use this photo because I just LOVE what she has done. Please do not use the photo below without contacting her for written permission.
• Create different levels in your displays by using things such as crates, boxes, stacks of old books, even bricks.
• If you have hats for sell, instead of laying them on a table, string a rope across and pin them in place with colorful clothes pins. Clear flower vases of different shapes and height work great for hat displays too.
• FILL the booth. If you don’t have enough stuff to make your booth look inviting on your own, consider getting some friends to join you.
• Did you make a ton of the same item? Don’t put them all out at once. If I stop by and see 3 of the same scarf I will think I can wait and grab it later if I don’t find anything else. Tuck them away or display in a different area of the booth.
Time to Sell
My mom’s first rule was do NOT sit down. If you look bored or too busy you will lose customers. I’ve walked past booths where people were eating, on the phone or reading a book. These are a BIG NO! You are there to SELL your stuff. Don’t quit now. Be engaging. TALK to people as they pass by.
• LOVE what you sell! Choose things you enjoy. If you don’t like your items, chances are, we won’t either. If you are excited to be there and eager to show your things it will make a difference.
• Prior to the big event send out emails to everyone you know and post on social media. Ask them to stop by and support your big adventure.
• Hold a drawing. Have people leave their email address to enter to win a prize. Let them know these emails will be used to send them awesome information about upcoming sales and new things.
• Wear something you have for sale. People like to buy a look. This is why items online sell better when shown on a person.
• Tag everything with your contact information. Once the sell is made, make sure they have something that let’s them know how to buy more.
• Include a flier in their bag with your online links and contact information. Offering a discount for future purchase is a great way to encourage repeat customers.
• Encourage friends and family to stop by throughout the event, not to visit, but to check out what you are doing. A busy booth does better than a lonely one.
• Check in on social media while setting up and during the event with pictures of your awesome items. Grab their attention by offering discounts for mentioning your post.
Most important tip: Have Fun!
Check These Out
I hope you will visit the shops I have mentioned.
Good Luck! I would love to hear about your successful craft fairs. Please send an email and any photos we can share to firstname.lastname@example.org.