When you make your own products, craft fairs can be a fun way to make sales. You get to show your work and talk to people about it, and hopefully make money. It can also be a frustrating experience if you haven't prepared for the fair properly.
Even finding a craft fair can be difficult. Local newspapers can be very helpful for finding listings; you can also ask other crafts people about upcoming fairs. Churches and schools may also hold craft fairs you could attend.
Make sure you have enough stock for the fair. There's nothing like not having enough merchandise to meet the demand! For your first few, you will have to guess about how much merchandise you will need. If you know someone else who goes to craft fairs, do not be afraid to aske their opinion. Have a full range of styles as well and decide in advance if you will accept custom orders.
Find out in advance what the fair provides and what you will need to bring for your setup. If all you get is a table, bring something plain to cover it.
Have someone along to help you make sales. Otherwise, you will have a very difficult time getting meal and bathroom breaks.
Have a rough idea of how you want to set your table up. Have some sort of sense to the layout of your products. Most important, make sure they all have prices, so you don't have to look it up or keep answering such a basic question. Have spare price tags to replace any that fall off.
Be ready to negotiate. Many people will ask if they can get a discount if they buy more than one item.
Decide if your prices include tax. Making all your prices be either inclusive of tax or calculated so that they come to an even dollar amount can save you a lot of time in making change.
Keep track of your most popular items for future reference. This is very useful information for future fairs, especially if it continues for several fairs. This will also tell you if a product simply is not moving.
Keep your money safe. A money belt may be a good idea. A locked box works as well, but make sure you keep a good eye on it, as they are easily carried away.
At the end of the day, do not let exhaustion or excitement carry you away. Pack up neatly and leave your space in good condition. This will encourage the craft fair sponsors to inform you of the next craft fair.
After you are home, evaluate how your day went. Note especially what sold well, what got a lot of attention but wasn't selling, and what just didn't move at all. Think about any comments, positive or negative, customers made about your products. These can help you improve your products for the future. Were your prices right? Did you make a profit for the day? It is very important to know whether or not a particular craft fair is generally worth your time. Look at why things did not work, from poor sales to customer comments on pricing.
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