I’ve been busy this past week prepping for my annual Christmas craft shows. It’s not as stressful for me as it once was. I’ve learned a lot in the past 8 years. There’s a lot for a new seller to learn, so here’s 7 tips to have a successful craft show.
1) Find an Excellent Show
In order to do well, you need to figure out who your customers are and where your items will sell the best. I have found that shows in October and November are the best for me. People are looking for Christmas gifts and ready to open their wallets. I have done shows in the summer and it just wasn’t as successful. You also want to sell at shows that have a lot of foot traffic. It’s hard to know, unless you actually go to the show the year before. In general, if it is well promoted, it will likely have good traffic.
2) Prepare LOTS of products
If you are selling at a craft show, you need to have a LOT of product with you. It is much more difficult to sell items that are made to order. You will sell a lot more if they are “cash and carry.” Also, be sure to make lots of different items at lots of different price points. In general, if someone picks up something that is $20-30 several times, they will think everything in your booth is that price and move on. However, if there is a variety of prices, you can sell to just about anyone who comes along.
When I bring my items to a show, I don’t display them all on the table. You need to build a sense of urgency within the buyer. If there are 10 bibs that look exactly the same, the buyer will assume that they can come back later to get one….and may never remember to return. But if there is just 1 bib with the print they love, they are more apt to buy right away. Also, keeping a neat booth is important for drawing in customers as well. If there is too much product on the table, it may appear overwhelming and the customer may not even stop to look.
3) Prices, Prices, Prices
Please, I beg you. Price your items with excellent signs OR a price sticker. This is one of the most simple tips to have a successful craft show. Too many times I have attended a craft show where the items were not clearly marked and the owner was busy, so I didn’t make a purchase. Never let the lack of a price sticker make you lose a sale.
Also, whenever possible, increase sales with a deal when the customer buys multiples. For example, to increase my bib sales, I price one bib at $9.99. But if they buy 2 bibs, they can get a discount of 2/$18. I sell way more pairs than singles.
4) Display Your Items
Have fun with your display. Use baskets, crates, trays, serving dishes, cabinets, shelves…whatever you can think of to create a magical display. Test out your display at home so you can set it up quickly at the event.
5) Make a List
I like to keep a craft show packing list on my computer. I can find it easily each year, print it off, and get to work. Here are a few items on my packing list: calculator, money bag, receipt book, sales notebook, lots of pens, bags for customers, the Square, external charger, and business cards. I also pack tablecloths, tables, chairs, price signs for products, small price tag labels, string, scissors, a hole punch, ribbon, decoration items, crates, serving dishes, and baskets. In addition, I pack snacks, drinks in a cooler, wipes, tissues, Tylenol, Band-aids, nail clippers, sunglasses, and a project to work on if possible.
6) Cash and Credit!
It is smart to accept payments via credit card. I use the Square and it has worked well for my small business purposes with very little fees and no hassle. I also make sure to keep a well stocked cash box. You will need a surprising number of tens, fives, and ones, plus coins to make change. Always bring more than you think you will need.
7) Have fun and bring a helper!
Enjoy your event. Whenever possible, bring someone along to help you. It’s really necessary at times as you may need help setting up a tent or display. You will be grateful for the bathroom breaks and it’s fun to actually be able to look around at the show. Also, having a helper allows you to help multiple customers at the same time and of course, it’s great for enjoying good conversation as well.
There you have it! 7 tips to have a successful craft show! Best of luck to you and feel free to leave a question in the comments section!
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