Selling your handmade items at craft fairs or vintage markets requires creativity, presentation and effective marketing. Most crafters have lots of creativity, but need help with marketing. Here are 10 tips to help you make your next craft show a success.
Need ideas on what to sell?
Create an eye-catching display
Your exhibition table or booth should look organized and not cluttered. Find a common color or theme in your items and use tablecloths, labels, signs and accessories that complement your handmade items.
Offer quality rather than quantity
Many buyers at craft fairs are artisans themselves, so they recognize a well-made item. Create a curated selection of high-quality items for your customers. This will help you stand out and convey a sense of craftsmanship.
Engage with your customers
Popular stalls are manned by friendly and approachable people. When I visit craft fairs, I like to talk to the artists and ask them about their processes and techniques. If there is a unique story behind your articles, share it.
Provide plenty of information about each item
Clearly label your handmade items with information about the materials you used, care instructions and price. Customers often walk away before asking what the price of an item is, so clearly stating prices is crucial.
Accept as many payment methods as possible
Cash may be your preferred payment method, but fewer and fewer people carry cash in their wallets. Help your customers pay easily with a credit card or, better yet, with their phone. It is now common for craft fairs to provide Wi-Fi to vendors for this purpose. If no Wi-Fi connection is available, provide your own hotspot using your phone.
Craft demonstrations make people stop and watch! Have you ever noticed that empty stands stay empty and those with people attract more spectators? It's human nature to want to see what others are looking at. Bring a project or two to work on to the booth to show off your skills and the high value of your items. More traffic means more sales.
Build your brand by sharing flyers or business cards
Don't lose recurring or future business. Create flyers and/or business cards with your brand logo, colors and fonts. Allow customers to take them so they can contact you about future orders.
Provide seasonal items well in advance
People love buying unique items for Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, Patriotic, and Thanksgiving, as well as all other holidays! Follow the lead of stores that start offering holiday items months before the holidays and be ready with lots of beautiful seasonal crafts.
These gnomes were made with my easy gnome template!
Set competitive prices that reflect quality handmade items
Research what your competitors are selling for similar items, but don't feel like you have to undercut them. Consider the cost of your time, materials and marketing efforts. People will subconsciously view low-cost items as being cheaply made. If your items are well made, they will command a higher price.
Bundles and Special Offers
Encourage your customers to purchase multiple items by grouping together items with a similar theme or offering a lower price when they purchase quantities of 2 or 3.
Create surprise bags or wrapped boxes
If you have items from previous exhibits that aren't selling, prepare surprise “grab bags” or “goody boxes” with a number of those items inside. I've fallen for this tactic several times, but I'm never unhappy afterwards. No one can resist a surprise!
Don't forget to collect customer information
In addition to providing information on how your customers can contact you, provide a sign-up sheet so you can contact them, too! Use this mailing list to send your customers a newsletter, sales emails, and booth information at upcoming trade shows.
Give a gift
If signups to your contact list are slow to come in, use this proven marketing technique used by other businesses. Provide contact cards so people can write down their name and email address and put them in a pretty jar or decorated box. Promise them that at the end of the show (or at a certain time), you will draw lots and contact the lucky winner. And of course, keep going!
Invest in attractive packaging
Attractive packaging leaves a great impression on your brand. It will protect your items when touched or picked up repeatedly. If it clearly states the price, your customers won't have to ask! Clear plastic or cellophane bags can be purchased in bulk inexpensively, and you can print labels on your home computer.
Create a social media following
Use social media to preview the handmade items you'll be selling at upcoming shows and remind them to come! Share behind-the-scenes videos of your process. Make your followers feel special with a secret code or coupon they can use when visiting your booth.
These tips for having a great craft fair booth have worked for me and many of my friends. Good luck to you for this creative season!
Disclosure: Some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links, I may receive a small commission, so please support SewCanShe when you shop! All opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂