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My first craft show next weekend

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  • My first craft show next weekend

    I have sold some items through Etsy, but decided to do a craft show at my daughter's high school, hoping the margins are better. I have sold $443 with net of $268 net. $56 in frees, $52 in Etsy marketing, and $68 in free shipping. Take taxes from that and yeah... hardly worth it, except I love making things.

    I have no idea how the show will go. If it goes well... I may stop Etsy advertising and do more shows. The thing is, without Etsy advertising I had like 0 traffic, except for direct links I shared on social networks.

  • #2
    Good luck!! I am a long way from doing a show, but it is a goal.

    Comment


    • #3
      Here are a few basic suggestions on shows:
      - I bring with me $200 in small bills for making change. A lot of shoppers come with $20’s straight from the ATM.
      - If you are able stand and greet everyone that walks by.
      - Dress nice. Dirty T-shirts and ripped jeans do not cut it.
      - Try to make your display as clean and organized as possible. Less is more.
      - It you are using tables put a solid color table cloth on it. In a pinch a cheapo flat sheet from Walmart works.
      - Don’t hesitate to point our wares.
      - Make sure your prices are clearly marked.
      - Having a credit card system, like Square, really helps as credit card shoppers tend to buy more.
      - Never tear down your booth early. You can get some amazing last minute sales especially from other vendors.
      - Stick to your prices. This is not a yard sale or flea market.
      - Smile and have fun.
      Scott
      Creator of fine designer sawdust.

      Comment


      • #4
        Agree with everything Scott says. Never ever, and I mean never ever, lower a price on something after you have sold one at a higher price. Scott, I use only sheets for my tables. Change colors with season. Square is amazing. I had a customer 2 weeks ago that just kept coming back and tapping her card. Probably would not have had that last $120 sale. $20 are easy to change, it’s the $50 and $100s I get that wipe me out. Lots of change. Last minute shoppers are great, never tear down early. Dress appropriate for the venue. We do farmers markets and most of the farmers come in straight from the field. Jeans, tshirts and sweat shirts are appropriate for us. If you sit, make sure your chair is higher than your table. We sit on the tailgate of the truck. Only time the phone is in your hand is when you are making a credit card sale. I started using the little holders this year for pricing. Love it. Picture is from our 3 day show. Got them in staples. HAVE “PHUN” as Carter used to say.
        Attached Files
        Betty

        "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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        • #5
          I wish you the best n this venture.
          Denny
          ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the advice everyone, very helpful!

            Comment


            • #7
              Betty, looking ate your photo makes me realize how much more I wanted to do for my fair this Saturday.
              I like those small price holders I will have to check them out.
              We got the remnants of our consignment event last week (three days after Thanksgiving) I think it was our best year ever. People are definitely spending money!
              Rolf
              RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
              Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
              Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
              And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

              Comment


              • #8
                Pay attention to other vendors if you get a chance. See what works and what doesn't. One thing I always see is many bring a fold-up camp chair that puts them low and are difficult to stand up from. The customers will see them start to stand and tell them they don't need to stand as they move on to the next booth.

                Bring a bar height stool to to rest on - you are almost standing and it's no effort to get to your feet to greet the customers face to face.

                Also - make an effort to keep a smile on your face.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Rolf, they’re in the photo frame section of staples with all the other plastic things. I hate using tags for price. I put them on my baskets but take them off when I wrap them up. I have a fold up directors type chair that Bruce got for me in a bar store! It’s the height of a bar stool. Here’s more pictures of our set up at the 3 day show. I had some candles laying down as people were bumping the table and knocking them down. Bruce just put small stands on the 14 I made for this week. And 8 are sold!
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by will8989; 12-01-2022, 09:28 PM.
                  Betty

                  "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    First craft show after action review. Well, despite not being very well prepared, everything went well. At first it didn't look like I would sell anything... but then things picked up by midday, and there was a large sale not long before closing. I think I earned more money (net) than the the first two months of my Etsy store. I priced my items the same as on Etsy, but on Etsy I am currently paying for shipping on all orders. (Something that I probably shouldn't do on cheeper items).

                    The biggest mistake I made was not building any stands for the table... and it was too crowded with the items that I think there was just too much to look at. I looked at all the other vendors, and my table was clearly the worst presentation wise. Another mistake I make is not having the right sized bags for most items.

                    The other thing I noticed, is that the things I made, took a lot more work than most of the items that were being sold. Other vendors came by and numerous ones said things like 'you cut these all with lasers right?' , 'your just buying these and reselling them right?' and 'you used a router to cut this right?'. I took it as a compliment, but in a show where nearly all vendors are selling cheaper things, some people just were not willing to pay for more expensive items. I think I needed some signage to indicate how I was making the items, so customers could better appreciate the time and effort.

                    I am also very glad my wife was helping me at the show, because I have a hearing loss (thanks to the military), and it was very difficult for me to hear what anyone was saying. If someone had a mask on, there no chance I could tell if they were evening responding to my greetings. There was times my wife responding thank you to someone complimenting the items, when I didn't hear them say anything. I have some hear through ear buds that can amplify voices that I might try next time.

                    The other things that concerned me is that items I was selling with the square app (linked to my Etsy stored), did not appear to be removing the inventory from Etsy. I was worried about someone ordering something I already sold, so I manually deactivated some items on Etsy. Well, but the AM the items did all appear as sold on Etsy, but the ones I deactivated didn't show a picture of the item I sold, just the title, because I assume when it synched with Etsy it didn't find a match to the right item as being active.

                    The highlight for me was when someone bought a Turtle Box I made, and asked me about every piece of wood I used and complimented the detail. It was clear he understood the effort that went into it and really appreciated the item. There were a few other people that knew enough about woodworking to asked me about what scroll saw I used etc... which is nice because frankly, I haven't met anyone I knew used a scroll saw before.

                    Now, I am aware of how much time it takes me to make my items, and my costs. I am definitely losing money, but in my situation, the peace of mind and distraction from other things I get while woodworking, is a very valuable medicine for me.​ Over time I will get smarter about what things to make (I need more cheeper and easy to make things).
                    Last edited by bstark; 12-04-2022, 12:31 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I have been doing shows for going on 20 years now. Only one or two a year. I learn something at every show. Remember the old saying; It takes money to make money. It took several years, spending several $100 to get my booth professionally looking (racks, hangers, table clothes, bags and boxes, storage bins, stands, etc). It is too late for this year but take pictures of your setup so that when the dust settles you can look and see what was done right and what needs improvement.
                      Scott
                      Creator of fine designer sawdust.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bstark, take a look at out simple table setup that I have posted in Bettys posting. This fair is an annual fund raiser for our churches women's group. So I pay for two 8 ft tables (so I don't need to bring any) A couple of nice table clothes and I put shutters on each end and made special shelves that hook into them. Our early years we stacked our items high. now we keep a lot of inventory under the table and replenish as things sell.
                        Last edited by Rolf; 12-06-2022, 08:58 AM.
                        Rolf
                        RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                        Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                        Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                        And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks all... I am too embarrassed to post the picture of my table... =) but I did take one, and it looks like a table at a garage sale. I believe the high school will have bizarre one in spring, and I will try to get together a slightly better display by then.

                          Rolf I live near the Oregon coast and have a small beach house there, though my primary residence is 100 miles from there. But... the beach is just littered with shops that sell craft items. Have you put any items for sale in shops at all, either by consignment or other?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We do one consignment event a year. It is at a local farm museum the three days after Thanksgiving. We just drop of our stuff and they set everything up. The fee is $60 up front to pay for the cashiers and the 20% on the sales. I just mark up my items to cover the fee. We pick up the remnants the following week, and they send us a check. Worth every penny.
                            I have not worked with any of our local shops. Once my last fair is done I take a break from craft oriented scrolling and do other things like Intarsia.
                            Last edited by Rolf; 12-07-2022, 08:16 AM.
                            Rolf
                            RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                            Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                            Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                            And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bstark View Post
                              Thanks all... I am too embarrassed to post the picture of my table... =) but I did take one, and it looks like a table at a garage sale. I believe the high school will have bizarre one in spring, and I will try to get together a slightly better display by then.

                              Rolf I live near the Oregon coast and have a small beach house there, though my primary residence is 100 miles from there. But... the beach is just littered with shops that sell craft items. Have you put any items for sale in shops at all, either by consignment or other?
                              This is just me talking but I have not had good luck with spring and summer shows. Now November and December are another story.
                              Scott
                              Creator of fine designer sawdust.

                              Comment

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