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Preparing for Selling at a Craft Show: Tips and Strategies

Preparing for Selling at a Craft Show: Tips and Strategies

Selling handmade products at a craft show can be a great way to showcase your skills and make some money. However, it's important to know how to properly price your products, display them, and set up your booth for maximum sales. In this article, we'll go over some tips and strategies to help you sell your handmade products at a craft show.

Research the Craft Show
It is crucial to conduct research before registering for a craft show. Investigate the kinds of items sold at the event and the demographics of the attendees to gain insight into what products to offer and how to price them. Additionally, analyzing feedback from previous vendors can be helpful in determining what to expect. Determining the number of attendees is a top priority, and it's also essential to examine the booth fees to assess if you can generate enough revenue to cover the cost.

Price Your Products
Determining the appropriate pricing for your products can be challenging, but it's crucial to strike a balance between profitability and affordability. Take into account the cost of materials, the duration of production, and other expenses such as booth fees. Additionally, researching the prices of comparable products online or at other craft shows can help you determine the market value. It's important to avoid setting prices that are too high or too low. One way to encourage sales is to introduce bundled pricing, such as offering "buy 3, get 1 free" or "4 for $20." In general, craft show customers prefer prices in $1 dollar, $5, or $5 increments.  Shoppers are more likely to buy more if they feel like they're receiving a good deal. 
It's essential to offer products at different price points to cater to various customers. Often, a lower-priced item, such as a $1-2 product, can attract a child's attention and lead to their parent buying a more expensive item. Therefore, having a range of affordable options can help attract more customers and increase sales.
Charging Sales Tax
Don’t forget that when vending products at a craft show, it's important to collect and remit local sales tax.

Consider bringing a sufficient amount of cash to the craft show as many shoppers prefer to pay in cash. Depending on the price range of your products, it is recommended to bring at least $200 in small bills and $10 in change to make transactions easier.

Display Your Products & Booth Set Up

Your product display can significantly impact your sales, so it's essential to create an eye-catching and engaging showcase that highlights your products. Expect poor lighting conditions at the venue, and if your items sparkle, consider bringing small spotlights to accentuate them. Typically, craft show organizers provide a 6 or 8-foot table, and you'll need to bring your tablecloth and lighting. A simple solution is to use an old tablecloth or wide felt in seasonal colors. Place the felt so that it covers the front of the table, leaving the back open for your containers and restocking items. Using tiers can help you create height on your table. Wood milk crates are a great option because you can leave the back of the crate open to the back of the table, providing a convenient location to store shopping bags, cash box, pens, and notepads. Ensure that your products are easily visible and accessible, and that the pricing is clearly indicated.
It's important to keep your display organized and well-stocked but not cluttered. While you want to showcase your products, avoid overwhelming shoppers with too many items or a disorganized setup. A cluttered display can be confusing and may discourage potential buyers from making purchases. Remember that shoppers need to be enticed to buy, and a well-designed and organized display can help draw them in.
Interact with Customers
Your booth serves as the representation of your brand and business, and it's essential to maintain a professional appearance. Avoid eating or reading in public view, and instead, look approachable and friendly without being overly pushy. When someone stops by your booth, greet them with a smile and be ready to answer any questions they may have about your products. Share information about the materials you used, the inspiration behind your products, and any customization options available. Building a rapport with potential customers can increase the likelihood of making a sale.
Other crafters at the show can often become your best customers and even refer others to your booth. Therefore, it's a great idea to make friends with other local makers and artisans. Take some time to introduce yourself and get to know them. Compliment their work and ask about their experiences at the show. Building a friendly relationship with other crafters can help create a supportive and collaborative environment, which can lead to increased sales and new opportunities.
If you notice that customers aren't stopping by your booth, try standing at the front of the table and evaluating what they see. Make small adjustments to your product layout and fidget with your products to make them more eye-catching. Experience shows that shoppers are more likely to stop by tables that have someone attending them. Therefore, you can drum up business by being that person. Stand at the front of your booth, greet people as they walk by, and engage them in conversation about your products. This approach can help draw more people to your booth and increase your chances of making a sale.
Accept Multiple Payment Methods
It's essential to have multiple payment options available for your customers, including cash, credit cards, and mobile payments such as Venmo. However, it's crucial to ensure that both your bank and mobile payment systems are set up as business accounts, not personal accounts. Mixing personal and business funds can cause significant tax and financial issues, so it's best to keep them separate. By offering multiple payment methods, you can make it more convenient for customers to purchase your products and increase your sales. Additionally, it's a good idea to prominently display accepted payment methods at your booth to make it clear to customers.
Collect Shopper Emails and Phone Numbers
 Hosting a giveaway contest at a craft show can be a valuable tool for building a customer list for future digital marketing. To participate, shoppers can sign up and opt in with their first name, last name, email address, and cell phone number. By collecting this information, you can begin to build a database of potential customers who have shown an interest in your products.
Let shoppers know that no purchase is necessary to enter the contest and that the winner will be notified by text message. This can encourage more people to participate and provide you with additional contact information. Once the contest is over, you can use this list to send promotional emails and text messages about upcoming events, new products, and special offers. By staying in touch with your customers, you can build brand loyalty and increase the chances of repeat business.
After Show Follow Up Sales
It's a good idea to have a simple website where customers can place follow-up orders after the craft show. This website can be set up on platforms such as Etsy or Shopify. Customers who love your products at the craft show will likely want to buy from you again, and having an online presence can make it easier for them to do so. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to continue building a relationship with them through email marketing and other tactics.
In conclusion, selling handmade products at a craft show can be a great way to showcase your skills and make some money. By properly pricing your products, displaying them in an attractive way, and engaging with potential customers, you can increase your chances of making sales. Remember to do your research before the show, and to follow up with potential customers after the show. Good luck!