Learn to sell your crafts at craft fairs and make more money, The Complete guide teaches you how to run a profitable craft business and sell like crazy at Fairs.
HOW TO SELL YOUR HANDCRAFTED ITEMS AT CRAFT SHOWS
It’s been a tradition for me, my mom, and my grandmother for years. Ever since my grandparents moved from Wisconsin to Arkansas, it has become an annual pilgrimage. We make the 7-hour drive to their house where Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are filled with activity.
Every October in Bentonville, Arkansas, the whole town – neigh the whole area – turns into a huge craft fair. There are so many craft shows, that you have to sit down and make a schedule to see the ones that you want to see. Otherwise, you’ll get sidetracked and end up at a non-eventful show when everyone tells you the other one across town is the place to be.
We plan well in advance not only where to go, but what we will wear, where we will eat, and what specifically we are looking for. Every year, my Grandma has one thing she is relentless at finding – one year it was a quilt, one year it was a fall vest, and another year it was a purse.
I’ve looked forward to these shows each year because not only is it a way for me to spend some quality time with my family, but it’s also fun to find new crafted items and show them off once I get back home.
Now when I talk about craft fairs, I mean “real” craft fairs. The vendors are everyday people who have found a unique product to sell and make that product themselves. I’m talking about hand-personalized, unique Christmas ornaments, hand-sewn golf towels, and candles made on someone’s kitchen stove.
Some craft fairs concentrate on the fine arts – paintings, fine jewelry, furniture, etc. I don’t go to these types of shows – mostly because I can’t even afford to look at these beautiful things. Where everyday people can make the most money is a local, homegrown craft show in the local park or civic center. If you’re shopping, these types of shows will also be where you’ll find the best talent anyway.
Selling craft items, I think, naturally follows shopping. After years of just being a buyer at shows, Mom and I ventured into selling for a brief craft show at which we made a good amount of money but were extremely burned out at the end of two days. It was fun, but shopping is more satisfying.
This Guide is generally geared toward the craft fair vendor. If you make something you think you want to sell at a craft show, this guide is definitely for you. We will, however, include a section with some tips and tricks for the craft show shopper.
Inside these pages, you’ll get checklists, advice from those in the know, how much inventory to bring to a show, how to market yourself, how to find the best craft shows – and so much more. We have compiled information from some very reliable people who have found success, and we are including our opinions from the perspective of a buyer. Yes, I do consider myself somewhat of an expert!
You can make some serious cash selling your handmade items at craft fairs. It could even be a gold mine! But first, you need information, and we’re here to give it to you!
Here is a recap of the guide schedule:
Part 4: Marketing Your Story
Part 5: Finding the Best Shows
Part 6: Getting to the Show
Part 7: Setting Up Your Space
Part 8: Making Each Show Your Best Show
Part 9: How Much Inventory Do You Need
Part 10: Setting the Right Price
Part 11: Necessary Bring-Alongs
Part 12: Safety at The Craft Fair
Part 13: After the Show
Part 14: Where the Shows Are
Part 15: Online Craft Shows
Part 16: Shopping At Craft Shows
Most of this guide has focused on crafting as a business. It can be a great way to do what you love and make money while doing it. But be realistic when you start to venture into this type of business. You won’t make a million dollars, and you’ll spend a lot of time in pursuit of your dream.
But don’t be afraid to take the chance and make your hobby into a career. Sure, it’s not an easy living, but it certainly is a satisfying one! Be prepared to be up early and stay up late. Be prepared to wait for your profits to show. You probably won’t see much of a profit your first time out.
Many people who have decided to get into crafting as a business can’t see themselves doing anything else. One crafter says, “Sometimes I get frustrated making the same item over and over again. It can be boring. But then I remember my clerical job doing the same job over and over again – and being bored too. At least this way, I set my hours and make my success. Having a steady paycheck was nice, but knowing you are doing something for yourself is so much more valuable.”
For home-based artists and craftspeople, selling at fairs and shows provides an opportunity to ring up sales and find new customers at little cost and overhead. But making money at fairs and shows isn’t as easy as it seems. It requires research, planning, and the ability to keep a smile on your face while standing on your feet for long hours. And that’s not for everyone.
To be successful at shows, you should have some sort of retail personality, but you don’t have to be a natural salesperson. All you need to have is a passion for your product and yourself. Then you talk about it to your customers and let the rest take care of itself.
Crafting is more than a job a hobby for millions of people. It’s scary to leap into business for yourself. But once you do, you’ll find a reward by the mile. Those rewards can’t be found behind a computer at an office job or out in the field selling something you don’t believe in.
Do your research, learn from those who know, and be relentless in your goal to become a successful crafting business. Reading this guide is a great start! Now get to work. There’s a show right around the corner, and you need to be at it!