Simply put, a craft fair is an organized event where exhibitors display their crafts for sale. Even though the number of people selling products at craft fairs both full-time and part-time seems to be increasing, it can be tough to decide whether or not craft fairs are for you. There is profit to be had at craft fairs, but you should do your homework before you jump in.
A good way to decide if you should sell your creations at a craft fair is to go to a few in your area. Visit small craft fairs. Visit large craft fairs. Check out both open air markets and indoor exhibitions. See what kind of traffic they have. See what people are selling and what consumers are buying.
These are important items to know when considering selling products at craft fairs yourself. You can find out what craft fairs are coming to your area by checking websites like http://www.artandcraftshows.net, http://www.festivalnet.com, and http://www.crafters.db.com. You can also get this information if you belong to a craft guild or subscribe to a trade journal. Seek out the opinions of your fellow crafters or friends that have participated in craft shows to find out which are the best.
Once you find a show you would like to show at, you should get as much information as possible. You may want to ask about fees and how booth space is assigned. When considering the cost of the craft fair, be sure to include the cost of travel and supplies. Find out what the attendance was last year and what the expected attendance is this year.
Do you need a special license to sell? All sellers will need a sales tax certificate as most states require you to collect sales tax. It would also be good to know what kind of crafts will be displayed, in other words, the style of the show. How many competitors will you have there? Do you know what their average price range is? Also find out what the contingency plan is for bad weather, especially if it is outdoors.
When getting started at craft fairs, keep it simple. You’ll want to start small and build up a reputation. On the other hand, selling a high number of cheaper items is not always best. Be sure that your offerings include a range of basic, or less expensive items, and a range of more personalized, detailed, or larger items that are more expensive. You want to present a small, but accurate, picture of who you are and what you can do. Also, make sure that your prices reflect the work that you have done. Try not to overprice your items.
Here is what you should bring to a craft fair, other than your creativity! Invest in a credit card machine and remember to bring it with you. Not many people are going to pay cash, especially for higher priced items. Bring a friend – someone that can help you carry things, talk with customers, and sell. Bring any supplies for your booth not provided by the show promoters.
While you are at the craft fair, try to share information. Meaning, get your company name, logo, website, and other contact information out there, and try to build up your potential customer list. Give aways and sign up sheets are great ways to get email addresses that you can use to promote your newest creations when you are away from the craft fairs. This can also help you build a loyal customer base and establish a good reputation.
You can be successful selling your products at craft fairs, if you have the energy, the drive, and the dedication!