Selling crafts is fun, and I love attending craft shows all over the country and running my booths. It gives me a reason to see places I wouldn’t otherwise and offsets the costs of driving all over the place. I also get to meet all sorts of interesting people.
Many people have asked me for tips on successful craft show selling, so I’ve compiled a few to share. Here are some of the things I’ve learned about how to make a booth work well:
- Large cities offer large audiences. Small towns are great, but some of the best places for sales are Chicago events. Since it’s a big city, events there draw loads of people from all over. It’s also a cultural hub, so it makes sense for my Midwestern self to frequent it. Look for a big city near you for similar close-by events, and be sure to try Chicago out, too.
- Not every event advertises booth sales. That doesn’t mean that booth space isn’t available! Call the organizers of any likely event and ask them if you can rent a booth to sell your items. Many of them are surprisingly agreeable. Even better yet, it can be cheaper to rent a booth at a non-craft event than at a dedicated craft show.
- Don’t make your booth too neat. A super-neat display is intimidating because it gives off the impression that touching anything is a no-no. You want people to feel that it’s safe to touch your items. When people can touch the merchandise, they are more likely to buy it.
- When selling jewelry or similar items, directly encourage people to try it on. Have mirrors so they can see themselves wearing it. Once people put something on and like it, they naturally want to keep it. That’s when you close the sale.
- Put risers on your table. When items are displayed flat, they are hard for show visitors to see – and people only buy what they can lay eyes on. A few boxes can be used to prop up a piece of heavy cardboard to serve as a riser. Put a tablecloth over the assembly to make everything look nice. This cheap and quick setup will give your products much more visibility and draw attention to your booth.
- Fill up your table. A full display is more inviting. When I don’t have enough items, I share a table with a friend. This ensures that the display shows a nice, inviting selection. As a bonus, it also allows the booth rental fee to be split.
- Try for an indoor location when just starting out. Outdoor stands are subject to wind, which will blow over weakly constructed displays. If you don’t already know how to keep a display standing in the wind, either practice at home or rent an indoor booth. You don’t want to get to the show and find that you’re spending all of the time trying to put your display back up.
These are just some of the practices I’ve picked up when working craft shows and other events. Once you attend a few shows, you’re sure to discover some unique methods of your own. The most important thing is likely to simply get out there and start doing it. The best practices in the world only work if you put them into action!
Image Source: Flickr