Craft Fair season is coming up so I thought I’d dedicate a post to my own little craft fair tips having spent years running fairs (since 2009) partaking in fairs and visiting them too! I definitely do not have all the secrets and I can’t tell you how to sell out of your stock every time but my few pennies -worth may be useful.
Do Your Research – One of the first fairs I ever did was a craft market as part of a Father’s Day event at my local food hall. They sell local produce, have a garden centre and at the time a small cafe. It’s expanded a lot since then but you get the idea. There were a few things that worked against me selling my wares at this event. Firstly I was surrounded by crafts people who made terracotta plant labels, handmade quilts and wood turners, the visitors didn’t seem to “get” my work because it didn’t fit with the usual idea of “crafts”. Also, because the market was part of another event where all the attractions were free, people were less keen to take their wallets out. They didn’t come to the event with the intention of spending money.
Make sure you find out about the event before you commit to it.
Plan Your Stall – Mock up how your stall will look before you get to the event. you want to make sure you take enough display equipment, stands and signs. Display your products on different levels so it doesn’t look too flat, draw your customer’s eye to the items you want to promote by making them prominent within your stall.
Price Everything – There is nothing more off putting for a customer than to have to ask how much something is. Most people don’t want to offend you by putting something back if it was more than they intended to pay. That doesn’t mean your prices are wrong necessarily, it might just reflect how much is in their purse that day.
Understand Your Customers – This is a difficult trick but you need to learn which people you can talk to and interact with and which ones just want to be left along to browse in peace. This comes from practice. Always look friendly and happy to talk if they want to speak to you. Don’t sit behind your stall looking miserable, even if you’re not having a good day!
Stay Positive – There is often no rhyme or reason to why you might be having a bad day with sales. I’ve even had really successful Christmas markets (you think you’d be able to see anything at that time of year) and very slow ones too. Sometimes it’s your day and sometimes it isn’t. Don’t beat yourself up too much about it.
And one for the market organisers, they can’t plan the weather, no matter how good they are. I’ve attended markets in September when the weather has been scorching and everyone has gone to the beach instead of shopping. What can you do eh? Stay positive!
Promote Yourself – Make sure you have a big sign so people know who you are. Customers may not purchase from you on the day of the fair but will think of you when looking for a gift in the future. Keep your business cards well stocked too, if they’re eye catching they’ll end up on fridges and noticeboards.
Promote The Market – Get on your social media, tell your friends, put posters up and spread around the flyers. Support the market by telling all the people you know about it and encouraging them to pass the word around too. If everyone does that, everyone’s potential sales will go up!
I organise craft and vintage markets in Ipswich as I Make Fun Stuff. For more information, visit our website.