Selling crafts, and making money are the ultimate goal with a craft business right? Once you have figured out crafts to make and sell and have all your stock just how do you make money?
One way, of course, to really get out there, is to sell at craft shows and fairs. This takes some planning, as many of these shows are planned months in advance. You need to find out from the crafting community, through craft supply stores, and in your local paper, and sometimes online to find out where the shows are going to be held.
You have to get your application in early, if it is a big and popular show. Also make sure and have a few of your best products ready, because you may be asked to give them a sample, in the form of a photograph of what it is you will be selling. In a well organized show, this is to prevent too many vendors selling the same types of things.
These show organizers, also make money, as this is their business, and want to have a show to be remembered, and be able to offer it again the following year. So, this is not just about selling crafts for your business, it is business for them.
You pay your fees, and wait to see if you have been accepted, and then you get yourself organized. Don't wait until you hear back, apply to a few shows, and get started on your products now. This way you are ready.
Once You Have Your Crafts To Sell Just How Do You Sell Them? - 5 Ways
There are a few ways you can use craft shows to raise your bottom line, when selling crafts..Credit: morguefile.com
1. Share a booth or space with a craft buddy. Someone who creates different products than you so you are not competing, but makes for an interesting looking setup for customers to stop by. My friend and I always share booths, and she does all kinds of quilting. Quilted jackets, table runners, pillows, purses and more. Where as I do painting, and sometimes we cross over, and I have painted a square for her quilted totes. Either way, we have something a little different to offer people. This way, we only have to cough up 1/2 the rent, and you don't need to be able to fill the entire space yourself. Especially if the things you make are quite small.
If you are just starting out, this is a great way to see if this type of selling is for you, without a huge investment of money and products.
2. Sign up for 2 Craft Shows - If you decide you enjoy selling crafts at a show, then sign up for two shows on the same weekend. They are most likely in two different towns, but if you are sharing a booth with a craft buddy, make enough product to set up two booths or craft spaces, and then separate. Each space having both your products. Each one of you "man" each booth in the two separate shows. Make sure you both have cell phones, and keep in touch. That way you have a good chance of money from two shows. Yes, you will have had to pay two rents, but because we share booths, it really only feels like one full rent each. But the sales potential can be huge! This is where you find out, which shows are better, without taking up too many weekends selling crafts.
Keep track of your sales. We used to put tags on our products that were assigned numbers to us. I kept track at home on my computer what each number meant and for which product. When a sale was made, the customer just paid the one bill (assuming they had purchased something of mine and something of hers) but we took the tag off of each products and recorded it as a sale and kept the tags in a box. This way you know which crafts sell.
3. Have a draw. This is a really good way to raise your bottom line when selling crafts. Everyone loves a draw.
Pick one of your best products and have it on display. Tell any potential customers by placing a sign under the product, offering it in a draw with a minimum purchase (you set the dollar amount on the minimum purchase) then have little draw slips ready for them.Credit: morguefile.com
At the same time you can ask them on the draw slip, if they would like to be on your list for a newsletter, either online of offline. They can say yes or no, and PLEASE respect any No's. Then do the draw on the date you say. Usually close to the end of the last day of the show. This can really boost that bottom line. I know it means giving away one of your best products for free, but if you add up your sales, you will find that it has made up for it, plus got you a few more customers and possibly followers on your "list" with potential future sales.
4. Get email addresses and create a newsletter - Ask your customer if they would like to be on your list. You will get future customers this way and build up your very own followers or clientelle.
This means, you can send them some of your latest work, let them know what shows you will be at next, or where else you sell crafts. Just don't abuse their information by spamming. If you do this right, you can really build a customer base. If you have a website, then invite them to see your website in the newsletter. Maybe offer a craft class or anything you want through this newsletter.
5. Silent Auction at Craft Show - Some craft show organizers, will have a silent auction, at the entrance to the show, where they take a product from any willing vendor to raise money for a particular local charity. They will have them displayed nicely, so this showcases the crafts. Many vendors do not do this, as they feel it is giving away too much. But I found this to be a great way to advertise. Make sure you donate something nice, and make sure your business card is in this product, along with your website, or email address. You quite often get customers searching you out at the show. This way you have helped for charity, and got your product seen by many people.
Selling crafts, can take just as much creativity as make them in the first place. But if you spend some time on the selling part, you should increase your bottom line for your craft business. Find cheaper suppliers and then price your crafts to sell.
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