display, display, display. Have nice tablecloths. They come in handy to hide extra things under. Give people ideas on what to do with your items. Put things(plants, etc) in your boxes so they can get ideas. Have items elevated on tables and do not have everything lined up on one level.In the planter boxes put toilet paper in one, towels rolled up in another and of course plants. People love the kind of items you are selling so have lots and sell, sell, sell! Have lots of change .Be prepared. Be sure they are priced right, most sellers overprice their items. There is a group on flickr that shows nothing but craft show booths.
When I go to craft fairs I tend to avoid the booth that are too full, too busy, too crowded, or too dark.
Good lighting! Clean! For me personally, I don't like pushy vendors, and I like it if they are sitting their working on their craft! That's just me personally though, some may disagree. Good luck and be proud of what you are selling!
Best of luck. It will be a sell out I am sure.
Make sure you talk to everyone, who stops by your tables. Even it is someone who you know isn't intrested... I have made some great deals by just being nice to people, or their children.
I alway say Hi to everyone & maybe explain a bit what they are looking at & then leave them alone. Sometimes that's all it takes to make a sale. Don't give a long speil, you'll drive them away.
My first craft show will be in Nov. and I have been wondering the same thing. Thank you to those who responded. We need all the help we can get. LOL. I love what you are selling Minettesmaze. You should do well. Wishing you luck and have fun. Let us know how you did.
Have a back up plan! When my first show opened, my booth looked amazing. My idea of displaying smaller items on top of the furniture and larger items was great. However, as the day went on and the furniture sold, I had no place to display the smaller items. So, you do need to keep rearranging. I would have been happier had I had an extra table for display. Best of luck...don't forget to enjoy the experience!
As your items sell be sure and finesse your space. If something isn't selling, move it to a place of prominence. Moms bring kids and most kids don't want to be there. You might over a simple snack for the kids. Last sale I had, I bought paper portion cups (about $2-$3 for 200 at Gordon's Food Service) and a big container of animal crackers at Sam's Club. I filled the cups with the crackers and offered them to the kids. The moms appreciated it and the kids hands were busy with the animal crackers and left the merchandise alone. Good luck.
I had a friend suggest offering something simple for $1 each. Depending on the price of your table rental, you could easily cover that cost by selling 5, 10 of those $1. items.
smile and be proud of your products - this is turn makes people feel welcome in your booth! you'll do great - i see things i want!!
I did the craft fair thing for about 6 or 7 years. My woodworking, jewelry boxes, handmade pens, photography and silversmithing. There is a lot of difference form one venue to another. some shows I did great others just OK.
Engaging the shopper will lead to a longer visit and possible sale. I would often set my chair out infront of my booth...rather than hiding in the back. After the customer steps into the both I would then get up and engage in small talk. Having seen many vendors sitting quietly in the back reading a book...I see customer walk in and then out...with out so much as a nod.
Have the price of the item very visible. If I have to ask how much it costs, I usually don't bother.
Signs with cute or inspirational sayings are a big seller (something that will fit on the wall at the cabin or at home).
I also agree with Marcia, inexpensive items are usually your biggest sellers
Wow you guys are amazing!! Thank you for all these tips. Some of these ideas I hadn't even thought of. What would a price suggestion be for those planter boxes? They are about 1 1/2-2ft long. I think if its an even $bill like $1 or $5 or $10 that way nobody has to break a $20 for a $7 item. I know I don't like to, and I will stop and think if I really like it enough to buy it. Does that make sense? And does anyone think the same way?
What would you pay for these items?
You should definitely have potted flowers in your window boxes so customers can get ideas. If you had some actually planted with a mix of flowers, so much the better. If that isn't practical, you could have a photo album of planter arrangements. Not all customers have the ability to design so any ideas you can give them will help to sell because they have a visual of what it CAN look like-not as it is which is an empty window box. I see you have many large pieces and am wondering if you have small pieces as well? As many price points as possible is a very good thing in all sizes. Someone might really like your work but only have 5.00 to spend. You want them to spend that 5.00 at your booth. :) Another thing I learned from working craft shows is that people want the option of just walking by rather than committing to walking into your space, so if you have your space set up to have to walk into, make sure you have plenty of items on either side of the entrance on display so they can be attracted in or pass on by. If they don't have a reasonable idea of what you have to offer at the entrance, a lot of people will keep on going rather than investigate. Also, I learned that not all people like to talk or be talked to. They want to look without being "bothered" so I would advise you to position yourself behind a table and preferably working on a craft, rather than putting yourself right out front where they feel they have no choice but to talk to you, which can turn a lot of people off because they often feel by talking to you they're obligated to buy and feel badly if they don't. It's a weird guilt trip that some customers put on themselves. That is NOT to say you should hide in the back! You must make yourself accessible, but at the customer's discretion. I greet them when they come in and tell them to let me know if they have any questions or need any help and then, if they stop in front of me or make eye contact at any point, I will engage in conversation. If I'm working on a project I will look up and look around as if I'm taking a little break. You don't want the customer to think you're watching them like a hawk. Be discreet. :) I know positioning yourself in the back is contradictory to what others have said, but I have investigated this theory myself as I know how I feel as a shopper and wondered if others have known this to be true, which they have. Maybe you can try both ways and see which way works for you. It could most definitely be a regional attitude. Also, if your displaying something flat on a table, i.e. jewelry or small items, it's really good to raise your table up so people don't have to bend over to look. If their back starts to hurt, they will stand up and walk away before looking at all of your items. I raised mine up by 12 inches. You can get risers in the bed dept. at any large store. Also, good lighting is a must. If your display looks dark, it will look uninviting, and you can't depend on the venue to have adequate lighting. When you apply for your space, specify that you want electricity. It's not always available unless you ask for it, and it may cost more because they're prime booths, but it's well worth the extra. Again, if you can be doing a craft you will draw more people in conversation. People enjoy watching an artist at work. The advice about the animal crackers is an excellent one. If the kids are happy, Mom can shop. Also, having a pretty little dish of good individually wrapped candy next to your register area is thoughtful. People appreciate a little piece of candy when they pay. Another good trick is to go to shows before hand and just look at the displays. Take a notebook and write down what you like and don't like about each display. See which ones have good traffic and how the displays are set up for good flow. Ask permission to take pictures of overall displays and explain to them why you want to. I think you will find that in general crafters are a very generous group of people and will help you. I'm sorry for the long post, but I hope it's helpful. Good luck! :)
Make sure to set up your booth so people can move easily. I have seen a lot of booths that were so crowded people would just walk past. Place a couple of 'showstoppers' (like the RR sign) at the forefront. Even if they are your highest priced items, they give customers an idea of what you have and serve to draw people in. If you are willing to do custom orders, have a photo album of pieces you've made for customers to look at and plenty of business cards. If you will be doing other craft shows in the next few months, have a few flyers printed out listing where you will be so customers can find you again. While I tend to have a general plan for how I usually set up my booth, every show has a different setup and 'vibe' so be prepared to be flexible in how you set up each time. I have invested in lots of different collapsible stands and displays so I can adjust as needed. It doesn't have to be fancy, even an empty cardboard box covered with a scrap of fabric works. Try to vary the height of your dispolays. It looks more interesting than if everything is at the same level, and makes it easier to see different pieces. Personally, I tend to sit behind the table or in the corner so I'm out of the way, but always look up, smile and say HI when someone comes near. Again. it depends on your personal style and how your booth is set up. Good luck and remember to have fun! Craft people are a great lot and if you are having a good time, your customers will too.
As far as pricing your pieces, there are a few different things to consider: the cost of materials, the amount of time and skill required, and what the demand and competition is.
If it's cheap or free reclaimed lumber and takes you less than 30 minutes to make, then you can charge less than if it's expensive hardwood and takes you hours. If there are a lot of people selling comparable pieces or not a lot of demand, you might need to drop your prices. I always calculate a bare minimum I need to charge for a piece for me to come out ahead and an amount I think the piece is worth and then list the price somewhere in between and adjust if necessary.
buy some battery little lights and put them around, good luck I love it
Have a L@@K here http://www.artsbusinessinstitute.org/blog/10-tips-for-merchandising/
Gives you 10 tips to merchandizing
All your suggestions are really helpful. Thank you so much.
Thank You everyone, it was a success! And Ive got invited to have a booth at another show! Thank you thank you thank you! I posted some pics, check it out! http://minettesmaze.blogspot.com/2013/05/gettin-ready-for-my-first-craft-booth.html
I'm doing two this year. Apart from a fun small one at the salon where i get my hair done thos will be my first year too. Scary but exciting. My biggest fear is the fear of people hating my stuff and feeling bad about it. Only time will tell. Your stuff is really cute. i would absolutely go to your booth.
@Donna Steward Thank you Donna. How kind of you to reply. Actually things went well and I was pleasantly surprised. Things I was just sure folks would like didn't sell and others that i wasn't exceptionally crazy about went well. I guess there is always something to learn. Not sure I will do it regularly because I found out I like making a lot of things just not lots of multiples. Sure did like meeting so many nice people, especially all of the nice vendors there.
Show how I item can be used for different things. Ex. The wood boxes. Put potted flowers,towels,napkins-utensils in them. Add a jarred candle or battery candle in a jar for displaying on a table. Make sure items are priced. I walk away a lot of times if there isn't a price displayed. If you sell an item and replace one in the empty to,make sure it is priced.
hi there I make recycled timber planter boxes too... I add small things to front of them and put plants in to show their use and easy to read Price signage... good luck
@Karen Denton Well hello Karen Denton! That so happens to be my name too! I see you live in Australia now, but where were you born? Maybe we're related!
Don't forget to utilize the area under your table. You could tuck extra stock under there as well without making it look "junky."
try to at least double the cost of making each item....sometimes even triple the cost. When you hand make items to sell, it is difficult to get paid for your labor. Depends on the items....but I personally think shabby chic items should be pretty reasonable to buy. If the items sells out very fast you may be pricing it too low.
Don't forget to get your Tax ID #. You need to charge tax as any retail store does. It's the law. Ask anyone that does taxes or you can even call your City Hall for information on how to go about this. Getting the number is free. Many shows require a tax ID number, so it's best to be ready.