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The 15 Tips You Need to Prepare for a Craft Fair


I love craft fairs.  It is so much fun to get out there and meet your customers face to face, and to let everyone see your wonderful creations first hand.  That being said, they are not easy.  There is a LOT of planning to do before hand to make sure everything is ready for that day.  Between figuring out what items you want to show off, and what equipment you'll need to have with you, you're sure to forget something.  I have compiled an all inclusive check list with tips and necessities to get you ready for those money makers, I mean craft fairs!



There is a lot of information here, but bare with me...it is ALL IMPORTANT.

1.  Colors - When planning what to bring, just remember that colors and animals and child-geared items bring the kids in.  When they see a booth, that almost resembles a toy store, they are sure to break from the parents grasp and run over to look, and then the parents (the ones with the $$) follow!

2. Inventory - Do not have just one of each item.  You will be surprised how much you can sell if you have a lot on hand. I personally only do fairs during the fall, mainly because I would not have enough inventory to do them at other times.  Even with how prepared I am, someone will ask for a size that I've already sold out of.  And trust me, even if they say they'll just go to your site and order, they usually don't.  The best way to make the sale is on those impulse buys, so have your inventory fully stocked!
Stock up on inventory for craft fairs!
3.  Popular sizes - That being said, you need to figure out your most popular sizes.  I make hats in 9 different sizes from newborn to Adult.  In my experience, my best sizes are the 1-2 year, 3-5 year, and 5-8 year sizes.  Therefore I make sure to have the most of those available.  This may vary for you though so you should do you own research as well.

4.  Viral Items - I know you've seen items across FB that people keep sharing.  Take advantage of that.  If there is a viral item, hop on it and create a lot of inventory for those.  People WILL come to your booth and ask if you happen to make those.  You want to be able to say YES!

5.  Wear Your Items - I take my oldest daughter and husband with me to my craft fairs.  Before the fairs, I ask them what they want to have with them (at this point they all have their own stash of my items).  Take advantage of your family members (trust me they wont mind).  My husband and daughter are my walking advertisers.  They'll walk around the fairs/farmer's market, wearing my items and people stop and ask them where they got it.  I mean, when you see a guy wearing a pirate hat with a beard, you're going to notice!  Make sure you are wearing your items also.  People like to see them in use, and if you don't wear them, then it's going to give the impression that you don't even like your own stuff.
My daughter and I wearing my Elf Hats at one of the craft fairs.  


6.  Equipment - This one is always on-going for me.  Finding your best set up takes time, and you are not going to get it perfect the first time.  That being said, you'll at least need a couple of fold up tables with nice tablecloths, a sign with your name, and a tent with weights (if you are outside).  Then you need to plan how you want your items displayed.  Check out closing stores in your area for their display racks that they are trying to get rid of, or be creative with things you may find on yard sale sites.  I use a fireplace candle holder to display some of my hats, a coatrack to hang my jellyfish and purses and a quilt rack for my blankets.

7.  Pre - Set up - This one is very important.  It is time consuming, but like I said, preparing for a craft fair isn't easy.  You need to do a full set up at least once before the show.  You usually get an hour or two before the show to start, but trust me, if you don't know where you want things yet, that time will go by before you know it.  So, at home, in your driveway, back yard, garage, or just in your house, set everything up.  Move things around and figure out if you need more baskets, stands, styrofoam heads or anything else.  Then, and this is important, take pictures!  With all you have going on in your head, you will want to take a picture so you can remember what you decided on.

8.  Price Tags/Signs - There will be times at your fair that your booth is going to get busy with customers.  Make sure you have price tags on your items so that people don't have to wait while you're talking to others.  This also shows that there is a set price.  Often times if there is no price, customers tried to bargain with you, like at a yard sale.  It looks more professional with price tags, or even signs, and makes it more likely that the customers will take it seriously.

9.  Money - Have change.  You don't want someone to change their mind on an order because they don't have the right amount of money.  I usually go with about $100 split up: $30 in $1's, $40 in $5's and $30 in $10's.  You can change that up based on your prices.  I do it in whole numbers so I don't have to deal with coins, but you may need to, so take that into account.

10. Card Reader - Just like the previous tip, you don't want someone to not buy because they don't carry cash.  I don't know how many times I've saved a sale because of a card reader.  My online store front is though Squareup, and when you sign up they send you out a free square card reader.  You can also purchase them at Walmart for about $10.  This is an investment you don't want to skip.

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

11. Business Cards -These are good to have even outside of craft fairs, but I'll just talk about why to have them at the events for now.  People are busy and very distracted when they are at these events.  They may not notice your big sign with your name on it, or maybe you don't even have a sign yet.  It is a smart idea to throw one or two of your business cards in their bag so that they can remember your name, tell friends about you, or sign up to your blog, FB page, Instagram etc.  Also, there will be a lot of people who SAY they are going to order from you when they have more money.  Giving them a card will be just another reminder for them to check you out online.

12.  Mirror -  This is one I myself forget all the time.  Bring a larger, hand held mirror! It's a cheap addition that goes a long way.  People want to see what they look like in your hats, scarfs and other apparel.  Too many times I've had to get my phone and bring up the camera, which does work, but a handy mirror would be so much more convenient.  Having one readily available also makes you look more prepared and professional.

13.  Bags - There's nothing worse than giving your customers a Kroger or Walmart bag.  I have done it in the past, and it just makes me cringe, because it's so unprofessional.  I researched cheap bags that I could use and I found the best deal at Bag's and Bows.  I think I got 500 bags for $50, which may seem like a lot of money, but you'll have those bags for a long time.  And if you use them quickly, then that just means you're doing great on sales!  You can go even more professional and get bags with your company name on them, but those are more money. It just all depends how much you want to spend on it, but I highly suggest you get something.


14.  Water/Snacks - Depending on how long you'll be at the event, and how busy it is, you may not get a chance to get away.  Make sure you have a bottle of water and a small snack with you to keep you going.  You don't want to have to step away and possibly miss out on a sale because of it.

15.  Comfy Shoes - You will most likely be standing during the duration of the even so even though you want to look presentable, please don't wear high heels, or any shoes that hurt for that matter.  You'll want sneakers or whichever shoes are comfortable enough to be in for a long time.

That's it.  Make sure you tackle each of the items on my list and promise you'll have a great show!  Just cross your fingers it doesn't rain!!! (It has happened to me before).





Comments

  1. Great tips, thanks for sharing your expertise.

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  2. Love these tips! I'm hoping in the next year or so to do something with my creative projects, so I'm definitely saving these to go over as I begin the process. Thank you!

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    1. You're Welcome! As long as you plan it out, I know you'll do great!

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  3. You are so creative! I hope to some day participate in a craft fair, and these are great tips.

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  4. Great to hear from someone who has experience and knows what they are talking about.

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    1. Thank you! I've just been doing it a while so I've learned along the way and wanted to help others out!

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  5. Great tips! I used to do craft fairs years ago. It's good to know that I was on the right track - lol. Good luck with everything!

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    1. I love do craft fairs! What did you sell?

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  6. Before starting something creative you need to do lots of planning to make sure everything is ready for that day. Good to know your experience.

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  7. I love going to craft fairs! I've never participated in one as a vendor but I've always enjoyed seeing these craft fairs!

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    1. Well as a vendor, we appreciate all of you who come out to visit us!

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  8. What great tips! I'd never sell anything, but I LOVE to go to these. People are so talented.

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    1. Thank you! And thank you for supporting these small businesses!

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