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What you need to know before selling at a craft fair

Before

Decide on your booth set up

Do you have a tabletop or an entire stall with hanging space? Is the fair indoors or outdoors? These questions will all affect what equipment you will need to bring. You also need to decide how you are going to display your products. How many can you fit in your booth? And how should you lay them out so they look appealing? There’s a fine balance of having a stall that is too cluttered and one that doesn’t have enough on it.

Make a list of all the equipment you need

Once you’ve made this list, look online and see if there’s anything you’ve missed. There are plenty of online resources that give out entire lists of things you should bring to craft fairs. If the fair you are attending has a forum, check it out as there could be some things you hadn’t thought about that specific venue. Don’t forget your stall name banner and your business cards/flyers.

Gather your equipment together the day before

No one likes having to rush around on the day trying to find that roll of duct tape you desperately need. There’s no need to give yourself the added stress. Have everything sat by the door the night before, or even in your car if you have a garage. You can never be too prepared.

Decide what payment methods you will accept

Are you only going to accept cash or do you have an app, gadget or reader that will accept card? Maybe you’ll be accepting both. With cash, make sure you have plenty of change, as it will disappear quicker than you would expect. And with the card readers, do plenty of test runs to make sure that equipment works.

Make sure you have enough stock

We all dream of completely selling out our booths but in reality when you start selling at craft fairs, you’re never sure exactly how much you should bring. If you already sell online then you should have an idea of your best sellers so definitely bring more of those.

 

When deciding on your booth layout, see how many items are needed to fill the space and then bring extra. It all depends on what you’re selling. Larger items like paintings you won’t need to bring many of, while smaller items like jewellery or scarves you can afford to bring a lot more with you. Just go with your gut.

 Price your stock

If your stock needs pricing then do it in the lead up to the fair, not when you’re setting up on the day. The more you prepare in advance, the less stressed you’ll be.

 Get adequate transport

So how are you (and all your equipment) going to get to the fair? If you drive, it’s pretty simple. You just need to worry about parking. If you don’t then it’s a case of having a friend who does or relying on a taxi or public transport. If you have a lot of stuff with you we recommend avoiding the latter!

 Promote on social media and through word of mouth

Though there should be plenty of foot traffic at the fair, it never hurts to spread the word. Getting your local community to come and support you is a great motivator. Tell your friends and share with all your social media feeds and your blog if you have one. The more, the merrier.

Figure out the food situation

A hungry crafter is not something you want to be dealing with so find out what the food situation at the event is before you go. If there is no food in sight, you will know to bring something with you. Super important if it’s an all day event. You can’t run on empty!

 

Set up and during

Bring a buddy

Many hands make light work. If you have someone who is willing or can be bribed to come and help you, your day can go a whole lot smoother. They can help carry equipment, set up and they can be there for you if you need to run to the restroom or go hunt for food. Plus, if it’s not a busy event you’ll have someone to talk to.

Arrive in plenty of time to set up

It goes without saying that you need to be at the fair in plenty of time before it’s open to customers. If you’re still setting up when they arrive, you could lose out on potential sales. You want to be there, set up and relaxed when the craft fair opens so do your research and know travel and set up times for your individual booth.

Keep good records of sales

As boring as accounting is, it’s a necessary part of business. How do you know if you’ve made a profit of not if you don’t know exactly how much you sold? You can also find out valuable information from knowing which products you sold. What is more popular and what kind of people were buying your items? By keeping good records you will hold the secrets to success that you can use both online and at your next craft fair.

 Track your day and promote on social media

As well as promoting your stand in advance, it’s equally important to spread the word on the day. It could drive in some extra locals and for they people who couldn’t come, it shows what they are missing. Plus your audience who isn’t local will be interested to see what you’re up to. Don’t be afraid to share.

 

Follow these tips and you’re bound to have a great day selling your wares at a craft fair. Good luck!

 

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