Anyone sell at craft fairs?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Amii, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Amii

    Amii Mouseketeer

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    Hi. I was thinking about making some crafts to sell at craft fairs. I have some ideas but I don't know if selling things at craft fairs is worth it or not. Anyone have any experience? TIA!
     
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  3. dreamin_disney

    dreamin_disney DIS Veteran

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    what type of crafts? I think it depends on the crafts and the area. Here in CA many havent had luck. People want things cheap
     
  4. kittychatalot

    kittychatalot DVC since 02/09 BLT

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    I have a lot of crafty friends and most are now selling on etsy.com instead of at craft fairs. Check it out!
     
  5. TifffanyD

    TifffanyD DIS Veteran

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    I sold at craft fairs and people are cheap cheap cheap. Don't make anything nice with expensive materials, people want things CHEAP! It's really not worth the time
     
  6. Moeluv4u7

    Moeluv4u7 Luv2CUSmile

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    I did for a few years until I started working for my current company and my time just got less and less
    I will say, people are not cheap in our area at craft fairs but it depende upon the venue that you are selling.
    We have huge craft fairs here at certain times of year that bring local crafters as well as vender type crafters-
    It is hard work, you must have enough product to set up a booth- spaces are usually about 5 or 6 feet by 3 or 4 feet, sometimes larger if you're lucky-
    You must know what type of prices to charge and things must be marked- it is not a yard sale- It is a Craft Fair, Craftman's Festival, etc
    People come here from all over the state and some even come from out of state to shop- many peopel come from all over the state and out of state to sell.
    For the ones I have participated in, you must get your items approved for sell and then pay for your space. You can't just go set up some items and sell-
    Displays, lighting, and set up is a key factor for good selling-
    If you are interested, look into venues in your area and maybe try w/ a church organized craft fair first where you may or may not have to pay for space. Yes, in that venue people may be looking more for bargains but it will get you some experience with selling and setting up-
    Again, have enough product so you have a "Booth" not an area with "shuff" sittin around trying to fill space-
    If you have ever been to a craft fair- go and take pictures- take pics of the set ups, the amount of product, the lighting, etc- You must supply all of thsi yourself- Some Festivals don't even give you a table- you must have your own EVERYTHING!
    Good Luck!
     
  7. Corryn

    Corryn <font color=blue>DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>

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    I will have to agree with a majority of posters: People think craft fairs are garage sales - they want everything for Less than the amount you actually made the item for :confused:
    And it's not even like you're ripping anyone off by charging a lot!

    What I find extremely rude is when you're sitting there selling, basically, a piece of your heart, people will act like you're not even standing there, three feet in front of you, and they verbally tear the item apart, stating how they can make it at home themselves for much cheaper.
    It got to a point where if someone degraded me and my work right in front of my face (they would never look you in the eye), I would tell them, please put my item down and go home and make it yourself then.
    I'd get some snotty looks, but at least I stopped letting people disrespect me and my work.

    What I see people doing is setting up a little table outside their home with their stuff on display. I have purchased MANY craft items on Esty.com ;) I just stopped all together, I didn't have the time to make anything anymore.
     
  8. Corryn

    Corryn <font color=blue>DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>

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    Good advice!
    Yes, we've even brought a couple 100-foot extension cords!
    You never know where they're gonna "put" you - it could be in the middle of a huge gym. It's always great if you're up against a wall *with electrical outlets* but that doesn't always happen.

    Tables and table cloths, boxes to prop your items up on or against, a chair for you to sit on, bags for the customers purchases, LOTS OF SINGLES :rotfl:
    and it's always good to have one or two items that are only .50 or $1.00. It gets people to your table to look at everything else you have.
    Make your booth look like a mini-boutique. Set it up at home to see how it looks BEFORE the actual fair.

    Good Luck:cutie:
     
  9. annsteere

    annsteere DIS Veteran

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    I did this years ago when our kids were little.

    Had a sign made that said "Sure, you could make it yourself. When WOULD you?"

    Lots of people who read that sign smiled and went from "just looking" to pulling out their wallets.
     
  10. daughtersrus

    daughtersrus DIS Veteran

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    We had some luck this past holiday season. My DH made fishing lures and they sold like CRAZY!

    On the other hand, DD makes jewelry and it didn't sell nearly as well. Of course, DH's idea was unique and DD had several other vendors selling handmade jewelry.

    We're already starting to get ready for this year. The lures are made from beer bottle caps so DH has been having fun trying out new beer. He said that's his favorite part :lmao:

    We only do small local shows at our park district and the schools because the professional ones can cost a fortune just for your spot. I'd suggest trying a lower cost show before investing in a fancy display and higher priced fees.
     
  11. Handbag Lady

    Handbag Lady Disneyland Bride 2000

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    I'm so sorry to the poster who had people mocking her product in front of her.

    I've been to a few craft festivals in Palm Springs here and some of the stuff that shows up is indeed laughable. I hold it in, but I would never dare to say anything in front of the booth owner or minder.

    Some of the stuff, like hand-painted things in relation to sports teams, is really just funny. Like a crooked Patriot or Bronco. Why would I want that on my tea towel?

    I do not, however, understand where the garage sale mentality comes from. People here in California think that craft fairs are like places where you can haggle. I would imagine that crafters are selling their items for the cost of the material plus booth fees plus money to live on...I don't see where one could undercut in that scenario.
     
  12. Amii

    Amii Mouseketeer

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    Did your husband paint them? My son has made bottle cap fishing lures but he could never get paint to stay on them when he tried to paint them. I wondered what kind of paint you used.

    I like to make recycled paper and it comes out really nice. I was thinking about making notepaper, cards, bookmarks, etc. and trying to sell them.

    Thanks to everyone for all of the help and advice. I learned a lot from all of the posts. I looked at etsy.com and it looks really cool!
     
  13. Moeluv4u7

    Moeluv4u7 Luv2CUSmile

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    Annsteere, I had a sign like that at mine
    I "crafted" it, so it was also a very cute sign
    Mine said,
    "Yes, you could make it,
    But, would you?"

    People did think it was funny and yes, they always bought-
    Here the craft fairs for the most part are held in very highly.
    I did a few festivals that were geared towards "craftsmen", some were more "boutique" type- All of them brought loads of people and it was very hard w/ all of the talent, not to spend the money you just made-

    Quote: We had some luck this past holiday season. My DH made fishing lures and they sold like CRAZY!

    On the other hand, DD makes jewelry and it didn't sell nearly as well. Of course, DH's idea was unique and DD had several other vendors selling handmade jewelry.

    We're already starting to get ready for this year. The lures are made from beer bottle caps so DH has been having fun trying out new beer. He said that's his favorite part
    We only do small local shows at our park district and the schools because the professional ones can cost a fortune just for your spot. I'd suggest trying a lower cost show before investing in a fancy display and higher priced fees
    . (I don't know how to quote more than one post ina message- LOL)

    The larger shows do have larger fees, but also come w/ quite a bit more tarffic, more advertising, and some even have some well known crafters

    on another note...
    There was a gentleman that did hand carved lures at the Raleigh Craft Fair a couple years ago- they were beautiful, made from Balsa wood and painted and varnished- too beautiful to use (I think)- Some were just carved and varnished, some he did burnings on... sold them pretty cheaply too- (in my opinion)
    smaller ones started around $13- and larger ones up to $20- (if I remember correctly)

    The bottle cap ones sound interesting, would love to see a picture!
     
  14. Debbie-TN

    Debbie-TN DIS Veteran

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    I do 4 a year, but I wish I could find more. I don't really like to do outdoor ones though. I like the ones inside that we can set up on Friday night and they are locked up at night. I make lots of little inexpensive things and people really like that. My favorite thing to make is fake spilled things-soda in cans, coffee, paint brushes, milk, orange juice, nail polish, melted ice cream, etc. Everyone gets such a kick out of them, especially the men. You can just see the gleam in their eyes when they think of someone they can pull a joke on. :rotfl:
     
  15. jennilynn510

    jennilynn510 Lovin that mouse !!!!

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    i totally agree..it was a total waste of time
     
  16. scrapbookmom5174

    scrapbookmom5174 Mouseketeer

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    I put one on every year for 5 years at my previous job. I had inherited it from someone else at my work and it was an annual event (I think it is on its 35th year). Here is what I noticed -
    1. You have to be very friendly and interact with your customers. Those people who would sit behind their tables wouldn't do as well as those who talked to their customers. Now the opposite isn't good either - people don't want to have someone breathing down their back while they shop either.

    2. Configure your booth in a U shape to allow shoppers to "come in" to your space and not get whisked away with the flow of traffic.

    3. The successful vendors had a common theme within their booth. What comes to mind - birdhouses was a booth, ghourd art was a booth, country items were a booth, homemade sweatshirts were a booth, etc...

    4. I did make some items for one fair and did really well. We made scrapbook tins and premade scrapbook pages. People loved them and I ended up selling out and took orders for about 40 more. It was a ton of work.

    Hope that helps.
     
  17. JRoglitz

    JRoglitz DIS Veteran

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    My mom and I do craft shows each Fall and do really well. I think it all depends on what you are selling. You have to find something that is unique and catchy that people will want to buy. Especially for gifts. We make small theme style lighted trees. Our saving is "A tree for every season and a tree for every reason." We do the regular Christmas style trees, but then also make cooking trees, shell trees, teacher trees, and even children's theme like Sponge Bob or Disney. People love them and we keep them at a reasonable price. We try to make enough money to cover Christmas and then maybe some extra for trips and things. Good luck!
     
  18. dolphinrescuegirl

    dolphinrescuegirl <marquee><font color=deeppink>I rather be swimming

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    I know this is a little old but not too old. :) I am thinking of selling at cheap craft fairs and they are all outside. I have my own tent, chairs, and table and will not need electricity. I would like to know where people get their tablecloths that go to the floor so that you can put extra storage under the table and make the table look nice. Also, any advice on signage and how to deal with wind and bad weather would be appreciated. I've never done this before! TIA!
     
  19. Traveliz

    Traveliz DIS Veteran

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    I just use regular tableclothes and put them to the front and then the back is open so I can get my stock in and out easily. You can get the longer ones at party stores though.

    I made my signs on the computer and frame them.

    I only do one outdoor one as mine items show better inside. Wind and bad weather are a problem. If your tent has sides and you can move fast that is your best line of defense.

    Liz
     
  20. daughtersrus

    daughtersrus DIS Veteran

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    We only do indoor shows but we still have table clothes that go to the floor. At first I just got some from the $1 store. Now I use table clothes that I got on sale after a holiday. I got extra large ones so the cover all the way to the floor. You can also buy table skirts at a party supply store. They have elastic that goes around the side of the table and hangs to the ground. [​IMG]
     
  21. pixiewings71

    pixiewings71 <marquee><font color=deeppink>Sweet!!! Totally!!!!

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    You can also use sheets instead of tablecloths. they tend to be longer. Just a suggestion, make sure you have sandbags for your tent poles to help keep it stable. I just finished making some for my DD15's marching band. :)
     

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