LumberJocks

Crafts Shows R Us #14: Percent of Items Sold

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Blog entry by closetguy posted 1489 days ago 1739 reads 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: State of the Southern Craft Shows Part 14 of Crafts Shows R Us series Part 15: Thank Goodness for Fall Shows »

There has been a lot of active craft show discussion lately since we are in the middle of the season for some of us. I was running my spreadsheets the other day and decided to post some numbers to show what is selling here in the South. I took the last eight shows and did a pie chart of the percentage of sales for each category.

I generally have three size boards in both end grain and face grain. Anything smaller is useless and anything bigger presents a transport problem. My sizes are:

Large – 12×16
Medium – 10 ½ x 11
Small – 7×10

Other than cutting boards, I have bookmarks, lazy susans, dipping boards, and wine bottle balancers. The wine holder and lazy susans have only been sold at my last three shows so their numbers are skewed in relation to everything else. The lazy susans have been selling pretty good.

This is the percentage of sales by category based on 472 items sold over the past 8 shows. This information is important for me to know so I can adjust my inventory accordingly.

As you can see, bookmarks are the sales leaders. These are the $5 item that moves well at most shows. The jury is still out on the wine bottle holders. I generally sell a couple at each show, but if they don’t pick up soon, I may trade the space they are taking up with a different product. The breadboards (7×20) are hot at every show. I sold out of them at every show last fall and they continue to sell well this year.

I don’t track which style of board sells the best because I know that from experience. Last year the all walnut end grain boards just sat on the shelf. This year they are hot and I have sold out a few times. Go figure. Next year it may be something else.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design changes....www.dgmwoodworks.com



12 comments so far

View wseand's profile

wseand

2116 posts in 1643 days


#1 posted 1489 days ago

Great idea for tracking sales. Have you ever sold any breadboxes? I have made a few for family and they seem to like them, but usually for storage of stuff. I was just wondering if you have seen any sold or have sold them yourself.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View degoose's profile (online now)

degoose

6976 posts in 1956 days


#2 posted 1489 days ago

Thanks for the break down… I need to work out an inventory of only a few styles for the markets… This will give me more to think about…

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View mauibob's profile

mauibob

180 posts in 1669 days


#3 posted 1489 days ago

Very fascinating summary! It would be interesting to add labor hours and pricing into the equation—would make a great article. As the economy (hopefully) starts to recover again, I wonder if you will start to see a shift back to the pricier items.

-- Bob, Potomac, MD

View tyskkvinna's profile

tyskkvinna

1308 posts in 1587 days


#4 posted 1489 days ago

Very fascinating!

I have also noticed that the little cheap items are popular.

-- Lis - Michigan - http://www.missmooseart.com - https://www.etsy.com/people/lisbokt

View steve1627's profile

steve1627

15 posts in 2268 days


#5 posted 1489 days ago

Closetguy that is a most interesting review and just the kind of information that I wish were shared more often. As I near retirement age and am considering craft work as a supplemental income and expanded hobby, it’s good info.
I follow your blogs and profile often. Thanks.

-- Steve, Carrollton, TX

View poroskywood's profile

poroskywood

614 posts in 1966 days


#6 posted 1489 days ago

Interesting. I have a particular wood combo that I feel does really well (Walnut and Ambrosia Maple) This combo gets the most oohs and awws and sells the best for me so I make my inventory heavy to that style, sort of my signature board. I’ll add some pics to my LJ Craft Blog.

-- There's many a slip betwixt a cup and a lip.--Scott

View rance's profile

rance

4125 posts in 1762 days


#7 posted 1489 days ago

Thanks for the info. I’m guessing Breadboards are similar to cutting boards, but with a handle (kinda like a paddle)?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View SteveMI's profile

SteveMI

845 posts in 1896 days


#8 posted 1489 days ago

I’ve added $5 (bookmarks) and another $6 item in order to just keep the cash flow going. At the end of the day, week, month… the biggest data point is how much cash is in your pocket as opposed to the hourly rate you recieved for any one item.

Steve.

View GaryD's profile

GaryD

620 posts in 1971 days


#9 posted 1489 days ago

Thank for the info. I need to do this also. different strokes for different folks. Never know what will be hot the next time out.

-- Gary, Little River,SC I've Learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day and neither can I

View  Box 's profile

Box

4937 posts in 1910 days


#10 posted 1489 days ago

I have never been in a craft show but have gone to many to view. I have wondered how much money is made as profit at these shows after the craftspeople spent their time in building their crafts, their expenses in renting the booth space, expenses of tents and displays and the time spent at the craft show setting up, being there and taking all down after the show.
Most people I talk to at these shows complain about the sales and little profits.
Is this the same for Lumberjocks selling wood crafts at these shows?

View Jason's profile

Jason

654 posts in 2110 days


#11 posted 1489 days ago

Excellent breakdown. I’m sure this data comes in handy.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View Richard 's profile

Richard

387 posts in 1723 days


#12 posted 1488 days ago

I think I can relate to the customer. A few years ago, I was at a glass blowers studio and I was amazed at all the nice stuff, but money was a little tight back then. I wanted some of the bowls or glass fishes he was producing but for the lack of funds I ended up buying a multi colored glass paperweight. I think that is why the bookmarks are popular, they are cheap but they are a handcrafted item from the vendor of interest.

As for my story, I still wanted the more expensive item, but unfortunately the studio shut down and there were no more sales. Maybe you will have repeat customers who bought the bookmarks and will return later and buy the higher priced piece that they wanted. I still have that glass paperweight on my desk, and still waiting for the next open studio from this vendor.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

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