Reply by Dusty2004

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Posted on Selling cutting boards and pens

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22 posts in 2198 days

#1 posted 08-13-2012 02:07 PM

Let me start with the following disclosure. I have recently began to look at craft shows for myself to sell some items I make. I have not reached a decision yet on if they are for me or not and how many I want to do. While I do not have any direct experience with selling at craft shows if someone is able to get knowledable about craft shows by reading and research then I am fairly knowledable about them.

All the following information is from western PA and western NY. I do not know how things are there in MA.

Edge grain cutting boards (having looked at the picture and description on the provided link) sell for as little as $30 and as much as $80 at craft fairs. It really depends on the fair and type of crowd that attends. I seen very few end grain cutting boards for sale and those that I did were not overly well made and were just a few of them in a booth with a real variety of wood products so I have very little knowledge of those.

Turned pens are listed for sale for as little as $20 up through $60.

Everything I have read says you want to start with a small local fair to see what kind of pricing is received there and to keep your expenses down.

Some things you will need if this is an outdoor craft show is a tent to keep you dry. Some weights to keep your tent from blowing away if the wind picks up. Some tables to display your products on. Some sort of table covers to dress up your tables and to hide anything you need to store underneath. Depending on the hours and location you may need lighting.

If it is an indoor craft show you may not need the tent. But would you need lighting? All other items would be needed.

You need to decide what you are going to accept for payment. Cash only, checks and or credit cards. If checks how will you accept? Photo ID? Write down as much information from the photo ID as you can to help track them down if it bounces.

If this was my decision I would go for it. With an entry fee of $25 and a couple of tables and covers you would not have a high overhead and it would let you see if you like it and if it could work for you. Have a variety of cutting boards available. Priced with different ranges to see how the sales go. Maybe even start the day with them priced in the $70 – $90 range and adjust down later in the day if they are not going. Same thing with the pens. That will allow you to see how they are accepted with different pricing.

If you want to do this long term my suggestions would be to start now to get ready for next year. Search for tips on how to be successful. There is a lot of science behind setting up a booth – tent.

As a side note I met a man at a local art show. Interesting product line. Overall quality of the wood portion of the product I would rate as a 75%. Slightly above average is all. He was very informative. He does 50 shows a year. A bad weekend for him is grossing $1,500. He has a series of shows during the Christmas season where he will gross over $20,000 in a week. He loves it. I could never do his pricing as it was wierd what he does and how he does it. Looking at how he assembles his product I see it is designed to be fast and efficient. It was unique and inexpensive to make with high margins. It helped me to improve some of the items I am making just looking at how he did his process.

Ok, so I rambled on some. Good luck with your decision and let us know what you decide and how it works out.


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