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Selling at Craft Bazaars

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Forum topic by poospleasures posted 11-06-2017 01:22 AM 1184 views 1 time favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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poospleasures

639 posts in 2324 days


11-06-2017 01:22 AM

Topic tags/keywords: craft sale arts and crafts traditional turning finishing tips displays

After years of dabbling with selling at Craft Bazaars I have finally found some success. My set up has continually gotten better and now seems to be neat and professional looking. This last weekend we displayed at the Fort Knox, Ky Christmas Bazaar. When you walked into the room we were in, this is what you see.
Part of the RH side of our booth. Next will be the center back of the space.
This little table seems to make people just seem to want to walk in and of course we welcome them. Next you will see the LH wing of our booth.

This next picture is the front of the RH wing. This set up with the shelves mounted on the tables gives a lot of display space and can still set inside of the 10’X10’ booth space. This particular booth is a little larger as we are a ten year exhibitor and they treat us right.
Every item is clean, shiny,well spaced, tagged, priced with very small descriptive statement when needed. We display credit cards are welcome. There is a bunch of other stuff you need to do but I am cannot go into all that here but just ask if you have a question and we can discuss if you like. Comments are helpful as I always want to learn. Thanks for looking.

-- I,ve had amnesia for as long as I can remember. Vernon


34 replies so far

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richardchaos

583 posts in 220 days


#1 posted 11-06-2017 01:28 AM

I have found the big higher dollar stuff sits around for years and you move it arounds for years its the cheap small stuff that moves.

Also try hitting up some wineries to put your stuff in.

-- “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell

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Rich

1987 posts in 430 days


#2 posted 11-06-2017 02:05 AM

Thank you for sharing. My wife and I have been scouting out the shows locally to see if we want to get involved, and if so, what direction to go with the wares. For my regular business I do residential doors and cabinets, but I enjoy making smaller items as a break from that.

Most of the shows I’ve seen locally had little in the way of woodworks, and those that did were the usual stuff — guys with scroll saws, guys with lathes making wine stoppers and pens. Nothing that seemed to inspire much interest from the shoppers.

I like that you seem to have a bit of everything. As I said, we’re still looking to find the right niche. If we take the plunge, I’m sure I’ll have questions, so I appreciate the offer to share your experience. You might just hear from me.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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Jim Jakosh

19807 posts in 2946 days


#3 posted 11-06-2017 02:21 AM

Good luck at the Craft shows.

I do about 5-6 a year and I find that items at $20 or less sell pretty good but I like to have some $60 -$100 items there because you will get someone looking for something unique and they will pay the bucks for it when they find it.

I think finding a place to put out a few items where they don’t want 35% or more might work out too. You have to up charge to make up for some of their cut.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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Desert_Woodworker

1281 posts in 1055 days


#4 posted 11-06-2017 02:46 AM



I have found the big higher dollar stuff sits around for years and you move it arounds for years its the cheap small stuff that moves.

Also try hitting up some wineries to put your stuff in.

- richardchaos


+1

-- Desert_Woodworker

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doubleDD

6864 posts in 1883 days


#5 posted 11-06-2017 03:36 AM

Congratulations Vernon on a great looking display. As you mentioned, a certain setup can draw the interest of people and bring them in. I myself could walk by the same items many times until just something as simple as a certain color brings me in. Good luck with future shows.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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Rob

308 posts in 2827 days


#6 posted 11-06-2017 12:30 PM


Most of the shows I ve seen locally had little in the way of woodworks, and those that did were the usual stuff — guys with scroll saws, guys with lathes making wine stoppers and pens. Nothing that seemed to inspire much interest from the shoppers.

Rich, are you saying it’s been your experience that venders selling Bottlestoppers, Cutting boards, those beer totes, wood signs and things like that aren’t selling much? Is that your observation or have venders you’ve spoken with told you that business isn’t very good for them?

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Gene Howe

9778 posts in 3269 days


#7 posted 11-06-2017 01:24 PM

You may or may not sell them but, have a few unique and very high priced items scattered about and prominently displayed. It not only exhibits your talent, but elevates the buyer’s expectations regarding price.
And, NEVER cut your prices!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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recycle1943

1512 posts in 1462 days


#8 posted 11-06-2017 01:28 PM

Vernon – your display is AWESOME and your product is even better.

Linda and were talking just yesterday about a placard type banner to hang in our area. Is yours a vinyl with text or something else. We have a graphics store 2 blocks away and I was going over today to see what I could come up with.

Thanks for sharing -

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

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jeffswildwood

2575 posts in 1818 days


#9 posted 11-06-2017 01:29 PM

Looks good buddy. Your turnings and boxes are awesome. I bet those knives jumped off the shelves. Hope you had a lot of fun and did great. I’m sure you did.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Rich's profile

Rich

1987 posts in 430 days


#10 posted 11-06-2017 02:29 PM


Rich, are you saying it s been your experience that venders selling Bottlestoppers, Cutting boards, those beer totes, wood signs and things like that aren t selling much? Is that your observation or have venders you ve spoken with told you that business isn t very good for them?

- Rob

Just casual observation, Rob. Keep in mind too, that I didn’t mention cutting boards, beer totes or signs since I didn’t see any of those. My point was that woodworkers were underrepresented, and those I did see had a very limited selection of pieces. Even at the Tubac Fall show yesterday — a big one for the area — I saw zero woodworkers.

Either that bodes well for someone wanting to get started in the shows because of limited competition, or that woodworkers don’t bother because they’ve had little success over time. We’ll see.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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DS

2824 posts in 2261 days


#11 posted 11-06-2017 02:56 PM


You may or may not sell them but, have a few unique and very high priced items scattered about and prominently displayed. It not only exhibits your talent, but elevates the buyer s expectations regarding price.
And, NEVER cut your prices!

- Gene Howe

Marketing 101: The perception of value is just as important as actual value.

Having really nice and expensive products on display, generally raises the perceived value of even the most basic items.
If a consumer has a choice of buying a basic widget from two vendors at the same price, but, one of them has a perception of prestige imparted by more desirable, but out of reach items, the sale most likely goes to the vendor with the prestige factor.

This is branding and marketing and not just simple sales.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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Rob

308 posts in 2827 days


#12 posted 11-06-2017 03:00 PM

Thanks for the clarification Rich. Now that I’m retired, I’ve decided next year I want to try my hand at craft shows too so I’m very interested in this thread. I bought a Trimline tent (slightly used), tables, a sign, business cards etc. I have a few more things to get before going on this journey and plan on spending the winter making inventory. I guess what’s important is to figure out what sells and what doesn’t as well as what shows to do and which ones to stay away from. My wife and I have been going to craft shows for the past couple of years just observing and I’ve talked to several woodworking vendors as well as vendors in general, trying to avoid some of the pitfalls when starting out. Every one of them has said they do great and I learn a little more from each one. I always wonder what their definition of “great” is though. I’m not really comfortable talking about money with them and I’m sure they wouldn’t want me to either. I have talked to some former Vendors in my area who all say to stay away from the little one day shows like Church Bizarre’s and small Farmer’s Markets because it’s not worth it unless it’s well established. Everyone says to stick with the bigger Arts and Craft shows every State has where 10’s of thousands of people attend over a 2-3 day event. That’s where the money is but then there’s travel expenses to consider also. I would think becoming a vendor at craft shows should be thought of as a way to network and get the word out about your business more than trying to use shows as a way to pay bills and put food on the table.

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splintergroup

1710 posts in 1063 days


#13 posted 11-06-2017 03:15 PM

I’m doing my “first” show in a couple of weeks. I’ll be sharing some space with my wife, the fused glass artist.

I have a setup at a local gallery/gift shop and have been doing quite well, but as with anything, there have been items that hang around for several years before selling.

My thoughts this time was to crank out a number of inexpensive items and add a few “nice” things like you have done. I also intended to set up some of my older pieces, primarily since this will be a different crowd than those who visit the gallery.

I primarily wanted to show my jewelry armoire. but alas it sold a few weeks ago. Problem is there has been a run on my gallery display and almost everything I had has been sold. This will make my share of the booth a bit lean to say the least!

It is correct to say that unique items do better, but don’t discount the standard crafts fair fodder.

Good luck!

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Carloz

989 posts in 432 days


#14 posted 11-06-2017 03:46 PM

I often go to such bazaars and see a lot of very nicely made stuff. I can only guess how much time people put into it. However I rarely see anyone buying anything whether it is above $20 or not. At the same time and the same place there are usually long lines for hotdogs and burgers, that sell fast at 1000% profit.
Make your choice.

View Rich's profile

Rich

1987 posts in 430 days


#15 posted 11-06-2017 04:12 PM


At the same time and the same place there are usually long lines for hotdogs and burgers, that sell fast at 1000% profit.
Make your choice.

- Carloz

Selling crafts doesn’t require a permit from the county health department, or an expensive food cart or truck. Also, you aren’t dealing with a perishable inventory. Whatever doesn’t sell gets packed up and ready for the next show.

Perhaps you oversimplified a bit.

-- No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

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