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how to sell at craft shows, flea markets, etc

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Forum topic by shelly_b posted 283 days ago 1606 views 4 times favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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shelly_b

823 posts in 623 days


283 days ago

There is a big Backwoods Fest coming up near me. They have hundreds of vendors that come. A man that is from there saw some of my projects and told me that if I brought my stuff to this festival I would sell more than I can make. So, I got an application and it asked for my vendors license #...well I don’t have one, I am not a business. So, I got online to see how to get your license and it seems you have to be a business and have a federal employer identification number. I am not a business and don’t want to be one anytime soon. I don’t want to share my hard earned money with the government yet. Is there anyway for me to get around this? I would also like to be able to sell at other shows, fleas markets, etc…


40 replies so far

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Bogeyguy

418 posts in 573 days


#1 posted 283 days ago

You can’t get around it if your going to sell it yourself. The operator has to have licensed vendors or the tax collectors will shut his show down. Perhaps your friend can sell your goods for you for a fee+taxes.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

2982 posts in 1018 days


#2 posted 283 days ago

Shelly here is a great video that will help you.

I think you are talking about is a state Tax Number, most shows require the number on the applications no way getting around that but you can use your own discretion on what you want to submit to the tax office. I’m not sure about your state but in Texas you don’t have to have a federal employer number to get a tax number, they are different.

Arts and Crafts Shows

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

6775 posts in 2153 days


#3 posted 283 days ago

Terms may vary, but in the states I’ve vended at the only
thing I needed was a state resale tax number. They
aren’t hard to get, but don’t say you’re doing business
from your home unless you want to get attention from
local agencies with their hands out.

Instead, say you vend at shows or out of your vehicle.

View coachmancuso's profile

coachmancuso

245 posts in 437 days


#4 posted 283 days ago

If you have some 55 + communities , they all have craft shows around November. The small ones do not ask for a business license. Also check with some of the local church and schools to see if they have any. The big shows are good but also the booth rental is very high. We have a big show locally that the rental is 250.00 for 2 days. You would have to sell a lot of items to make your booth rental back. In times that we are in with the economy the best is to start small. Small shows small item. 15.00 – 25.00 booth rent per day. People will like to spend 10.00 – 25.00 rather then spend 250.00 for a item. We do small shows and we sell pens, bottle stoppers, key chain, band saw boxes , shelving, candle holders , bowls, trinket boxes , magic wine bottle holde4rs, earrings ,picture frames, ect. Also the big shows charge for admission and parking so the people putting on the show make out and they do not care for the vendors at all. Hope this helps some and if you have any other specific questions let me know. Good luck

-- Coach Mancuso

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Don W

13961 posts in 1073 days


#5 posted 283 days ago

I believe in some states you can just use your social security number as a tax ID. Ask a local accountant or lawyer.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - http://timetestedtools.wordpress.com (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

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shelly_b

823 posts in 623 days


#6 posted 283 days ago

Thanks everyone. I would like to get my vendors license, but I don’t see how you can do it without being a business. Its it possible to get a license without being a businesses? The fee to be a vendor at this festival is 300, but it its a big town by a lake withpeople attending from 25 states so I think I could sell some high priced items. I don’t mind paying tax on the items i sell at the shows. I’m just not ready to go through with making myself a business.

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shelly_b

823 posts in 623 days


#7 posted 283 days ago

You may be right Don. The form had a spot for my soc and to other numbers but it doesn’t clarify if it just needs one our all 3. I am going to call the auditor tomorrow and check. If I do get it the festival wants pics of stuff I will be selling….so I will have to get busy soon! Lol I know what I wantto sell but its not made yet, I still have 2 months!

View MyWayChipCarving's profile

MyWayChipCarving

49 posts in 383 days


#8 posted 283 days ago

I agree with Don W, it’s worth checking out.

-- Please recycle. Save the trees.......for woodcarvers!

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shelly_b

823 posts in 623 days


#9 posted 283 days ago

I am from a small town and the chance of making money around here is very low. I would have to pretty much give my stuff away. We have a very high unemployment/poverty rate. I see it A LOT in the er.

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huff

2724 posts in 1790 days


#10 posted 283 days ago

Michelle,

I believe Blackie and Loren pretty well covered it. They are more interested in a Sales Tax number. If you look on line, you should be able to find out the info you need through your State Dept. of Revenue.

Like the others have stated; the shows are just covering their own butts.

Your State Dept. of Revenue and the IRS have this belief that if you sell your work, you’re a business. If you’re a business, you need a business liscense and collect and pay taxes.

There’s some grey area between being a hobbyiest and a business, but the Dept. of Revenue and the IRS looks at a business as a business and doesn’t have much of a sense of humor when and if they ever audit someone.

Not to scare you, but that’s why so many hobbyiest don’t want to sell their work. You’ve probably noticed in my book, I talk very serious about acting like a business if you’re selling your work.

The Coach may have the best advise for you and that is to stay away from the big shows for now and stay below the radar.

Good luck

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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Blackie_

2982 posts in 1018 days


#11 posted 283 days ago

Shelly, you do have to create a business name for an Tax ID number but you can just make one up, you don’t have to have a DBA (Doing Business as) for this but you prob should check with your local County Clerk’s office to make sure you aren’t infringing on someone else that might already be using that name inside of your county, they should have an online data base that you can check, now if you find a name that’s not being used and you don’t register it and later on down the road someone comes along and registers that very same name with the county clerk, then they can go after you to stop using it and here’s another kicker if you are selling items under a registered name that belongs to someone else then they can get all of your profits.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

862 posts in 640 days


#12 posted 283 days ago

Backwoods Fest cost is $300, goes to the promoter for your booth space and promoting the event.

Your vendors license is extra and comes from the town where event is held. Normally all towns have a vendors ordinance and charge a fee and it is good for a year. Some do offer special event licenses for one time events at reduce fee but, do not count on it.

Your tax ID # comes from the state, some charge an annual fee some do not. All states will come after you if do not collect and send in sales tax. With tax ID#, do not pay sales taxes on things needed for tools, equipment, or supplies for your craft if buy in state.

Federal government wants you to pay taxes on any income you generate from your craft. You have to show a profit for x number of years before they consider you a business, if not just income from a hobby.

Hobby selling can become a paperwork and up-front expense nightmare if you let it. Many of those expenses also deductable, from any income generated from the hobby.

Many Jr. colleges offer adult courses and seminars for entrepreneurs & craft people which will keep you out of trouble. I would look at doing a course or seminar before selling at any venue even though will cost some money up front will save you more than time & money later on.

Lots of crafts people have stopped doing shows because not even making expenses!

-- Bill

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Blackie_

2982 posts in 1018 days


#13 posted 283 days ago

Wildwood you are correct when buying items for your business under a tax ID number you don’t have to pay taxes on anything at that time but during the quarter when you have to turn in a profit you do have to play taxes on those items that are not resalable, for instance saw blades, sandpaper, router and drill bits, etc…. when purchase at store you don’t have to pay taxes but when that quarter ends you have to pay taxes on those items then but items like glue, hinges, finishes, wood etc… anything that’s going to be sold then you don’t, it can get complicated it took me a bit to learn and figure things out.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

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Blackie_

2982 posts in 1018 days


#14 posted 283 days ago

Shelly once you obtain a Tax ID you are able to write a lot of things off come tax time, all of your utilities including your cable bill, equipment, equipment purchased, office supplies, storage such as rooms in your house used for storing your items, shop depreciation, mileage when going to pick up items for your business even vacations in moderation can be written off as a retreat, business trips, seminars, books, software, etc…..

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View Roger's profile

Roger

13076 posts in 1309 days


#15 posted 283 days ago

Uncle Sam gets too much o our money as it is… Good luck with it all.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

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