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Going to be doing my first craft show

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Forum topic by Gixxerjoe04 posted 07-23-2014 10:32 PM 2157 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1042 days


07-23-2014 10:32 PM

So I know craft shows aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I figured I might as well try it once. Got accepted to do my first one, it’s 2 months away and I’m nervous just thinking about it. The stuff I plan on making is an assortment of stuff, pallet wine racks, pens, little bowls/candy dish, cutting boards, and a couple other things, basically stiff I can make fairly easily and nothing too expensive. Figured a variety of stuff will help possibly but I have no idea, just assuming. My question is, how do you know on how much stuff to make? The fair is a 2 day fall festival in a small town near where I’m from and live, it’s the 40th year of it and it said they had 10,000 people there last year. Obviously you’ll not know what will sell and all that but figure there might be a rough estimate you might think. I was going to make a set amount of stuff, probably some more than others and then have a booklet of stuff I’ve made and might have sold out of or not have brought any. So any advice or tips would be appreciated. Almost decided against doing the show because my wedding is two weeks after so I’ll be a busy man, but figured why not try.


33 replies so far

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2724 posts in 2898 days


#1 posted 07-23-2014 10:46 PM

I have done a number of shows. For a 2 day fair with 10,000 people, you could really clean up! (Maybe pay for part of the wedding???)
I would have about 80-100 assorted items. While your idea of a booklet is interesting… there is an old saying… sell what you can see, don’t see what you can sell. Be careful of your pricing. You want to be high enough to appeal to buyers but not too high. You may be able to get people doing holiday shopping… and don’t forget the wedding gift people. I usually put a sign up in my booth that says “Need a host/hostess gift? Instead of a bottle of wine, why not bring a cheese board, cutting board or other lasting gift.” People do seem to relate to this. You can look at my booth in projects here. You can PM me and we can discuss further.
Doing a show is a lot of work but it is also fun. You get to meet and talk with lots of people!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1042 days


#2 posted 07-23-2014 11:59 PM

My wedding is basically paid for already, but my honeymoon isn’t haha, maybe ill get lucky and be able to take a chunk of it out with the show

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poospleasures

544 posts in 1949 days


#3 posted 07-24-2014 12:51 AM

Hope you enjoy the show and make some money too. I do not have a lot of experience with shows. I do make 2 or 3 each year for the last 3 or 4 years. It is kinda hard work but need a place to sell the many items made each year. Usually several each of appx. 20 different items. My best mix is things priced from $4 thru $200 and usually sell about the same amount of different priced items not all cheap or high end. Usually get some orders for later from previous buyers who attend sometimes just to come talk and order. Best sales come in the late fall or early winter. I am in Ky. also. You can check my projects and blogs if you like to get ideas of my products. This can get rather long so you can PM if you want and we can discuss more.

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

View huff's profile

huff

2828 posts in 2751 days


#4 posted 07-24-2014 12:56 AM

Ellen gave you some really good advice and hope you take the time to PM her for more info.

I did shows for over 25 years, but most of my work was larger custom made furniture and cabinetry, but the fundamentals are the same.

I have a blog series on marketing and sales. http://lumberjocks.com/huff/blog/series/6466. that may give you some ideas. Part 4 covers shows.

Good luck with your show and congratulations on your wedding.

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

View Dave Carlisle's profile

Dave Carlisle

57 posts in 1620 days


#5 posted 07-24-2014 03:23 AM

I sell bigger items. Adirondack chairs, rustic coolers, pet beds…...I take a few samples and take orders. That way, display items don’t have to be sold….........

-- Woodworking Principal

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1042 days


#6 posted 07-24-2014 02:35 PM

Thanks for the info, was wondering if there’s small cheap stuff that could be made and sell easily? Like in the $5-10 range, the cheapest thing I make is probably $20-25

View Yonak's profile

Yonak

979 posts in 986 days


#7 posted 07-24-2014 03:31 PM



...but my honeymoon isn t haha, maybe ill get lucky….

- Gixxerjoe04

I think there’s a good chance of it, Joe.

View harveysoriginals's profile

harveysoriginals

107 posts in 952 days


#8 posted 07-24-2014 03:41 PM

Sounds silly but very simple back scratchers are a big seller!!! You can make them as elaborate as you want but honestly rudimentary ones do well!!!!!
I call mine “Harvey’s Honeys” and sign and put a serial number on every one!
People with itchy backs, or the wives of those people consider them works of art!!!!
Have FUN!!!!!!

-- The most dangerous tool in my shop is the one I am currently using! Harvey

View Gshepherd's profile

Gshepherd

1727 posts in 1667 days


#9 posted 07-24-2014 04:38 PM

Make what you make the best and have the most fun. I look at craft shows as a good way to get your name out there.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Puzzleman's profile

Puzzleman

411 posts in 2410 days


#10 posted 07-24-2014 06:06 PM

You don’t need items in the $5 range. The $20 – $25 range is good for a minimum price if you have items going much higher. When you are doing $5 items you have to sell a lot of them to make any money and even then you are probably losing money on the time you put into the product.

Besides that, you don’t want the bottom feeders ( people who only buy it because it is a low price). Set people up with your $20 items that that is your lowest price due to your craftsmanship and quality. This sets them up to look up to the nest price level and that can result in more money per sale. People remember high quality providers more than they do low price providers.

I have been doing shows full time for over 10 years and am successful at it. Have now cut back on shows as my sales has increased to where I don’t have to pound the road as much as I used to.

Good Luck with the show. If want more info from me, PM me.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler, http://www.hollowwoodworks.com

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2413 posts in 2387 days


#11 posted 07-25-2014 01:34 AM

I agree with Puzzleman: I have been making and selling my stuff full time for seven years myself and my best sellers are $20-$25 items. I also offer $5 items but all they do for me is pay for the space rental. I offer some $40 items and some $125 items also. The $20 items out sell most everything else ten to one. I do not make a “living” doing this (I am retired) but I have made this a self funding hobby.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View sawdust703's profile

sawdust703

270 posts in 886 days


#12 posted 07-26-2014 12:10 AM

Some more good advice, IGNORE the NEGATIVITY!!!! We live in a small agriculture community in NW Kansas, & have done several shows in our area for four years, and we hear A LOT of ‘we can buy it at walmart cheaper!” Our items are priced from $10 – $300, and are all made by my wife & I. Some shows we do well at, others we don’t. Be sure to make an assortment of items that appeal to everybody. Take some pictures of your past projects for folks to look at as well. I get a lot of orders just from pictures. You can only take so much with you, and manage it. Just my two cents.

-- Sawdust703

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1042 days


#13 posted 07-26-2014 12:35 AM

Yea the “I can buy it cheaper else where” should stick to yards sales. I went and bought a bunch of lumber today, spent a decent amount of money, but it’s all figured something, will make some good looking stuff.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1042 days


#14 posted 09-18-2014 12:33 PM

My first show is this weekend, set up is tomorrow. Pretty nervous and excited, hope I sell some stuff and if I dont a whole lot, hope I don’t get too discouraged to try another one. Not sure if I have too much of one thing or not enough, that’s probably the most frustrating part.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1835 days


#15 posted 09-18-2014 12:53 PM

I saw this post, and thought, this looks familiar…because I had read it two months ago!

I’m glad you’re following up with us. Show us what you ended up making! And let us know how it goes.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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