Many sellers arrive at Folksy having already been succesful at craft fairs. Between craft shows and events they are looking for a place to display and sell their stock of items, or just show off a small selection of their handmade designs. In addition to these experienced craft sellers, an increasing number of talented people are turning to thriving online marketplaces like Folksy as a great starting point to offer their handmade crafts and designs. The confidence gained and excitement of selling online may turn something that started as a hobby, into a successful micro business!
Often the reason people begin to sell their goods online is that their friends and family have said to them “You should sell those, they’re amazing” after receiving a gorgeous handmade gift. The reality of producing enough stock for a fair right away could be quite daunting, especially if you have been making items on a one off basis up until now. Joining an online marketplace like Folksy and spending a few months of focussing your efforts, and hopefully making a few online sales can really get you motivated and prepared for your first fair. You will no doubt find yourself with a growing amount of stock and designs, and a desire to get out there and start selling face to face! The feeling of making your first sale at a craft show, carefully wrapping the sold item and handing someone their change at a fair is hard to top for a crafter – I’m smiling just thinking about it!
Many of the sellers on Folksy would not have dreamed of displaying a table of their beautiful handmade products had they not caught the bug from selling here on Folksy! But what exactly do you need to know before you embark on selling at craft fairs?
I asked Chris and Satoko from Satoko’s Origami Jewellery how they felt about their first fair -
“We felt a strong sense of anticipation concerning our first fair, only to be bitterly disappointed at the number of customers that actually turned up. It was a similar story at our second fair as again almost no customers showed up. It was only at our third fair, which was well established in a popular tourist area, that we had any real success and this gave us the confidence to look for similar fairs.”
Wouldn’t it be good to know how to avoid fairs that are overpriced, badly advertised or not right for your products before you waste your time and money! Chris and Satoko are now being much more selective with the fairs they attend, although they say they still enjoy trying new fairs.
We have put together a list of concerns and questions that sellers may face when they first decide they want to take the next step with their crafting and start to sell at shows, or just need some tips to boost their confidence at fairs. Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at these questions in depth to provide you with a plethora (yes really!) of information and advice on what to expect from selling at craft fairs – it certainly can’t all be covered in just one post!
- How much should I pay for a table?
- What if I don’t sell anything at the craft fair!?
- What size of fair is best?
- What time of year is best for lots of sales?
- How do I find a craft fair to sell at?
- What do I say to people when they’re at my stall?
- How much stock do I need?
- How should my stall look, is it worth spending money on a banner?
- What do I need to bring with me on the day?
- Do I price items differently to online?
We’d love you to help out, by getting in touch and letting us know all about your experiences so that throughout this craft fair tips series we can share your insights here with the Folksy community. Just email me – firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be in touch!
Was your first fair as bad as you first thought or did you sell out because you didn’t make enough stock!? Did you meet some great new friends and become part of a network of sellers or did you find it cliquey and intimidating? Do you now run your own fairs and have some killer tips for all the newbies reading this series of posts? Maybe you have a picture of your first stall and can tell us how you’ve improved it over time – or perhaps you came to this article to find out a the answer to a specific craft show query and would like to have it added to the list of future articles.
We’ll add links to your shops and blogs if we publish any of your words and images in future articles, on this series or any other future topics.