October 23, 2014  
 
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How to Sell Items at a Craft Fair

Written by Anna Lempereur for Gaebler Ventures

What types of items should you sell at a craft fair? How can you sell your crafts in an effective way? This article provides ideas for types of items that will make the best crafts, as well as advice on how to make the most money from selling your crafts.

Craft fairs allow entrepreneurs the chance to showcase their artistic talents.
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What Type of Craft Should You Sell at a Craft Fair?

It is most important to choose a craft that can be produced at a low cost.

Keep it simple. Since you are likely going to produce items in large quantity, you don't want to go overboard and spend more than you will make from profits.

It is also very time consuming to produce a craft. It is a good idea to allow yourself a steady production pace and establish a goal for how many items you want to sell.

Possible craft ideas for crafty entrepreneurs include:

  • Clothing - Sweaters, shirts, dresses, socks, vests
  • Accessories - Hats, mittens, scarves, belts, slippers, bags, purses, wallets
  • Jewelry - Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, anklets, pendants, pins, watches, jewelry holders/stands
  • Stuffed Animals - Dogs, cats, bears, horses, bunnies, cows, pigs, ducks, birds, wolves, lions, tigers, elephants, penguins
  • Toys - Dolls, puzzles, trucks, cars
  • Decoration - Candles, candle holders, stained glass, bowls, plates, vases, lanterns, lamps, holiday ornaments, wreaths, flower pots, paintings, picture frames
  • Furniture - Tables, chairs, stools, shelves, chests, benches, mirrors, bookcases, coat racks
  • Miscellaneous Items - Books, quilts, embroidery, blankets, towels, photo albums, notebooks, tool boxes, bird houses, bird feeders, wagons

How to Sell Your Craft

When starting a crafts business, there are certain things you should do maximize your chances of success:

  • Tout the benefits. No matter what type of craft you chose to produce, let the consumer know it will be useful to them. This is your chance to talk to each individual and tell them why they should buy your craft. The success of such interaction serves as a test of your customer service and sales skills, an essential building block for any would-be entrepreneur.
  • Don't limit your audience. If a senior citizen approaches you at a craft fair where you are selling toys, tell them it would make a great gift for a grandchild. If a teenager approaches you at a craft fair while you are selling lamps, tell them it would be a great gift for an older relative. Crafts make great gifts because of their originality, which is what many people look for in a present.
  • Think of your craft as a collectible. There are also many people who are interested in buying handcrafted items for themselves. Promote your craft as a way for someone to start or add to a collection. This could possibly help you create a long-term customer following.

Anna Lempereur is a freelance writer interested in writing about small business. She is currently a Journalism major at the University of Albany in New York.

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Conversation Board

We welcome your comments and questions on how to sell items at a craft fair. Thanks for participating.

11/7/2009

This will be my first time at doing a Craft Show selling Rhinestone T-Shirts. Expectations of this event is arround 15-20,000 visitors. I am at a loss as to how many shirts I should have on hand. And how many of one size I should have on hand? Any suggestions? Thank you in advance Jorja Kani

Ken Gaebler 11/8/2009

It's a tough question to answer because it really depends on how popular your t-shirts will be at this particular show. If you bring too many t-shirts, you may find that you end up with a bunch of leftover inventory. However, you could address that problem by simply attending another craft fair or finding other outlets to sell your remaining inventory. On the other hand, if you don't bring enough t-shirts, you may sell out early and end up losing out on potential sales. I would err on the side of having too many t-shirts, but don't go overboard. Just bring enough such that you'd be very happy if you sold them all.

Regarding t-shirt size mix, it depends in part on your t-shirts and who you think will be most interested in buying t-shirts. For example, if they will be gifts for kids, you'll need a lot of smaller sizes. If it's a broader audience, a good mix for 100 shirts might be something like 15 small, 25 medium, 30 large, 20 extra-large, and 10 XXL t-shirts.

If you sell out, don't forget to keep a few samples that you don't sell and have a form for orders. In this way, even if you sell out, you can still take orders. Good luck!


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