Friday, February 4, 2011

11 Tips for Selling Your Crafts at a Market or Show

Recently I have been participating on a discussion thread on Ravelry (an online forum for yarn artisans). A fellow amigurumi maker asking for advise on starting to sell her creations. The first show, market, or fair can be intimidating! I can vividly remember the first time I went to the Dartmouth Farmers’ Market. I had baby clothes, afghans, toys, and a bit of other items. My table cloth was too small for the table, and my set up was awful. But I went in with an open mind and was not afraid to change. In my community, baby clothes and afghans would not bring in a fair price, but I really liked making the toys. I remember that it was a little dragon to a wonderful toddler, Mia, that was my first sale. Below are two picture of my table set up (left 2007, right 2009)
Table setup August 2008 exhibition park xmas (1)

Here are a few of the things that I have learned about selling at the market:
  1. Jump in. No amount of advice can prepare you for your first selling adventure.
  2. Be open minded. Sure you may love what you make, but being realistic is important. You need to be flexible and match your products to your market.
  3. Smile! If you look miserable, people won’t want to be around you…or your product! Look like you love your work. Let it show on the outside. You need to show your love before someone else will love your product.
  4. Take a picture of your table/booth. Review it later to see where you can make improvements.
  5. Bring business cards! You are trying to build trust with your future clients – they need to know that you are reachable.
  6. See someone wearing a great hat? Compliments – they can make someone feel good and associate you and your products as a positive experience
  7. Patience! It takes time. Don’t be discouraged on your first outing. Keep it up!
  8. Build friendships with other vendors – they have great tips and may recommend you to one of their regular clients.
  9. Display prices clearly. People don’t always want to ask.
  10. Price your items what they are worth! People judge quality based on price. To read more, click here!
  11. Be attentive! You are representing your business. Playing on your phone, reading a book, or even sleeping (I’ve seen it happen!) will encourage theft.  I like to bring a little crocheting with me to the market. Keeps me busy, and draws attention.
  12. Wear a name tag. Again, you are building relationships. You need to be approachable.

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