I have heard this so many times! I have a handmade business – do I have to sell at craft fairs?
The answer? No. No you don’t. But it can help your business.
Why should I sell at craft fairs?
Selling your handmade items can be a struggle to begin with, and this is why lots of sellers will try their luck first at a local craft fair. There are a few reasons this is a great idea.
- It connects you with local customers.
- It helps you refine your product since you get instant feedback from shoppers.
- It’s a great way to make some sales fast.
- You can connect with other local handmade sellers and make friends.
- You’ll find a few products you love!
Connecting with local customers
One thing I have loved about doing local fairs is when you see the same faces! I have regular customers that return to my booth at a particular fair each year to see the new items I have in stock. I am a big fan of shopping locally, and getting in front of your customers is a perfect way to facilitate this. Shoppers love to see your creations in person!
Refining your products
When you have a selection of products on display, you are able to see what your customers are interested in. You’ll also get feedback on pricing, display, presentation etc. You’re able to see what sells well (or poorly) and you can use that information to make stocking decisions for subsequent fairs, or your online store.
Make some fast sales!
Assuming you have priced your items well and your products are what people are interested In buying, a craft fair is a fantastic opportunity to make lots of sales in a short period of time (1-2 days). If you have a lot of inventory you want to clear, or you need some extra income, it’s worth the time to sell at a craft fair. There are certainly considerations in choosing which fairs to sell at, but, e.g. during the holidays, I will sell as much in one day at a fair as I will in the month in my online store. Additionally, if you have items you wish to clearance, shoppers in person are always looking for a bargain, or a low cost white elephant gift.
Connect with other local crafters
One of the best things ever for my small handmade business was meeting other crafters. We even started a Facebook group for our area as an online craft fair. These women were my crafting village. We bounced ideas off and supported each other and it was amazing to watch their success and know they were happy for mine. Some are still crafting, some have moved onto other careers, but we’re all still friends.
Support other handmade sellers
One of the best things about craft fairs is the opportunity to shop! If you are looking for unique gifts for friends and family, you are sure to find something at a craft fair. Remember, when you shop local your money stays local. You really are helping pay for someone’s child’s dance lessons, hockey fees, or even helping them put food on the table. That local custom matters and has a bigger impact on your community than you realize.
So – do you need to sell at craft fairs? No – but there are many advantages to doing so.
Can you be successful without doing craft fairs?
Yes – you can. Craft fairs are really hard for those with anxiety, or introverts. They take time and effort to set up, and you will generally need a minimal booth setup, including tables if not provided, table cloths and displays. For those starting out, it can be a financial commitment to acquiring this equipment and to paying the fee for the fair. Borrowing equipment and sharing booths is one way to keep the initial cost down however.
Selling online is one way to reach potential customers – use Facebook or Instagram, or set up an online store with Etsy, or another online marketplace.
My advice – if you’ve never done a craft fair – give it a try!
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