Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Top Tip Tuesday - Getting the most out of your craft fair or market

Your very first Craft Fair or Market can be a daunting task, so here's a blog post for the newbies.
A little how to. to get the most from your craft fair or market. 

Turn Up In Good Time:
There's nothing worse than turning up late, especially if it's your first or one of your first craft fairs or markets. Turning up early and having time to have that first cuppa once you've set up your stall will set you up for the day and help you relax into the experience. 

Make an eye-catching display

Colour and branding is really important here. If you sell Vintage Furniture and dress your stall in Gothic colours and your business cards and promo materials are different again it can confuse your customer.
Stay on brand! If you sell Vintage make sure EVERYTHING you do and the way you display thing is also VINTAGE. Everything from your logo to your packaging should reflect your products and brand as a cohesive whole. Avoid this at  your peril. HOT PINK next to Black and White is one example of colour playing an important part in catching your customers eye.

Consider bunting, a large sign or banner. 

And as a footnote here: Make sure your table cover is STRAIGHT and lines up with the floor. (Sorry its my pet hate).

If you can, Demonstrate
Demonstrating or working on your craft while at a fair or market works on many levels.
It shows your item is hand crafted by YOU.
It engages people with conversation. 
People love to watch something being made.
People love to buy things from people who make. 

If you take commissions - Tell them!
A simple card on your stall will show people that you are open to making something bespoke and to their requirements. The same goes if you are willing to sell to trade. 
A card saying TRADE ENQUIRIES WELCOME or COMMISSIONS UNDERTAKEN is all that is needed. 

Price clearly & Price to Sell

Your item may have taken you forever to make and as far as you are concerned youd like £1,000 for it. All very well if you are selling through a gallery, but at craft fairs and markets people dont generally carry around that kind of cash. While its not unusual to sell items for £40-£50, you are far  more likely to sell things at £10-£25 .

 However it's always best to have some of your higher end products on your stall too. 
Alternatively if your product is generally higher than average, have some less expensive things on your table too. The more varied the price range the more likely you have of selling. 

While were on this topic make sure that you price things clearly. Avoid pricing things on the bottom.Think about it. If you go into a shop and nothing is priced would you feel comfortable asking How much’or would you assume it's too expensive.

People will not pick things up from your stall and nor should they have to, its not bargain basement, your hand crafted goods are precious. Price large and clear and avoid loosing that sale because someone is too shy or embarrassed or thinks its too expensive to ask that all important question How Much?.

Promotional materials

Its always handy to have some form of promotional material with you. Pop a business card into EVERY sales bag, hand out leaflets showing your work and where you can be found. Add personalised labels to your product so that when the customer gets home and a friend asks
Oh wow! Where did you buy that? you can be found easily.
Ive bought many things at craft fairs and Im astounded when people say they havent got a card.
Think of these scenarios.

So what if I want to buy some of your other work in the future?

Im on Etsy but I havent got anything with my business name on right now, do you want me to scribble it on a bit of paper?

You can always email me

"I dont have a website or anything Ill probably be back here sometime in September

Any of the above IS NOT AN ANSWER

People may not buy from you on the day, but if you give away promotional material youve every chance they WILL buy from you in the future.

Be cheerful & attentive. Engage in conversation

I know, sometimes its hard if you have had a pretty rough day but theres nothing worse than going to a stall and seeing someone sat on a chair, head down, playing on their phone. Some stall holders dont even notice you there never mind acknowledge you.

A simple hello with a big cheek to cheek smile will go a long way and could make someones day!

Offer something FREE

Yes. You heard that right!
Theres a reason supermarkets employ people to stand at the front of a store and give away samples of a product. Even if its just a bowl of sweets, nothing will draw people to you quicker than something free.

Offer a FREE prize draw for one of your items.
This is a great way of collecting peoples Names, Addresses and Emails, so you can contact them in the future and keep them up to date with your latest offerings.

Packaging Is Key

Many people will buy your product as a gift. Packaging your item and presenting it as a ready-to-go gift will appeal to someone far more than something loose lying on a table. If they are considering something as a gift  then it saves them the time and trouble of finding something to put it in once taken away.
If your customer is short on time, you could very well miss a sale.

Packaging will also increase the perceived value of your item and is also another opportunity to brand your work.

Dont forget the little extras:
Bags and Packaging,
Business Cards,
Table Covers,
Warm Clothing if it's a cold day
Cool clothing if it's a warm day.
Warm clothing if it's a hot day
and cool clothing if it's a cold day.

I know... I bet you are thinking I've completely lost the plot.....
but I have been known to have to rush away and buy cooler clothing on what started as a cold morning, only for the sun to come out and have me nearly passing out with the heat.
I suggest layers that you can add or remove whenever necessary. 

And last buy not least.  .
Something to eat
Something to drink

Above all else, have fun, make connections, show off your work, network with other crafters, share ideas and knowledge and build relationships. 

What advice can you offer others about getting the most from Craft Fairs and Markets?

What works for you?

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We love hearing from you so please leave a comment below.

Warm wishes and happy crafting,
Sue x

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