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Thread: Need a craft show/bazaar "coach"

  1. #1
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    When it comes to selling items, are craft shows/bazaars worth the time and effort? I'm looking for something that would allow me to continue to stay at home with my kids while generating a little income. I don't know anything about selling at craft shows or bazaars (are they the same thing?) and would love some advice.

  2. #2
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    my daughter and i tried that for awhile didnt really pay only helps support your habit LOL more people shop for ideas than to buy stuff. Just my experience

  3. #3
    Super Member earlylace's Avatar
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    Yep, I sell and re invest in more fabric, but I love to sew, and I enjoy others liking what I make! Craft show and bazzars are pretty much the same thing.

  4. #4
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I think it would be much easier to sell online through Etsy or eBay.

  5. #5
    Senior Member LovinMySoldier's Avatar
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    Have you tried selling your stuff on etsy? Then you don't have to make a bunch of stuff to have on hand like at a craft show. And if they don't sell you aren't out a ton. Never have done a craft show though so what do I know :)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewwhat85
    my daughter and i tried that for awhile didnt really pay only helps support your habit LOL more people shop for ideas than to buy stuff. Just my experience
    I agree - we use to do craft shows for years, but in the last 2 years, our sales were small - most people were looking around at our crafts and taking notes!

    But, I have to admit, I take mental notes and then go back to my craft booth and try to sketch out all the great ideas I saw...lol.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have been doing them for ...a long time. Biggest tip ... pick your show carefully. Small shows = small sales. Look for well established shows( means people go to buy, or they would not still be around). I wasted too much time doing small shows , remember its the same amount of time sitting at a small show as a larger one. Do not be afraid to enter juried shows, this means that amougst the sellers there is competition to get in , thats a good thing, means people are selling. It also keeps the quality higher than non-juried shows.
    People buy more items priced from $5- $50 than higher priced goods. Remember when the customer went to the show they had no idea of what they would see/buy. So most items are impluse purchases.
    Fall shows are typically higher for sales ...people looking for gifts.
    Research a show buy attending , what is selling what is being packed up at the end of the day.
    Most of the better shows require photos of your work , make them high quality photos that really show your best work . They will be making a decision based on what is in those few photos. It is not unusual to have to apply many months prior to a show . Most of the fall shows are putting out the applications now. Go on line for the shows in your area and see when applications are due. Read ALL of the applications requirements. It would be a shame to be turned down because you missed something in the application. Oh most of the bigger shows do have an application fee.
    It takes a while to find your niche... but it can be done!
    Just one word of caution ... taking a much loved hobby and turning it into a business , can result in the hobby not being loved/fun quite so much.

  8. #8
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    I think a lot depends on your area, the season, and of course--the prices. I have an older friend that is originally from the San Francisco Bay area and her crocheted baby blankets, washcloths & scarves, quilted table toppers, embroidered dishtowels sell very well for a decent price but when I helped her setup for a St. Louis area fall craft show--my quilted potholders, trivets and fleece fringed scarves flew off the table but I only made about $40 more than my half of the $90 entry fee for a very long days work. I had very little invested in materials because I had used scraps from quilting and all the fleece was from a Hancock Fabrics (the only one in Missouri I really liked) that closed. I went to help my friend and I did have fun but she was very disappointed. The people next to us made & sold costume/fashion jewelry & they seemed to do pretty good.

  9. #9
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    It really all depends on the area you are in. My mom quit her great paying job to do crafts and she did well. She was always getting orders for more stuff. We moved to a smaller town and there is nothing around us. The craft shows we have gone to here are pretty much a fun day out. We usually make our money back and take the extra and buy other sellers stuff that we can't make ourselves.
    You'll never know until you go to a couple. It's worth the try. It's always lots of fun meeting the other crafters...they are always friendly. You could always try selling online on too.

  10. #10
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S
    I have been doing them for ...a long time. Biggest tip ... pick your show carefully. Small shows = small sales. Look for well established shows( means people go to buy, or they would not still be around). I wasted too much time doing small shows , remember its the same amount of time sitting at a small show as a larger one. Do not be afraid to enter juried shows, this means that amougst the sellers there is competition to get in , thats a good thing, means people are selling. It also keeps the quality higher than non-juried shows.
    People buy more items priced from $5- $50 than higher priced goods. Remember when the customer went to the show they had no idea of what they would see/buy. So most items are impluse purchases.
    Fall shows are typically higher for sales ...people looking for gifts.
    Research a show buy attending , what is selling what is being packed up at the end of the day.
    Most of the better shows require photos of your work , make them high quality photos that really show your best work . They will be making a decision based on what is in those few photos. It is not unusual to have to apply many months prior to a show . Most of the fall shows are putting out the applications now. Go on line for the shows in your area and see when applications are due. Read ALL of the applications requirements. It would be a shame to be turned down because you missed something in the application. Oh most of the bigger shows do have an application fee.
    It takes a while to find your niche... but it can be done!
    Just one word of caution ... taking a much loved hobby and turning it into a business , can result in the hobby not being loved/fun quite so much.
    Lori has told you just about everything...Some shows one thing is going to be the big seller another week, something else. There is no rhyme or reason to what will sell. Also, please use a solid table cover that goes down to the floor...it shows off your merchandise much better, and will cover any overstock or empty boxes under your table. Black is required with some promoters. Good luck

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