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Thread: Craft Fair Etiquette

  1. #1
    MelissaK's Avatar
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    I thought it might be fun to start a topic about Craft Fairs and what people do to try and sell their items. We are all doing some around now and it might help those that are going out for the first time. Any suggestions.... do you talk to people?, do you leave them alone? do you find that working on a project works? You get the idea.....

  2. #2
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    Also, what kind of stuff for craft fairs? what's the best "Eye Candy"?
    What is simple but awesome?
    I am considering talking to the FOL where I live and seeing if we can work something out.... Book covers anyone? :lol:

  3. #3
    Junior Member salisaquilter's Avatar
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    I have done many shows. Some with quilts and others with smaller items like embroider/monogramed items, totes, pot holders, crocheted dish cloths, rag rugs. you name it.
    I like to keep standing and smiling and answering questions.
    I cannot say I have ever really made a killing at any of them. Maybe sold a couple of totes, and long time ago couple of quilts
    I really think it depends on LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
    Often suprised at how everyone comments on your items but do not buy.
    The only crafts shows I work at now are for the Church Bazaars. And this last one. lol :( No one bought anything over $10.00 Even if had a tote for $12...... So I have resolved to make smaller items and fewer of each.
    I would love to hear the success stories. Maybe I will learn from them :wink:

  4. #4
    blueribbontoes's Avatar
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    I buy a lot from craft sales. I advoid the, and excuse the expression, "old lady things" which are usually anything crocheted in a weird color combination, or painted "cutesy" ceramics. Just not my cup of tea, but these items are usually not well made. Make sure you have something for everone, I.e. Everything isn't pink for example. I have noticed that if your items, especially the sewen items, are well made in colors that are popular at the moment, right now primitives seem to be very popular, people will snatch them up no matter the price. Baby items also sell like hot cakes. This is just my humble opinion, of course. I go to lots of craft sales!

  5. #5
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    What sold big at mine was the soft books and the mice. A couple pillowcases went...NO TOTES, which I thought would fly off the table and I only sold one set of towels.
    I really think it has to do with where you are. People seem to be fickle and also too...yes, the prices have to be right.

  6. #6
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    I think pricing is a key factor too. BUT, sometimes I think vendors underprice their items and it drives people away. If something is too inexpensive then people think it is cheap--as in cheaply made and not worth even the money they are asking for it. My daughter was selling totes and purses and when she raised her prices she sold MORE, not less!! Go figure!! But it all depends on your clientele.

  7. #7
    Senior Member barbsbus's Avatar
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    When I do craft fairs I usually have a hands on for the kids at my booth, like painting their own spinning whizzer top (thin plywood disk that I drilled four holes and put a strong string through the holes and taught the kids how to make it spin. While the kids paint the disks the parents purchase they look at the other things in my booth. I usually try to have a project that doesn't cost more than $2.00 for the kids, have smocks to cover their clothes if they are painting (My old shirts I put on them so I button them up their backs) One year I had the kids paint walnut shells. I pryied the walnuts open and removed the meats, then put the shells into a clorox solution, rinsed them and dried them and then glued the shells back together and sanded the flat end so they sat up right. I had cut out paper feet from felt and cardboard and the kids painted the nuts to look like characters and then we glued the feet on them when the paint was dry. Also made nuts to be Christmas tree decorations with a loop of ribbom glued in halves. I had glitter and sequins and paint and glue for the kids. They loved it. The years I had the walnut crafts I also sold walnut meats and candied walnuts along with my other crafts. We had a walnut orchard at the time. I try to figure out a different craft each show. The kid's crafts section of my booth usually pays for the booth rent and what I sell at the other section is my profit.

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    Great ideas for the kids :D They could put Izzy's mice together too. :roll:

  9. #9
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
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    I like stands where I am greeted with a smile and/or ‘Hello’, but then left alone to look at the things. In any good shop I like it when the staff leave me alone to browse, but also recognise when my body language indicates that I am curious, have a question, or am looking for something I can’t find. Then they can jump in and ask if I need help.

  10. #10
    Super Member chairjogger's Avatar
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    OH this is a fun topic ! Maybe you can gather enough info for a book! Serious about this ! Sold in craft stores all around. !

    I did the craft sale at a local woman's club in south east Ohio. It is a money maker for the woman's club twice a year and held in there gym.

    Oh yes I talked to my neighbor. I talk in the mirror at home ! I talk a lot. Can not help that. I try to hold it down. And can proudly say that is when I find the best stories to write. So, yes talk to your neighbor, if they do not want to talk then your get the message.

    I liked the idea: do not bring a book. I read that earlier in another Craft Fair tip thread on this board. Reading a book does turn off sales for people do like to talk to the sellers and that stops them cold. Be open to any thing. Listen around you and be pleasant.

    Craft Fair Etiquette answer... Be pleasant and open to talking. You never know what you will learn or enjoy hearing!

    Ellen

  11. #11
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    can someone post a picture of the mice? I still don't know what they are :) pretty please!

  12. #12
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babeegirl
    can someone post a picture of the mice? I still don't know what they are :) pretty please!
    Here's the link and it has a picture
    http://jas.familyfun.go.com/arts-and...&craftid=10020

  13. #13
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    A sign that always brings a smile to my face - and it's true

    "Of course you can make it, but when?"

    The one item I am currently looking for is the pot scrubbers crocheted from nylon netting.

    Another item that I thought was cute was a little baggie with a cocoa mix package, a little candy cane, and a couple of marshmallows. I think there was a poem in it, also.

    Location does matter. So does how the merchandise is displayed. There is that line between cluttered and sparse. If you are having a good day and things are selling, move your goods around so there aren't holes in your display.

    If you get a poor location, maybe you can get your friends and relatives to shill for you. Everyone is nosy and wants to know what's going on. So if it looks like there is something fun at your table, others will want to know what it is, too.

    If this is for a church bazaar, or something like that, I like to have a few inexpensive items available - even if I'm not in love with them, I'll probably buy a couple of things just to help out the cause.

    And you can always make things that you know your family and friends would enjoy in case they don't sell.





  14. #14
    Super Member Carol W's Avatar
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    Good information.

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    I just had my first craft sale--so I think I should have asked the browsers. But... what I felt comfortable with was greeting each passerby who glanced my way, with a bright smile and a "Hello." That was it. If they happened to stop I might point out what types of things were there--such as "There are table toppers, pillowcases, bookmarks, doll blankets, and table runners as I [ointed quicly to each pile." Then I'd leave it at that. My full table seemed a bit confusing, so I thought that would help them decide if there was something they were looking for. Also, if someone was really looking at table runners, I invite them to move them all around and dig under because they were all different.

    I couldn't fit all the photos on the table, so if someone showed a lot of interest in them, I'd pull the rest out from under the table so they had more choices. They really appreciated that.

    The ladies on either side of me were awesome. I bought soap from one, and jam from another. The jam was 3/$10 and she said to take another for a fellow vendor, but I couldn't do it. I assured her it'd take us a while to get through 3, but that was so sweet of her.

    Prices on my stuff were easy to see--I had price lists as well as prices on baskets of smaller stuff and each individual bigger item.

  16. #16
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    It bothers me for people to dicker the prices either at a craft fair or on places like Ebay. I quit selling on Ebay because of the bidders wanting to pick up a quilt for 10.00 that I put at least 100.00 worth of fabrics into not to mention the time and application of our experience and skills. I have lots of people at work ask me what it would cost to make a quilt for them and most of them don't want to pay what a quilt is truly worth. Even lesser quality fabrics are getting expensive per yard which drives the cost up. I've been thinking of starting a Quilt Repair business instead after the holidays are over.

  17. #17
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babeegirl
    It bothers me for people to dicker the prices either at a craft fair or on places like Ebay. I quit selling on Ebay because of the bidders wanting to pick up a quilt for 10.00 that I put at least 100.00 worth of fabrics into not to mention the time and application of our experience and skills. I have lots of people at work ask me what it would cost to make a quilt for them and most of them don't want to pay what a quilt is truly worth. Even lesser quality fabrics are getting expensive per yard which drives the cost up. I've been thinking of starting a Quilt Repair business instead after the holidays are over.
    Very interesting business Babeegirl!!! Keep us posted on how you do!!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by babeegirl
    It bothers me for people to dicker the prices either at a craft fair or on places like Ebay. I quit selling on Ebay because of the bidders wanting to pick up a quilt for 10.00 that I put at least 100.00 worth of fabrics into not to mention the time and application of our experience and skills. I have lots of people at work ask me what it would cost to make a quilt for them and most of them don't want to pay what a quilt is truly worth. Even lesser quality fabrics are getting expensive per yard which drives the cost up. I've been thinking of starting a Quilt Repair business instead after the holidays are over.
    When quilts are advertised for $XX any size, it's not too surprising that people have no idea what it costs to make one.

    On my perverse days, I am tempted to tell them - take a class, make at least a crib size quilt, THEN come and ask me about making a quilt for you. You don't need a sewing machine. All you really need is fabric, scissors, needle and thread. That's what our ancestors had!


  19. #19
    MelissaK's Avatar
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    I had a craft fair yesterday as well. Not my first. It is very hard to please everyone. Some people don't bother looking your way and some make total eye contact. Problem with these craft fairs is that there is a lot of doubling of items. I know this way, the fairs are filled with jewelrs....
    way too many of them. I am usually a good deal, because not too many people quilt/sew. The ones that do, just sell one thing and that is it. Like there was this one woman who made stockings for christmas. That is fine, but people have what they want in their heads. If they don't need that, she isn't going to sell anything. I find that if you have a bunch of things to offer, you are sure to hit someone. I had one lady buy 4 baby bibs from me. I sold some table runners, some baby blankets and pillows. It was a great fair!

  20. #20
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    So THAT'S the mice that have been all the rage.!!! A parent made those for my students for Christmas one year and after that I used to make them. The kids loved them. One year I decorated the Christmas tree with one for every child. They are adorable. Hm, wonder if I still have my pattern. Thanks for the link.

  21. #21
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GailG
    So THAT'S the mice that have been all the rage.!!! A parent made those for my students for Christmas one year and after that I used to make them. The kids loved them. One year I decorated the Christmas tree with one for every child. They are adorable. Hm, wonder if I still have my pattern. Thanks for the link.
    When I first started making them, the only pattern I had was from the one I had bought. That was 15 years ago! I still have the original one too! lol

  22. #22
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    I think that may have been all I had at the time also. I remember tracing all those little ears onto the felt. We had done our mice gray (and one year we did them a cream color) with the red or green ears. I copied the pattern for me to remember to make some for my grandson's kindergarten class. It has been fun bringing that memory back. It seems like such a long time ago.

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