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Thread: Craft sales, general info?

  1. #1
    Senior Member quiltingbee12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    I am looking at learning more about selling crafts, and potentially doing it when I am a better quilter/crafter.
    What I want to know is
    What sells the best?
    What kind of prices work and make people want to buy?
    What are some good resources about it?
    Where is the best place to sell? Where to find out where to sell in my area?
    Should I look at learning something outside of quilting?
    Thank you very much I am very interested to know

  2. #2
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    In the middle of a mess...
    What sells the best? That's a hard one to answer. Look around the area at other craft shows/fairs to see what is being sold. That could give you an idea. Also, something unique could work too

    What kind of prices work and make people want to buy?
    People in general don't have a clue as to what goes into making things, especially quilts. They don't understand the price of the fabric, plus the price of your time that you have put into the making of the items. I had a small baby quilt at a craft fair. I priced it at $50. The fabric alone was almost $35(included batting and backing). There was a lady who was interested in it who said it was too expensive and would I take $20 for it. I politely told her no.

    What are some good resources about it?
    That one is a hard one to answer. Maybe talking to people at craft fairs and asking them. I don't know of any books. Or, maybe do a search on the internet?

    Where is the best place to sell?
    Again, this is a hard one to answer. All places are different. If there are gift shops in your area that sell local wares, try there.

    Where to find out where to sell in my area?
    Same as the above answer.

    Should I look at learning something outside of quilting?
    That's an option up to you. Everyone is different. I know there are ladies/gents here on the board that also knit, crochet, cross stitch, etc. It's up to you if you want to learn these things. Will those items sell if you put them up for sale at a fair? I don't know. It's worth a try.

    I did a craft fair last November. I made these little mice with candy canes. 75 of them. Sold every one! I also had table runners. Sold all but 2. I had 25 tote bags, really pretty and distinct fabric. NOT ONE SOLD!! We all thought for sure those would sell like hotcakes.
    I also had a couple quilts....was told the prices were too high. I had some embroidered towel sets. I only sold one set, but that was when I brought the price down and didn't make any money off it...I broke even on that. My BIGGEST seller was the fabric books. Those sold like hotcakes and I sold out.
    There were other people there that has hand crafted items like I did and they pretty much sold nothing. There was a lady who had hand crocheted doilies which were VERY pretty. She sold none.
    What I had that was unique was the tote bags (didn't sell--priced at $20), the fabric books (priced at $12), mice were $1, so those I knew would sell. The towel sets were VERY unique since the embroidery that was on it is a hard one to acquire (towel, washcloth and hand towel-$40 set)

    I hope this helps a little.

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Out searching for some sunshine :-)
    Blog Entries
    I would attend craft fairs, bazaars and flea markets in your area. See what they are offering and what is actually selling. (These items vary from area to area, state to state, etc...) Take notes on the items, the prices, etc... Then do your research on pricing these materials, your time, and see if it is going to be worth your while. Around my area the booth fees are so high that it makes it difficult for crafters to make much of a profit. There are many people who during the holidays, are looking for $5-$10 gifts for co-workers, teachers, neighbors, if you can come up with something unique, simple to make with inexpensive materials you may find these to be your best sellers. If the economy does not pick up, there may not be as many buyers out there. However if you live in or close to a tourist location, take note on what are popular souvenier items, and go from there. Good Luck :D :D :D

  4. #4
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Reno, Nv
    I'd say to go to the local library and check out a book about selling your crafts. There are many of them on the market now so you should be able to find one that fits your style.

    I think that if you want to make your hobby pay for itself, start small and use the proceeds from that to re-stock your needed supplies for the next project.

    Some of the problem overhead is to have to pay for space at a fair or a booth at a local school craft fair. If you can use your home as a store front and have a craft show at home that would save you the cost of that. Or sometimes selling one item leads to extra sales if that person is willing to give your name out as the maker. Take advantage of the market buy and sell boards too, it is amazing how many people look at it in a day.

    But, you have to look at your market in your area and choose something that will sell first. Purses are a good choice, or maybe tote bags since they are stopping them in the stores. You have to be able to buy low and sell high. So, to begin with check out the discounted fabric stores (or supplies, like d-rings for instance) You have to have something that everyone else doesn't have, so try and think of something you would like to have that everyone else isn't selling. Think Girl! What would you like to buy at a craft fair?

    I think maybe the way to start is to put it down on paper and start from there. You can see things down the road better if you have a plan.


  5. #5
    Senior Member quiltingbee12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thank you

  6. #6
    Member spacepegs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    League City, Tx
    I have done craft shows in Texas and I can add the following tips:

    1. Find a craft that packs up and transports easily. This will make set up and tear down much quicker.

    2. Find out how the show will deal with weather conditions if it is held outside. I once paid $75 for a booth, the show was rained out and so was the rain date. There were no refunds.

    3. Crafters are now being asked to compete with sellers offering imported items that the sellers only had to put a price on. I have been asked to lower the price of my hand made items to match the imported items prices. I refused to do it.

    4. Your price calculation should include those items already mentioned in this forum, and should also include the cost of the booth. High booth fees will definatley cut into your profits, but typically will put you amonst a higher class of crafters/artists.
    5. Trial and error will be your best teacher in the long run.

  7. #7
    Cookn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    In addition to everything already posted, here's a pretty good reference:

    Crafts and Craft Shows
    How to Make Money
    2nd Edition

    Philip Kadubec


  8. #8
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    currently central new jersey
    making real money at crafts, including quilting, is hard. nobody understands the initial investment that has gone into the item. here is my take on this:

    figure out the price of all your supplies, including thread, batting, etc. fabric of course.

    estimate the number of hours you will spend doing the work for this item.

    decide your bottom price per hour and raise it.

    multiply hours x $$. add to that the amount the materials cost you in the first place.

    this is your BARE BONES price.

    if you live in or near a popular area, raise your bottom-line price.

    DO NOT sell yourself short. it sets a bad precedent. when people come back to you they will expect low prices.

    whatever you decide to do, good luck.

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