At Pastimes for a Lifetime, we enjoy featuring Guest Blog Articles written by professionals in the art field. We are thrilled to feature Abby Holt from Craftability with her Guest Article on 4 Cost-Effective Ways to Prepare for your First Craft Show! This article is perfect for artists and vendors who have Holiday Craft Fairs planned ahead. We hope this blog inspires you and prepares you for a creative, successful show!

4 Cost-Effective Ways to Prepare for Your First Craft Show

There are clear advantages to selling products exclusively online, which is why more and more companies are going that route (or starting off that way). However, something is lost when you can’t ever see customers holding your product in their hands and deciding to purchase it. That’s where craft shows can benefit artist, maker and vendor alike.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy to sell at craft shows; there’s much more to it than buying a booth, displaying a few products and shaking hands. If you don’t properly prepare and come at it with a strategy—which should involve using technology and taking advantage of an eBay coupon today—you very well may end the show without making enough to cover costs.

If you have a product that you’re excited to share with people in-person, these four tips will help you set up for a successful craft show without spending a ton of money up front:

1. Stand out with your product display


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Photo by mana5280 on Unsplash

Depending on the size of the craft show, you may be among hundreds—or even thousands—of other sellers and vendors. And to sell stuff, people have to visit your booth. That’s why it’s essential to have a creative and attractive product display. You can find most of what you need for a good price on eBay, such as a label printer that you can use to display your wares’ prices, and there may be cashback offers available to save you even more money. Before you buy, see if you can dig up some coupon codes to stretch your dollars by clicking here.

2. Use tech to make it easy for people to buy stuff

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Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

These days, most people prefer to pay with a credit or debit card, and you can lose a lot of sales if you only accept cash at your booth. Make sure you have a good POS system in place. Not only does this make it easier for customers, but it also saves you from having to pay someone to keep track of sales and inventory. To cater to even more customers, set up to take mobile payments at your booth.

Of course, you will need a good smartphone to receive payment. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 offers a biometric scanner that secures private information. Plus, it comes with a 6.4” screen, it has a dual-aperture camera so you can take high-quality product photos, and it can survive minor exposure to water, dust and dirt. If you prefer Apple products, the newly launched iPhone 11 Pro can easily support your DIY selling needs, and with its triple-camera system, you’ll be able to take amazing pictures of your wares.

3. Price your items strategically

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Photo by Dmitry Demidko on Unsplash

When you price each product, be sure to factor in the cost of materials, the time it takes you to make the item, how much you want to make from each item, and any fees involved. Also, offer a wide range of products. If you’re only offering high-priced sculptures, you may not get as many sales; however, if you only offer necklace charms or candles, you have to sell more of them to break even.

4. Add potential customers

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Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Selling products isn’t the only advantage of craft shows. They also provide a great opportunity to grow your customer base and gain future sales. Encourage people who come by your booth to sign an email list by offering incentives, such as a chance to win a free ceramic bowl or hand-crafted necklace. Even giving away small promotional items with your brand name and logo is a cost-effective way to get the word out.

If you plan and prepare well, your first craft show can be budget-friendly and successful. Remember to spend some time tailoring a product display that impresses, and diversify your payment methods. Price your products right, and offer customers a variety of price points. Build an email list by offering incentives to potential customers. Most of all, enjoy the show, and learn from your experience!

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Did you enjoy the blog? If so, you’re welcome to share with your peeps and on your social media. Comments are greatly appreciated. 
Pastimes For a Lifetime Art and Piano School is located in Valley Glen, California. 818-766-0614. School is open Tuesday – Saturday year-round, except major holidays.
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