Killer Strategies For Selling at Craft Shows and Fairs

So you're looking to set up a booth at a craft show or fair?

Good for you!

There's something really exciting about selling in person . You get to meet your customers face-to-face and find out exactly what they like about your products. You can answer any questions they have, and persuade them to buy – something that's harder to do online!

But if you're new to selling at a craft show then how do you go about it? We're about to show you in this blog...

#1. Check out the competition

First step is to visit some trade shows and see what people are selling. See which booths are getting the most foot traffic. If you already have products - in mind - to sell, then find booths that are selling similar products and see how they compare.

You should visit as many fairs as possible and make note of:

  • The type of products being sold - will yours fit in? Stand out?
  • The quality of the products - will yours offer the same or better quality?
  • The price of other products - have you priced yours competitively?

#2. Find the right show for your product

Let's be honest, if your trade is selling vintage jewelry and you're at an RV show then your not going to be moving much product! Finding the right fair is important to the success of your overall profits.

Check out these listing websites below where you can search for different types of fairs to suit all sorts of products. You can search by state, join communities and discover the right audience to suit what you're selling:

#3. Decide your budget

Next it's time to work on that budget. Depending on the fair you're attending, typically a booth is going to cost you from $25 to $200. But then you've also got to factor in other important costs such as:

  • Marketing and promotions
  • Materials
  • Travel
  • Inventory
  • A permit (if needed)
  • Shipping costs (if needed)

Once you've worked out how much you can spend, you can then decide how much you should price your products at. You may get people trying to bargain you down for a price on the day, so make sure you take into account the above costs so that you can make a profit rather than simply breaking even.

Top tip: If this is your first show and you're still not sure about what to expect then see if you can share a booth, or seek the advice from another seller. If you join the Etsy community , you'll be able to speak to other sellers within your marketplace and ask them any questions you may have!

#4. Brand your booth

So you may be new to this, but you sell products so you have a brand – and your booth needs to be a representation of that. It's true what they say, you'll never get a second chance to make a good first impression so your booth needs to look perfect, to help you make those sales!

So you need to ask yourself: What is my brand?

That is, what do you want to tell your customers about yourself and the products you sell? Are they hand made? Are the materials ethically sourced? Are your products high-end?

The design of your booth should be a full representation of your brand, so take time to think about the message that you want to convey to your customers.

If you already have a logo for your business, you can go to a local Sign shop and have a large vinyl banner printed for less than $50.

You can also have business cards printed with your logo and contact information. Gotprint is a great online source of business cards and printed materials.

If you don't have time to wait on ordered materials, you can buy blank business cards at Staples; and print them at home.

Top tip: Give away promotional items like badges, post cards or bags with your branding and logo on so that they can remember who you are.

#5. Be a great seller

When it comes to the day, you need to do everything you can to make that all important sale. So what do customers want? Well aside from a well-presented booth (and seller) they want you to make it really easy and convenient for them to make a purchase from you...

In this day and age customers don't tend to carry much cash on them. Bring a mobile card reader with you so if a customer wants to pay using their credit card, you won't lose out on a sale because you can't provide them with a paying solution to suit them.

Don't forget to learn exactly what it is that your customers need and look for opportunities to up-sell when appropriate. Don't over do the hard sell of course – you'll be able to gage each situation and see if there is room for you to offer a more expensive product.

Top tip: If your product is suitable, offer some testers on your booth so that customers can try before they buy.

#6. Think about the bigger picture

Your full efforts may go in to making sure the day runs smooth, but this is also the perfect chance to take advantage of future marketing efforts.

You're in the prime place to speak with your customers, so it would be foolish not to try and turn them into lifelong customers. Ask customers to leave their email address with you so you can send them updates, offers and new products.

If you're struggling to get people to leave their contact details then think about running a giveaway so they have reason to leave you their email address.

Top tip: While you're at the fair, take photos of your booth, products and customers so that you can use them for marketing purposes on your social pages and your website.

#7. Offer customized merchandise

There is a wide range of hand crafted merchandise or vintage collectibles that sell very well at craft shows. But there is some heightened level of interest in products that can be customized with a personalized initial or name.

A great number of trade show visitors always have their eye open for special occasion gifts including birthdays and Christmas. This opens the door to a much larger set of potential customers who are looking for that perfect something for a new baby, or a house-warming gift with the family name.

Top tip: This is also applies to Etsy stores, where monogrammed bibs and custom artwork are big sellers.

Over to you

So those are our top tips on how to sell at craft shows and fairs. Don't be disheartened if you don't make a huge profit from your first fair. Do your research, learn from your experience and make the changes you need for your next one – good luck!

And if you want to find out more about our Mobile Card Reader to offer a convenient way for customers to buy from you then contact us today! 

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