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A bit of a strop about table fees!

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  • A bit of a strop about table fees!

    I`ve been making a few enquiries about one or two craft fairs around the country and I have to say it`s bothering me how much SOME organisers are actually charging for a selling table.

    The events I`ve been enquiring about are not huge events in expensive to hire venues (a field in one case!) but small fairs, fetes etc. The cheapest price I have been given is £50 (+£12 parking) for an outdoor stall in a farmers field and the most expensive is £340 for a two day event. I`ve decided that event organisers who are not crafters have decided it`s a way of earning a quick buck from their land or venue.

    Come on guys, give us a break. I know that all organisers on here are fair because you understand craft and that advertising costs, venue hire costs and insurance costs are high but £62 in a field for a village fair is ridiculous!!

  • #2
    That is ridiculous and they will end up with only businesses who buy in stuff being able to afford it. We are having a two day event in our village and part of that is a craft fair - we are charging £20 a day or £35 for the two days and that is in a rainproof village hall with all facilities. Parking is also free. I have come to the conclusion that I will not pay more than £25 for a day stall. I sell cards and you need to sell a lot to make up that money and some profit.


    • #3
      Table charges are a big consideration in this day and age. I have to think long and hard about what I do, especially when you add the travelling/parking expenses on top. Sometimes, you can be so far behind at the start of the day that even breaking even is a challenge, which is a real shame. I think that most organisers do appreciate this and try to keep their prices reasonable, but they also obviously have expenses they need to cover (it must take so much time to arrange an event and ensure it is as successful as possible through advertising/marketing etc).

      Hard times for us all, I feel...

      Wood Tattoos
      Decorative Pyrography for all Occasions - Author of "Woodburning with Style" (2010) and "Learn to Burn" (2013)


      • #4
        unless it was a larger, national event, personally, i wouldn't pay more than £10 for a table at a craft fair (sharing a table can be a way of halving the cost if the organisers will allow you to do that). in my experience, craft fairs are not big money spinners, too much work involved for not enough return.
        lucykate crafts... blog

        lucykate crafts... on etsy


        • #5
          This is a big bugbear of mine at the mo too. Last week I posted about a big fair I had been invited to a 2x2 table is about £400, then I found out from a friend that she paid £30 for a similar major event for a large stand. Crazy.


          • #6
            I have seen stalls over £400 and some for as little as £15 - that's about as low as they go in my experience.

            For London market stalls £30-£40 seems to be about the price I'm usually paying and I do tend to get that back, plus I have just figured that I can get all my stuff in my wheelie suitcase and take the tube or the bus, or walk it in some cases, so I don't have to be reliant on borrowing the van, which costs £20 in diesel just to get it from work to my house and back!


            • #7
              I`d be happy to pay up to £30 for a day depending on the circumstances.

              Sorry to rant but I`m not sure which way to go now. I work two days a week and fill the rest of my time sewing/embroidering to make up my income.

              I`m so fed up with it all at the moment that I think I may well pack in the business side of sewing. I`m always working for other people and not actually making garments for my family, myself and friends. I`m actually reasonably busy at the moment but with increasing fabric costs, fuel costs, postage costs and now energy costs I don`t know if it`s worth it anymore.

              Once I`ve cleared my order book, I think I have a few decisions to make!


              • #8
                tables only £20.00

                I think this would be local for you

                Arts and Crafts Fair- Walsall Town Centre
                Saturday 16 August 2008 10.30am - 3.30pm

                only £20.00 for a table

                For more details please call Walsall Events Team
                call Ruth 07961 873019


                • #9
                  Oh Claire,

                  Sounds like this is really starting to hard for you. I guess every business has it's ups and downs. I really hope things get better for you, as it would be such a shame if you stopped doing what you do. I think your work is beautful and I can't wait to see the blacket when I get home tonight (James said you dropped it off...thanks so much for doing it so quickly for me and dropping it off)

                  On the craft fair front, and the cost of tables it's a really tough one because I only tried to charge a reasonable table cost of only £16 and have had complaints about the professionalism of my signage, but after the insurance, venue costs, website and flyers I only just broke even. But although as an organiser I know that costs need to be kept low, I don't always think the crafters know the costs involved and that someone has to pay for the marketing!!!

                  Hope to see you soon, Thanks again for the blanket and sorry for the rant!

                  Love LittleGems x


                  • #10
                    I'm organising a craft fair in Oxford Town Hall - its right in the centre. I am not making a profit - yet after insurance and hall hire and a SMALL amount for advertising I still need to charge exhibitors £35 for a 6' trestle table.

                    And thats plus sellers own insurance, which can be arranged through our insurers for a further £7.50 per stall holder.

                    for any further info please contact [email protected]


                    • #11

                      On the craft fair front, and the cost of tables it's a really tough one because I only tried to charge a reasonable table cost of only £16 and have had complaints about the professionalism of my signage, but after the insurance, venue costs, website and flyers I only just broke even. But although as an organiser I know that costs need to be kept low, I don't always think the crafters know the costs involved and that someone has to pay for the marketing!!!


                      Absolutely, I understand the costs involved and they are considerable( I think you spoiled us last weekend) It`s not used the costs the organisers incur as they too also should be paid a wage or honorarium for their expertise but I think my rant is about the greediness (not sure thats a word) of (Eg) a parish council/farmer who owns a field with no facilities (except portaloo) charge £50 for the stall, ask me to bring table (just one mind) and a chair and then charge me £12 to park car in a field!

                      Even the bloomin' Royal Horticultural Society didn`t charge on site exhibitor parking when my Dad used to do Chelsea et al.

                      Fustrating..........I better stop now as I`m getting petty


                      • #12
                        Craft fair fees

                        I know what you mean - I once did a two day show (admittedly, quite a big one) and it cost £345 for our table (I shared it with my mum as we were both glass painting at the time).
                        We spent two very cold November days in a marquee on the banks of the River Thames in Pangbourne (v. nice place to be fair!) it was freezing and although there were lots of people about, we ended up selling only just a little bit more than we paid out. Never did anything like that again and stuck to schools/churches etc which were a fraction of the price and some of them were very profitable (others were a waste of time!)
                        That's one of the reasons I'm now opening a shop and offering shelf space to crafters (who actually make their own stuff, not buy it in!). We're charging £30 per month, equivalent to £1 a day with a 10% charge on sales only if you can help out in the shop for 4 hours per month - other options are available.
                        We think it's a really good alternative to renting a table at a show: it will be fully staffed and insured, open 6 days a week from 9.30 to 5.30 (seven days a week over pre-Christmas period) and you'll get on-line sales too, plus links to your own website if you have one via ours to help boost your profile and sales potential.
                        I know that this is a shameless plug for our new business, but hey! We still have some shelf space available if you're interested (sorry, no more jewellery or cards as we have our quota) but we are still looking for a woodturner, wooden puzzles/bookends etc, sewing crafts (cushions, bags, aprons, etc) hand made candles, and anything that might be a bit unusual.

                        If you're interested, download a copy of our sellers' pack from our temporary website and drop me an email!

                        Find us on Facebook

                        Crafters DON'T do housework!


                        • #13
                          Tough times for everyone at the moment and worse to come I fear ... not really the time to be taking gambles!!

                          Just looked on your site and your products are beautiful. I know some of the peeps on here sell on Etsy ... have you considered that angle?

                          Also NotOnTheHighstreet have been mentioned. I know it hasn't worked for some but we did it over a year ago now and we did around £300-£400 a month with them.

                          They're very big on personalised stuff too ... it might be worth you googling them and at least having a look ~x~
                          Tilly Ba Lou ~x~


                          • #14
                            I've been thinking of going down this route too.


                            • #15
                              It's certainly worth considering and looking further into. OK you get less money for your products but you don't have either the monetary outlay or the time sitting on a craft fair to worry about.

                              Our main business is selling to shops and for something that retails at £34.50 we have to sell it to them at £15. I suppose it's about trying to find the balance that's right for you and your product

                              Sadly I don't think there's going to be an easy way for many of us for a long time to come .... bloody credit crunch ... I'd love to say more on that particular subject but I'd probably get banned for inciting a riot ~x~
                              Tilly Ba Lou ~x~