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  • Craft fair advice

    Hi all,

    I'm about to part with my (very hard earned) cash for a few craft fairs in the run up to Christmas. I'm really short of money this year, so I've gone for cheaper fairs (that sell only British & Hand made), I'm not getting a chip & pin machine, and I'm keeping my expectations relatively low - if I can sell a few low - mid-price items I'll cover my costs.

    However, I got so badly burned by the last craft fairs I did in Kingston, I wanted to ask if there was any general tips or advice fellow crafters have found that adds to successful sales?

    I know I'm possibly shooting myself in the foot a bit not taking cards, as generally my prices start over £20, but I just can't justify the expense this time. Also, I do sell a few items that I don't stock on my website (in my sig) for £5-£10.

    Here is the stall I created at Christmas:


    Another stall holder at the time said it looked 'too professional', and didn't really say "craft/hand made" to them - should I go more minimal?

    I've been reading some of the threads on this forum about pricing, and I'm worried that my prices are too high - I think they are an accurate reflection on the rising price of silver, and also the amount of time and care I put into each and every item, but maybe with the credit crunch crunching, I should be prepared to cut the price and 'work for less' just to make sales?

    Any thoughts are welcome!

    Nafeeseh
    www.narah.co.uk
    Exquisite hand crafted jewellery

  • #2
    Have to say it really does look very professional. I think a lot of crafters would love to be able to achieve that level of layout.

    As long as you have signage stating that every item on the stall is individually designed and created by you, you should be ok.
    perhaps handwriting tags and displaycards would also help convey the thought too.

    I really would sort out the business card thing. Visaprint often have special offers where the cost of printing is free and you only pay postage.
    If you are going to be seen out there then you need to have some method of being contacted. Most events I've been to have had someone who was there get in touch or have passed my details on.
    Another idea would be to produce a simple tri fold leaflet about your business. I manage to promote both my businesses in one go using this system and don't actually use business cards as such anymore. I am able to relay plenty of information in this format. I can also just print off a few for each event and update them whenever necessary.
    full time mum and very very part time crafter.

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    • #3
      you stall looks perfect too me, and I don`t think prices are too high... maybe looks too perfect, like real stuff from the jewelry shop... I don`t know...
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      • #4
        You know, I think that stall looks perfect. It does look very professional, I think with prices, as long as people are buying then shoot for the moon! I always have my prices as high as I think I can get away with, then I can offer discount if people ask or moan, or to kids using their pocket money.

        If people ask if I sell online I always say that the things on the stall are cheaper than they are online.

        As for chip and pin, if people are going to craft fairs, I for one wouldn't expect the sellers to take cards. I have wondered about taking all the card details then processing it through paypal later. My Mum and Dad take credit card payments for their campsite through paypal so in theory it should work depending on whether the customer is comfortable giving you all their details.

        HTH

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        • #5
          Stand presentation

          May I congratulate you on the appearance of your stand,you can never look too professional when out selling. Keep your prices to an amount that you want to sell them for - never devalue your worth in order to gain a sale.
          Please remember though that the cheap fairs often do not attract the right type of buyer usually because there is not enough in the kitty for adverts, signs or promotional literature.
          I speak from years of experience when attending events countrywide with my husband.
          Quality always stands out!
          Woodenlady

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          • #6
            Your stand looks amzing. I know from a friend who is working with silver that the price is creeping up and so your customers just have to pay what it is worth, don't undersell yourself.
            www.littlebead.blogspot.com
            www.twitter.com/littlebead

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            • #7
              Your stand looks wonderful and should in fact encourage customers, because if they can see how much effort you have put into your stand they will know you have probably put twice as much, if not more, effort into your products.
              HTH
              for all your paper & card needs visit www.ideasinpaper.co.uk

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              • #8
                Looks good to me and I do not think you can ever be too professional, after all that is what you are, yes?

                I do not take chip and pin as cannot justify the monthly fee for possible sales. I think that most customers understand and do not expect cards to be taken, all the fairs I have done or go to I always take cash or my cheque book. Have a sign that explains this from the getgo then it is not so embarrassing for you or the customer.

                Keep going as you are going, home made does not always mean good things. I had a display in a local garden centre years ago and when a lady rang me for an order, would not proceed when she knew I did not have a shop, she stated "so you are not a professional then" I explained that I was able to keep my prices lower as I did not have overheads, Needless to say she did not buy. Her loss! Perhaps I should have sent her a CV and a list of my qualifications!

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                • #9
                  Your stand does look amazing

                  Your jewellery is also amazing and is all sterling silver, so the prices are absolutely fair enough

                  You say you can't go to the expense of business cards but you have a large banner and a really well set out stall...... it looks like you have put loads in to it. You know I really like your sex in the city style necklaces, however, I am not sure if I would have the cash on me at a craft fair to buy one.

                  I see the point of view of others that say your stall looks "too professional" you may need more "everything is handmade by me and only me" posters/signs.

                  See if you were situated next to me at a craft fair..... you would make me look ridiculously un-professional!

                  Apologies for the lengthy post, i love your stuff and want to see you do well!
                  www.beadlab.com

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                  • #10
                    I'd feel very much the poor relation if I had a stall next to you,lol

                    It is a beautiful stall and anybody can see that alot of hardwork has gone into it, but if I was a buyer I would automatically think your goods were bought in without looking at your items for sale because the does look very professional,I really don't mean that too sound nasty sorry if it does !

                    As for business cards I can only repeat what others have said about vista print, I have had loads of promo stuff off them including business cards and always been more than happy with them.

                    You make gorgeous items that deserve a gorgeous display and this is what you have achieved.......

                    >>>>>>>>>(sits down with pen and paper to redesign her stall now )
                    Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes CAN change your life !!

                    my website http://www.ticketyboo-jewellery.co.uk
                    my misi shop http://ticketyboo.misi.me.uk
                    my blog http://ticketyboojewellery.blogspot.com/



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                    • #11
                      Thanks all for the comments, just wanted to make it clear that I DO have business cards, sorry I wasn't clear about what I meant: when I said "not taking cards" I actually meant "not accepting credit/debit cards" - my fault for bad use of English!

                      My banner does state that my jewellery is hand crafted, but I did find that I still had to tell people at the last fair as they didn't all read the sign - despite it being 4 foot across!
                      www.narah.co.uk
                      Exquisite hand crafted jewellery

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by beckyboo View Post
                        It is a beautiful stall and anybody can see that alot of hardwork has gone into it, but if I was a buyer I would automatically think your goods were bought in without looking at your items for sale because the does look very professional,I really don't mean that too sound nasty sorry if it does !
                        It doesn't sound nasty at all, it really helps to hear all the different points of view!

                        I just wanted to create a stall that reflected the qaulity of the products I produce, but I can see how it could be seen as being bought in, hence my dilemna!
                        www.narah.co.uk
                        Exquisite hand crafted jewellery

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                        • #13
                          I think your stall looks fantastic, and whatever you do, don't sell yourself short. I've not done many fairs yet so you probably know more about this than me, but if I were you I'd be careful forking out money for the cheaper fairs unless you're sure you won't be totally undercut by a load of cheaper stalls - either bought in or done as a hobby. Particularly in the current climate. All you can do is hope that people appreciate the work that's gone into it - if they're just after a bargain, they can go to Accessorize! I would just research the fair carefully before committing to it, and if you don't find the right ones, spend te money on advertising your website instead!
                          www.CeeGeeJewellery.com Handcrafted Sterling Silver Jewellery
                          www.EvaBeanBeads.etsy.com Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads
                          Etsy - Folksy - BLOG

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                          • #14
                            Well I think your stall looks amazing and I think it's a complement that people were thinking your stuff must have been bought in. I think perhaps a few little handwritten signs would be a great idea. Could you take a photo album of your past work too - people would be able to look through it and see what else you've made.

                            FWIW I wouldn't expect stall holders to take cards. Before I go to a craft fair as a visitor I'd always make sure I had cash and a cheque book.
                            http://www.craftynclothy.com

                            http://www.folksy.com/shops/craftynclothy

                            http://craftynclothy.blogspot.com/

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                            • #15
                              My banner does state that my jewellery is hand crafted, but I did find that I still had to tell people at the last fair as they didn't all read the sign - despite it being 4 foot across![/quote]

                              We did a fair a bit back and had a six foot stand with various sized sheets on, and about 20 people walked into it saying they could not see it! I wouldn't mind but it was in the middle of the opening
                              for all your paper & card needs visit www.ideasinpaper.co.uk

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