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  • It seems to be getting harder and harder to sell

    OK, BE WARNED I'M HAVING A MOAN.

    So I have just finished yet another two day craft fair and again I have only just managed to cover my costs. There were about 25 of us in the marquee and every single other stall holder said the same thing, some of them didnt even cover their stall fee.

    I like to think I am very chatty and cheery person but many a time you will say hello, nice day - whatever - and they will look at you, slightly smile, and walk off!!!!!. Also, the amount of people that came over to my stand this weekend and said how fantastic it was and how beautiful all the things were and what lovely colours blah blah and then walked away. Then of course there are the people who will have you take everything out of its packaging, routing around in all your stock to find the exact thing they want and when you get it they say ' oh, thanks, but we'll have a walk round and come back'. ARGGGHHHHHHHH.

    My best sale of the whole weekend was one lady came straight over picked up five items within seconds and bought the lot!. I wish more were like her!. On a high note I got to meet some really nice people and handed out a load of business cards.

    Anyway after my moan - is anyone else finding any of these things happening at fairs or is it just the ones I seem to be going to?
    by Nicki
    www.bynicki.co.uk

    Home Decorations & Gifts with Country Style

  • #2
    I sometimes wonder if some people have lost the ability to say hello.Its almost like people are suspicious.

    Fingers crossed for more customers for you like that lady that knew what she wanted and bought loads of things from you.
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    • #3
      The last craft fair I did I took £1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      One. Pound.

      Hopefully the bank holiday will make up for last time!

      A lot of people are very suspicious if you say hello! I also sometimes wonder if people would rather be left alone...

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      • #4
        me and a friend have just done a couple of stalls in camden and were discussing whether we should be really friendly and make a point of saying hello to everyone that stops or just smile and leave them to it. we decided the latter as we didn't want to scare them off, sometimes i don't wanna stick around if the stall owner is too friendly and trying to push me into buying things..then ya just feel bad when ya walk off..but at the same time we didn't wanna seem moody haha. maybe it was a just a bad day? what was the weather like and the location? x

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        • #5
          Some tips I was given many years ago by a trader of many years.
          Always look busy doing something, then the customer will not feel you are about to pounce.
          Never say hello, or can I help you, or anything that they can say NO to.
          Use the working words-how can I help you-what can I help you with-when- what -where- when all these can work it just takes a bit of practice
          When business is quiet Auntynet and I do a great double act, which puts the public at their ease. I couldnt explain it here because its all improvised, but it works on the principle of get them laughing and relaxed and youve got a chance
          If you get the chance watch the pitches on the markets, see if you can spot how they are working the crowd, there is a lot to learn from these people

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          • #6
            Moans

            I understand how you are feeling, this sort of thing happens to me every day, its the nature of the job. It is quite interesting how different peoples shopping techniques are and I can often guess if someone is a browser as they tend to shuffle around the shop.
            I make jewellery behind the counter which means that my focus is off the customer yet at the same time I am not ignoring them.
            Money is tight at the moment, the brakes may come off a bit in the run up to Christmas so don't give up.
            Chris W.
            x
            Gemstone Jewellery and Gifts

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            • #7
              I agree it is hard work at the moment, hopefully it will pick up towards xmas. I am going to make sure I have a selection of stuff at different prices that will be suitable for presents starting next month.

              If they make eye contact then I always say hello when they first come to the stall. If not I let them look for a minute or two and then make a comment about the item they are looking at. Something along the lines of:
              I have only just made those, I loved the colours.
              Those are my latest designs, or those are the latest beads I have bought.
              I just loved that shade of blue, I have made earring and bracelet to match.
              I have a similar necklace in purple.
              I have used real pearls ( or handmade lampwork) and sterling silver in that necklace.
              Those are quite popular as black and grey go with everything.
              They often respond in a positive way and I have sold several things that are 'my latest creations'.

              Melanie

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              • #8
                A good way to gently push your wares is to use something along the lines of "its a unique piece - no-one else will have one of those - It might be similar but not exactly the same as its hand made - made with hand made beads so everyone is unique - its gemstone and you never get 2 gemstones exactly alike - you'd kick yourself if you decided to wait and came back later only to find its gone - I don't have anymore of those beads (or materials) left etc. And the best one of all is "I really don't want to sell that piece cos I'm really proud of that one or I love it so much".

                I've often been heard to say "You can't buy that one! I don't want to sell it" but you have to remember to smile when you say it.


                Originally posted by urbtaf View Post
                If you get the chance watch the pitches on the markets, see if you can spot how they are working the crowd, there is a lot to learn from these people
                Please excuse my OH's spelling and accept our apologies - I wasn't in at the time so he had no-one to ask how to spell it.

                What he actually means are the "pitchers" - the sellers that have a crowd around them and tell you how wonderful their product is and they've "only got 6 left so the first 6 people with a tenner gets one".

                And he's right - those guys have got selling down to an art and you can learn a lot from them. I do appreciate that this is NOT how anyone would sell at a craft fair but you can pick up tips if you watch them "work the crowd".
                Last edited by auntynet; 19-08-2008, 12:01 AM.
                Auntynet

                Step-daughter's website selling hand dyed sock yarns www.knotanotherknitter.com




                ~ * ~ * ~ Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most! ~ * ~ * ~

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                • #9
                  tips

                  yeah people are being a bit careful at the minute, whch i suppose is understandable. Instead of picking the expensive fairs in marquees it may be cheaper to pitch your own gazebo if you contact the organizer of the actual event. Last year i paid £80 with one of the big craft fair organizers for it to be called of because of the rain and floods, i then actually contacted the organiser of the event and they charged me £10 to stand outside, and it never rained on the day. be careful with who you are booking.
                  • if you are sitting, never stand up when the customer approaches, i find that intimidating and pushy
                  • say hello, you can tell by their reaction if they want to talk back to you
                  • i find i dont sell if i am demonsrating as they dont want to disturb me
                  Apart from that i think we have to just hang in their for the bumpy months to come, keep looking for the cheapies.

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                  • #10
                    This year is tough and going to get tougher. do you demonstrate as this can attract attention and sales.
                    I ahve mentioned in a previous thread but I am avoiding fairs this year and having a big Open House event in November, I try to do this every year and last year sold £100''ssss not £1'sss, you can always join up with a few other people or if enough stock just do it on your own. I pair up with a friend who is a qualified aromatherapist, so does not compete with my products. Wine nibbles everyone has an enjoyable evening for ladies only.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks guys for all the replies. I think it is just difference of places and difference of people who turn up on the day. At least I was one of the lucky ones that actually made my stall money back!. I think it maybe is that some people are just being that bit more careful with their pennies. Having said that I seem to be selling loads from my website at the moment so I don't know whats going on.

                      Will persevere and am getting ready for the next fair in September so hopefully that will be better!!!.
                      by Nicki
                      www.bynicki.co.uk

                      Home Decorations & Gifts with Country Style

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                      • #12
                        It's really interesting reading people's thoughts on this, as it's one I find so hard to judge, especially if the fair is quiet. I usually catch their eye and say hello, then leave them alone to browse, as I know I don't like it if the seller is focused on me when I'm looking. I'll let them know they can try stuff on too (apart from earrings of course!).

                        One fair organiser I know is adamant that you should never sit down behind your stall, but personally I feel that if the vendor is standing up behind a stall with no other customers, they look like they're waiting to pounce and it would put me off approaching! It really is a personal thing - the most comfortable I felt at a fair was at my first one, where the table was actually against the wall so my little area was next to it rather than behind it. It meant I was accessible to the customers without having to hover.
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                        • #13
                          I was doing a craft fair last year and the woman next to me kept getting out from behind her stall and she would go round to the customer side and just tweak her items, tidying up, moving things around a little but not doing much really.

                          We got chatting and she said it works really well when no-one is at the stall, she almost looks like a customer herself and people come over. Plus you can then chat to people 'on their side' of the table. They soon realise you are the seller but it is a little less imtimidating as you are not on the other side of the table.

                          It worked really well for her.

                          Hang in there to all those craft fair sellers, thus year is not a good one, bad economy, bad weather, not a good combination.

                          Good Luck.

                          Steve :-)
                          Handmade woodcrafts - relaunching soon.
                          www.kipperworkshops.com[COLOR=Blue]
                          Best range of wooden craft shapes and cutouts.[SIZE=2]

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                          • #14
                            I've only done the one craft fair this year and only just covered the table cost there. It's a shame as I love doing them. I really should try and get some booked for Christmas. Most of my work this year has come from Internet queries or friends/family. It is easy to feel a little disillusioned with it all at present!

                            Si.
                            Wood Tattoos
                            Decorative Pyrography for all Occasions - Author of "Woodburning with Style" (2010) and "Learn to Burn" (2013)
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kipper workshops View Post
                              I was doing a craft fair last year and the woman next to me kept getting out from behind her stall and she would go round to the customer side and just tweak her items, tidying up, moving things around a little but not doing much really.

                              We got chatting and she said it works really well when no-one is at the stall, she almost looks like a customer herself and people come over. Plus you can then chat to people 'on their side' of the table. They soon realise you are the seller but it is a little less imtimidating as you are not on the other side of the table.

                              It worked really well for her.

                              Hang in there to all those craft fair sellers, thus year is not a good one, bad economy, bad weather, not a good combination.

                              Good Luck.

                              Steve :-)

                              Steve, I really like that idea - think I'm going to try that at the next one!!.
                              by Nicki
                              www.bynicki.co.uk

                              Home Decorations & Gifts with Country Style

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