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Advice about Stock at Craft Fairs

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  • wood-u-like
    replied
    I used to find that if you have a good show you have to work like mad for a couple of weeks to freshen things up for the next one as your shows can be booked months in advance. It is all to easy to book too many shows and putting yourself under stress. If you are any good you will cultivate a lot of commision work, regular custoners and trade enquiries so that going off is almost like a holiday rather than something you have to make a pile of cash at.

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  • Thebowlerhattedturner
    replied
    Well said!! good for you.

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  • runetracey
    replied
    I have reflected on why I do crafting, and have had to do this in the past. I dont venture into selling that often, but in the past not always had a lot of success.
    One reason I feel is that I will not lower my prices, so as mentioned I should make my works less detailed - but I wouldnt make what I do if I didnt like it.
    So in the end, its for my pleasure and that is the bottom line really

    I have heard other crafters at venues being disheartened because their stuff didnt sell. The day of this recent craft fair - the new lady saw my stuff then went and reduced her prices!
    I dont wish to let lack of sales ruin my love of crafting.
    So if I do these craft fairs, and I sell then fair enough. But I wont compromise on my detail, quality, and I wont reduce my prices - my stuff is worth what I sell for - e.g. I sell at card at £1.50 and they are well worth that price.
    If someone likes my work they will buy it. But I always have to like what I make

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  • Thebowlerhattedturner
    replied
    I agree with this, and not wishing to appear biased in any way or form but some years ago when I was doing home improvements for a living, you know the sort of thing, hang a door here and put up a shelf there, repair the gutters etc, but my best customers were those that lived on the council estates and I have to admit that I would go to them before going to private estates because they always had money, they worked for a living themselves so knew what conditions were like and they never wanted to owe anyone money. The customers that I would have to chase for payment were usually those that you thought could afford it!!
    No rhyme or reason to it all sometimes.

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  • Handmade Lives
    replied
    I am so sorry the fair was disappointing but be careful of labelling why it happened it may not be price it could be that the other seller was new so they go to see what she had. It maybe that's why you did so well before.
    If you find you have hit a price ceiling then consider modifying your product so it is quicker to make or has less expensive materials.
    The trouble is in this game the only predicable thing is the unpredictability.

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  • eena
    replied
    To add a thought about runetracey's thought that the people in her area don't have much to spend ...

    I did a PRIME business course a few years ago.

    I'll never forget one of the speakers who had a few thriving take-away hot food shops.

    He said his most profitable shop was a traditional fish and chip shop where there is a high number of less-wealthy pensioners.

    He said that whatever the downturn in the economy, state old age pensions and their associated benefits never fell and even when his other shops saw a fall-off in trade, the one with a large majority of OAP customers never did ...

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  • runetracey
    replied
    Well I did the craft fair today, very quiet, again. This time sold very little. There was another lady selling cards cheaper, and guess who sold more - she did.
    Cost in my area is something I have noticed, I have tried selling more expensive and sold nothing. So now I have found my pricing, but I wont go lower, my stuff will sell as it is, or I wont bother trying to sell.
    I think I will leave doing another event at this venue for a couple of months

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  • eena
    replied
    Yep, it's not necessarily about your customer's level of income - it's far more about your customer's level of disposable income.

    Although the two are certainly to some extent linked, the linkage is not as close as one might suppose at first thought.

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  • greannancrafts
    replied
    Whenever we do a 3-4 day event the Thurs/Fri are usually our best days as most of the customers are older retired people who come to spend - whilst Sat and Sun are usually families who have far more demands on their income

    As Eena said above retired people have far less demands on their income with more disposable cash

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  • Caroleecrafts
    replied
    I agree the grey pound is worth a lot of money. Round here the pensioners are wealthy, on index linked final salary pensions and always spend big, they are my best customers plus they appreciate the work going into handmade which sadly a lot of younger customers do not. They spoil the grand kids if they are with them as I found at one of my local fairs, what the grand kids want they get from Granny and Grandpa.

    Have you priced out your cards ie materials, time, overheads (such as electricity, rates, pli insurance, petrol to events and not forgetting time) plus profit you may be surprised as this all adds up. A handmade A5 card depending on detail can be priced from about £8.00

    Dixie did an excellent post on pricing for failure on her blog, well worth a read. Easier to offer a discount on the day for bulk purchases rather than realise you are losing money big time and have to hike up the prices later.
    Last edited by Caroleecrafts; 17-01-2015, 07:53 AM.

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  • eena
    replied
    The grey pound is out there and waiting to be spent. Sometimes it can be quite difficult to know what/how to spend it, as it really is often true that you 'need' less things as you get older, because you already have most of them ...

    We hear all the time about 'poor pensioners'; well I am in the category often classed as 'poor' as I have no generous index-linked pension provision BUT so many things are cheaper/discounted for the over 60s/65s/whoever.

    From the hairdresser to public transport, car insurance to prescriptions, theatre tickets to zoo entrance, discounts, concessions, freebies and simple good old-fashioned lower prices abound.

    Plus we can go to the shops at odd times to get the fresh artisan bread the moment it's cut from £1.89/loaf to 32p, and fill the freezer - YUM!

    My friend Ellen follows the chap with the discount tag gun around her local supermarket once a week. Last summer she phoned me up and said 'Come to supper! It's lobster salad! Fresh cream cakes to follow!' Lobster salads 20p each; cream cakes box of 5 assorted, 50p. I took along a couple of bottles of home-made elderflower champagne and there you have it - OAPs on benefits hold lobster and champagne party!

    Although I feel truly sorry for people of any age who are 'past it' mentally and/or physically, especially if they do not have a loving family near them, most pensioners are as well off as we've ever been, as we have fewer calls on our income and many more ways of extending it, even if we choose not to stay in paid employment.

    Mind you, ageism is the last great bastion of discrimination, even though it comes to ALL of us (we hope!), whatever our race, colour, culture, gender, (dis)ability, religion, sexuality, religion or ethnic background might be, including those nasty pieces of work who are themselves discriminatory. Although the anti-semite will not 'become' Jewish, the homophobe unlikely to sway from heterosexuality and the anti-immigrant will probably never themselves emigrate (although the saying about 'doth protest too much' comes to mind in most of these cases, one way and another!), even the very youngest and most ageist person will themselves either cease to exist or become, weirdly, the subject of their own discrimination ...

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  • greannancrafts
    replied
    Originally posted by eena View Post
    Do not discount the purchasing power of pensioners, whatever area you are in.

    They/we (I am one!) may well have a significantly higher disposable income than many other members of society who might outwardly appear to be 'wealthier'.
    So true - the "grey pound" is well worth chasing

    Jane

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  • eena
    replied
    Originally posted by runetracey View Post
    I sell most of my stuff to pensioners, they wouldnt be able to afford higher prices, especially in my area!
    Do not discount the purchasing power of pensioners, whatever area you are in.

    They/we (I am one!) may well have a significantly higher disposable income than many other members of society who might outwardly appear to be 'wealthier'.

    Leave a comment:


  • runetracey
    replied
    Originally posted by Handmade Lives View Post
    I agree selling half your stock is amazing, it could just be that you are underpricing so price some pieces up and see what happens.
    I have thought about changing my prices, but decided against it. I sell most of my stuff to pensioners, they wouldnt be able to afford higher prices, especially in my area! So what Ive decided to do, is offer different things at different prices. medium cards one price, A5 cards slightly more, gift boxes slightly more, model work slightly more again.
    So im going to be taking slightly less in the way of handmade cards, and some odd bits of other things, like gift boxes, etc.
    See what happens
    Last edited by runetracey; 16-01-2015, 05:06 PM.

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  • Handmade Lives
    replied
    I agree selling half your stock is amazing, it could just be that you are underpricing so price some pieces up and see what happens.

    Leave a comment:

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