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Where to Start. Advice Please

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  • Where to Start. Advice Please

    Hi, After fellow W.I members saw my cards (They asked for a card to send to Queen), they asked where I sell them. After a little experimenting on Etsy and Facebook, with a little success, I'm thinking maybe I should try a craft fair.

    Obviously, the first thing I need is stock, and a fair, but beyond that I'm at a lost. So any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
    Limited Edition and personalised Hand-Made Cards - Click Here

  • #2
    You could try Stallfinder, then search by county even putting in your post code and mileage from your home base. Most fairs will require public liability insurance and your UTR number to prove you are trading legally.

    Always best to visit a fair first after it has opened say a couple of hours in to get a feel as to the quality and footfall. A cloth that goes to the floor at the front and side of the table is a must to hide all your stock boxes.

    Good luck

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    • #3
      Tried to add some detailed info but it got swallowed up and disappeared. May try again later if I get time.

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      • #4
        Thanks for that Carol in. Looked on Stall finder, seems I live in the wrong area nothing local as yet. Plenty of boot sales though, would they be worth considering? Foot fall is good at a couple, but maybe wrong audience?

        Will look into insurance though.
        Limited Edition and personalised Hand-Made Cards - Click Here

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BritCards View Post
          Thanks for that Carol in. Looked on Stall finder, seems I live in the wrong area nothing local as yet. Plenty of boot sales though, would they be worth considering? Foot fall is good at a couple, but maybe wrong audience?

          Will look into insurance though.
          Car boot sales are most definitely not recommended for the sales of hand made craft items. The public are looking for more than bargains and even if you price something at 10p they will try and barter down to 5p.

          By all means try a boot sale or two, but it would be surprising if you managed to cover costs, let alone make any money. However, I would love to be proven wrong.

          Linda

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          • #6
            There are oodles of fairs in Suffolk and Norfolk area. Have a friend who lives up there and makes a good living doing them. Try searching for craft fairs in Suffolk. It may be they are a bit slow in uploading details if for later in the year.

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            • #7
              Probably preaching to the converted and probably got the bases covered but start at HMRC registration, public/product insurances.....then visit craft fairs first...what are your card competitors doing? Howcare they doing? What does their set up look like, what draws you to it...or not more importantly.
              How do cards sell generally? I would imagine not a very highly priced item so you would need to be pretty busy selling wise to cover costs...can you sell other related items to "Bring em in" too?
              Don't know, just mulling...I would give boot sales a wide berth, as previously mentioned, people only eant to spend pocket money.

              Dave.

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              • #8
                [QUOTE=craftdancer;649358]Car boot sales are most definitely not recommended for the sales of hand made craft items. The public are looking for more than bargains and even if you price something at 10p they will try and barter down to 5p.

                /QUOTE]

                Yup that's what I thought Linda
                Limited Edition and personalised Hand-Made Cards - Click Here

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                • #9
                  Yeah nothing much showing yet, will keep rechecking every week or so.
                  Limited Edition and personalised Hand-Made Cards - Click Here

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                  • #10
                    TThanks Dave, seems first step is HMRC, urg. I do 3d models and gift boxes, etc too. If it can be made with card stock I will make it, if I can. Is it worth doing embellishments and such? I have a scan n cut so can do these quickly and cheap?

                    Liza
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                    • #11
                      The embellishments depends as most seasoned crafters have their own die cutting machines. Take a look on ebay there are some people who sell only diecuts

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                      • #12
                        Trying again.... I would definitely advise visiting craft fairs in your area first - check out location, parking, facilities and footfall as well as the type of stalls and range of items sold...and talk to the organisers about their policies. When booking an event I almost always had to list what I was planning to sell and in some cases provide examples ( they would say this was to ensure a good variety of good quality items - which is a brilliant idea)and then found it so frustrating to arrive at an event only to find that just about every other stall had included cards as an add on to their main product ...

                        I'm not sure what kind of cards you make but I have noticed that a lot of organisers of handmade events are not allowing card makers who use kits or preprinted toppers and stickers in their card making... if you do include any of these in your makes its worth checking beforehand.

                        When registering for an event I would always list my wares as "paper crafts" and I included all manner of items as long as the main feature was paper or card it was good....if it was made from paper I included it. Embellies generally don't seem to do well - probably because of personal die cutting machines and cheap imports on ebay - but themed kits, especially aimed at kids, can sell ... everything they need for a project minus adhesive

                        For displays it is important to have a variety of options at different heights. If its all fairly flat it only takes one or two browsers (who may not buy anything anyway) to block your wares from view. I use a card spinner unit and tiered racks, a back board behind me with samples and then have a variety of displays for the other non card items. Make sure cards are in poly bags...people "look" with their hands as much as their eyes and greasy or grubby mitts can ruin your hard work. Keep things that might tempt little hands away from the edges and make sure your higher price items are out of reach for would-be thieves...and always add something reasonably priced to attract kids...they will bring Mum and Dad to the stall

                        General kit for event days includes the obvious long table cloth (to hide the mess beneath your table and keep excess stock safe) display options, pricing cards, tags or labels, business cards, a note book and pen (to write down anything you are asked for that you don't have, anything you think will sell/change/adapt after overhearing passing comments, any orders or general notes that you want to remember later) bags or some kind of wrapping and of course don't forget change (money) ...and plenty of it. (at least enough so that if the first two customers buy your cheapest option with a £20 note you can give change) somewhere to keep money ..,.if you use a cashbox make sure it is the lockable kind that you can fix to the table (the kind with the metal cable that will need bolt cutters to free it) because sadly thieves do operate at craft events too... I switched from a box to a market traders apron style that ties round my waist and has zipped pockets for high denomination notes,

                        General survival kit including bin bags, tissues or kitchen towels, sticky tape, scissors, plasters, sanitising hand gel, paracetamol, immodium (just in case ) plenty of fluids and snacks and be sure to wear comfy shoes and layers because temps can vary wildly at venues year round. And take a copy of your insurance with you on the day...some ask to see it.

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                        • #13
                          I'm guessing embellishments etc would go for peanuts, might be worth having different things to go with the card theme to gather more interest but your cards are primarily what you need to make money.

                          Dave.

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                          • #14
                            Lots of really great advice here (plus paperwork isn't my thing), so I shall just add one thing that I learnt the hard way: some events don't provide chairs! I think this was usually when it was outside, but still I would keep something fold up in your car to sit on in an emergency. I was saved once or twice by other stallholders lending me a shooting stick or spare camping chair. This time around (I'm getting back into it again) I am going to take a bar stool (we have a couple of folding ones) so that I can sit at an approachable and friendly height, rather than people not wanting to 'make' me get up out of a low chair and walking by.

                            Oh, another thought - children. They *will* play with stuff on your stall, even the best behaved ones will want to be involved too, so think about putting out something appealing that it's okay for children to touch. Then their parents might feel relaxed to browse longer too.

                            This is a great thread because it's making me think about how I'm going to do things better this time around :-)

                            Roxy

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                            • #15
                              Hi

                              Some great advice, this is what I love about the forum. I would as others said avoid boot fairs. You could try local schools see what events they have coming up also. Some village church halls have craft fairs also. You could also try some local shops and florists see if they would be interest might have to be on a sale or return though.

                              I am also looking at expanding to handmade cards myself and will be trying a local florist tomorrow.
                              Good luck keep updated.
                              My Etsy Shop
                              My Website

                              Craft supplies mainly focused on Die Cuts and soon Handmade Cards

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