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What to sell?

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  • What to sell?

    Bit of a long one I'm afraid but there is a request in it so please persevere

    Down here in Truro we have a Hall for Cornwall smack in the centre of the city, a sort of theatre. Once a month they open up part of it for craft traders and hire tables out for the day at £10 a pop. I decided I'd give it a go, at that price the most I will lose is £10 and a boring day. My question is what to put on the table. My thinking at the moment is to have a few more flashy expensive pieces as show pieces and as a sort of advert for what I can do and lots of items on the cheaper end. Things like tops, T lights etc all £10 or under. Also I was thinking of having a variety of things that will show the range of what I make such as treen (rolling pins, honey dippers mortar & pestle etc) and some haberdashery items (crochet hooks drop spindles etc.) As we are leading up to Christmas I thought perhaps having the wide variety will give people an idea of the things that I make. Most places I have seen turners selling it is a never ending show of bowls, ear ring stands and platters whereas I want to have a cornucopia of variety but have bowls full of smaller things that will sell quickly.

    I have done very little selling this way, mostly word of mouth or online so I would value any critique, advice etc on this, especially any piskies amongst us who have done the Hall themselves

    Last edited by bodrighy; 12-09-2009, 07:36 PM.
    "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci


  • #2
    Seems to me your thinking is sound, you definately need a draw and once there people are more likely to impulse buy smaller things even if they cannot afford the more expensive items. I also think you are right to have a good range of stock on show as you may be asked for commissions that way. Will be interested to hear how you get on with it.
    Bespoke clothing for your little angels!/angelic.folk?ref=profile


    • #3
      I totally agree - the big items are great to show what you do, and if you're lucky, you may sell one or two.

      However, depending on your customers (you never can tell!!), you are likely to make more money on the smaller items, as you'll probably sell more.

      Having the bigger items on show means people may well come back and buy at a later date, online. Of course you'll have your cards with website details for people to take away.

      You should do well. Good luck!!
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      • #4
        I too agree. I've seen many wood turners at fairs and they always have plates, bowls and eggs. If you offer something different, it's sure to catch the eye of buyers. If you have shelves, you can put the bigger items on the shelves or maybe behind you on the left and right (if that makes sense) and the smaller ones on the table.
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        • #5
          Here are my thoughts in no particular order - hope they are helpful

          - Whatever you display people usually ask for something that isn't there!
          - If it is a regular event people also have the tendency to 'keep that in mind for future reference' - so don't despair if they 'love it but don't buy it'
          - Impulse buys - especially for kids are a winner and lots of small sales add up!
          - Trinket, low cost, bargain bucket items keep people browsing and that draws others in
          - I love having someone who just wants to natter so they ask loads of questions, others feel more comfy browsing without feeling they may be approached and they often buy if they have had a good look
          - have a few bits that you hand to people to touch and feel
          - show prices so people don't have to ask (unless commission pieces of course)

          Good luck! Sounds like a fab opp! Let us know how it goes
          Terry xxx
          You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?" - Steven Wright
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          • #6
            Thanks people. Some good ideas and pointers. I was thinking of having a sign sayin " Please handle" up and keeping any real fragile pieces out of the way a bit so they'd have to ask for them. I was thinking of having baskets full of things like keyrings, light pulls and tops all of which would be relatively cheap. I have a few rerally dramatic pieces for display and some unusual things as well. Is it possible to have too wide a range of goods?

            "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci



            • #7
              I don't think the problem is in having too wide a range, it seems that the people who struggle are those who don't have a wide enough range. If someone wants to buy a real work of art, cost no object, and you've left all your expensive stuff at home in favour of small stuff, then you'll miss out on a big sale. On the other hand if that person doesn't come along and you've ONLY got works of art on your stall, then you won't sell anything.

              We work on the principle that you're more likely to sell twenty items for £5 than two for £100, but we always hedge our bets. You never know what a fair's going to be like and you can't 'plan' in this game.

              I think your ideas sound spot on and wish you well for the market. Keep us posted.


              • #8
                Completely agree, I like the sound of your plan and it's definitely the sort of stall that would have me wanting to buy something. Agree with the post about a regular stall meaning people will keep you in mind for the future so might be worth giving it a couple of goes rather than just a one off, see how it goes (I ALWAYS think about purchases upwards of £20 for at least a week and like to return for numerous visits to look/feel/ask questions and generally drool over things til I can justify buying them ).

                Would like to see a picture of your stall when you've done it! Good luck x
                Lorna x

       - I've finally ventured into the world of blogging!


                • #9
                  Could you maybe do a couple of 'catalogues' and print them out with examples of work and order forms? Like most people I'm a 'thinker' rather than an impulse buyer. (Sorry if you've thought of that already).Think the range of stuff you're thinking of is a good idea - big show pieces to pull in observers and smaller priced pieces to tempt them into buying something.Hope it goes well for you!
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                  • #10
                    A wide range that appeals to different tastes and budgets; your idea of smaller items to rummage through is a good one. I met someone who used to do this successfully at craft fairs and then decided that instead of having a rummage bowl, he would create a display stand where he could display all the small items on a board - doing this resulted in no sales, so he went back to the rummage bowl. It's the psychology behind the sales that is important.