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couple of questions about doing craft shows

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  • couple of questions about doing craft shows

    A couple of questions regarding craft shows.

    I'm about to do my first ever craft show in November, The hosts have sent me a contract to sign and send back, Is it normal that along with the admittance fee they charge a percentage on every item that i sell, they want £80.00 admittance fee, and then 14% on every item that i sell.

    Also how much stock do i take, I make bath products and aromatherapy products, do I make lots and hope it will all sell, or do i make a few of each item that i wish to sell, and then obtain orders and send them out later that week.

    Not sure what the best way to go about this, any advice on craft shows would be appreciated.

    mai feeling a little

  • #2
    Have to admit Ive never done a craft fair so Im not gona be any help.
    Is there any way you can make small samples of the bigger sets that you make, like a small bar of soap etc that people could have for free, then the person could try them out and order from you in the future.
    Have some cards printed up to hand out so potential customers can contact you to place an order.

    What happened to the days of paying £10 for a craft stall, £80 sounds alot!

    Poisoned Apple Theatre - Handmade Crafts on Facebook


    • #3
      The £80.00 is a three day event and covers the whole 3 days,

      and I am going to take a few sample products as well.


      • #4
        I would run a mile!
        I have never paid more than £40.00 flat rate for a stall.
        I have certainly never been asked to give a percentage of my takings and it seems that they are out to make money rather than promote crafting.

        The only time that you should be asked for a percentage of your takings is at charity events where you know that that is why you are there.

        It might be an idea to try and get in touch with other exhibitors and discuss matters with them
        full time mum and very very part time crafter.


        • #5
          Originally posted by just_mai View Post
          The £80.00 is a three day event and covers the whole 3 days,


          we must have been posting at the same time!

          For a three day event, £80.00 sounds resonable.
          full time mum and very very part time crafter.


          • #6
            Hi Mai,

            I know how confusing it can all be! I think that £80 for 3 days is reasonable but I would not be happy to be paying 14% aswell. Most organisers ask for a flat rate or a percentage of goods sold not usually both.

            From my experience I do not think that taking orders on the day would be a huge success. Customers buy our type of products on impulse and then look forward to getting home and trying them. I know it's difficult to know how much to stock to take, I still get it wrong sometimes, last weekend I took lots of bath melts but still ended up running out!

            My advice would be to make the amount of stock that you are comfortable with and then present it in the best way you can. Make sure that your table looks full and interesting or people will pass you by. Also have a sign that tells everyone that you handmake the products. It makes me so cross when people think that I buy in my products so I tell everyone that will listen about how I make my soaps and bath goodies.

            Phew, my longest post ever

            I hope that helps
            Natural soaps and skincare, handmade from beginning to end...

            Pure Thoughts Newsletter - Free samples for 50 new subscribers every month


            • #7

              Hi Mai,

              I have done several craft shows in the past and carn't say I have ever come accross the fee for each item sold, however I have been sent a contract to say I would accept that payment would need to be made if I could not make the event at the last minute. To me I will be honest, I would not be happy paying the 14% as this would probably eat into your profits considerably. I can send you some free fact sheets I have on craft fairs and preperation before an event if you would like. If you drop me a line at [email protected] with the address to send them to, I will get them copied and sent for you.

              Kind Regards



              • #8
                Thanks for all the advice, every bit is appreciated.
                I have found out that it is for charity, Hence the 14%, so i'm thinking of just incorporating it in to my prices for the weekend. i know that the fair gets busy and has around 3000 people coming per day. i'm taking roughly around £2-2.5k of stock. So i hope that is enough.

                A good point about putting a notice saying that the products are handmade, I'm getting an A1 size poster made to go above the stall on the wall, So will put it on there. As well as saying they are natural.

                I know i've still got 5 weeks to the show, and i have been stressing about it, but i caught up with myself last night, and have done half the stock i'm taking already, so i'm quite pleased with myself.

                AS it's my first one i can then jusge what sells and what doesn't and for future shows can change my products accordingly.

                As an aromatherapist I was thinking of also offering to do facial massages as well on the day, As i have someone helping me with the stall. But don't know if that is stretching myself to much, Will have to see how it goes really.

                i'm already starting to get orders for christmas as well, so i'm really busy at the moment, hence it took me so long to reply.



                • #9
                  I was going to say how are they going to know how much you sell, but noticed the charity so I suppose they are expecting people not to rip off a charity and lie about the number of sales. Still it's a silly way of organising an event, imagine the poor crafters who sell high priced low volume goods, bit unfair for them.

                  I don't know if you have a website or not, but don't forget to get a thousand or so leaflets printed out listing your products ways to buy offline or through the web. You have a captive (ish) audience and a chance to advertise. Use it.



                  • #10
                    Never Pay percentage

                    I have been doing craft fairs for 4 years now and have never been asked to pay a percentage. I go with Craft People 2000 you can find them easily on the net. They do craft fairs all over the country either at stately homes or within other events. I will be doing a 2 day christmas fair in november and will be paying £64 which includes the stall, lighting and car passes. I do other events which I take my own stall to and only pay £42 for 2 days.
                    As for what to take I find that people want to buy it there and then and not place an order so i would decide how many different products you want to take and then take a good stock of each. It's always worth having more of your cheaper items as you will sell more of those and only a few of the more expensive items.
                    By all means give people the opportunity to place orders but don't bank on it. I have handed out loads of catalogues and flyers over the years but not received much return from them.
                    Most important is have fun and enjoy the experience, have a look at what other people are selling and how they display their items. Talk to the other stall holders as it is a good way of picking up tips and finding out about fairs and markets.

                    Good Luck


                    • #11
                      Its unusual for them to want a percentae especially with that amount for a stall.
                      Come and get lots of scrapbooking and card making goodies @ We are stockists of a huge range of flowers