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The way forward for craft fairs?

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  • The way forward for craft fairs?

    I did a fair on Saturday and got chatting to the organiser (yes, it was a slow day!)

    She has a relative who has just come back from the States where they do craft fairs totally differently to us.

    Instead of each stall-holder taking the money for their products, the shoppers have a basket and "buy" what they want from whoever. Then there is a cash-register they go to on the way out. This means that as buyers knew they could pay in one transaction by credit card, they were more likely to spend more. I had somebody ask me if I took credit card payments for a £2 ring (!!) If this system were in place they would have been able to put the ring in their basket.

    Now obviously, there are logistical issues such as :

    How quickly do the sellers see their money from the organisers?
    How does the checkout person know what has come from where.

    Apparantely they use a barcode system in the States, so it is literally like going to a supermarket and having your goods scanned.

    I really like the idea of it, it sounds great in theory! And hey, anything the Yanks can do.....
    Blog Website Flickr

  • #2
    Craft fairs are much bigger in the states than they are here and much more 'indie' rather than the twee image that they have here. There are groups though here that are changing that and making them more accessible to all like these. Quite glad they are near me as I think I am going to join

    http://www.manchestercraftmafia.com/about.htm

    I like the idea of that but what would you do about theft? Person puts small item into their basket and you think they have paid for it but it comes to the end of the day and there's no money for you. Also would people get into the mindset of shopping like they are at a supermarket and want to pay supermarket prices?
    Visit my Etsy store http://swirlyarts.etsy.com
    My daily thoughts! http://swirlyarts.blogspot.com
    My blog of cute stuff http://cuteable.com


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    • #3
      Nooo.....

      ....I don't like the sound of that.

      What happens if there are problems with the item bought, or refunds need to be given. What happens if someone shoplifts?

      Also, if you move from venue to venue, then you need a mobile card transaction gizmo. These aren't cheap over here, nor are the per transaction charges.

      Gosh no...far too much hassle. And the queues if it were really busy would be awful.

      I think, as a crafter, I'd rather be responsible for my own sales. Himself's not too sold on this idea either. Swirly was right about being ripped off, it's just too dodgy.

      Jules
      Apple Tree Crafts
      www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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      • #4
        Hmmm a difficult one as there is potential in there somewhere. I became really disheartened with craft fairs mainly because so many people would come up to buy and then say the dreaded 'do you take credit cards' and obviously not!! So I think something like this would make a big difference to sales at craft fairs, especially for larger more expensive items, but then again people normally selling the larger more expensive items tend to already have the card facility. But I do agree, is wide open for theft and a lot of hassle in claiming back payment etc., plus the extra charges on top. Maybe the way around the theft would be to give people a ticket or something which they took up to the till with any others they have, then when they have made payment and have a receipt they come back and collect the goods? But again maybe too much hassle.

        At the end of the day people shold just realise that if they are going to a craft fair then they should take LOADS of cash with them and be prepared to spend it!!!
        Jo x

        For handcrafted wooden gifts and decorations please visit http://www.sommerwood.co.uk

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