3 essential things you dread doing at a craft fair

So you are ready to start selling stuff at a craft fair. Maybe you've spent diligent hours slaving away to make adorable crocheted blankets. Or maybe you've carefully dug through garage sale piles for the perfect vintage accent piece. Now that you have your product, it's time to sell it. There are three things you need to do at a craft fair that you might just dread.

There are a lot of moving pieces to an event like this and you're intimidated. Maybe you're thinking...

What about the vendors around me, what if they are pros and have such amazing stuff no one stops by my booth?

I'm no salesperson, how do I talk about myself without sounding like I'm bragging or pretending I'm perfect when I'm not?

What if people don't like my prices and they judge me for them?

While these are all understandable concerns, I promise you there's nothing to fear. Keep reading to find out why.

Talk to fellow vendors

This is one of my favorite parts, but I know not everyone feels the same. From unloading the car to setting up your tent, you are bound to chat with the other amazing makers around you. Be friendly and ask about them and their work. Their friendship is more valuable than you think.

Be the one to say hello first. This opens up the door to more opportunities later. Say hello, tell them your name, and ask for theirs. Expect them to forget your name and don't be upset if they have to ask for it again later. The whirlwind of setting up for a show makes your brain let go of little things that don't seem essential at the moment. Feel free to banter with some small talk, or better yet, ask what they're selling and the why or how behind it.

Here are some benefits to talking to your vendor neighbors...

  • You can ask them to keep an eye on your booth if you need a brief bathroom break and didn't bring a friend
  • They will talk highly of you to their own customers if they hear you do that first, and then you might end up getting referrals from each other
  • Some vendors love a good trade and you can each walk away with something from each other of equal value
  • You might make a new friend! Be sure to get their socials so you can follow along and find them at other events down the road
  • You'll probably learn something, whether is from how they display their products, to how they market themselves, watch and listen

Talk about yourself

You are the biggest reason someone will want to buy from you. So the first of three tings you need to do at a craft fair is talking about yourself. Customers buy from people they know, trust, and like. They might be drawn in by your product, but when they talk to the person who made it, learn about who you are as a person, and how you put this labor of love into the product, they are much more likely to purchase from you. 

Many crafters are introverts and enjoy their quiet Saturday afternoon beading without disruption. But at a craft fair, hiding in the corner of your booth isn't just being shy, it might unsettle some customers. At the same time, the sleazy-salesy approach of jumping on each person or yelling across the aisle to entice them closer doesn't work either.

Think about these things to make yourself approachable...

  • Pretend you've already met the person. You're not close friends but you're comfortable in conversation.
  • Project your voice without shouting (it can be good to practice this)
  • Have a few ready sentences that roll off the tongue about your project, process, or specific pieces
  • Invite people to interact but only once they seem interested
  • Have your name somewhere easy to find such as a sign or business cards so if they don't hear you the first time or forget, there are other reminders.

Say your prices with confidence

The last but not least of the three things you need to do at a craft fair is to say your prices with confidence. Your prices are a fact, if you say them with any tone other than straightforward confidence, that won’t seem like the case. When you are selling stuff at a craft fair and sound unconfident in your prices, you can invite criticism or negotiation. The reverse can also happen where you sound overly prideful and therefore overpriced if you announce your prices unnaturally.

Do your research on pricing before arriving so you know you can stand with your decisions. I have decided to change my prices in between shows if I figure out I'm over or underpriced, but don't change them during a show. Writing down your prices on easy-to-see signs is also a good way to solidify your prices.

When you say your prices, keywords and tone can also impact how people respond. Think about these things...

  • Try using "only" to make your prices feel lower, such as "the stickers are only $4 each"
  • State it with a matter-of-fact tone and a smile to make it feel like an approachable amount
  • When someone asks for prices on custom work, figure out your base amount and word it like this "My custom paintings start at $125 and I'd be happy to email more details if you're interested"
  • Have a deal going on that you can include in your price speal, such as "The greeting cards are $5 each, or 3 for $12"

In Conclusion...

When your next event comes around just remember not to fear these three things you need to do at a craft fair.

  1. Talk to your fellow vendors
  2. Talk about yourself
  3. Be confident in your prices

What else scares you when you're preparing for or selling at a craft fair? Shoot me an email so I know what to blog about next!

Stay creative!


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