Scoping out the Competition - What to Do Before Selling at an Art Market

So you'll be selling at an art market. You've probably gone to art fairs and craft shows to shop before. You probably already know how dangerous that is for your wallet (talking about myself here). But if you want to sell at a market, it's a good idea to go and scope it out. The next time you go to a market, go both as a shopper and as a future seller. When you do, I've got some things for you to think about...

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Find the booths you are drawn to.

Try to notice which booths you are drawn to and why. Do they have an eye-popping color? Does it feel professional and easy on the eyes? Do their products stand out and speak to the customers? Take note of how others set up for selling at an art market and what might work for your own booth and product. I share beautiful booth inspiration on my Instagram, so if you're in need of more inspo, take a look at my highlights here titled "Booth Inspo".

Analyze booths that sell things similar to yours.

Find booths that sell similar things to you and take notes on how they display, show prices, and arrange things. Do you like what they've done or would you tweak anything? Feel free to ask questions. Some might be more willing to share ideas than others, but I always love talking to fellow makers and explaining what I do to sell or what I've learned (maybe that's why I started this blog...).

Check out my maker interview like this one to see how other people like you are figuring it out.

For example, I am most often asked by other artists how I make my prints, cards, and stickers. I'm happy to share with them the websites and companies I use. Asking about new possibilities for your art is important because markets are a rare opportunity to chat face to face with others like you.

Notice how the sellers act.

Think about how the sellers act or what they say. Who are you drawn to buy from and why? Do you feel more connected to certain sellers? Do they help you to appreciate what they sell? Does the way someone speaks or acts turn you off and make you less comfortable? You'll want to find the balance between being an artist and a salesperson and you can learn that from watching others. I talk about how to do this more in this post about having fun at an art market.

Look for prices.

Notice the prices of each product and look for how they display their prices. Can you tell right away how much something is? Are you more inclined to buy if you don't know the price until you look closer? Do you walk away if everything is expensive or expensive looking? Think about the theme of the booth you are looking at and notice how the prices are displayed and if that feels appropriate for that theme. Are they professionally printed labels or hand written chalk boards?

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I love going to my local craft fair to shop for birthdays, holidays, and just-because gifts. They are the perfect place to find one of a kind items and feel good about supporting local creatives. So whether you go for fun or to learn the trade, I hope you enjoy the experience!

-Alyssa

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