You Have Applied to Sell at a Craft Show - Now What?

Now what? There's a lot to think about once you've decided to sell at a craft show. Once you've applied to your first one, or while you're in the process, you might have some questions. Today I'm going to talk through some of those to help you prepare.

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How much product do I bring to my first event?

The amount of product to bring when you sell at a craft show is one of the hardest things to figure out. My easiest answer is to bring 2-3 times more than you want to sell. If you hope to sell $800 worth of product (varied across different price points of course) then bring at least $1600 worth of product with you. If that is too hard to calculate for your first show, I like to bring double what fills my table. However much you can fit on your table, bring enough to completely replenish. Now, this is a very loose guide, so if you have only a few large items you can adjust. The same goes for if you have hundreds of small items, then you might not need double. If you need an even more specific guide, I found this blog article helpful by Christine with Cutting for Business.

I'm overwhelmed, what is the minimum setup I need to be ready?

If you've signed up for The Fair Share mailing list, you've already received a market checklist. However, that list can feel overwhelming. If you can shoot for the moon (the checklist) then you'll land among the stars (this bare-bones list).

Here are the bare bones you need.

  1. Product to sell, price labels, or another way to show prices.
  2. A way to take payments, change for cash at least. Ideally, you'd have one additional way besides cash such as a card reader or Venmo.
  3. A place to have your products. Usually, this means a table with a tablecloth and a canopy if you're outside.

Once you have these, you have a functioning booth. From here you'll want to look over my Craft Fair Checklist and see what else you can add or what else might be essential for you (like snacks).

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What if there are different size booths or location options?

The most common booth size I see is 10' x 10' and if it's outside that requires a canopy or tent. Some events only provide a 6'x6' or 8'x8' space which usually doesn't require a tent and the expectation is to bring a table or two and have room to store some stuff and yourself behind it. If you have a chance to pick a table location that is great. The best booth locations are ones where you have more than one side open to traffic, for example, in a corner or at the end of a row. If you are familiar with the location of the event, you might even know where the entrance will be, or the area with the most traffic (such as near the food or entertainment). If you can pick a spot close to traffic that can be helpful too. Sometimes they will make you pay extra for a premium location, so make sure you don't sign up for more fees unless it's worth it to you.

What more can I do to be ready?

Of course, you can make or prepare your product, but doing some research is helpful too. While reading this is a good start, in-person research is the most fun! Take some time to find a market or craft fair near you and go wander around. For more specifics, go read this article I wrote about what to look for. You'll want to scope out setups, prices, and how to act.

Am I Ready?

YES! You've got this. You might never feel like you're ready to sell at a craft show, but you are. You are the expert in what you sell and all you need to do is go in with confidence and joy (even if you have to fake it until you make it). Go get 'em!

-Alyssa

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