Your items are all made. You’ve done your research on how to price these treasures you’ve been working on for so long. Now it’s time to get packed up and go! There are some essential and not-so-essential items that you should remember to take with you on the big day. We’ve compiled a checklist here to help you get ready!
A Small Cooler: Bring some snacks and bottles of water to keep you at your peak performance all day. You may easily get worn down if you wait too long before taking a break. Sometimes a small snack provides the right energy boost you need!
Any Hang Tags or Care Instructions: If you’re offering any item for sale that requires special instructions, be sure to attach those to your products. Your customers will truly appreciate your efforts.
Tissue or Newspaper: If you have any items that are fragile, you’ll want to be sure to have these on hand to help package the items in the customers’ bags.
Shelves: If possible, see if you can find some shelves that you can put onto your tables. Keeping items at different levels is more pleasing to the eye. So lift! Keep the booth interesting by doing this. Crates and stacks of blocks also work well with linen cloths draped over.
Company Name Sign: Make sure it is big and make it something special. If you have a website, be sure to include that on your banner as well.
A Sign Up Sheet: This will help make future contacts for your business. More on this will be covered in next week’s article!Now, let’s talk about that first impression! We all know the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression”, right? Well, it rings true in selling, as well! First of all, if you follow the checklist items mentioned above, you’re already half-way there because you are ORGANIZED. Have your booth set up well in advance before the show begins. That way you are not scrambling at the last minute while customers are beginning to just walk on by.
Keep your prices clearly marked. Remember my “car sales” approach? Trust me, customers want to see the price immediately and not have to guess. If they do, some will simply just not inquire.
If possible, you may want to consider making some of your items right in front of the customers. If you are selling jewelry for example, demonstrate the process you go through to make a particular piece. This method can work in many different areas of crafting and others may truly enjoy watching! And just think, you’ll be able to get something done at the same time! But be carefully not to ignore the customer while working on your project. Be flexible enough to pause the project to answer questions, visit with the customer and showcase some of your best-sellers. This is also where your helper can come in handy.
Be positive! There is no doubt that you will get some who may come into your booth and you’ll hear whisperings such as, “Ooh…I bet I could make that myself…” or “That’s nice, but she’s asking WAY too much for it. I could get that cheaper here….” Staying positive and upbeat will create a great feeling in your booth. Both you and the customer win when you can maintain a pleasant and courteous demeanor….no matter what. Be a professional. You will always get the “naysayers” but more often than not, you will find customers who are just excited to be a part of this whole experience. They will appreciate the extra effort you go to being genuine in your approach to each of them. And smile!
Cover tables with floor-length tablecloths. This makes great storage space for your extra items and keeps the booth area look nice and neat. A solid color works best so it does not distract from your hand-made items.
Dress professionally. As mentioned before, you are a professional. Wear comfortable shoes. If you have a company name on a shirt or jacket, wear it! If not, just keeping a modest and higher end casual style in your clothing choices will make you feel even more confident and approachable.
Try to have fun! Selling at craft fairs can create long days, but by keeping all these points in mind, you’re going to be ready to shine at your next show!
We want to hear from YOU…
Blog Question: What items do you take with you when selling at a craft fair? Did we leave anything off the list that you would suggest? What other tips do you have for making a great first impression? What has been your experience implementing the suggestions mentioned in the article?
Next Week’s Article: It’s our final installment on selling at craft fairs and we will discuss some practical ways for taking your business from the craft fair market and expanding upon it!