Folksy Ltd

First Craft Fair Advice


(Andrea Martin) #1

I am just about to sign up for my first craft fair in Cumbria, UK. I sell greetings cards, prints, party stationery and hopefully soon bookmarks, door hangers and gifts.

I have never done a craft fair before so I don’t really have any idea where to start! How much stock do I need, how do I display my stock (I have no stands etc.), what else do I need to take with me?

Also some of my products are personalised, how could I deal with this?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Andrea


(Margaret Jackson) #2

I can’t help much as I’m not a seller, but this thread might help? Good luck!


(Andrea Martin) #3

Thanks,

This have given me lots to think about!

Andrea


(Roz) #4

Good luck with the fair. They are a lovely way of meeting fellow crafters and finding out what people think of your products face to face. Check with the organisers what is provided, do you need table and chairs. Are there tea/coffee facilities (if not take a flask) and take plenty to nibble on but nothing that is too difficult to eat! Take a couple of jumpers/coats, even indoors or on a nice day it can get quite chilly standing around. If you are able to take something to make with you it sometimes generates interest if people can see you in action. Don’t forget to take a float with plenty of change.

As far as amount of stock is concerned its difficult to say - I always take as much as I can, if it stays in boxes theres no harm done but it would be a shame to run out but don’t overcrowd your table all at once. Display wise its a good idea to try and get things at different heights, upturned boxes covered with fabric are a good cheap starting point. Try and make sure your items are clearly priced either individually or with one label e.g.: Cards £2.50 each etc.

Don’t jump on your customers but don’t ignore them either, try and make eye contact and a polite good morning/afternoon for starters and if they start showing an interest point them in the direction of other alternatives you may have. With your personalised items I would take along samples and state (on a notice as well as verbally) that they can be personalised but remember you will have to include postage in the cost unless you can personalise them there and then. When you write down the address get them to check you have got it right.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.


(Sasha Garrett) #5

The ‘how much stock do I need’ question is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string - there is no fixed answer I’m afraid. Depending on the time of year you might find some items sell better than others so how much stock of a particular item you need to carry will vary, you can always keep extras in plastic crates under the table. Your other questions I can be a bit more helpful about, things to take:
table cloths (and table/ gazebo if required - check with organiser)
note pad and pens (write down what sells, what is getting looked at but not selling is also useful info)
business cards
cash box or similar with float (you might find rounding your prices to the nearest 50p helps so that you don’t have to keep on finding 5p change)
packaging for wrapping sales
spare price labels (something always gets missed)
clamps/ clips for holding table cloths and display stands to the table (there is invariably some tot who grabs your table cloth as they wobble over…)
credit card machine (probably less critical for you as your items aren’t as expensive as mine)
(a friend to look after the stall when you need to nip to the loo and get cups of tea/ cake)

Display stands - you need to consider your stall as a 3D space and build up. A cork board or similar hinged in the middle so that it can be stood at one corner of the table would provide you with something to hang prints and hangers on. A box/ basket (or 2) that the cards can be stood up in so that people can flick through them (you can insert labeled dividers between specific occasion types). A small easel that a print or card could be stood up on rather than being flat on the table makes it more visible from a distance.
Personalised/ custom items - have one on display with a sign saying it can be custom ordered. Then if some one wants one, take a deposit and their details and write a receipt for them (and a copy for you) with the amount of the deposit, what they have ordered and the amount payable, I do this on the back of a business card for them and in my note book for me - and get them to double check what I have written down to make sure they agree with it.
You don’t say when the craft fair is - they can be very quiet at certain times of year so don’t get disheartened if it is - use it as a learning experience and adjust displays/ stock for the next one (eg I used to sell small stud earrings in gift boxes or rather not sell them, they are now displayed on cards in trays for people to flip through and I sell at least couple of pairs at every fair I do even though it is exactly the same item).
Hopefully that’s of use for you.
Sasha


(Andrea Martin) #7

Thanks Roz

That is a great help!

Andrea :smile:


(Andrea Martin) #8

Thanks Sasha

You have given me lots of great advice to get me started!

Andrea :smile: