I’m attending my first Christmas winter market but I don’t’ know much stock to make? I’ll be selling framed papercuts over 2 days. Does anyone have any advice or tips, I’m especially interested in others who sell art/illustration at craft fairs around this time of year. Thank
Although I’m new here I have been crafting a while and have had stalls on craft fairs and markets before. Your question is a bit like asking ‘how long is a piece of string’ I’m afraid. It depends mainly on the footfall and how willing people are to spend. As a minimum you definitely need to fill your stall space…nothing looks worse than a stall with lots of empty space and take extra to fill in gaps as they appear.
My top tips, in general would be…
Take a cash float…its sod’s law that your first customer will want to by something for a couple of pounds with a twenty pound note.
Take a chair…its too long a day to be standing up all the time.
Make friends with the neighbouring stall holder…they can watch your stall while you nip to the loo or grab a coffee and be sure to return the favour.
Label everything clearly, especially pricing, plus people like to know the back ground to things and what materials have been used
Take a supplies box include things like sellotape, gaffer tape, string, blue tac, pens, paper, extra labels, scissors, extra packaging, extra promotional material, a couple of binbags…i seem to collect rubbish for some unknown strange reason!
Make sure you have some decent packaging for customers purchases…will you need bubblewrap for example?
Take business cards/promotional material, hand them out everywhere, don’t just leave them sitting on the stall, make them work for you.
if there are things that customers can order, let potential customers know about it…many people go to craft fairs just to have a look…and leave the wallet at home, but if its something they really like they need to be able to contact you after the event.
Make customers aware of any special offers you have.
Make your stall look as good as it possibly can…try and have things staggered in height…it looks more interesting. Have a base cover/tablecloth in a colour that compliments your work.
Sweets draw a crowd
Be prepared to smile, talk about your product and be super friendly… all day… for both day.
Relax and enjoy.
I wish you all the luck in the world. Let me know how you got on
p.s. just nipped over to your shop…your papercut goodies are gorgeous! I am sure you will do well. one last thing…personalised stuff…I keep getting asked can I personalise things for Christmas…might be an after service you can offer?
That reply was amazing, thank you so much for those tips! I think I’ll print it off for the day as a reminder! I like the idea of handing my leaflets out rather than just having them on display and also getting some goodies for my table! Cheers for that, much appreciated! Well best get back to work then!
You’re welcome…dont stay up too late! Nite xx
You already have some great advice there, so not much I can add. I always get there as early as possible, to give me time to set up at leisure and make sure everything is looking good.
Regarding stock levels, I always seem to have too much, but sometimes leave some in the car rather than pile it all up under the table. This only works if the car is parked nearby and I can just pop out if needed. It’s best not to overload the table - it should look like a shop window rather than a boot sale - but do keep a few spare pieces easily to hand.
Try to have a mix of work, with some affordable pieces alongside the more expensive, so buyers can see something they could afford whatever their budget.
Standing up gives a better impression than sitting down, unless you’re demonstrating your work, and allows you to talk to customers at their level.
Most important - show how much you enjoy what you do, let customers see that and you will look relaxed and happy. Good luck
I made a photo book recently which shows all my designs in one place. As its a book, I could afford to put the most high res images I have so the images look exactly as they would in ‘real life’. If someone seems interested in buying, I always point this out and it’s been a great help because I no longer feel obliged to lug everything along to a show.
To add to secretgardenstudio’s truely top tips list:
Card payment machine/ smart phone combo - if people are going to make impulse buys I’ve found it normally goes on plastic unless it is under £10 - definately worth considering if you are going to be doing these things regularly.
I have promo postcards which I hand out like candy and at this time of year I pop a sticker on the back with details of all my other forth coming fairs/ markets so all those people mulling things over can come and have a second look (they also have email and folksy shop details on them).
I own a lot of art and have been known to ask ‘do you have it in other colours?’ if you take unframed work/ cards make sure it is well organised (labeled dividers in a crate or folder perhaps) so that if someone asks something similar you can find it. (I like your peacock design but would prefer it in a different colour way, pastel isn’t my thing)
Sorry no actual advice there on stock levels - I’m a jeweller, my stuff is small so I can take lots and the extras go in a crate (with labeled dividers) under the table (hidden by the table cloth), experience has told me what tends to sell well so what I should have multiples of but that is something you have to find out for yourself. I’ve done my first xmas market for the year and have 6 more lined up - it takes stamina (both physical and mental) and you mustn’t get disheartened - the first day might go badly but the second one brilliantly. Make sure you have a bottle of wine in the fridge and the oven programmed to reheat your tea so it is waiting for you when you get back and remember to enjoy yourself.
Is the fair local to you, if so I would take roughly half on the first day then if you have the other half ready to take the following day if you have good sales on the 1st day. I sometimes guage it on how much I paid for the stand i:e if it cost from £10 - £50 then I try to take a small amount, then anything over that I’ll take lots more. Sometimes I take too much and then end up with half of it staying in their boxes. Its a lot of lugging around for such little sales.
I have my first Christmas fair next weekend so I’ll be sorting out my stock soon. That didn’t cost a lot so I’ll limit my stock. The next fair after that is a really good one that happens in the town center, so I’ll take much more stock, plus its 5 minutes down the road.
Really useful advice to anyone doing a craft fair for the first time… I’m doing my first in a couple of weeks so this topic was great Good luck with it @LittleRockPaper
Teresa at Shirley Rainbow
I heard a lovely comment from a neighbouring stall holder the other day: “We didn’t sell anything, but that’s ok. It means I don’t have to rush to re-stock things”