Folksy Ltd

Only one sale at craft fair!

(Elizabeth Grattan) #1

Hello all.
I’m feeling a little disheartened today after selling one item at a craft fair ( I think the lady felt sorry for me) How do other people do at craft fairs? Other people did really well I can’t help but feel like my products are not good or thst my price point is wrong?
Would love to hear how other people feel about craft fairs.
Thank you xx

(Brenda Cumming) #2

I gave up craft fairs five years ago for the same reason…not only do you have to pay for your table, but also other expenses, like petrol, time out…I can stay home in the warm, watch tv and for 18p show the world items that I have for sale…no contest. (although I did LOVE doing the fairs and meeting people)

(Lowri of Twinkle and Gloom Art) #3

Please don’t feel dis-heartened.
Your products look lovely and well made. Sometimes those of us who make slightly quirkier stuff just need the ‘right’ people walk through the doors. Maybe your work didn’t appeal to those people that happened to walk through the doors that day… it happens to us all. You just can’t let it demotivate you because there will be people out there that will really love what you do. :smile:

I like elements of craft fairs, I like people interacting with my work. I live in a fairly traditional area, with traditional people that just don’t get my work, however those handful of people that walk through the doors that find my work fascinating make it all worth it. I don’t pay for expensive tables, I can’t afford it, I don’t do many in a year. I’ve been invited to some big fairs in the cities but I haven’t taken the risk of all that travel/stay/stall costs yet.

(Christine Shephard) #4

It’s so important to research fairs before you do them. Go along as a customer and see what type of people are attending, which stalls seem most popular, the age and demographic of visitors, how well the event is run and advertised, who the organisers are targeting. Your work is great but probably appeals to a youngish market with contemporary taste - does that match most of the customers that were there? If not, it’s the wrong fair for you and your work. Identify your target customer, then sell to them wherever they are.

(Sasha Garrett) #5

My work sells better at craft fairs than online and I pick up commissions but I have become very selective about which craft fairs I do having done some where the footfall was very low or the competition was very high and I’ve sold very little. I now check with the organisers what advertising there is going to be and how many other people are going to be there selling jewellery like me. I also do a bit of research into the area where it is to be held - is the demographic older (not going to be interested in my work) or the income a bit lower (not going to be able to afford my work) and avoid those areas. Unfortunately I cannot predict the weather when booking stalls and bad weather keeps people away.
It might not be your product or price point that is wrong but how you have your stall set up or the wrong people were there - try another one in a different area (find somewhere with lots of younger people) and play about with how you display your work.

(Fionajohn) #6

I had a stall at a craft fair last year and only sold 1 item, I felt so disappointed, it was a craft fair/beer festival which don’t go well together. Now I just go to craft fairs with nothing else with them. Sometimes I do really well. Today I was at a craft fair where there were some older ladies selling similar things to me but asking hardly anything for them, they said they just love making things and weren’t bothered about making lots of money, they like the social outing, so they sold more than me. You never know what you’re going to get at a craft fair.

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(Sarah Lambert) #7

Sorry to hear you didn’t do well @LizziCamilla . It’s awful when others do well and you have to keep smiling through (gritted teeth). I think your items are quite niche, young and trendy, so maybe you need to be more selective as to where you do the fairs. I can see you doing really well at somewhere like Cluttermarket in Norwich which is set in an Arts Centre.

For heaven’s sake don’t even think of giving up as your items are very fresh and original, keep experimenting til you find the type of venue that is right for you.

(Joy Salt) #8

Craft Fairs needed to be chosen with a lot of care and a lot of allowance for disappointment. I can do a good fair and sell lots and lots and lots. I can do another and sell, as you did, just one thing. When that happened there were more sellers than buyers so not surprising.
It depends on the venue, the weather, the pre-promotion, the time of the month (midway between payday is Bad :frowning: )

I do very very few fairs because it is easier and more profitable to stay at home and spend just a small amount of the time I would have spent, doing online promotion.

Beware of fairs where there is entertainment that has to be paid for. The Jousting festival sounded fun but the only stalls selling were the food and drink as they had paid lots for their tickets and came to the jousting not to spend any more money.

School fetes can be good, summer or Christmas.

Good luck and don’t give up, just try something different which hopefully will work better for you. xx

(Sarah Lambert) #9

I haven’t done any fairs this year, not that I ever do many, probably 2 or 3 at most but like @teabreaks I have missed the chatting to people and the actual face to face remarks regarding my wares which is something you don’t get so much of online obviously.
A friend( who does only craft fairs and no online selling) and I were were chatting about profit margins the other day and I worked out that on one of her biggest and most successful venues she had probably only made around £35-40 profit- that’s for 2 days of setting up and selling. She’s a well known crafter too and has her regular customers.

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(Elizabeth Grattan) #10

Thank you all so much for your replies. It’s great to have encouragement from other folksy sellers. Reflecting back now I don’t think it was the right fair for selling my stuff as most of the people who came to the fair were pensioners.
I probably would do another fair bit I think more research into who is visiting the fair would benefit me. I.e a city centre where there are lots of youngish people
I really appreciate all of your kind comments and words of encouragement thank you so much xxx

(Sally Eira) #11

Hi - i wouldn’t feel bad - it just depends on the type of craft fair - some are more traditional and so attract people looking for more traditional crafts. You just have to find the type of craft fayre that fits your work. I think your price point refelcts the work that you have put into your items - i think it’s more that you need to go to a more contemporary fayre.
best of luck.

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(Ali Joyce) #12

Your work is lovely! I think craft fairs can be very hit and miss. One factor can be placement too - sometimes people have already spent their budget before they get to you and then, as others here have mentioned, some things are priced to reflect just the cost of materials, without time and all the other expenses. I won’t be doing any fairs any more as I think online selling is definitely the way forward!
Hugs and don’t be too down-hearted!

(Ali Joyce) #13

PS Love your ‘This girl can’ banner!!

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(Sams Gemstone Jewellery) #14

I think your shop is lovely and you have some gorgeous items. I gave up craft fairs 2 years ago because sales got so bad even though the same craft fairs the previous 2 years had been really good. Research is good but I found the only way of knowing was to go. However for me the following applied : affluent areas did badly - they want things with names to impress people/ less well off areas - did well, they don’t all want high street stuff and too look the same but can’t afford designer / WI’s , flower clubs, places with older women - did well because they tend to have more money as low mortgages and grown up kids / places with young people - not great as they don’t have much money because wages seem to have dropped and the cost of living is high. I also think where you live affects how good the fairs are. I have at least 5 places with big shopping centres within an hours drive and if you want to be different at least 5 small towns with some amazing shops within an hours drive.

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(Pauline Hayward) #15

I did a craft fair yesterday and hardly sold anything. We only had about a dozen customers who came to the fair which was on from 10am - 4pm. Pretty boring, I only just took my table money. I have another one this coming Saturday which usually makes up for all the bad ones at this time of year.

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(Helen Healey) #16

Try not to be disheartened - craft fairs can be very hit and miss. I find that I can do a regular craft fair at the same venue and make massive sales one month and one sale another month! It’s impossible to predict and I know how disappointing it is when you don’t manage to cover your table fee. I still carry on with them though, as some are good and I still make the majority of my sales this way rather than online. Try and target fairs which attract a young age group as I think this might be the group your range will most appeal to. I wish you the best of luck with it all.

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(Trudi Murray) #17

Just to make you smile today, I did our village Christmas fair yesterday - I say village, but we’re in london, and everyone turns out, footfall is massive, and people have money to spend around here. What can go wrong? I was so excited and expecting to sell out of all my lovely handmade art decorations, which were priced just right, i thought - easy to buy two or three!

Well, as someone else said, the one thing you can’t control is the weather. It was blowing a gale and the stage and all the little gazebos for the ‘market’ (that’s where I should have been), on the village Green, blew away an hour before we opened. All the stall holders got put into the local shops. I ended up in a barber shop among the beard oil and hair gel, in between the chippy and the curry house. It was a far cry from a little arty tent with sparkly lights and bunting, with me wearing a beret and fingerless gloves. Hardly anyone came in, and those that did were not in the mood, it was all so odd!

I came home and cried! But I’m starting to laugh about it now, and taking the few pennies I made to the bank :smile:

You can’t win 'em all! (my decorations will be on folksy shortly!!!)

(Sarah Lambert) #18

Aw @TrudiMurray bless you, at least you had a captive audience when the gents came in for their shaves!

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(Sasha Garrett) #19

Don’t say things like that - I’ve got my one and only outdoor stall this coming saturday, in previous years its been really good but I don’t think they have a plan B if the currently predicted gales are accurate. I think I’ll go and sacrifice a mince pie to the weather gods.

(Joy Salt) #20

I’ve got an outdoor on Sunday and another following Saturday. Round here they are the best and only option if you don’t want to guarantee paying more for your stall than you are likely to take which I won’t do.

Beginning to wish though that I’d booked something indoors somewhere - the wind is evil. I lost a fishes eye just walking up to the garage (best not to ask :slight_smile: :slight_smile: )

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