4 Tips to Sell More at Craft Markets this Holiday Season
Craft shows can be hit-or-miss. Some are better organized than others. Sometimes, even a beautifully executed show won’t manage to attract a buying crowd. You won’t be able to control every factor of the day, but there are a few tips we’ve accumulated through decades of business that just might help you sell more this year.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that our product line is Christmas-centric. That said, I think you’ll find this to be valuable advice no matter your craft.
And yes, using ecommerce options like Etsy or your own website is a fantastic way to scale your business, but we’ve found great success in selling at craft shows, and think it’s a good option if you’re just starting out.
There are plenty of resources online, or maybe with your local Small Business Association office, to guide you through responsibly pricing your work, so I won’t go into too much detail here.
You’ll want to keep in mind that shoppers may consider your pricing to be expensive for the product. Don’t sweat it; they aren’t considering the handmade nature of the piece. We don’t try to convince anyone of the value - those who need to be convinced just aren’t our clientele.
You want to be a big fish in a small pond, not the other way around! If you sell something that shoppers can find elsewhere, you’ll want to do your best to have a higher quality product than similar vendors can offer.
For example: Christmas ornaments are readily available at every big box store this time of year, and they’re cheap! How do we compete? Those stores are selling ornaments that are mass produced, imported, and easily replaced. Our ornaments are nothing like that! They’re made using refined techniques that Dad spent his career mastering, each one is unique, and with every purchase our clients know they’re supporting a local artist. Shoppers see these ornaments as valuable heirlooms, so they’re willing to buy them despite the higher price point.
Think of your booth or table as your storefront. You know those fancy Christmas window displays you see in big cities? People make their living just designing displays like them, so that should give you an idea how important presentation is.
Choose an aesthetic for your display that will match the look of your work. If you crochet intricate scarves, you might decide on a “bohemian” booth with layers of tablecloths and bins of mismatched goods. Our ornaments sparkle best against a cozy backdrop, so our booth includes antique end tables and fresh bouquets or house plants. Ultimately, you want to create a welcoming little environment for shoppers to look closer at your inventory.
Be selective and consider all the costs associated with a show (hotel, travel, eating out, etc.) when you decide where to invest your time and money. If possible, it’s helpful to talk with artists for reviews of shows you’re considering.
If you are selling your work at a lower price point, consider flea markets and bazaars in addition to craft shows. If you sell high end products, you’ll want to look for juried shows. I find that a juried indoor show that charges customers an admission will offer the highest concentration of buyers.
Key takeaway? Put your best foot forward! It’s easy to get caught up in the actual crafting of things to sell, but while that’s important, it will only take you so far. Advocate for your business by doing your research and planning well.