Last Updated on February 8, 2023 by Cheryl Moreo
Are you thinking about vending at a craft fair? Below is a beginner’s guide for preparing for your first craft fair. Learn what you need to consider before selling your crafts.
We’ve all been to community street fairs, holiday events, and pop-up markets. They are a fun way to discover local, handmade goods and products. But now, you are thinking about taking your handmade goods and setting up a booth. That’s exciting but not something you should jump into without preparation. Today, crafting expert Cheryl Moreo shares tips for preparing for your first craft fair.
How to Plan for Your First Craft Fair
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Setting Up For Success
Your setup is essential when working out of a 10′ x 10′ booth. But how you set your business up, to begin with, might be even more critical. Start by registering as an LLC. An LLC is an affordable business structure when you’re first starting, and it can afford you advantages like tax perks and limited liability, which helps protect your assets. While you can hire a pricey attorney to register, you can also use an online formation service. Learn more about how to start an LLC here.
You will also have to make sure that you have a way to maintain accurate tax records. You’ll likely need a mobile store app, which will also help you save time.
Next up, do your research on the types of events near you. If possible, visit them beforehand. Many cities have farmers’ markets weekly, which are great places to start. Visit before your specific event to see if they already have someone selling the same things as you, which can make competition fierce.
Once you have decided on a vendor opportunity, call to confirm how much your booth space is and ask about typical foot traffic. These questions will help you determine how much inventory to bring with you. A good rule of thumb is to aim to sell at least eight to 10 times your vendor fee so that you make a sale to approximately one to three percent of people visiting your booth.
Even if you don’t make lots of sales, have plenty of business cards available for everyone who visits your booth. You can create your business cards easily with an online tool. You’ll want all relevant information for your business, including how to get in touch with you. While you may not make a sale to a particular person at the show, everyone who takes a business card is a potential customer later.
Beautify Your Craft Fair Booth
Before the big day, you’ll want to get prepared. Ideally, you’ll have at least three tables to form into a U shape for shoppers to browse. You’ll also need an attention-grabbing display. Arched, a company owned by two sisters who are experts in vendor fairs, suggests setting your displays up vertically to maximize visibility.
Even though you’re going to want to bring plenty of inventory, try not to overcrowd your booth. Hopefully, you’ll have an extra set of hands so you can send someone to the car to retrieve replenishments if you sell out of something. Remember, your customers want to see what you’re capable of; you do not have to try and squeeze in every piece you’ve made.
Other tips for successfully planning your first craft fair suggested by the LocalShops1 blog include:
- Have clear signage
- Bring lots of cash for change
- Host a giveaway
- Visit other exhibitors
- Have a quick presentation/explanation of what you do
- Interact with people walking by
- Keep something for the kids, such as a piece of candy or free coloring books
- Pack lots of water
- Play a game at your booth
Lastly, don’t be afraid to negotiate—within reason. Most customers are expecting it. So, remain firm when you must, but don’t take the haggling personally. You should know your price threshold.
Selling your crafts is an exciting way to replace your income. However, it can take up to two years to entirely turn the profits you need. Get started by participating in local craft fairs. The above tips can help you make your first experience a positive one. With an LLC, mobile payment methods, clear signage, and the right amount of inventory, you’ll be on the path toward success! Good luck with your creative endeavors, and may the world enjoy your pieces as much as you enjoyed making them.
Special thanks to Carrie Spencer of thespencersadventures.net for compiling the above information.
More Information on Craft Show Displays
Made Urban shows six mistakes she believes crafters make when setting up displays. Six Simple Ways to Improve Your Craft Show Display.