10 Ways to Turn a Profit at Every Craft Fair

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craft fair sales tips

Wondering how to make every craft show a profitable one? Even a slower than normal show can bring rewards when you keep the following craft fair sales tips in mind.

Here are ten simple ways to increase your craft fair income no matter how large or small the event is.

Great Packaging

Packaging your items in clever ways is a great way to get your items noticed and it’s also great for branding at the same time.  Be sure to include your company logo and website address on every package when possible.

Brochures and Informational Material

Ok, so you may not make that sale today, but how often have you heard someone say “I bet so and so would love this, but I’m just not sure”… That’s ok, give them a brochure with product pictures and your contact information.  At the very least have business cards available.  The more info you can pass on, the better chance a shopper will remember you and contact you.

Host a Giveaway

Put together a nice prize basket and host a giveaway as an incentive for joining your email list.  Place a signup sheet prominently in front of the giveaway item so people can opt-in.  Make sure the prize and prize draw date are clearly visible.

Did you know? Having an email list is one of the easiest ways to soft sell, develop trust and gain repeat customers? Download a free email sign-up sheet to use at your next show.

Run a Sale or Promotion

Place a very visible sign with a good deal on it.  “Buy one get one half off” for example, or “get a free item with your $25 purchase”.  Make the incentive item something desirable.  For example I might do a promo like “Grab a free facial bar when you purchase $25 worth of any other products”.  My facial bars are popular, but smaller (therefore less expensive to produce).  This gives me a highly desirable incentive for shoppers without cutting deeply into my profits.

Accept Cards & Have Visible Signage

The best way to get people to spend is to make it more convenient for them.  In addition to running a great promo, make sure you have the ability to take credit/debit cards and place a sign with the Visa/Mastercard logos clearly visible, ideally right by your promo sign!

If you aren’t doing this yet, you’re missing out on sales.  Thankfully you can take cards via phone app and it’s simple to get set up.  Learn how to do it here.

Offer Varying Price Points

Have a variety of items available at different price points.  Stick to your main theme of course, but try to come up with some smaller, less expensive items to fill in the gaps.  An example might be having “mini scrubs” instead of just full sized.  Ponder your brand and business and see what you can come up with that might help you here.

I make windchimes and use remnant beads and findings to make keychains that I sell for much less.  What ideas can you come up with?

Clever and Creative Descriptions

Take your cue from your favorite restaurant menu.  Which sounds more appealing “steak cooked fresh” or “tender, melt in your mouth steak specially seasoned and cooked to order”?  You want people to get an appetite for your product while telling them what’s special about it.

Do you have a “citrus bath bomb” or an “eye-opening, stimulating blend of citrus and all natural ingredients” – you get the idea.  Don’t get too crazy, but avoid basic, bland descriptions too.

Your product description should be a quick read, highly descriptive, but factual.  Avoid using over-the-top promises like “guaranteed to remove every stain” etc. Focus on strong selling points without the hype.

Suggestions and Quick Tips

These are helpful tidbits of info that can pique a shoppers interest.  For example, I make a note of what our most popular items are and I note that on a sign.  A simple “Best Seller” or “Most Popular” can pique curiosity.

We humans are social by nature no matter how much we declare otherwise and we may not follow every trend, but we always want to know what others are up to… it’s human nature.

“Great for dry skin” on a moisturizing soap display is another example.  Perhaps “one size fits all” on an apron – you get the idea.  This should be a quick, informative, bite sized tidbit that prompts shoppers to have a look.

Your Mannerisms Matter

Pay attention to your body language and behaviors.  You don’t want to shout down every visitor to your booth, but you don’t want to sit and stare at them either.  No one likes to feel like they are being watched by a stranger.

Say hello, be friendly and engaging, and if you want engage in an activity that you can easily pull yourself away from if further assistance is required.  Busy work will help you and your shoppers feel more comfortable.

Also, avoid crossing your arms, rocking back and forth or doing anything that makes you appear bored, closed off or disinterested.  (busy work comes in handy for this too).

Network and Barter

If you’re at a very slow sales event – and this happens to all of us from time to time, take the opportunity to meet other vendors.  Exchange information and maybe even goods if you’re so inclined.

Profit isn’t always about cash in hand.  I barter every year as a way to do a lot of my holiday shopping.  Other vendors can not only be good trading partners, but also good sources of information about other events, sales strategies and even cooperative partnerships.

So there you have it, 10 ways to profit at craft fairs that will work at any show you attend.  When it comes to profitability, always remember to consider what certain things are worth.  A lot of email signups for a giveaway can garner many sales down the road.  A solid network of local sellers can be worth its weight in gold when it comes to cooperation.

When you do all of these things your craft fair income will increase over time.  You’ll develop brand recognition and the most coveted prize of all repeat business.



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Comments 5

  • Hi Amy,
    Great tips and info. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Such great tips! My mom runs and Etsy shop and tried a few craft fairs with moderate success. She was new and didn’t know about half of these, I’m sure they would have helped!

    • Thanks Rigel,
      I know I took a break for a year or two from doing craft shows when my youngest was a baby – so much work goes into it, but perhaps your mom would consider doing a few a year again at some point? As much hard work that goes into them, they are a lot of fun too and we’ve made a lot of new friends on the circuit. 🙂 Thanks for the read and comment.

  • I just did my first one a couple of weeks ago and felt very prepared. Unfortunately the turnout was horrendous. Very disappointed in the event planner ???? So another tip would be to ensure you use a reputable planner!

    • Hi Amy,
      Agreed. A lot of new event planners also get in over their head. Not sure if that was the case for you. This time of year can be iffy too for craft fairs. The typical busy seasons are May – December. I hope your next one goes better. Consider this small one a practice run :).

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