Monday, 15 October 2012

Craft Fair - Lessons learned

On Saturday I attended my first Craft fair as a seller, I've been to many a fair as a buyer, but it was an eye opener seeing it from the other side of the table. I'd spent the week preparing for it, labelling and pricing everything, deciding on my table layout and making sure that I had bags and tissue for wrapping. On the day we were there in plenty of time and managed to set up reasonably quickly and I even managed to have a lightening tour of the other stalls before the fair opened. There were lots of lovely things for sale all of a very high quality and that gave me a brief moment of apprehension - were my offerings good enough?  But everyone who stopped by and commented, said how much they liked my things which boosted my confidence a lot.

There were not as many visitors as I hoped but I managed to not only cover my costs but make a small profit too. Lots of my family came to offer their support which was lovely and much appreciated. One thing I became aware of was how important it is for customers to at least acknowledge the seller. A smile and/or hello is all that is needed, we're not expecting you to buy if you speak to us but it is a little disconcerting to be blanked.

I have booked for the November and December fairs so am hoping for better sales then as hopefully people will be Christmas shopping in earnest.

Though sales were not exactly high this time, I did learn valuable lessons from the experience:

o  Less is more! In an effort to show all I had to sell, I think I overdid the display. Next time I will put out fewer items so that they can be seen better. I can always add signs telling people that I have more stock with me.

o  Make sure you have lots of cheaper items to tempt buyers.

o  Try to have a least one range of items that are really different. The lady on the stall next to mine had some cute tiny fabric animals in little sleeping bags in their own tin and they really pulled in the customers even if they didn't buy! She had an almost constant stream of customers chatting to her about her stock and at least taking away business cards.

o  Don't be too rigid with your display. Move it around depending on your stalls location. I moved my rail of bags when I realised their was a big enough space on the other side of my table to have it facing forwards rather than being side on, thus making my bags more visible and easier to get to. I also moved things around on my table to give some items more prominence.

o  Seasonal products! Next time I will make sure that I have plenty of Christmassy things for sale including decorations and Christmas present items to suit all pockets.

o  You can find out about different craft fairs from the other sellers, I may have another two to go to next month!

I don't expect that I shall get everything right next time and I'm sure I'll learn more valuable lessons, but you know what... I can't wait!

Me getting out some bunting to hang along the front of my table

Yup! Definitely overdid the display.

My original placement for the bag rail meant that most of them could not be seen.

Hubby watching tv on the iPad during a lull.

The craft fair is held in a beautiful converted church.

There is a handy cafe on the premises.

My bag rail moved to the other end of the table means that people can get right up to the bags.

Thanks for looking,


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