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5 Tips to Help You Get Started Selling at Craft Shows
by Jenny Wise
According to industry experts, around 45 million Americans know how to knit or crochet. However, for most people, it is a hobby. If you are interested in turning your hobby into a money-making business, these five tips can get you started selling successfully at craft shows, brought to you by the Woodworkers Club of Houston, Texas.
1. Find the Right Craft Show
Not all craft shows serve the same market. Some shows are geared toward people selling relatively inexpensive items, such as clothing and household goods. Others feature high-end products and fine art. Pick a show that markets to an audience that is likely to be interested in what you have to sell. If you are selling practical, inexpensive items, aim for a show that caters to that market. If you are creating large, elaborate pieces, then a show with high-end goods may be a better fit.
2. Design an Eye-catching Booth
Most craft fairs have a lot of competition for knit and crocheted goods. To make sales, customers must notice your booth. Put unique, eye-catching pieces on display and place them in a prominent spot where people walking by can see them. Get creative with your booth design. Arrange your items in a way that looks professional and makes it easy for people to navigate your booth. Your goal is to tempt people to stop by and find out more about what you have for sale.
3. Price Your Items Appropriately
Figuring out the right price to sell what you make is one of the biggest challenges. If you overprice your items, you may lose out on sales, but if you underprice them, you may have a hard time making a profit. You must take into account the investment you have in time and materials, the cost of selling, the type of customer who is likely to be interested, and the competition. Don't try to compete with big-box stores. Your target customer is someone who wants handcrafted items and will pay a reasonable price for them.
4. Accept Credit and Debit Cards
Many people do not carry cash anymore, so being a cash-only seller limits your potential customer base. Additionally, accepting credit and debit cards makes you seem more like a legitimate business. There are a variety of services you can sign up for online that allow you to accept credit and debit card payments by using your smartphone or tablet. If you go this route, be sure to pack a portable charger so that you don't have to worry about the battery on your device dying before you are done selling. You may also need to look into portable power options if the craft show doesnít supply power to your booth or table.
Before you head to the craft show, you need to determine whether you need to register your business with the state. For example, many people decide to register as an LLC due to the liability protection and tax advantages it provides. If this seems confusing, donít worry; there are formation services like ZenBusiness available that can help you file the paperwork necessary to get your business registered.
5. Be Informative
Some of your customers are likely to have questions about materials due to allergies or lifestyle choices. Be prepared to explain what types of materials are used in your products and where they are sourced from. If you are using vegan and ethically sourced materials, make sure your customer knows. Consider adding a tag or flier that provides all the details about the materials used in your products. This is also a good place to include a link to your website and details on the next show you plan to attend.
Starting a new business selling your knitted or crocheted items can run into bumps and require trial and error along the way. Follow these general guidelines to start off on the right foot.
1 Jenny is a homeschooling mom to four children, one of whom is autistic. She and her husband made the decision to home-educate when their oldest was four years old. During this journey, they have expanded their family and faced many challenges along the way, but they have experienced great rewards.
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