How To Sell Your Crafts to Local Stores
Learn how to sell crafts you make to local stores! All right – you’ve got a winning craft and you’ve determined the potential for it is big, all thanks to the diligent research you did before hand, conducting as much info as you could to find out what’s going to sell.
You’ve separated the wheat from the chaff – but now comes the important next big step of finding those locales where potential customers are going to see them.
No two places are alike – what’s going to give you the maximum benefit for your time, AND get as many eyeballs on your amazing work as possible? Let’s explore that right now.
Let’s Talk Booths
You probably know all about craft booths, and these may be the first things to come to mind when thinking of the best places to sell crafts. I’ve been to, and participated in fairs. The kind that’s out in the open and runs for a length of time (or season – mainly fall or spring, at least where I live)
I just want to take a moment to share this picture of one of my older booth setups from the way before times. (this was back in 2007 – long before I ever thought about becoming a craft blogger!) You can see the way I have arranged everything and that I have my business cards in the middle of the table in a nice little display piece.
I’d like to tell you that I had a big blowout that time, but I didn’t. I do wonder if being placed in the upstairs floor had something to do with it? Or maybe my product choices? I made mistakes too, so hopefully I can pass the wisdom of them on to you.Sometimes it’s all hit or miss – but I had a little publicity that I wouldn’t have had otherwise!
Booth rental fees can be pricey – and sometimes they are not the best way to go. This one above, I don’t think I paid that much in fees…..It’s been awhile but I think it may have been about $15/month…and I let it run for about four months (Sept-Dec,) I wanted it to be in the busiest shopping season but after the end of the year I took down everything.
Another disadvantage of craft booths is you may be expected to sign a lease or something for a period of time…could be a few months, could be a year, and these restrictions may make it difficult for you to back out of if you’re having second thoughts.
Consigning Your Crafts
Another option is that of placing your items up for consignment (You’ve probably heard of places like this for used clothing – similar idea) The store owner usually gets a small percentage of the final sale if/when something of yours does sell.
We have places like that where I live; of which way back when, I have investigated for their potential. I just went in and looked around like a shopper, and when the owner had a spare moment I inquired about the in’s and out’s of renting space for some of my work.
I think one place I visited did not have any space available. You want to take an approach like that. Go to different venues, ask all the important questions, and find out if space is available or not, as sometimes it can be booked. It may depend on the time of year too.
If you do decide to go into consigning your crafts, questions to ask include:
- Will I get paid as soon as something sells, or will it only be once a month?
- What are the busiest periods?
- What percent will you take when I do make a sale?
If you’ve got solid roots in the town you reside in, you may already be familiar with the goings-on’s and events that take place periodically. How often do craft shows take place? You can get this info from the newspaper, Chamber of Commerce, etc., and find out all about them Many of them attract large amounts of show-goers.
To become a participate as a vendor, you would most likely have to rent a booth, as i mentioned above. Fees may vary from venue to venue…find out how much they are per month or week or day. If you have a friend who participates, perhaps the two of you could divvy up booth fees by going in together?
The main advantages of selling at local shows – large draw of shoppers, it’s fun, the exposure you get…all well and good…now their disadvantages: Most of the time, shows run by periods or seasons. The closest one to me is the Cotton Pickin’ Fair in Gay, Georgia and runs seasonally twice a year – in the spring and the fall. Some shows run shorter periods than that, like for a week only.
My neighbor across the street is a veteran crafter who participates in shows (I ran into her by accident at the Cotton Pickin’ Fair one year) quite regularly. She handcrafts beautiful stained glass wall hangings. One year I bought something from her for a gift. But she always seems to be away from home and I gather participating in shows all over the state is the reason…I hope she doesn’t get burned out from all that hustle and bustle!
If you’ve got boundless energy like that, you may find participating in shows regularly, locally and not so locally. It all depends on how savvy you are about attracting new clientele and participating in your business. Good luck to you!