An article on Selling Tips by Gloria Labrecque
Reprinted from Facebook by permission
As a longtime organizer, I found these notes I made from observations or comments received over the years on how to be a successful crafter at an event.
1. Presentation – present your business and your craft professionally. Dress the part. Suit and tie not required.
2. Shirts with Logo are fine but hats often hide ones face making interactions with patrons more difficult.
3. Be on time- if the doors are scheduled to open at 8:30 a.m. you should be arriving PRIOR to 8:30 for last minute announcements, final touch ups to your table etc.
4. Do not leave early, unless there is an emergency or directed by organizer to do so.
5. Have an array of items at varying price points. Unique, simple and trendy items go well. You will reach a greater patron base. Not everyone is looking for larger or higher priced items.
6. DO NOT overcrowd your table. Many make this mistake. If patrons cannot easily see what you have they will not stop. Your table should not look like a hoarders convention. It is better to replenish stock as sold vs. overcrowding your table. It should be warm and inviting.
7. Make sure people can see what you are selling.
8. Use your table space wisely. Use vertical space with crates or even boxes under your table cloth, to add height and dimension. Make it eye catching.
9. Tablecloths are a must and should extend to the floor, without creating a tripping hazard. No one needs to see your stash of extra stuff under the table.
10. Keep you area neat and clear of obstacles or tripping hazards.
11. Do not let family or friends simply hang out around the outside of your table. You will not sell as well and neither will your neighbors as you block access and visibility.
12. Leave young children and toddlers at home. Older children must be supervised by the parent and not allowed to roam freely.
13. Do not extend into your neighbors space. No matter how tempting that may be. You both paid for the same amount of space. Be respectful of that.
14. If selling jewelry or clothing provide a mirror. Patrons want to ‘see’ what it would look like.
15. Wear your items when you can. You are a walking billboard for your crafts.
16. Advertise your business. Use signage, business cards.
17. Put business cards in several places on your table not only will patrons take them but so will event organizers. Patrons also like to know where to find you after an event. Many crafters develop a following of regular patrons.
18. Put business cards in the bag when patrons purchase an item. Include one to share.
19. Price all of your items. You can use a business card as a price tag or put like items in a bin with signage indicating price. Patrons do not want to ask for the price.
20. Do not oversell yourself. No one likes a hard sell or in your face seller.
21. Stand or sit on stool so that your are visible. Patrons want to see you and your wares.
20. If you sit behind a tower of items and patrons cannot see you, to ask questions, comment or simply engage, they will keep moving.
22. This is a big one. Engage with patrons, make eye contact, smile, say hello, be friendly but let them browse. Show that you are interested, be attentive, open for business.
23. Do not play on your phone
24. Use quality packaging and professionalism to promote your business. It does not have to be expensive to be done well.
25. Label clothing items as directed by law which Include ‘how to care instructions’ on hand made clothing items.
26. Use props or mannequins to display your items. A boot topper in a boot, a mannequin with a head warmer, jewelry.
Even pictures on how something can be worn increases sales.
27. Accept credit cards. Not everyone carries cash.
28. If you are not approved to display an item then do not put it on your table.
29. Keep a photo book of items you have or can create on your table for patrons to view. Make them aware they can ‘special order’.
30. Mingle and get to know your neighbors. They are wealth of information on great fairs to attend, pricing items or placing an item on the table.
31. Sales are important but should not be your only focus, relax, meet people, enjoy the experience.
32. Network and make new contacts.
33. Bring plenty of stock
34. Do not distract from your product.
35. Market, market, market
36. Advertise where you are going to be.
37. Keep a positive attitude/ mindset
38. Keep accurate records
39. Do a giveaway
40. Keep an email or mailing list
41. Do not be afraid to ‘up sell’ your items. A matching scarf to go with that hat, earrings with that necklace, a towel with those potholders etc.
42. Keep you cash box out of sight and do not leave it.
43. Every place you attend will have rules and regulations. Follow them. The organizers have city, state, federal, insurance, and sometimes church guidelines to follow. Unlike popular belief we do not invent the rules but for the safety and well being of all must abide by them.
44. If for any reason you must cancel notify the organizer.
45. Ask questions when applying for an event.
46. If you use racks list it on your application, how many and size are helpful. If you suddenly show up with a 6 ft rack and request wall space we may not be able to accommodate you.
47. Make special needs known. Near the bathroom, allergic to candles, perfume.
48. If you are adding or deleting crafts listed on your application check with the organizer prior to the event.
49. If there is a problem talk to the organizer attempt to get it resolved quietly and peacefully.
50. Most organizers will try to place returning crafters in or near the same spot as the previous year because patrons often come back looking for them there. If you really did not like your spot let the organizer know and they will do their best, when possible, to accommodate a change.
51. Make sure you have the proper licenses/permits to sell your items for example food or lotions and potions etc.
52. Be respectful of other crafters and customers.
53. Wait until a customer is at YOUR table, do not try to distract or hijack them from another table.
54. Donate quality, sellable items to the raffle. Not the ‘less than’ you are trying to unload.
55. Copyright infringement is illegal, with stiff penalties not only to the crafter but the sponsoring organization. Avoid the temptation, not worth it.
56. READ your event application, ALL of it! A good application will have important information on it. If something is missing or you have a question ask.
57. Be considerate of your fellow crafters and patrons when eating food. Do small portions of food. No one wants to watch you chopping away, no matter how good it is. Also, refrain from talking to anyone with a mouth full of food. Oh yeah, people do that.