Why some items don't sell at craft shows

mariendNovember 18, 2006

1. Person selling is reading book

2. People talking to each other and this is why I could not/did not buy the angel I wanted to

3. Products look cheap and thrown together.

4. Person selling for someone else and unable to answer questions. (Not just filling in)

5. Very poor selection of colors and/or styles

6. Poorly displayed.

7. Out of area vendor not familiar with local traditions/customs or preferences and selling products in small towns that usually big city people prefere.

8. Not enough change avaiable.

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toomuchglass

I totally agree ! I have to admit - I am "SORT OF" guilty of #1 . ( hanging my head ) I don't read ... but I say hello and "pretend" to shuffle through papers while the customer makes up their mind. I HATE pushy sales people and I don't want to be one. My craft doesn't need explaining . If they want it - they buy it . When someone talks to me -- I open right and laugh and joke with them ! I'm not an outgoing person. I think this post is very honest & I'm happy to hear it !!! Thanks for posting it from a "buyers" point of view.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 9:08PM
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adellabedella_usa

I have one to add. ***No original ideas.*** I hate walking into a craft show and feeling like I've already seen everything there. Most all crafters copy another idea in some way or another. At least personalize it or change it some way.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 8:24AM
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sweets98

BIG ONE with me...NO PRICE TAG! I hate having to ask how much every little item I'm interested in costs. I usually put it back and walk away if it doesn't say how much it costs. No matter how much I like an item, I have to know the price and be okay with it.

I only go to booths at craft shows with a certain type of item and look to it. I tend to be found at booths with wood items, anything country, especially Prim country. I don't even LOOK at things like gag gifts and doll clothes, plastic canvas stuff...I keep walking.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 7:05PM
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nonacook

I agree about the price tags! Even at yard sales,
I won't buy if I have to ask the price of every item.I just leave.
Mariend, that is a good list. We tried to abide by each
of those things when we did shows.
I do think gag gifts, and some inexpensive things
have their place at shows. Sometimes that is what
will pay your booth rent when other things will not
sell. I think they need to be in good taste however.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 9:48PM
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dianelea

At last weekend's show it was very annoying to be surrounded by crafters talking on their cellphones...sometimes with what I would consider very personal conversations. It detracts from the whole craft fair atmosphere.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 1:27PM
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christopherh

1. Person selling is reading book..."
This is possibly the BIGGEST killer of sales at shows! Also sitting down is a no-no. Always stand up in your booth and be ready to help your customers!

2. People talking to each other and this is why I could not/did not buy the angel I wanted to..."
Again, we're at the show to sell our work, not chat with our neighbors. Yes, we're friendly to each other, but when customers are in the house, we're there to sell.

3. Products look cheap and thrown together..."
That can just be the level the exhibitor is at. We all started somewhere and I look back and say my products looked thrown toghther too.

4. Person selling for someone else and unable to answer questions. (Not just filling in)..."
This is why most shows require the exhibitor to be the one who made the product. Reps do not work at craft shows.

5. Very poor selection of colors and/or styles..."
Again maybe just the level of exhibitor. When we introduce a new design we don't have every color and style either. We wait to see if it sells, and then expand on it.

6. Poorly displayed..."
Your display is your "store" and you must put as much effort into an attractive display as you do your work. The display must compliment your work but not overpower it.

  1. Out of area vendor not familiar with local traditions/customs or preferences and selling products in small towns that usually big city people prefere..."
    I see this a LOT with jewelers. They don't research their market when they apply to a show. I see young hip urban jewelers selling at country craft shows attended by people in their 40s and 50s. And they don't like the styles being sold. So the exhibitor says the show is lousy.

8. Not enough change avaiable..."
I can't understand why an exhibitor wouldn't go to a show without proper change. That's a new one to me.

But some other observations:

1. Inapropriate dress for a show.
I see exhibitors that look positively silly at shows. Nothing turns a customer off like a 50 something in a tube top! And guys that do a show dressed like they're going to go home and clean out the garage! And you would be surprised how many customers won't buy from an exhibitor wearing sunglasses! Even at an outdoor show.
Dress conservatively. A nice blouse or shirt and dress jeans or slacks are excellent.

2. Attitude.
I see exhibitors that are very aloof at the show. They virtually ignore the customer. You have less tha 8 seconds to attract the customer to your booth. And you do that by acknowledging the customer's presence. I just say hello and thank them for coming to the show. All you need to do is break the ice, that's all.

3, Not in your booth.
Everyone needs to leave the booth at times during the show. But many will become bored and walk around for 15 minutes and wonder why sales are bad. DUH!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 8:24AM
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