Help! Signing up to do craft fairs!

loribee2January 8, 2013

So, I've been a busy little bee making mosaic pendants. I've got about 45 of them made now, and have found that I can easily crank out about a dozen in a weekend if I don't have much else to do. Soo.....I've decided to do a few craft fairs and try to recoup some of the cost of my materials.

I plan on selling these pendants:

And these mushrooms:

And in smaller quantities, a few of my critters and flowers:

I sell the pendants and smaller mushrooms for $20. They cost under $5 to make, and as I read up on craft fairs, everyone is pretty universal on the idea that items $20 and under are the best sellers.

So here is my question:

How many of these do you think I should have in my inventory to do a well-attended local craft fair? Is 100 necklaces enough? 50 mushrooms?

My quandary is how many shows to sign up for. The three I'm looking at are in July, August and November. So if I get cleaned out in the first one in July, I'm not going to have a lot of time to rebuild my inventory (I work full-time).

Of course, I may be fantasizing that I'll sell a million, haha. But after paying the $100 show fee, I definitely want to make sure I've made enough product to get my money's worth for the day. On the flipside, I don't want to kill myself trying to make so many that I burn out and never want to nip a tile again as long as I live.

Any ideas or suggestions? Experience anyone can share?

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Their beautiful!!! And the only thing I know is you can never out guess or guess correctly on how well or not, your going to do....somedays are good/great other days you wonder why you wasted your time...catch 22...but when you do good it's GREAT!!! Better to have too many than not enough I say!! Good luck hope you do great!!!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 10:37PM
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Doing business takes a lot of time, hard work and patience. If you have the stamina and love what you're doing, go for it. $100 seems like a lot for one fair. Why doncha try sharing a booth w/someone else?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 9:05AM
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Thanks for the feedback! SLOW, I should mention I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area. Everything out here is expensive, and $100 is about the bottom rate for a show that gets any kind of attendance at all. The larger, busier festivals charge upwards of $600, and some want a % of your sales!

I am planning on sharing a booth with a friend on one of the fairs. I'm just wondering how much inventory I should try to put together. Anyone know whether maybe 100 pendants is enough? Should I try for 200? I've got no idea what kind of volume people typically try to show up with.

Of course, my husband was in the sports collectibles business for a number of years. He reminded me it depends on the show. Some can clean you out, others you're sitting there all day wishing you could sell 5.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 11:53AM
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My daughter and I did arts and crafts shows for years. It is impossible to predict. (and $100 is way low for a booth fee around here. They seemed to range from $300 to $1,000). Sometimes we would sell like hotcakes and sometimes we would sit there not selling a thing.

I would say do as many as you can, and if you have a large inventory left over, list them on Etsy (only 20 cents each to list). Or, you might try what we did recently, have an open house in collaboration with other artists. My friend lives in a busy, well-traveled neighborhood and all she did was put out signs. Her stuff ($15 to $45) sold really well, and no booth fee.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 3:32PM
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take enough inventory to make back what you spent on the show + what you spent on time & materials and then pay you an hourly wage for all your time setting up and selling.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Thanks for the insights ladies! I do have an Etsy store that they are on already, but I'm thinking I might stop posting new stuff I make between now and July. I can lose a whole afternoon just photographing and setting up each listing, especially when I've got 12+ to do at once. From what I'm hearing, that time would probably be better served making more inventory. I can always put the leftovers on Etsy after show season. I like that idea, SILVA. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 4:17PM
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this was posted on Facebook and I thought of you when I saw it

Here is a link that might be useful: The 5 Elements of Seductive Craft Fair Booth Displays

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 12:09PM
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Very informative! Thanks for the link. I appreciate you thinking of me!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 1:43PM
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