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Does anyone sell at craft shows?

#263211 by Spooner » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:25 am

I have always wanted to try selling my stuff at craft shows. But I have no idea what my stuff would be worth... If I'm too high then no one buys. If I'm too low then I'm not getting paid fairly for my craft. For those of you that do shows do you actually make a profit or are you donating your time and just making enough to pay for materials?

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Re: Does anyone sell at craft shows?

#263213 by dusty » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:36 am

I guess the answer to this question depends an awful lot on how much you value your own skills and time.

It is my opinion that I can not make a profit selling at craft shows. I have, however, sold a few items on consignment. Just determine how much you believe your item is worth (profit included) and put it for sale. If it sells, great, if it doesn't you have a decision to make. Take it home and terminate the business or lower the price.

Now, these days I make a lot of items that would never sell let alone yield a profit.

I would recommend that you give it a go and see for yourself. Understand that success depends an awful lot on what you produce and where you are located. When you "go to market" is also a critical component to your success.

---

"Making Sawdust Safely"
Dusty
Sent from my Dell XPS using Firefox.

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Re: Does anyone sell at craft shows?

#263214 by wa2crk » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:50 am

I don't specifically try to sell my "stuff". I enjoy making stuff but I give it away as gifts. I get as much of a kick seeing people's reactions to a pen or a small bowl as I do making it. Just enjoy the craft. Our retirement community has a craft fair once a year and I might sell a couple of pens and bowls but I enjoy talking to people more. Our craft fair has a lot of ladies that produce embroidered items as well as blankets and quilts. They are easy marks for the seam ripper kits. :D
Bill V

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Re: Does anyone sell at craft shows?

#263217 by wrmnfzy » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:47 pm

My wife and I did for years but it became too much like a job. Some of the things we ran into were:

People don’t realize the cost of what goes into your items, cost of wood these days, tool maintenance, labor and time. They often think you are charging too much.

Unless you are finding your materials for free and your items take very little labor you are doing it because you enjoy it and don’t do much better than break even on materials.

In our area the craft season is in the fall and the shows about every weekend. Some shows are much more crafter friendly. We got to the point that we would sell so much that we found ourselves working into early morning hours making inventory for the next show.

We tried making inventory in the off season but then you end up with inventory that doesn’t sell as customer taste changes. We had several items that always sold well and we concentrated on them mostly. It never failed though that whatever you made, theme related, someone would ask about something a little different. We did take some special orders and made them but it really isn’t cost effective.

My wife finally decided she was tired of staying up to 3am painting and it was too much like work. I have to admit I wasn’t thrilled with making dozens of the same thing.

I would rather make one of a kind things and give them to a friend or relative. Speaking of that I have had people ask me to make something for them and I would tell them I would only charge them for the materials and when I would tell them what that would be they would look at me like I was trying to rob them. Think what they would have thought if I wanted to charge them for sandpaper, fool sharpening and wear and tear on the machinery.

All that said I do miss the appreciation that people showed for well made crafts they bought from us.

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Re: Does anyone sell at craft shows?

#263223 by Spooner » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:42 pm

Sounds like eventually it becomes work and no longer fun Wrmnfzy.

I had thought about selling online on Etsy and just filling orders when they come in. I want to make custom inlay cribbage boards. Large ones with custom resin pegs. I'm talking like 10"x30" with 1/4" pegs. But again I have no clue what they would be worth. I have a few custom business logo boards designed I just need to get my cnc finished to start carving the inlays. Once they were done I thought I would contact the business and see if any employees or CEO's would be interested in purchasing any. But then I wonder if that would be a waste of time because I'm just shooting in the dark and hoping I get lucky.

Another thought was college team logos but I don't know if I'd get in trouble on those.

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Re: Does anyone sell at craft shows?

#263224 by wrmnfzy » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:58 pm

You would, my brother made a college specific monopoly game and quickly received a cease and desist letter and law suit threat letter. Good luck, the other things sound promising but I don't know that market.

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Re: Does anyone sell at craft shows?

#263225 by rpd » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:59 pm

Spooner wrote:I have always wanted to try selling my stuff at craft shows. But I have no idea what my stuff would be worth... If I'm too high then no one buys. If I'm too low then I'm not getting paid fairly for my craft. For those of you that do shows do you actually make a profit or are you donating your time and just making enough to pay for materials?


My in-laws used to sell stained glass, and before I knew them scroll saw work, (my avatar is one he made). Other than helping them set up I have no experience.

There is a blog you might find useful as to pricing your work and choosing what to sell. It is mostly focused on turning projects, but the basic principals should transfer.

https://www.turningforprofit.com/the-nuts-and-bolts-of-pricing-your-work/

---

Ron Dyck
==================================================================
10ER #23430, 10ER #84609, 10ER #94987,two SS A-34 jigsaws for 10ER.
1959 Mark 5 #356595 Greenie, SS Magna Jointer, SS planer, SS bandsaw, SS scroll saw (gray), DC3300,

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Re: Does anyone sell at craft shows?

#263226 by wrmnfzy » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:00 pm

Wow, I looked at the site and all I can say is his pricing module is good for well made items that are more pieces of art than the normal craft item. If you followed the guidelines for normal made craft products it would be difficult to find buyers. IMHO

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Re: Does anyone sell at craft shows?

#263227 by Mike907 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:34 pm

Nick Cook has a good article on marketing your crafts, next to the last in this list:

http://nickcookwoodturner.com/articles.htm

Nick specializes in turning simple items that can be made quickly and are useful to own. He says he can do the art projects that take a lot of time and work and can take months to sell, or he can make money now with his simple items.

Mike

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Re: Does anyone sell at craft shows?

#263229 by wrmnfzy » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:17 pm

One other thing be prepared to take credit cards and be careful taking checks, check and copy D/L license number on checks.

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