I know you just caught your breath from the Christmas season but it’s not too early to start planning for Valentines Day. In fact, you need to plan ahead to take advantage of the people who wait until the last minute. Confused? Read on.
Guys, I apologize in advance for the stereotype, but let’s face it, men tend to wait until the last minute to shop. (Yes, some women do too.) Still, hanging out where men are captive audiences is a guaranteed way to generate cash on in February . Particularly if you make wearables like jewelry or scarves, jump on this. Most guys know they’re supposed to do something but have no idea what to buy their wives or girlfriends so they appreciate not having to go out shopping.
Valentines Day falls on a Thursday this year so if you plan ahead, you can have at least 4 days of killer sales.
- Pick the most upscale men’s salon or barber shop and offer to set up a display of your wares at peak hours. You might want to do this on Saturday, the 9th because that’s probably the busiest day. Make sure and approach it as if you’re doing THEM a favor rather than the other way around because you are. (The owner and operators likely haven’t done their shopping yet either so they can have first pick without having to leave work.) Also, mention that setting this up will be an attraction for them as well so it will draw in new customers for the salon. You will sell more than you would in a craft show or retail setting because guys won’t be cheap in front of other guys. There’s kind of a magnet effect. One buys and they all start opening their wallets.
- Arrange to set up at a large office building in the lobby or break room from Monday the 11th through Thursday the 14th. You’ll be doing the employees and the employers a favor. Particularly on Thursday. Lots of guys don’t even think about Valentines day until they get to work on the 14th so they’re planning to leave work early and stop on the way home to pick up last minute gifts. I’ve heard crafters say they sold more in a lunch hour on Valentines Day than all month long.
- Medical personnel often work odd hours and the shops are closed when they get off work so a hospital is a great place to have a last minute sale. Ask the HR department if you can set up in an area that the nurses and doctors gather on their breaks.
- Another great place to set up a last minute pop-up display is a nice neighborhood sports bar where regulars gather for lunch and dinner (think Cheers). If you get the guys at lunch time, you have a captive audience. If it’s a place that women frequent as well, you have the advantage of couples and believe me, if there is a table of handmade jewelry set up, women will crowd around. They’ll not only buy for friends and family but will show the guys the pieces they like.
In all of the above instances, be sure to have plenty of cards and brochures with your contact info. Even if someone doesn’t purchase, write a description on the card of the pieces the person admired so that they can call or email you later. One great tip is to have cards printed on the reverse side with something like, “Hint, hint. I found exactly what I want from (your name or company name)” and then a blank line to write the style number, name or other identifying info. Then a woman can give it to her husband or boyfriend and they will likely contact you and buy the piece.
Also, do a drawing for a piece of your work. Just put out a bowl to collect business cards or scraps of paper for them to put their name and email address on. Ask permission to add them to your newsletter list so that you can let them know in advance when you’ll be back at that location or somewhere near by. And of course, before you leave, arrange to return the week of Mother’s Day .
These are such easy, inexpensive ways to generate income from your handmade craft. Many crafts people report making more money in a few hours this way than at a huge craft fair.
For more suggestions like this you can check out “13 Easy Low-Cost or NO Cost Tips to Turn Your Crafts into CASH NOW” on CraftBizBlog.com.
Terri Belford has been self-employed for more than 30 years and been on all sides of the art and handmade craft business as an artist, gallery owner and consultant to artists and crafts people. You can follow her on Twitter@craftbizcoach and Facebook. And follow her blog for more craft business articles.