One of the first things to consider is the types of shows you plan to do. Will you be selling your wares at juried fine art shows or at a PTA craft show in a local high school?
Why does this matter? Because different kinds of shows attract different groups of shoppers and these groups of shoppers have ideas of what they will be shopping for and how much they are willing to spend on those items.
For instance, if you create handmade, woven, wool scarfs and wraps from hand-dyed wool and you usually charge $100-$150 each you might find it very difficult to sell your wares at a country craft fair where the average price per item is less than $25. Whereas taking those same items to a juried art show could have far better results.
Here are some tips for helping you determine how to price your goods:
Read as much as you can about a show you are thinking of vending. Read reviews and do some Google searches online to see what you can find.
If you don’t know this already, once you perform a search you can choose “MORE” and then “BLOGS” (see the red arrows above) to refine your search. You can often get more current information about a subject by reading what bloggers have to say about it than an out of date website.
Talk to people who have been vendors at the show you are researching if possible. Read reviews if they are available. A Google search for “Craft Show Reviews” should net some good sites as well as a website like YELP.
Seasonal Pricing: While your Christmas Ornaments may sell like crazy at fall and early winter shows you might not move too much merchandise during a spring or summer show. If you want to sell more during the “off season” try to add items to your line that are less seasonally specific.
Don’t rush to discount items just because the normal season is over as you can move those items to your online shop where people tend to shop for Christmas all year long.
And speaking of discounts – Use caution when discounting your items. Be sure you know just how much the item cost you to make before you lower your prices (I think I will have to write an article about how to figure out the cost of your items soon!) and consider discounts only when you are one of many vendors selling the same or similar items and/or as a temporary way to boost sales.
For example, if you are at a show and find that you are one of a dozen booths selling crochet neck scarves you might need to offer a discount to entice shoppers to purchase from your booth.
Also consider how shoppers may feel about a shop that has numerous discount tags. They may get the message that your items aren’t selling because they are of poor quality when that is far from the truth!
Even with all of this advice you can still have a show that is a “stinker”. Start a notebook and rate the shows you do so you will remember (after the sting has worn off) that this isn’t a show you want to do again. OR make a few notes about what you would do differently if you were to do this show again in the future. After all a show that doesn’t sell well can still be better than sitting home watching movies all weekend and not making ANY money. Maybe.
Have you ever gone to a show that went poorly? How did you handle it? What advice would you add to this article?
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess