How To Become A Craft Vendor At Festivals!

The sight of an Ez-up tells you something special is happening! Courtesy http://www.pdphoto.org/jons/pictures/cityscene_2_bg_081300.jpg
The sight of an Ez-up tells you something special is happening! Courtesy http://www.pdphoto.org/jons/pictures/cityscene_2_bg_081300.jpg
  The allure of a Flea market is great weather and the sheer volume of cool "stuff"! Courtesy  http://www.fleamarkets.org/nfma-photogallery/PhotoGallery.asp?Imageid=78&btn=next#78
The allure of a Flea market is great weather and the sheer volume of cool "stuff"! Courtesy http://www.fleamarkets.org/nfma-photogallery/PhotoGallery.asp?Imageid=78&btn=next#78
 Flea markets offer low both fees & traffic and no commitment!  Courtesy http://www.fleamarkets.org/nfma-photogallery/PhotoGallery.asp?Imageid=76&btn=next#76
Flea markets offer low both fees & traffic and no commitment! Courtesy http://www.fleamarkets.org/nfma-photogallery/PhotoGallery.asp?Imageid=76&btn=next#76
 Festivals offer massive traffic and higher booth fees! Courtesy  http://www.pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=&pg=8041
Festivals offer massive traffic and higher booth fees! Courtesy http://www.pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=&pg=8041
 Calm is relaxing but not a vendor's friend! courtesy  http://www.pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=&pg=6833
Calm is relaxing but not a vendor's friend! courtesy http://www.pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=&pg=6833
  Festivals have patrons in a festive and buying mood! courtesy http://www.pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=&pg=6851
Festivals have patrons in a festive and buying mood! courtesy http://www.pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=&pg=6851
 Today's nice but be prepared for the worst! courtesy http://www.pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=&pg=5364
Today's nice but be prepared for the worst! courtesy http://www.pdphoto.org/PictureDetail.php?mat=&pg=5364
 The Native American Indians will accept you as a vendor, if you have plenty of experience under your belt!  Photo taken by my wife.
The Native American Indians will accept you as a vendor, if you have plenty of experience under your belt! Photo taken by my wife.

Do Something You Love & You'll Never Work A Day!

If you're like most people, you could always use a little extra cash! Either to pay on a bill , credit card or maybe fund a nice vacation! You may have some long term goals like saving for retirement or even a child's college fund. You may be retired and on a fixed income and could use a little extra cash. You can get a second job or become craft vendor! If you become a vendor, you will attend Fall Festivals, Craft Shows and Pow Wows selling your home made jewelry or crafts and you should be able to average $300-$400 dollars a day in sales. If you do very well, you could make $1000, or more at really popular shows! There are three main avenues of vending( excluding internet sales & marketing). First is craft vending at Fall Festivals, Craft Shows and Pow Wows. Second is vending at outdoor flea markets. Last is vending at Garage sales at your house.

I recommend starting with garage sales. This way you can test the waters and see if being a craft vendor is for you! The first thing you will need is an E-z up 10 x10 pop up tent which can be set up with one person. You will need 6 round cornered fold up padded tables that are 4ft. x 2ft.. Get at least two foldable nylon chairs (cup holders and shade flap on top are a plus). Make some quality garage sale signs using Print Artist or other such program, laminate them (you're going to use them many times) and place them with balloons strategically to bring in a much traffic as you can handle. Because you are starting out, use items you no longer need or want to augment your home made items. Garage sell items usually sell at rock bottom prices so do not be shocked when some people make you a really low ball offer on an item, just politely tell them your asking price. Put price tags on all of your items, and on the issue of price, a good rule of pricing is, if you pay dollar for an item, you should sell it for at least three dollars. The first dollar pays for the item, the second pays for your expenses and the third is pure profit. On higher priced items say 50-100 dollars your profit margin can be smaller. The advantages of a garage sale are you have no booth fee, no fuel cost, and you can sell whatever you want to. The disadvantages are people expect really low prices and traffic can be light.

Vending out side at Flea markets is a way to increase you traffic! It is generally better than inside because you pay 20-30 dollars for the day and aren't tied into a long term contract. Your fee is a least half the amount for a festival so you can keep your prices low. Flea markets generally let you sell anything, so bring house hold items with you, to pump up your inventory. What I like most of all is the flexibility of selling at the flea market, you can show up any time and if the weather gets bad you can just pack up and leave. Flea markets are a great place to test out a new line of products you plan on selling at festivals.

Vending at Fall Festivals, Art Festivals or Pow Wows is popular because of the heavy traffic. People have paid to get in and because of this and the fact that it is a yearly event, they feel an urgency to buy a keep sake or souvenir. This is why serious vendors hit show after show, once they have discovered a winning combination of inventory and display they make money year round! Now the big question, what to sell? That is easy enough walk around a festival and see what items are doing well and which items you personally like. Do not expect these vendors to give out their sources that would be asking them to cut their own throats! You will have to research that on E-bay or other such sources. There is some down side to doing festivals. The fees can be high, and you must attend no matter if it rains or not . It is laborious at times, loading and unloading you vehicle and setting up tables and the merchandise. Here are a few things you will need to make it easier: First a vendor buddy, to help set up and break down and even split the booth fee with(not to mention cover your booth while you take a potty break!) You will need a covered pickup truck or station wagon. Besides the E-z up & tables mentioned above, you will need tarps (to cover your booth in case of rain), bungee chords, large alligator clips (to hold tarp to booth), 4 stakes to hold theE-z up to ground, 4 sandbags if booth is on cement, plastic rubber maid containers for merchandise storage, rain gear and a fanny pack to keep your currency in. All in all, vending at festivals is a fun and enjoyable experience that is flexible and rewarding and a great way to travel the country with out breaking the piggy bank!

For a Flea Market near you click on this link for the National Flea Market Association NFMA

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Comments 24 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

An entertainingly detailed and informational Hub. I didn't think you could make that amount of money with reletivly little effort!


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Yes, it is possible to average about 3-400 dollars in a day at a show. If you you price it right, and depending on if your items are made from scratch or merely wholesaled your net profit after both fee can be 200 dollars and up. Thanks for your post Mentalist acer!


judydianne profile image

judydianne 6 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

Very informative hub and something worth looking into.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Thanks for posting judydianne! Yes, this is Capitalism in the purest sense! You can either make things to sell, or simply wholesale items, or ideally both! Very little overhead means very little risk. This is how many store fronts started, with humble beginnings!


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Craft fairs can be so fun, I love to see what people create and sell. I love to do my own share of crafting. Thanks for sharing, Nifty!


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

It definitely beats a day at the office! After you do the circuit a few years you know which shows are good and which to avoid! Plus you build a network of friends that you can share tips and advice with! Thanks for posting oceansnsunsets


suny51 profile image

suny51 6 years ago

That's very crafty and nice hub,very beautiful apart from being informative and inspiring,thank you.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Thank you suny51 for posting. One thing about vending like this is that in these uncertain times it gives you peace of mind, and a back up plan to make money!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Been there! Is that a picture of VSU?? I'm from GA, BTW.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Thanks habee for posting! I too am from Ga! These pictures are stock pd., we have many pictures from the shows over the years, but unfortunately they're on 35 mm. I can scan them but they wouldn't crop correctly. So I really couldn't say if they are VSU. I have some booth set up pictures I want to add to this hub!


MaryRenee 6 years ago

Nifty: Great hub! :)


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Thanks MaryRenee! It's easy to hub about something that's enjoyable!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

I used to do that. Jewelry always seems to draw the crowds and is easy to display and pack up. Unfortunately...that is not what I was doing. Ha!


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

We've been to shows where vendors are selling heavy items like furniture or leather jackets. This is a lot of work at the end of a day! Thanks Peggy W for your post!


mydesk profile image

mydesk 6 years ago from Davis, CA

Hmm.. I have an ebay store selling crafts that I handmade. Have been toying the idea of selling at craft fairs but never really get to it. Too busy, no time, too hectic -- excuse, excuse, excuse.

Thanks for the info.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Thanks mydesk for you post! Try the flea market, it is more a spur of the moment thing! On a Saturday go and check on out. Get the price and find out what time to show up and then work out two or three possible dates to show up.


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

Nifty thanks for the info it sounds like a very interesting world - social and profitable. I have been to a few as a visitor only.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Thanks billyaustindillon for your post! What I like about it is the flexibility. For a very nominal amount you can try out a new line without being tied into a long term contract!


celinewayne profile image

celinewayne 6 years ago

great idea, nifty

i smell profit here =)

this hub really inspires me to earn money through a festival. i'm thinking now what kind of nice craft which people look for and also profitable. thx 4 sharing =)


celinewayne profile image

celinewayne 6 years ago

great! just watch the video, this can give me idea =)


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I found great information here. Art is always beautiful. I love many kind of arts. And you give us well explanation about the step to be a craft vendor. I've to follow your tips if I want to bea craft vendor. It looks interesting business. Thank you very much! I vote this UP.

Prasetio


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

Thanks celinewayne for posting! I think it's a good idea to have items for the kids, because cheap items for the kids often gets the purse open, leading to larger sales for the adults.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago Author

The beauty of being a craft vendor is you can create all of your inventory or buy it wholesale and just retail it. Certain shows require all items to be self created, but most give you a lot of discretion in deciding what to sell. Thanks prasetio30 for you post!


Don aukamp 16 months ago

Old vendor retiring and looking for someone to continue making and marketing unique Scottish tartan watches at festivals.

Will provide tools, technology, and start up stock of watches.

Reasonable in PA

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