Craft Fair Vendor Sales Tips and Booth Ideas

Sell more at craft fairs and markets with these insider tips and tricks
Sell more at craft fairs and markets with these insider tips and tricks

Craft Show Sales Techinques that Work

During my time selling handmade soaps, lotions and jewelry at various events; I learned a great deal through trial and error. It took a lot of practice to become successful as a seller both closing sales and most importantly, acquiring repeat customers.

This guide is a comprehensive how-to based on my experience. Learn what works and what definitely doesn’t. Use these strategies and you’ll have the edge over all other craft fair vendors. Discover even more useful information specifically for art and craft fair vendors at my blog made just for you: The Craft Booth.

Your Display is More Important Than Your Products

Selling your handmade goods at craft fairs and markets can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. It requires a lot of planning and a strong booth design strategy to give you the edge over competitors. Many vendors make the mistake of believing their product will sell itself. While it is true that good craftsmanship is important – it is NOT what brings you the bulk of your new customers. Your display -the craft booth itself, is what you really need to focus on.

Work with this idea in mind and you will be one step ahead of your competition. No one wants to believe that their art is less important than their booth, but that’s how it works and here's why.

People are visual creatures. People who develop retail displays and create retail design plans are well paid for good reason; they know how to draw you in and subtly entice you to spend your hard earned money. As a vendor, you are not only there to display a craft; you are there to persuade people. There are plenty of booths with pretty things all around you, so yours had better reel them in!

The best persuasion doesn’t come through pushy sales tactics or being aggressive. It's all in the subtleties. Your booth creates the all important first impression; the most important aspect of sales. Before anyone ever gets to you or your craft they see your display and will either be drawn to it, or walk on by.

Marketing Techniques for Craft Displays

  • Your booth must be visually appealing from a distance and from within. It must welcome visitors and have enough to see to encourage them to stay, but not so much that it overwhelms and all things blend together. Your booth is the equivalent of a tiny retail shop – treat it as such.
  • Your entry way should be clean and free from clutter. Booths should ideally be set up in a clockwise or semi-circular fashion that encourages the natural flow of traffic. If there are traffic jams or people have to trip over each other to get to what they want to see they will simply move on to the next thing.
  • Backgrounds and table coverings should be easy on the eyes and contrast nicely with what you are selling. If you are selling pastel colored items, put them against a dark or white background – not another pastel color. You want your items to be what “pops” not your signage or loud background “noise”. Color contrast provides visual interest. Contrast is also a good distance strategy – it makes your booth stand out in the crowd so use it to your advantage.
  • Lighting – lighting will make or break you. Consider the natural lighting for every place you sell on an individual basis. Adjust your lighting needs accordingly. Soft light tends to be alluring – run a strand of simple white Christmas lights along the back of your display table. Wrap it in greenery for an extra nice touch that goes well with most themes. This will not distract from, but enhance whatever other lighting techniques you use. It also adds visual depth to your display which encourages people to “come in”.
  • Your display should also contrast. A solid booth with 3 walls and some tables is not enough to really “grab” the attention of a visitor. It looks like everything else and doesn’t make you unique at all. You may have the most one-of-a-kind craft on the market, but if your display screams ordinary – you will get passed by.
  • Use unusual displays – a coat rack, a set of shelves, stacking items, platforms – all of these create visual interest and get your products closer to eye level. Stair stepping items on tables is a great way to make booths visually interesting. Place one prominent item in the upper right back corner of your booth. It draws the eye in. Most people focus on “front and center” – don’t let that be your only focus. Eyes scan around the perimeter when deciding to go in.
  • Signage is another one of those items that needs to be used sparingly for the best results. If you place a sign that has a long description of your items – your potential customers won’t make it past 2 sentences. People love to “skim” information. Place a tastefully sized sign that highlights only a very few important bullet points about your items. Near this sign, if possible, leave a stack of professionally printed business cards that are also visually interesting.
  • Never ever allow your supplies and other items to be visible under the tables. Use proper fitting table covers. Seeing a bunch of stuff shoved under a table distracts from what you want people to see.

In my soaping business, I stapled small soap samples onto my business cards which I placed into a little brass claw foot bathtub. People thought that display was so cute that they started talking to me – which then gave me the chance to show off my knowledge and close the sale.

Looking for images of craft fair booths and table displays for inspiration? Check out the one's I've handpicked and pinned on Pinterest here: Craft Fair Booth Setup and Design Ideas

Craft Fair Booth Set Up & Design Ideas Pinterest Board
Craft Fair Booth Set Up & Design Ideas Pinterest Board | Source

Make Your Customers Comfortable

Once you have caught their eye, you must engage all of your visitor's senses in an enticing way that makes them feel at ease.

If it’s hot; have a fan going. If it's cold; do what you can to block the wind. Making your space as comfortable as possible is a great way to keep people looking. When you work outdoor craft fairs and festivals, the weather is either your best friend or your worst enemy. Be prepared!

Appropriate background noise can also help boost comfort levels and sales. It can also have the opposite effect, so choose wisely. If it’s not against the rules, play soft background music that is appealing to a broad range of people. Avoid hard rock, country, rap or any music style that some people may have a strong distaste for, unless it somehow ties directly into the theme of your craft.

You may like that super speed death metal or highly twangy country star, but there is a good chance your booth visitors will not, and if they don’t like what they hear they aren’t going to stick around for the verbal assault on their ears.

Living in the heartland, I find nothing more grating than to walk into a restaurant or shop and hear loud country music. Guess what places stick out in my mind as places not to frequent? It’s the same for your customers. We don’t all have the same tastes in music, so you are better to choose something with broad appeal the same way retail stores do. Loud is not better, keep it soft and subtle.

Finally, appealing to the sense of smell. Nothing is more alluring than a nice fragrance, but LESS is more. Customers are quickly turned off by competing scents and overpowering them with smelly things. Keep a stash of fresh coffee beans on hand and let your guests to “clear their noses”. It’s a great conversation piece and works like a charm.

Smelling coffee clears the sinuses and allows you to get a “true scent”. If you sell candles, soaps, or other smelly good items this is a great way to keep your customers smelling your goods without bowling them over.

Never set up next to a “Scentsy” person who has multiple burners going – Ack! If you’re the Scentsy person, or anyone else who sells candles or melts, have respect and consideration for your neighbors.

Pick ONE scent to have burning and place other samples where people can pick them up and smell them. It makes you a better neighbor to other craft vendors which can also lead to more sales through referral. It also keeps you from overpowering customers and giving them a headache.

I did aromatherapy bath products and know that you can have your products available to smell without being obnoxious about it. People appreciate that, especially those who are sensitive or have allergies.

Even if you don't sell scented products, you can still use natural fragrances to your advantage. I keep a bottle of homemade air freshener that I prepare with citrus essential oils. Citrus is light, non-offensive and has an elevating effect on the mood. It is extremely subtle and just keeps your area fresh and clean. I learned this trick from a health food store I used to frequent and incorporated it into my booth.

Amazing Vinyl Banner Signs

I purchased an amazing vinyl banner sign for my photo restoration business from the Amazon seller above. It's affordable and the signs are sharp and crisp. Highly recommended! They are very helpful and you can custom create any design you want. Make your business stand out with a sign like this! I had before and after photos printed on mine and the sign itself was drawing people in to my booth to learn more.

Craft Show Sales Techniques - Making the Sale

Ok, the booth looks great; the people are flowing in – now it’s time to close some sales.

  • Avoid being pushy or shouting out slogans. I have seen many vendors engage in this activity and watched as people passed by their booth rolling their eyes. You don’t want to be shouted down if you walk into a store and neither do those who are browsing at a craft fair.
  • Smile and greet every visitor to your booth with a simple “Hi how are you?” or "Good Morning". Be genuine in your friendliness as people pick up on that. They know instinctively when people are being phony and when they are being sincere. Once they are perusing your products and their comfort level is increasing, then you can offer to help them or let them know if they have any questions about your particular craft that you are always happy to answer questions.

This empowers your customer and leaves them in charge of their shopping experience. They don’t feel the “high pressure” that comes from other gimmicks.

If you can, have free samples available or items that your customers can feel and touch and encourage them to do so. Studies have shown that holding an item forms a bond and a sense of ownership within 30 seconds. Give your customers something to do – engage them without pressuring them and they will become customers.

Even if they don’t buy today; people will remember “experiences”. Something to always be mindful of is that people remember an experience more than they remember a thing or a service.

Remember the last time you went to a store or restaurant and were treated rudely? You remember the way you were treated, but do you remember what you were buying or what the product/dinner was? Probably not. It's more likely that you remember not liking the experience you had.

Create a fun, positive environment for your visitors and give them a way to contact you in the future with really distinct business cards or samples. This reinforces your brand.

Know your stuff – and if you can demonstrate it! People love to watch crafters at work. Embrace their curiosity. If you see them watching what you’re doing; chat with them about it. For some crafts, this isn’t always practical, but you can do something else that relates to it.

For example, I couldn’t cook soap live at most events, but I did wrap my soap there and package it. I also cut samples where people could see me doing so. I made little herbal pouches and did things with my essential oils. All of these activities kept me busy (people love to talk to a busy person – it’s true!)

It was also a way for me to strike up conversations that were not sales pitches but still allowed me to demonstrate my knowledge on the subject. People are more inclined to buy from those they see as experts.

If you can find a way to practice your craft in a way that is non-obtrusive to your sales area do that. Remember, people are visual and watching a crafter is fascinating. Listening to a crafter spin a story as they are doing their craft is fun. Engage people in a meaningful way that is memorable and not overly pushy. You can subtly highlight the benefits of your craft/product and what makes it special.

Other Tips & Hints

  • Network with other vendors; you are not in competition with everyone. Those who keep this in mind tend to have more customers because you can always find what someone is looking for. Refer customers to other vendors you know and trust. It’s good business and it’s good Karma.
  • Be a good neighbor and have consideration for your fellow vendors. Vendors are typically very nice people who are eager to help. They are also quick to “blacklist” people who don’t play by the rules.
  • Dress nicely. Wear a nice outfit and be well groomed. Ladies, if you can - wear pink. Pink and other soft, bright colors soften your appearance and make you more approachable. I didn’t believe this when I first heard it either, but it works. Anytime I wore soft, vibrant colors I generated more sales and leads.
  • If you make something that you can wear – wear it. This is great for jewelry. You can often get other vendors who are not directly competing with you to wear something you have made if you offer to promote their products in return.
  • Don’t eat and drink in your booth. Nothing is more unappealing than walking into a booth where someone is stuffing their face instead of paying attention to their customers. Have someone relieve you for a few minutes and eat elsewhere whenever possible. If you must eat in your booth, put your food down while customers are in your stall.
  • Have traffic in your booth at all times. People draw people. If it's slow, go into the sales area and straighten your displays and clean up any trash etc. This will keep people coming in.

We love our canopy. It can be used indoors or outdoors and has the zippered sides. If it's cold or rainy, you can quickly put up the walls to protect your merchandise and also have a space for people to duck in out of the wind and other elements. It's a good investment that you can write off as a business expense.

E-Z up type canopies are very easy to handle. I was even able to put ours up by myself at a few events where my husband couldn't attend. Weigh it down on the opposing corners with ropes/cinder blocks to avoid damage in high winds.

Craft Fair Vendor Checklist

Source

Be sure to visit my website dedicated to helping vendors find success. You'll get visual inspiration for booths, learn even more marketing tips and discover everything you need to know to run a successful craft fair business locally and online.

www.TheCraftBooth.com

Have you noticed any of these techniques being used when you go to fairs/festivals?

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© 2011 Christin Sander

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Comments 150 comments

ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 3 days ago from Midwest Author

I agree Leigh. I never spend time on my phone when I'm selling. Many craft fair vendors have no experience in retail or other customer service and so it's a learning curve for many.


Leigh 3 days ago

I attended the Tupelo MS Flea Market on Black Friday. Honestly, out of all the vendors I interacted with, at least a third of them had a cell phone and did not ever look up or acknowledge me looking at their merchandise. I actually walked away from these without purchasing anything, due to their lack of interest. PUT DOWN your cell phone.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 12 days ago from Midwest Author

I fixed the broken link - sorry about that. It should be working now. The seller is BannersOutletUSA


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 12 days ago from Midwest Author

Hi Jenn

Please visit thecraftbooth.com - it's my blog dedicated to helping vendors improve their sales with great displays and other vendor tips. Thanks

:)


jenn morin 12 days ago

Hi christine im a photographer and sell at local craft shows i need help with display ideas cuz im not selling stuff i read ur article and took some ideas from it but what is the best way to make the booth stand out more i did read about using different levels


Katie Rongen 13 days ago

Hi! I can't find the link to the Amazon sign. Could you comment what it is? Thank you!


firstcookbooklady profile image

firstcookbooklady 13 days ago from Minnesota

Very interesting page!


Beverly Perry 6 weeks ago

Hi Christin:

I hope all is well.

This is a great article. Thank you for the information. I have a question. I am just starting out at craft shows (2nd year). I have a three day craft show coming up in November. My space is 12 x 12. I create hand-made ladies tote bags. I have created 100 bags. Since I am not familiar with the size of a 12 x 12, (I had a 10 x 6 last year), how do you recommend setting up. I purchased a beautiful two-piece display and I have one or two 8 x 10 tables. Can you please send me an email at Beverly.Perry@wsscwater.com. Thank you for your response.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 6 weeks ago from Midwest Author

You're most welcome Karen thanks for the feedback :)


Karen 6 weeks ago

Great article! I've been in retail for a couple decades and I've been working with a partner at craft fairs for a few more. Your tips are right on target and your explanations of your tips are also well presented. I read the article looking for something new and in addition to seeing a plethora of excellent advice, I found your comments about lighting to be "illuminating". LOL THANKS so much for such a great article.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 6 weeks ago from Midwest Author

Thank you Sojournstar :)


Sojournstar Media profile image

Sojournstar Media 6 weeks ago from The TARDIS

Great article, good tips!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 7 weeks ago from Midwest Author

You're welcome Andreea hope you have a great first show.


Andreea Smash 7 weeks ago

Wow, incredibly comprehensive article! My partner and I are actually just working to set up our first booth at a handmade fair and your article is going to help a lot! Thank you :D


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 7 weeks ago from Midwest Author

Thank you Frances - your read and comment are much appreciated :)


FrancesSpiegel profile image

FrancesSpiegel 7 weeks ago from Wembley UK

I really enjoyed reading this article not just because of the content but more because of the way you have set it out. My eyes were easily guided through the article and I have learned a lot from you regarding layout. Thank you


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks very much for the read and comment aesta1 I appreciate it :) Happy Sales!


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

I have to say this is one article that has been a good use of my time reading. I try to help artisans here in Cambodia market their products. There are many stores doing this now but they need to improve their online presence. Thanks for the tips.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Sheila

Welcome to HubPages. :)


Sheila Mcdowall profile image

Sheila Mcdowall 2 months ago from Darwin, Northern Territory Australia

Hi Christine, I am new to Hubpages and I am reading your hub as my example for content and ability to be publish. Indeed this article about Craft Fairs Vendors Tips and Booth Ideas is very thorough and well written.

Thanks for being a good hubber.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 3 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for the read and comment Amy. Good luck with your sales.


AmyF 3 months ago

Thanks for the tips! I have been a craft vendor for a number of years and am familiar with practicing a lot of the things you've mentioned. I'm getting ready to redesign the booth as we expand our inventory - I like the idea of stacking items at eye level!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 3 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks so much for your comment Diana. I think it was my background in retail and in hospitality that kind of gave me a bit of an edge. If you're a decorator, you likely have that same advantage for having an eye for detail. It certainly is something a lot of new craters struggle with. I always thought basic manners was common sense, (saying hello etc.) but some really have to work at it. I appreciate the read and comment :)


Diana S. 3 months ago

I mostly notice people doing all the things you say not to do. They are kvetching about no sales. They are ignoring people walking into their booths. Their booths have no color, no signs. They're eating (which I kind of understand if they're by themselves) but I'll try to get someone to give me a break. I'm an interior decorator and sell upcycled furniture. My booth has to give the right impression. So glad I found this site.


Gaurav Oberoi profile image

Gaurav Oberoi 5 months ago from Chandigarh

Thank you for this hub. Lots of useful tips.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 7 months ago from Midwest Author

You're very welcome Chris :)


Chris Rebel profile image

Chris Rebel 7 months ago from Dublin, Ireland

Excellent! Thanks again ChristinS, checking your website now! :)


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 7 months ago from Midwest Author

Awesome Chris thanks so much for the read and comment. Be sure to check out my website and blog for craft fair vendors - a lot of beginner advice there too even more in-depth than the hub. http://www.thecraftbooth.com Good luck :)


Chris Rebel profile image

Chris Rebel 7 months ago from Dublin, Ireland

Thank you for the advice and tips, they are invaluable. We are about to embark on our first venture into Craft Fair's in the coming months so I expect I will be putting your techniques into good practice :)


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 9 months ago from Midwest Author

You're welcome Diana thanks for the read and comment :)


Diana Abrahamson profile image

Diana Abrahamson 9 months ago from t Francis Bay

Great display options for craft shows and tips to share what not to do..thanks!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 10 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks flaky, I also have a whole website and blog devoted to vendors and selling at http://www.thecraftbooth.com be sure to check that out as well for even more information. good luck to you :)


flakycrustedmemry 10 months ago

As a newbie to crafting and being a vendor at shows your article is very informative. I appreciate you sharing some great ideas. I will refer back to your article often to remind me of the things I need to be doing.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 12 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for the awesome comment and feedback breathing :) I appreciate you taking the time.


breathing profile image

breathing 12 months ago from Bangladesh

If you want to successfully sell your products at craft fair, this hub can be the master piece for you. The techniques mentioned in this post are absolutely amazing! Indeed you get more chances of selling products at a craft fair compared to normal time. If you can use this chance effectively, you can get the best of selling and make a handsome profit. But for this you need to effectively execute the tips described in this article. I would recommend this post for every craft selling party. Learn these techniques and apply them in your stall. Hopefully you will get the better of everyone.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 12 months ago from Midwest Author

If you are doing outdoor events, I would invest in a canopy over an umbrella. Having sold soap myself, I can tell you wind and rain can be your worst enemy. Canopies offer more protection from the elements. If you are strictly indoors, you could go without of course and be fine. Your display sounds very creative and unique and I don't think a canopy will take away from it at all.


Misty 12 months ago

Hi, I make and sell beer soap at local craft markets. I'm currently working on a vintage styled cart with a small canopy as a display that will take the place of a traditional 6 foot banquet table. I will use antiqued galvanized metal buckets as part of the display, as well as an antique soap dish for samples, and some wooden crates. It's not a huge display and does not take up an entire 10X10 space. I prefer not to use a canopy, as I think it takes away from the "feel" of my vintage display. However, people always seem to freak out a little bit because we don't have a canopy. I've never had it to be a problem. I was thinking of getting a stand alone umbrella and a solid base instead of a canopy. Do you think being different in this way is a bad thing? I didn't think so but it seems like all the other vendors and organizers think it's very strange and necessary that we have a canopy.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 12 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for the read and comment Ashly - much appreciated :)


AshlyChristen profile image

AshlyChristen 12 months ago from Illinois

I wish I was a lil more crafty with my hands. When I do find that niche' I will take these tips to heart at my first flea market! Thanks for sharing!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 13 months ago from Midwest Author

Hi ScentMaven, I appreciate the comment and although I did use Scentsy as an example, I did in fact mention it applied to all vendors who sell scented items (and even mentioned that I've sold my own) Scentsy and PartyLite are the two most common mass market vendors, so naming them as an example is a way for others to know what I'm talking about. I also did mention that not all Scentsy vendors are like that - I've met several who are not (thankfully) :)


ScentMaven 13 months ago

You have a fantastic article with a lot of very helpful tips! I wish I had stumbled on this many years ago when I was just starting out and needed a handy checklist. :)

I have sold Scentsy for over six years and work very hard to be a considerate vendor to those around me. If I warm anything at all, I choose a light, neutral fragrance and ask my neighbors if they have any scent allergies first. Most are usually very happy to have something warming as it attracts other shoppers to our area.

It was slightly discouraging that Scentsy was specifically called out as someone you might not want to be by. I have been at many vendor shows over the years and there are a lot of companies that sell fragrance, including warmers and wax. It just seems that our company is commonly called out when there are many who sell similar products as ours (and those that don't) who could learn to be considerate of their neighbors, without naming one specific company. ;)

Warmly...


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 14 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for the read and comment chezchazz


chezchazz profile image

chezchazz 14 months ago from New York

Great ideas! Love the coffee bean tip.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 17 months ago from Midwest Author

thanks for the read and comment skperdon. Many people might be surprised how much work goes into a booth!


skperdon profile image

skperdon 17 months ago from Canada

Didn't know there was so much involved in setting up those little booths, but I totally agree with the tips that you have shared in this hub.

Thanks for sharing your expertise ChristinS.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 17 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks peach, so glad you enjoyed the hub. Have a great day.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 17 months ago from Home Sweet Home

thanks for yr tips, i agree that the display plays an important part


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 18 months ago from Midwest Author

Awesome Isla - that's the way to do it! :) thanks so much for stopping by again and giving me positive feedback.


Isla Impressions 18 months ago

Hi ,

Read your post and followed the advice to the T. It was my very first craft show. Prepared for four months. I got so much positive feed back and compliments. People could not believe it was my first show. I did very well and wanted to thank you.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 18 months ago from Midwest Author

NaamYum - thanks so much for coming back to let fellow readers know of your success. I'm so pleased that you are doing so well and I appreciate your feedback! Here's to your continued success.


NaamYum 18 months ago

I read this post a few months ago after four craft fairs with unsteady sales and your post was an eye opener! Especially your point about the display being more important and the marketing techniques for displays. I can safely say I have used all your tips and now see steady results month on month. Thank you for changing my business.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 19 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks jbosh glad you found some helpful tidbits in the hub. :)


jbosh1972 profile image

jbosh1972 19 months ago from Indianapolis, IN. USA

Well this hub is helpful. Not all of the tips pertain to my metal art but I have seen enough to improvise accordingly.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 19 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks so much for the read and comment charlynjune and much success to you in your future endeavors.


charlynjune profile image

charlynjune 19 months ago from Philippines

Crafts has caught my attention just lately when I observed I just do it whenever I am stressed.. Maybe, it is my way of cooling things off from a hard day at work. Then, one night, I imagined that I already own a shop with all my crafts in it.. I especially loved your article on how to set up a good booth which I know applies anywhere.. that wearing Pink part will surely be on my no. one list if one day I will realize my "imaginations.." Thanks!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 20 months ago from Midwest Author

Wonderful Hezekiah; I hope they help you. Good luck with your sales.


Hezekiah profile image

Hezekiah 20 months ago from Japan

Thank you for the tips, I do quite a few craft fairs here in Japan.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 20 months ago from Midwest Author

Even hot process uses lye. I've done both cold and hot process, but I'm an impatient sort so I prefer to do the hot process since it goes faster :) Thanks for the read and comment Besarien


Besarien profile image

Besarien 20 months ago

Great hub! I love your tip about coffee beans I shall remember next time I buy perfume or candles. This was a real joy to read. I'd love to browse your soaps at a craft fair some day! Do you use lye for heat during the process or to you cook your soap over heat?


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 20 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Diane for the read and comment :) Good luck with your sales.


Diane 20 months ago

My business partner and I do most of these - will be wearing PINK now at all shows!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 22 months ago from Midwest Author

Thank you Margaret - much appreciated have a great day :)


Margaret Schindel profile image

Margaret Schindel 22 months ago from Massachusetts

This is just awesome information, ChristinS! Bookmarked and pinned.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 22 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks annieangel1 for reading, commenting and sharing - much appreciated :)


annieangel1 profile image

annieangel1 22 months ago from Yorkshire, England

great information here - shared and pinned - thanks


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 22 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Mitch so glad you enjoyed the hub. :)


Open Mind Mitch profile image

Open Mind Mitch 22 months ago

Enjoyable read, some good tips given...thanks very much.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 22 months ago from Midwest Author

Thank you Manikandan001 much appreciated :)


Manikandan001 profile image

Manikandan001 22 months ago from India

Well,this is very important tips for everybody who have talent in creativity.And can reveal the actual work to the world.Its outstanding article.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 22 months ago from Midwest Author

Glad they were obvious to you - for others not so much. Thanks for your comment.


John Dyhouse profile image

John Dyhouse 22 months ago from UK

Some very useful tips, they seem kinda obvious but of course we do concentrate on our craft and forget that selling is an art in itself. thanks for the information.


toptengamer profile image

toptengamer 22 months ago from The Game

I think one of the biggest things you need to keep in mind, is that you have to make people want to look your way. For instance, most commercials now-days have little or nothing to do with their product, but they always catch your eye.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 23 months ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Sue for reading and commenting. I appreciate that you are aware of other people's allergies. Unfortunately I was at two shows where this was not the case and sadly that gives a bad reputation to other vendors who don't deserve it. Scentsy is lovely - one at a time :)


Sue 23 months ago

I actually sell Scentsy and this made me lol.

"Never set up next to a “Scentsy” person who has multiple burners going – Ack! If you’re the Scentsy person, or anyone else who sells candles or melts, have respect and consideration for your neighbors. Pick ONE scent to have burning and place other samples where people can pick them up and smell them. It makes you a better neighbor to other craft vendors which can also lead to more sales through referral. It also keeps you from overpowering customers and giving them a headache."

I have made it policy to never melt ANY scents. You never know someone elses allergies. I found out one of my co-workers was allergic to lilac and the scent I had caused her issue's. Since then I ask everyone at work before I try a new scent and NEVER burn any at shows. Just an extra tip. I loved all the tips you shared. Thank you!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 23 months ago from Midwest Author

Hi David,

I would recommend risers on the tables that put your items at different levels to make it more eye catching. Also you can take your corner space and maybe put an item or two on top of a wood crate? or inside? I know I use wine crates at times for storage and display (handy for both :) )

Marita thanks so much for reading and commenting. Handmade greeting cards are lovely. Have you considered maybe selling handmade papers or stationary? What about scrapbook pages or photo books? (trying to stick with the theme of paper)


Marita 23 months ago

Thanks so much. Will try some of these. I sell my handmade greeting cards, but am also looking for some other craft that may be a bit unusual and catchy to draw the eye of prospective customers.


David Fuhrmann 23 months ago

I make wooden toys....stuff like trains, airplanes, rocking horses. I am wanting to try my hand at bigger juries shows. Getting accepted is no problem because I have several big end and unique products that most show marketers love to have in their shows. My problem is the challenge for designing a great looking craft booth. Just about everything I make sets on a table (have nothing I can hang, except maybe my airplanes).

I'm just having difficulty coming up with some good design ideas for my booth......which will make it attractive and inviting. Anyone have any suggestions please?


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

I'm not either jennabee, but it seemed to soften my look and helped me when I wore it. Hope it works for you.


jennabee25 profile image

jennabee25 2 years ago from PA

I'm not a pink person, but since I have an indoor craft show coming up soon, I may wear a pink shirt and see what happens.


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

You're welcome Rolando, thanks for reading and commenting :)


Rolando 2 years ago

Thanks for the ideas!!


Tricia Deed profile image

Tricia Deed 2 years ago from Orlando, Florida

Good advice and information. Basic information plus some commonsense tips.


lbrummer profile image

lbrummer 2 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

Thanks, ChristinS. A nice addition to my hub.


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

thanks lbrummer, that would be most excellent and appreciated :)


lbrummer profile image

lbrummer 2 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

So many really great tips. I'd like to add a link to visit this hub, on my craft show crafts hub, if it's all right with you. I believe that presentation is as important as the item for sale at craft shows.


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

thanks chocolatealchemy I appreciate the read and comment :)


Chocolatealchemy profile image

Chocolatealchemy 2 years ago from London, United Kingdom

You've shared some really great tips - thanks, I'll be keeping these in mind next time I have set up at a show.


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Rhonda, glad you enjoyed the hub :)


Rhonda Lytle profile image

Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

I like the comprehensiveness of this and how you really address it as a business instead of a hobby. Useful tips!


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

thanks craftybegonia glad you enjoyed the hub :)


craftybegonia profile image

craftybegonia 2 years ago from Southwestern, United States

Very practical and smart suggestions!


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Lisa, I appreciate the read and feedback. I wrote this after I stopped doing shows to tend to sick relatives so I didn't have more pics. I wish I'd have taken more also during those days. Maybe I'll be able to get back into it one day :) then I'll add more pics.


LisaKeating 2 years ago

I really enjoyed this hub. I sell vintage items in an antique mall, so I have never set up at a flea market or trade show. However, I see how some of these same tips apply. You seem passionate and confident about the tips you suggest. I would have liked to see more pictures of your own display. Nice job.


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

you're very welcome mueblesdejardin glad you enjoyed the hub and found it useful.


mueblesdejardin profile image

mueblesdejardin 2 years ago from madrid

very good information. thank you very much


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Amanda and good luck with your convention sales :)


Amanda108 profile image

Amanda108 2 years ago from Michigan, United States

Thanks for the tips! After years of craft sales (attending and vending) and now having moved up to conventions I'm late in learning that the display is SO important. I struggle with how to be appealing. I can't go too cute or pretty as my target audience is young adults, often male. I sell pop culture accessories and magnets. Also at busy conventions it's next to impossible to do an open booth, which means unattractive lined-up tables that are easy to walk past. I'm trying to aim for well organized and bright/colorful this year.


sparkleyfinger profile image

sparkleyfinger 2 years ago from Glasgow

Great hub! I am looking into starting my own craft business, and while the majority of my sales will be online hopefully, I will also look at craft fares and markets throughout the summer! Thanks for such great tips!


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks janesix, it is a lot of hard work, but it was always super fun :)


janesix profile image

janesix 2 years ago

Great hub. I've often thought this would be a fun way to sell my artwork.


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Carrie Lee glad you enjoyed the hub!


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 2 years ago from Northeast United States

Wow :) Very good and interesting hub. Really good tips for a fair like atmosphere or even a flea market stand. Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful week.


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks adams07 I don't do them anymore and I really miss it. I want to go back to it myself eventually, but for now I am focused on my freelance work. I wish you much success with it.


adams07 profile image

adams07 2 years ago from Auburn, GA

Great article. I have been debating doing craft shows for awhile but this helps so much!


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks so much for the wonderful feedback LinaCrafter - it's truly appreciated and I hope it helps you be successful.


LinaCrafter 2 years ago

Thank you - this is great information, and I find that, after reading it, even my mind is clear and I have a plan now and am no longer flailing through too many ideas to even consider. This is well written and makes sense! Much appreciated!


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ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks ignugent17 it did work quite well, people would remember me when they would see me at other festivals and fairs :)


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 2 years ago

Very useful hub. I love the idea of attaching a sample of soap on your card. :-)


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 2 years ago from Midwest Author

That is interesting craftymomma - I don't know why that would be. I do know that in my personal experience, people tend to flee those kinds of booths in the venues I frequented, but some people just have a certain charisma I suppose? I had one lady that set up next to me one time and they were so obnoxious with it people were literally veering away from our aisle - and she had no idea apparently she was causing the issue. Most people do not respond well to that, so I suppose your friend has a special talent :).


Craftymomma 2 years ago

You have useful tips and tricks. I use most of them at my shows. But I still scratch my head as to why I get little to no sales where a friend of mine can yell out gimmicks and wear very strong opinionated clothing and almost sells out.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 3 years ago from Midwest Author

Then I suggest walking around some craft fairs and looking at displays.


mom 3 years ago

great tips thanks but looking for some visual ides


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 3 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks for reading and commenting Flourish - smelly neighbors were the worst. One year we were at an outdoor festival and they put us next to the kettle corn guy, who smoked... ugh! he also dumped popcorn all over the ground. It was so disgusting.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Great tips. Having previously sold items at crafts fairs, I agree with your advice. I offered attractive business cards for those who were "just looking" and often people contacted me long after the event was over. The smelly neighbors (highly scented items and cooked food in particular) can really take their toll after hours of sitting and standing side by side.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 3 years ago from Midwest Author

Dbro If you go to the more high end craft fairs and festivals (the ones you have to jury into) there would probably be a better market for you. Thanks for reading and commenting :) best wishes.


Dbro profile image

Dbro 3 years ago from Texas, USA

Very interesting article, Christin! I am an artist who works mostly in watercolor. I am interested in trying my luck in the "craft fair" arena, but I'm not sure my work would sell in an environment like that. Do you have any experience with people selling art at such an event?


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 3 years ago from USA

Being respectful for your neighbors at the crafts fair is very important indeed. Lots of great advice here. Voted up.


Katrina 3 years ago

A WONDERFUL article - thanks for sharing it!


brenda12lynette profile image

brenda12lynette 3 years ago from Utah

I hope to start selling baked goods at local markets in a few weeks. I will definitely apply these tips to my booth! Thanks for the great advice!!


epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

I was interested in this hub as I just published one on book signings, which in essence is similar to setting up a booth at a craft fair. I also sell bracelets and have only set up one booth for that. I never thought of the temperature control with a fan or blocking the wind or even blocking the noise. I may have to add these to my personal list of things not to forget. Thanks for posting. Voted up!


Alise- Evon 3 years ago

Thanks for the great advice! I just started selling crafts at a local farmer's market- they are trying to expand. Not many crafters yet; it's tough to sell crafts when people are mostly coming for food. I did discover some of the things you mentioned on my own, which did really help, and will be eager to try out the others.

Voted useful.


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 3 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

Great information I will definitely use in an outdoor booth this coming weekend! Thanks....voted up and useful!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Natashalh and good luck with your craft fair season.


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

Thanks for all these tips. I am planning to attend some craft fairs for the first time as a vendor to holiday season and I'm working hard to read everything I can to be prepared! I'll be checking this hubs few times in the coming months. Voted up and useful!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

I agree cloverleaf and I do mostly juried shows these days and I only do a few per year instead of full time as I used to. Many crafters getting started can't get into juried shows without some experience. Also, many local festivals with a lot of buyers allow both handmade and other vendors which is rather unfortunate in my opinion. We have a couple of wonderful harvest festivals in our area where you can do quite well, unfortunately you have to deal with having other types of vendors there also who are not always the most considerate of their neighbors.


cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 4 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

Great hub. I have been on both sides of the table. As both a vendor, and a promoter, I would suggest that you do only juried craft shows. They don't allow "Scentsy" or any other "not hand made" crafter in. People who make their own product make out much better in the long run doing juried craft shows. They don't allow just anyone in, and this brings in people who are there to spend money, and not just "kick tires".


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

Thanks Creative for the comment and bookmark - much appreciated :)


Creative Mixtress profile image

Creative Mixtress 4 years ago from Safety Harbor, Florida

I wish I had this information years ago while doing shows. I am bookmarking in case I ever decide to take it on the road again!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

tloggins, do some research for colleges in your specific area and anything that is popular in your region. As for having your own hub - sign up for hubpages and go and read the information in the learning center - then hub away! :)


tloggins 4 years ago

Thank you so much that was helpful. I also needed info on what would be a good craft to sell at a college craft show. Also a little info having my own Hub.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

tloggins, Look at craftlister.com or do a google search for craft fairs + your state. Some craft fairs are juried, which means you have to have pictures of your displays/booths in advance. Other, lesser quality ones are not juried. For craft fairs, your items must typically be handmade by you - so whatever you can make well. Flea markets are different and you can sell whatever you like at those.


tloggins 4 years ago

How do you find craft shows that are local. What would be a good product to sell at a college craft show.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

thanks cabmgmnt glad you enjoyed the hub and left a comment :)


cabmgmnt profile image

cabmgmnt 4 years ago from Northfield, MA

Liked the tips in here. I love going to craft fairs and selling at them, too!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest Author

thank you Jonathan - I agree. Any crafter can benefit from that strategy as well, place something more pricey in the front that is your very best work and then have smaller items close at hand. They will be seen as more of a bargain and more likely to be purchased. Thanks for your comment.


Jonathan Grimes profile image

Jonathan Grimes 4 years ago from Devon

Great insight on crafter's and artists who exhibit at shows. As an artist, having a large original painting at a high cost drives viewers to buy smaller prints from your stall and there is always a chance that someone will buy the original.

Great hub


Jonathan Grimes profile image

Jonathan Grimes 5 years ago from Devon

Interesting tips here. .


UrsulaRose 5 years ago

I have been contemplating this for some time and am ever so called to have come across your well-written, informative, tell-it-as-it-is hub article.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experiences with us. :-)


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Thank you for the comment and I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. These tips can also help shoppers ;) because you now know our "tricks" - although they aren't truly sinister lol


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

Wow, this is a great Hub and very applicable for these vendors. I go to a lot of Art and Wine Festivals here in the Bay Area, and I often feel sorry for the vendors I see who have no visitors while their neighbors have swarms coming over to them. I always wondered what some of the tricks were to this, and I feel I learned a lot, though I am not a vendor myself!


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Thank you. I did sales for several years and learned a lot along the way, much of it from other vendors. Glad you enjoyed the hub, I'm happy to share knowledge with others.


HubPages profile image

HubPages 5 years ago from San Francisco, CA

Wow, you're a real pro at this! Thanks for sharing you expertise! Now... if only I could develop some crafting talent...


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 5 years ago from Midwest Author

It didn't take longer than a couple of hours - When we write about things we are knowledgeable about writing goes pretty quick. I spend about 2 hours per hub or so


Mackevse profile image

Mackevse 5 years ago from Nairobi,kenya

great! And how long did you take to write it? huu


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Thank you Nick. I appreciate that. 5 Years of selling at markets and fairs gives you some real perspective that's for sure!


NicholasA profile image

NicholasA 5 years ago from Midwest

Great tips Chris. All of those craft fairs and markets were good experience. You have so much useful information that you can share with others.


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ChristinS 5 years ago from Midwest Author

thank you marellen for the lovely comment. I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub. I'm going to go check your hubs out as well.


marellen 5 years ago

Great and informative hub. I have two hubs on this subject too and you have done a good job with the subject matter.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 5 years ago from Midwest Author

Thank you RTalloni glad you found it useful :)


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Good tips for arts and crafts fair vendors!

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    Christin Sander (ChristinS)1,266 Followers
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    Christin has been successfully self-employed for 16 years. Her passion is helping others hone their skills and find good opportunities.



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