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Crafts and how to make Big Money

Updated on June 19, 2011


Here's how I made $1600 by working only 4 days a month - in 1980.

Step 1: Find a good Flea Market that brings in a lot of traffic and I don't mean an online flea market. The one I used was open only on Sundays year round. I had an inside booth of 400 square feet that I leased out. The traffic was up to 20,000 people on any one Sunday. When the huge parking lots were filled by noon, cars would line up on the highway about 1/2 kilometer on both sides of the road. This flea market was in the small town of Stittsville, Ontario Canada on several acres and accomodated both inside and outside vendors.

Step 2: Secure a good location for a booth inside one of the vendors buildings. Don't cheap out on the size of the booth but don't spend a lot on rent either.

Step 3: Construct a divider between you and the vendors beside you. Make it look like a small shop if you can. The saying goes - spend money to make money and it's true but you don't have to spend a lot. I used Bamboo poles to separate my booth from my neighbours booth. Build it and they will come - make it appealing to the eye. Construct shelving and dividing walls, if permitted. It sounds like you're doing a lot and you will be, at the beginning, but it has to look appealing. Your booth must stand out from the others. Don't worry - you'll get your money back ten fold and quickly.

Step 4: Give it a name and put up a sign to tell people what you're selling. You should make sure that you secure a booth against a main wall with hydro plugs that you can plug lights into so it's gives your booth a warm, inviting feeling to everyone that passes by.

Step 5: Where To Advertise:
Back in 1980, there was no internet. I advertised in one weekly newspaper called "The Pennysaver" that went to every home (free) in the Ottawa area. The ad was not all that expensive, about $40.00 a week. In 2011, you now have the Internet, a marketing tool that is far superior to any newspaper, although you may also want to place a weekly ad in your local weekly, free community newspaper.
Look for the Flea Markets, Garage Sales section online. An excellent site to advertise on today is Kijiji. In Canada, it's In the United States, it's Also, Craigs List is very popular in the United States. Online ads are free unless you want to be a Top Ad and that costs a little bit each week but you're the first one people see if you're a Top Ad and that's important.

Step 6: How To Write Your Ad:
My ad read like this and I'll never forget it:
CRAFTS of all kinds required. We will sell for you at No Commission.
I placed the ad in the paper on a Thursday back in 1980 and had to wait until the paper was delivered on the Monday of the following week. By that time, I had completely forgotton about my ad but on that day, no less than 40 calls came in with inquiries and I began getting crafts for my new business immediately. Not only single people were inquiring but I had church organizations, womens groups and tons of seniors wanting to place their crafts in my little shop. But the location is what everyone wanted - a high traffic area with the potential for lots of sales. You can do the same thing on the internet today but it's the actual seeing and touching of these items that lure the people in and create impulse sales - something they just have to have.

Step 7: How To Get Paid:
The idea I came up with at the time was ingenious, so I thought, and it was, because it worked. I didn't have to make a single sale to make $400 a day.
What I did was to have every new craftsperson bring their items to me, as much as they wanted to display. With 400 square feet, there was plenty of room and I limited the space to 40 crafts people. I had a waiting list after that. They all had to sign up with me for three months, payment in advance. I charged $40 a month or $10 a Sunday. That worked out to $1600 each month - guaranteed. My rent was $400 a month and I was left with $1200. Not bad for just 4 days work.
I opened my shop from 8:00am - 4:00pm each and every Sunday. During the week, I would go to the flea market and spend an hour or so with new clients and display the crafts around the shop, wherever I felt was a good location for any one item.

95% of people do not want to sit at a flea market on a Sunday. They have better things to do and would gladly pay someone a small service fee to sit there for them.
Now, on the other hand, 95% of people do want to get out on a Sunday and do something and that something meant thousands upon thousands wanting to go to Eastern Canada's Biggest Indoor/Outdoor Flea Market just outside of the city limits. It was a one day love affair for shopping at the flea market and Crafts were always a big attraction. I had a deal worked out with the owner that I would lease out 400 square feet if I could be the only craft vendor at the market. Anyone wanting to sell crafts had to go through my shop. It was a goldmine and that goldmine sold for $10,000 after just being opened for only eleven months. I took that $10,000 and bought two great sound systems. I named my new business BJ the DJ, a Disc Jockey service that lasted close to twenty years before I shut it down. With 10 sound systems built up and the company now playing music for 700 parties a year, the eighties and nineties were wondeful and prosperous decades.
Now I realize that this step by step craft system is not for everyone. But if just a handful of motivated, entreprener minded people can follow this guide, you will do just as well as I did, if not better and the contacts you will make may often lead to better and greater adventures.

Step 8: Don't just think about it - Get out there and Do It !

See some other articles of mine - eg: How I Was Punished By Hubpages


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    • brsmom68 profile image

      Diane Ziomek 6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      This is an idea similar to what I do, except I am the one paying the fees. I have my crafts and some other craft oriented items in a local shop, and for $10.00 a month my items are on display to the public six days a week. It works well for me because I can do other things and not have to worry about setting up a booth or table at a Farmer's Market. I add items regularly, and today when I went in to check on progress I was handed an envelope with enough money to pay two month's rental and some for me.

    • myawn profile image

      myawn 6 years ago from Florida

      nice hub good ideas I never thought of selling on commission in someones shop

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      Wow! That is a fantastic idea. Great hub!

    • Megsangel profile image

      Megsangel 6 years ago from Australia

      great idea!

    • ianleverette47 profile image

      ianleverette47 6 years ago from Brinston, Ontario Canada

      TO: ThelmaC

      You're very welcome but don't think too long. Ideas, if left too long, remain just that -- only ideas.

    • ianleverette47 profile image

      ianleverette47 6 years ago from Brinston, Ontario Canada

      To Modern Furniture:

      Not really. All sales had to go through the cash at the front - just like a regular store and receipts were given to each customer with the craft number of the craft maker of each item. All items were tagged with a price and number representing the crafts person. He or she was paid at the end of each month - quite simple actually. This was 30 years ago so I have to remember how all this was done. So far, my mind is still functioning well.

      Yes --all the crafts could be left in each stall all week. This was a huge flea market in eastern Canada - the best around and security was tight with alarms for each building. Surely the States has a flea market to compare in some cities. If not --- start one. That will be $50.00 for the idea.

      All the crafts had their own section in my shop and new ones coming in were displayed by me wherever I saw fit. Yes -- there's always sneaky little fingers lurking to steal something and I had one or two family members assist me, especially on long week-ends and Christmas period. 20,000 people is a lot of people and I always had long line ups to get in.

      I had a contract (agreement)for each crafts person to sign that I would not be liable for theft or damages of one of their items. But I was very trustworthy, responsible and always had extra people to keep their eyes peeled. Yes -- Canadians are good people but unfortunately, there is theft everywhere.

      Hope this helps you out. You can always rent out your own building and do the same thing I did -- either do what I did or rent out your own booths. Never mind about your competition --- they think of you as their competition. Go out and crush them! If you want to have your own business, you better be aggressive or you'll be snuffed out real quick.

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 6 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Great hub. Thanks for sharing your suggestions. You gave me a lot to think about!

    • ianleverette47 profile image

      ianleverette47 6 years ago from Brinston, Ontario Canada

      I started selling my own crafts with just a small table and chair and within a year, I had 400 square feet which I called Certified Canadian Crafts and 40 crafts people (groups) that I was looking after not to mention a waiting list. It became a very popular shop at the Flea market, a place where I even sold my brothers fresh, brown farm eggs every Sunday. All 30 dozen or so were gone by 8:00am as soon as I opened. I enjoyed it and met tons of people just like you who enjoyed making crafts but would rather have someone else sit there all day and sell their items. Find a good Flea market and try it out.

      You'll be surprised at how many will come up to you and ask you to look after their booth for a Sunday or two while they go to the cottage. It grows very quickly and when you can offer a good service like this to lots of people, the dollars add up.

    • profile image

      Crafter 6 years ago

      What a great Idea! I have worked craft shows selling my own crafts, but it's sooo much work to make enough crafts to fill a booth. It sounds a ton easier to sell for other ple.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      There are indeed many ways to earn, thank you for sharing. :)

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. Follow this link to read and vote:

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

      Very nice hub and great info, thanks for sharing. Cheers.

    • Adventure Colorad profile image

      Adventure Colorad 6 years ago from Denver,CO

      Very interesting way to go about it. I like the build it and they will come reference. Thumbs up!

    • ianleverette47 profile image

      ianleverette47 6 years ago from Brinston, Ontario Canada

      I never would have thought of using my home as a Christmas store but, that's wonderful to hear that they have the entrepreneurial spirit.

    • profile image

      marellen 6 years ago

      Yes, you can make money this way for sure. Last Dec. I was in a Christmas Boutique that two sisters had in their home. They emptied four rooms and brought in the vendors. Not only did they make money on the booth fee but also the 10% commission they charged. I found that displaying my craft in boutique stores is the only way to go. No booth cost, I don't have to sit in the booth all day, especially when the weather is bad. Just a commission cost and the rest is mine.