How To Become A Craft Vendor At Festivals!
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