Make Money at Christmas Craft Fairs
How to Sell Your Crafts at Holiday Bazaars and Fairs
Do you enjoy browsing and shopping at holiday craft fairs during the Christmas season? Have you ever thought about selling your crafts and merchandise at such a holiday bazaar?
If so, then hopefully this page will help you get started on deciding if such an endeavor could be right for you. There's a lot more to being successful at holiday craft shows than simply having attractive and unique items to sell. You need to know your market, how to find shows, how to find the right shows, and many other aspects of crafting as a business.
As a crafter who has been vending at many different shows and fairs for over ten years, I'll share some of the basic information you'll need to keep in mind, especially for the holiday craft market. There are certain things to know about what make these shows different from your typical craft fairs and markets, which can make them both easier for a "newbie" just starting out but also harder for making a good profit if you don't plan and market successfully. I'll also provide information on what kind of Christmas crafts to sell at craft fairs and what kind of merchandise seems to sell best at these events.
Your Experience Selling at Holiday Craft Fairs - Before I begin this article, I'd like to know a little bit about your experience crafting and selling crafts at
What is your experience vending at holiday craft fairs?
Basic Information on Becoming a Crafter for Profit - My Tutorials on Building a Crafting Business
Before getting into specific information on holiday craft bazaars, I'd like to recommend the tutorials I've written on the craft market: a 5-part (so far) series entitled Becoming a Craft Show Vendor.
I don't want to repeat myself or bog this one page down with too many details, so if you are entirely new to the business of crafting for profit, I'd recommend you read these articles first. If you're an experienced crafter, feel free to skip or only look at the subjects in which you might need a little "refresher course." In the series I talk about issues including pricing your crafts, finding the right markets for your crafts, what kind of materials you need besides your products and also how to deal effectively with customers.
Make a statement with an attractive craft display!
Jewelry and Fashion Displays for Sale on eBay - Good for Other Crafts as Well
eBay is a great place to hunt for bargain displays and fixtures to use for craft shows. You can often find display trays, heads, racks, even gridwall supplies at bargain prices. Just be sure to read the description to find out if the item is previously used, what condition it is in, and pay for insurance on any fragile display items such as acrylic cases and racks.
Gridwall Fixtures - Great for Craft Fairs and Bazaar Displays - Create attractive displays with transportable gridwall fixtures
Gridwall is great for displaying everything from clothing to ornaments, wreaths, signs and even jewelry at craft fairs.
Build vertical space for your craft fair display using gridwall
Dressforms and Mannequins on eBay - Great for displaying all kinds of craft accessories
Whether you knit sweaters, scarves, hats, make jewelry or fashion lace, a dress form or mannequin will make your craft display stand out. You can find all different varieties available on eBay from vintage units to brand new models direct from manufacturers.
Table Skirts for a Professional Look - Dress up your craft show table
Forget about cheap and flimsy paper party tablecovers, or an old blanket from your house. Invest in some professional quality table skirts to make your display stand out from the crowd. These are generally sized to standard folding event tables and oftentimes fire-resistant or fire-graded - which may be a requirement at some higher end crafting events.
Be unique! Create crafts that make a statement and catch the customer's eye.
Best Bazaar Crafts to Make and Sell During the Holidays - What to Make for Vending at a Christmas Craft Fair
Do certain types of crafts sell better at holiday bazaars than others? In my experience, absolutely! Knowing if your work will fit in the holiday craft market is an important thing to keep in mind before investing too much time or expense into trying to sell at these shows.
Of course, Christmas and holiday-themed items are always a good choice. Handmade Christmas cards, beaded or fabric ornaments, knitted items such as scarves, hats and baby booties, holiday table centerpieces, Christmas wreaths...these are all safe bets. Shoppers will go to a holiday bazaar specifically looking for these items or with them on their minds.
Attractive yet inexpensive gift sets work well also at Holiday Bazaars: if you make jewelry, have sets already boxed and ready to make a quick gift item, such as a matching necklace, earrings and bracelet set. Do you make handmade soap? Put together assortments in attractive baskets or bags so people won't even have to think about how to wrap up their gift for someone when they get home.
Items for children are also generally a good idea. Not only do parents often browse holiday bazaars with their children but they will be on the lookout for unique gifts to buy for their own kids, relatives' and friends' children, and otherwise. Handmade childrens clothing and blankets always seem to sell well, as does jewelry for children - but be sure to follow guidelines for child jewelry safety. Avoid materials and designs which could be choking hazards or contain poisonous materials if swallowed or chewed on.Inexpensive items really are your safest bet for most holiday craft shows, unless you are selling at a very elite, high-end marketplace.Try to keep crafts in the $5-20 range as much as possible.
Survey for Holiday Craft Fair Shoppers - What Do You Look For When Browsing a Christmas Bazaar?
Here's a question for those who regularly shop at seasonal craft fairs. When you attend, what are you most looking for when browsing the merchandise and crafts on display?
What are you looking to buy when you attend holiday craft shows?
Bazaar Crafts to Make and Sell - Need Some Inspiration? Check Out These Books on Amazon
Need some fresh ideas for holiday crafts to create and try to sell? Check out some of these titles from Amazon, which could bring you new inspiration.
Be Prepared - Stock Up On Gift Wrap and Boxes - Bring Wrapping and Gift Supplies to Holiday Craft Bazaars
Craft fair customers during the holidays love it when you can box or otherwise gift-wrap your crafts for them. Amazon has lots of gift boxes and related supplies you can order in bulk.
Drawstring pouches are great for small craft items like jewelry.
Holiday Craft Bazaars: What To Look For When Selecting Shows - Finding Fairs Right for You and Your Merchandise
So maybe you've compiled a list or seen advertisements for dozens of holiday craft fairs in the coming months. Many may be scheduled against each other; how do you know which ones you should apply for? There's no guarantee of success, ever, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Be wary of first-time events. I don't want to suggest that you never do a craft fair that's being held for the first time, but my general experience is they can be quite risky. A new fair may be scheduled at the same time as one that's been running for 5 or even 10 years in an area, one that people already make annual plans to attend. A new show may not know how to successfully advertise to get people to attend. A new show may also need to work out issues with table space, facilities, load in and load out, and just generally not run smoothly nor draw enough customers to make it worth your time.
- Church and School Bazaars are generally not for high-end merchandise. If you're doing a holiday bazaar held in an elementary school gymnasium, where you paid no more than $10-25 for your vending space? Don't plan on bringing $100+ original paintings, gold or sterling silver jewelry. People go to these events looking for small, inexpensive gifts: think items that individually are priced no higher than what your vending space cost you - and maybe even less! When I've done small events such as these, it's mostly the $5-10 items that seem to sell. You might get one or two people who ooh and aah over pricier pieces and who ask for a business card, but they'll rarely follow through beyond that. If your crafts are mostly more expensive items, stick with more selective, higher profile events such as juried craft fairs that have long standing reputations in your city or area.
- Better shows may ban those selling crafts from kits and resale merchandise. A true "craft fair" will make it clear in their rules that only hand-made items will be accepted; no resale, no Tupperware, no Tastefully Simple, no Avon, etc. Not only will the rules specify this, but at a good craft fair those rules will be enforced. I've been disappointed in the past by showing up at a craft fair that promised only hand-made crafters would be accepted and then been surrounded by junk and generic merchandise. I've rarely done well at such shows and I won't go back to them, as the quality of the vendors and workmanship around you will reflect well - or poorly - on your own work.
Wholesale Gift Bags on eBay - Great Supplies at Cheap Prices!
Stock up now on gift bags - customers love it when they can walk away from a craft fair with their presents ready to present on Christmas morning!
Christmas Crafts to Make
Best Christmas Craft Pages on HubPages
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A craft fair with no customers can be a lonely place. Choose holiday bazaars wisely.
Final Tips for Success at Holiday Craft Fairs - Some Last Suggestions and Recommendations
For the new or amateur crafter, or just someone who hasn't worked a holiday show before, here are my final specific tips and suggestions for better success.
- Bring gift boxes and wrapping supplies. People are often there to shop for gifts, and love it if you can make their gift-giving that much easier. So have plenty of gift bags, boxes, or wrapping supplies on hand and watch how excited potential customers may become when you mention you can wrap their purchase for free.
- Stay merry and upbeat. Don't lose your holiday spirit, even if sales are slow. You want to give off a positive vibe and presentation to every potential customer who comes your way.
- Dress your table for the season. Leave your standard plain black or white table cloths at home, and try some silver, gold, or Christmas-colored cloths (or disposable paper ones from a party supply store.) As another idea, scatter gift bows on your table or otherwise add in some holiday decorations to make your display look more lively and seasonal.
- Be unique. Stand out from the crowd. Try to come up with ideas for your holiday crafts that will catch people's eyes and make them stop, comment - and hopefully buy. If you're selling handmade ornaments, try to have a unique spin on them, such as using only recycled materials, original designs, or funny themes. How about Steampunk Christmas centerpieces? Wreaths made with dried herbs and flowers from your own garden? Think outside the box, be different.
- Browse a few holiday craft fairs first before signing up to vend at one. Be familiar with the market. Look at what other crafters are doing, who seems to be having success and who isn't. Don't simply copy what successful crafters are selling, but look to them for guidance and inspiration. Talk to a few of them. Evaluate if this is an endeavor you really want to pursue and feel you could enjoy as well as from which you could profit.
Do you have any other tips or recommendations for crafters looking to get into the holiday market? Feel free to leave your thoughts here. And thanks for visiting my page!
© 2011 Nicole Pellegrini