Success with Craft Shows

March 2012

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.netImage: renjith krishnan /

Whether you are brand new to the world of selling goods at fairs and craft shows, or if you are a seasoned expert, today’s economy dictates that just a bit more legwork is required in order for crafting to be profitable. It stands to reason that you must have a quality product or group of products to sell, plus you must take some time to decide which shows are going to be most profitable for you, even with travel factored in. Read on for some important tips that can help you make every craft show a winner.

First, keep in mind that some people come to shows just to be entertained, and many will leave completely empty handed. Not everyone who enters your booth is going to buy from you. This being said, it is still very important to treat potential customers with kindness and tact; welcoming people into your booth and encouraging them to shop is not pushiness if you do it the right way. Talk to friends and family members about the approach you are taking with your customers, and perhaps engage in a little role-playing. You may find that those who know you best can give you some helpful advice.

Second, be sure to price things correctly. Set prices too low, and people might think your items are worthless; price things too high, and no one will buy anything. Do your homework, and find out what the most successful sellers are getting for their crafts; in addition, spend a little time researching the socioeconomic situation in the community where the show will be taking place. Some people still have plenty of money to spend, while others are barely getting by.

Third, take a closer look at the products you are offering for sale in your booth. Are they well-designed or functional in some way? Are they things people want? Are they unique in some way? Some items offered for sale at shows don’t sell well because people just cannot see themselves using or wearing the items. Be sure styles are current and ensure that your booth design is well thought out, too. Keep in mind that visitors are walking up and down aisles, passing booths left and right, and keeping their eyes open for something new and exciting to look at. Don’t be disappointed if they enter, look around and leave. Many customers look at everything at a show before they decide where to spend their money.

Finally, take a look at yourself. Are you dressed for success, wearing great jewelry or other items that add to the overall impression you are trying to make? If not, you are doing yourself a great disservice. People are more likely to buy from vendors who are successful, so looking the part is essential. Even if you are a complete beginner, be sure not to skip this step. Stand up, talk with customers, welcome them into your booth, and treat everyone kindly. By looking your best and engaging with everyone in a friendly manner, you are encouraging customers to purchase the items you have to offer.


I soon realized some people attend fairs and festivals solely for the entertainment. This was important because I started to observe customers to see which ones were buying, and which were just browsing or looking for conversation. I am polite to everyone, but give the greatest attention to those who are actually interested in making a purchase and find my business has become more profitable. Also, I don’t take it personally when people walk away from the booth, as usually they aren’t carrying any merchandise.

By June Langley on September 3, 2012

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