Selling your clutches at Arts and Crafts Fairs
Nothing is better for selling your handmade clutches than selling them yourself in person. Customers are really buying your work from you: it becomes a personal transaction! One venue that I highly recommend is Arts & Crafts fairs.
Since posting this in my previous post on where to sell your clutches months ago, many of you have had great success at these arts and crafts shows.
With that in mind, here are my recommendations:
1. Have plenty in stock to sell. Go into the show knowing that you will not sell out everything (and you shouldn’t): you should have plenty for customers to pick and choose from. Make it look like a real shop! The saddest thing to see is an emaciated booth!
2. Have differently sized clutches and price points. If all your clutches are cotton in the $65 range, that leaves opportunity on the table for someone who only wants to spend $40 on a gift to her mother-in-law.
3. Have all your wrapping/packaging ready to make that transaction happen: tissues, bags, business cards, ribbon …
4. Decide how you will accept payment and have that ready. Will you take cash? Then have singles and fives and coins to make change. Local checks? Credit cards? With merchant fees, credit card processing can be costly. Look into alternatives such as Square at SquareUp.com where you can accept credit card payments using your mobile device. (There are limits to this, so do check them out fully before the free installation.)
5. Bring a friend to help and gift her a clutch or dinner as a thanks. Your friend can help “man the booth” for potty breaks, snack breaks, coffee breaks … not to mention, you need someone greeting customers, answering questions, selling the clutches while you may be busy ringing up a sale and packaging it.
6. Plan now for the shows by registering early for early-bird discounts. This will also benefit you in knowing who your audience is so you make the clutches to sell at the show! Start getting your fabrics, frames, interface and all that you need to make your clutches. Plan out the sizes, the fabric colors, the pricing … and buy in bulk so you get a volume discount. As per my previous post, Joann’s has an amazing 50% any one cut of fabric sale until the end of January!
With this in mind, check your local city and community listings to see the local shows. If you’ve never been a seller at a show, start locally. You can also check any directories to see where the shows are near you.
http://www.craftsfaironline.com/region.html Great for viewing shows by geographical location.
http://festivalnet.com/ You can view directly by state with detailed listings that has direct links to the shows.
http://www.artfaircalendar.com/ Another good source for the ARTS fairs.
http://www.onewed.com/bridalshows/ LOVE this one for the bridal clutch market! Who knew there’s 34 bridal shows in NJ alone?
http://www.greatbridalexpo.com/TourSchedule.aspx This is only for the Great Bridal Expo but they may be coming into your area. It’s all encompassing for today’s bride.
This is not an exhaustive list, by any means. Check your local Chamber of Commerce and the University of Google to find out!
Remember, choose well. Choose the right show for your clutches. If you don’t do bridal clutches, it doesn’t make sense to pay for a table at a bridal show.
Lastly, on pricing: everyone loves a good sale. Have a sale on those days at the show for 10 – 20% off. So price your clutches 10-20% above what you would sell it (prior to the discount).
Be flexible to offers. If a clutch is listed at $45 and someone offers you $35 … what would you do? I would counter with $40 and a smile! :) That customer will feel like she got a good deal and you will have a sale.
Good luck to all! ~Winn