Business Advice

Posted By: Melanie
Date: 2003/4/10 3:25 p.m.

I need advice on how to market/sell my crafts more. I just started selling my crafts late last year November/December. I tried selling at a local farmer's market for a month but decided to stop. The monthly due was $120 for only 4HOURS/WEEK! and not that many people turn out. I tried inquiring about craft fairs in our city, the going price is $300-$400 for a weekend show(2-3 days)! I don't know... but this seems a bit too steep for me. Or is this the normal going price? I built a website and got traffic but no sale! I'm starting to get discouraged here... and really needs help to boost up my sales. Anybody whose done craft fairs before please advice. I think I'm missing something here. Any advice on how I could start taking credit cards would be a help too. Thanks! Melanie

2003/4/10 3:20 p.m.

Hi Melanie;
I understand what you are saying because I have gone through the same pain. Net business is like a store front business or maybe even harder to get going because if they don't know that you're there they can't look for you.

Store fronts..people will drive by and soon or later they would want to stop and take a look.

Unless you want to spend lots of money on advertising or market your site yourself. I think you will have better luck if you marketing your site yourself. It takes anywhere between 4-5 years to see light at the end of the tunnel. The money starting to trickle in at the end of 3 years for me. It took that long for people to assure themselves that I wasn't going anywhere and they can trust me. I had a few before that..but very few.

The cost of craft show tables? is scary specially when you are new at all this.
But by listening to people doing it all the time they say the big shows are the ones to go after. They are better advertised and if people pay money at the door they probably are there to buy things.

The cheaper tables with free admittance you will get a lot of lookers. What about partnering up with someone..preferably someone that has done this before. Let people know where you are from and tell them your intentions. Some people can not sell their things but you have to let people know that you have the stuff.

I checked out your site.
It looks wonderful..don't know why the pictures are not downloading. Maybe your server is too busy.

If you still want to be there.
-On the front page I had to find a way to get in. At first I thought it was the arrow image but it wasn't, it was the little link at the bottom. I would change that.

You want people to come in...I will put it where they can't miss it, right up front, no guessing. I would get rid of all other images..except the craft pictures..because they are not loading. Maybe a small logo for your site.

If what you want to do is sell your crafts and people are going there to buy stuff and they really don't want to be entertained.
Give them what they want to see.
Crafts, prices and order form.
Good luck, I wish you a lot of success.
You are definitely talented you just need a little push on selling your work. Bond

2003/4/10 3:20 p.m.

It's going to take awhile to get established at some good craft shows. I would suggest attending a number of shows and looking at what is for sale, and what the customers are doing - are they buying (carrying around a lot of sacks) or just looking? Make sure that there are not too many booths selling the same type of items that you are. Talk to the crafters there to see how they like the show. When you find a show you would be interested in, go to the information booth and find out how you can get in next years show. There may be a waiting list to get in even if you try to register early.

If you know of a town you would like to show at, call the Chamber of Commerse to find out what shows they have, and who the contact person is. I'm not sure where you are from, but in Michigan there is a gentleman who goes around and checks out various shows each year. He then prints a catalog listing any show he knows about, the contact person, registration date, etc. etc. It has proven very handy.

Best of Luck to you - don't give up, you have just started! I have been going to shows now for about 11 years, and have a "following" at a couple of them - people returning to puchase things the next year from you. It took awhile to become established, so hang in there! theresa

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