It is always difficult to know how many craft products to take to your craft fair. There is no definitive answer to this, except, take as much as you can! Now that doesn’t mean packing absolutely every item of craft stock you own and having it piled up next to your craft table at the show. Here are a few tips to help you decide on the right amount of craft products to take.
Size of the crafts you are selling
A lot depends upon the size of your craft products. If you sell small jewellery you probably can take lots and lots of stock with no problems. You can probably even take all your stock quite easily.
However, if you sell larger pieces, for example wooden clocks you will be limited by space in your car or van. A good starting point is, after you have set up your craft table at home, take at least one of each item you want on your table. That’s your initial display sorted. Then work out roughly how many items you can fit in your car. Let’s say it was 50. If you have 10 styles of clock take 5 of each.
Take more stock of craft items you know sell best
The above example is an ok starting point if you have not sold items before. However, if you have any experience of selling your crafts in any way, via your website, on ebay, to friends then you will have an idea of which of your crafts are the most popular. Even if you haven’t sold any items yet, you probably have a good idea which crafts items your friends and family have said they like best.
So, take more stock of these items. Remember the goal is to sell your crafts at the craft show, you don’t care which ones. Any will do. The more shows you do the more you will get to know which items sell and which don’t. Drop the poor sellers and concentrate on the good sellers and stock up on them for each new craft fair you do.
Storage space at the craft show
A consideration that is sometimes overlooked when deciding how much stock to take to a show is the actual storage space at the show. For most craft fairs it will be the space under your craft table. Craft organisers don’t like to see your craft stock piled up next to your table or even behind it. They like the craft displays to be neat and tidy. So before you pile all your stock into your van remember to check the craft show rules on storage.
Also, you probably don’t want to leave stock in your car during the show. One, this is a security risk as your car may be broken in to but secondly you don’t want to be keeping a customer waiting whilst you find your way to the car park and struggle to pull out a craft item from your boot.
Be organised and ready to take orders
A good way to organise things in relation to stock is as follows. After you have tested your craft table display at home, keep all that stock separately packed. Then when you arrive at the show you can unload these and get set your craft display up in no time at all.
Decide on your stock level for each item and have them stored in order under your craft table for easy access. If you sell out of a particular item, that’s great! Be sure to stock more of them next time. The more craft shows you do the more you will learn about your best sellers and you adjust your stock accordingly.
Also, a great tip is to have a little folder with a photo of each item you sell, including any variations and bespoke commissions that you may have made in the past. That way if you have a customer interested in a particular item but they are after a variation you can show them work from the folder that may encourage them to place an order with you for a commission. This folder method allows you to have ‘virtual’ stock with you and can be a great tool for getting extra sales through future orders.
There is nothing better than experience to tell you how much stock and what type of stock to take with you to craft shows, but I hope the tips above have given you some pointers to get your started on the right path.
Next time I will look at the topic of what cash float you should take to the craft show.
This is part three of CRAFT SHOW SUCCESS – PLANNING YOUR CRAFT FAIR “14 simple tasks for craft show success…that you can do at home before the show”