Selling Expression Products at Craft Fairs
By Stephen Bucaro
Craft fairs are a profitable way to sell expressions products because you are
selling directly to the customer. A fair also provides you with an opportunity to see
which of your products people seem most interested in. Make sure that the products you
intend to display at the fair fit in with the type of products exhibited at that
There are more than 6000 fairs held across America each year. You should try to enter
as many appropriate fairs as you can, just to try them out. Then, stay with the ones
The decision to participate in a specific fair depends upon whether you think you will
sell enough to cover your expenses and make a profit. Consider added sales you will
receive by distributing sales materials, such as your catalog. The first several times
you participate in a specific fair expect your sales to be low. Experience will guide
you as to what type of products sell at that fair and therefore increase your sales at
You should take inventory at the beginning and at the end of each day. In order to
determine which items sell best, keep a record of every sale at the fair. Compare your
inventory to your sales records to determine if anything is missing. A record of sales
is also required for tax purposes. In most states, you must collect sales tax on every
sale, which must later be paid to the state.
You may require an assistant to do a craft fair. If you are alone, you will not be
able to take a break when "nature calls", or to have lunch. If the crowd gets large,
you will need help to watch for shoplifters.
You will need cash box and sufficient small denomination money to make change.
A fishing tackle box or toolbox can be used as a cash box. When a customer gives you
currency, keep it out of the cash box until the transaction is completed. This will
prevent the customer from claiming you did not return the proper change. Keep your
moneybox closed when you are not making change. You will also need a stock of bags to
place purchased items in.
Decide whether you will accept checks or not. If you accept checks, determine what
identification you will ask to see. If you will not be accepting checks, post a clear
sign indicating that the customer can place an order with a check. The order can be
shipped after the check clears. In this case, it is best to provide free shipping.