Friday, July 10, 2015

Craft Fair Prep Week 2: What to Sell and How Much to Sell it for

Welcome to the second week of craft fair prep! Last week we sat down and created our to do lists, and got our minds in the right space for event planning. This week it's all about pricing your products, creating inventory, and ordering the supplies to make them! Let's do this together!


There are so many options out there now for small businesses (even our teeny-tiny ones) when it comes to processing credit cards. We're no longer stuck with those clunky old carbon-copy machines, you know the ones... *chunk chug* the sound will ingrained in my brain forever. The easiest way today is through your phone, Believe it or not! If you'd like to be able to accept credit cards at your stand, do a little research, and find out which company or method will work best for you.
I chose to go with Square. It seems to be the most popular mobile card reader. Their fees (2.75%) per transaction are about on par with what Etsy takes, they send you the doo-dad for free, and it's free to sign up and maintain your account. My little square reader should be arriving any day now! It was super easy to sign up too! I found this article super helpful, it reviews a collection of the most popular mobile card scanners on the market right now.


If you don't already have a large stock of product inventory you're going to want to start making ASAP! The more time you can commit to mass producing, the better. No one wants to be up until 2am the night before your fair putting together necklaces or scarves.

Depending on your craft, and level of organization (mine = zero btw), you may or may not have what you need to start creating larger quantities. Keep in mind if you're ordering anything online, they'll be a wait period. So you'll want to get a hold of your supplies quickly. 
I placed a few bulk orders this week, because I know they're at least two weeks away from my door at this time. I also picked up the local materials I know I'll need.
PS - save all your receipts!


Know what items you want to bring to your market. Which products, and how many of each of them. Be prepared for a hugely successful day... and be prepared to sell nothing. *Womp womp*
If your craft allows it, bring a variety of price points, so there's something for everyone at your booth. I plan on having items priced from about $8-$100. With a focus on $20 mini weaves.
Sure it's sweet to have a $100 sale! But it's kind of better to have 10 $10 sales! It means 10x the customers, which means 10x the word of mouth promotion! 


This may sound like a silly thing to prep. I already sell my creations online, so I already have a price for my products, right? Well... kind of. 

Keep in mind that wholesalers, and local shop owners may be at your craft fair looking for new products and artists to work with. If someone wants to purchase a large quantity from you, will you be making a profit if you give them a discounted wholesale price? Are you even prepared to accommodate the possibility of a wholesale order? What about the possibility of selling consignment? What kind of percentage are you willing to take off your pieces? 

Thinking about all these questions hurts my brain to be honest! And freaks me out a bit. I always worry I'm undercutting myself, but hey, we're learning!
I get the sense this pricing business is a bit more straightforward for those creating smaller, easier to multiply goods (notebooks, T shirts, cards, prints, etc). Whereas one-off artists (weavers, painters, etc) are stuck with a hard job!

These are the things I take into account when pricing my weavings:
  • Am I paying myself fairly for my time, labour, and skill set? 
  • Have I included the cost of my materials?
  • What price do I feel comfortable telling and charging someone? (price with your heart)
  • Can I discount this item and still make a profit?
Aside from these points, there are plenty of equations out there to help you know what you should be charging for your handmade products. Looking up the prices of other artists in your field is very helpful too.
Keep in mind that if your craft fair prices are grossly different from any online shop prices you currently have, shoppers may be annoyed, or bewildered by the difference.

And as usual, Some more helpful articles in the area of this week's topics: creating, selling, and pricing:
And how did we do this week on the list? Not too bad! Although it's also gotten a bit longer...

My Craft Fair Prep List
  • pay table/booth fee
  • brainstorm/come up with a table design
  • organize all my supplies
  • create lots of inventory
  • make a budget tracker
  • research taxes, what do I need to do?
  • know what I'll be charging
  • have business cards made
  • create my craft fair business kit
  • make price tags
  • make/buy merchandisers, table and props 
  • get a square/mobile POS
  • acquire a cash box/apron and float money 
  • find a helper for the big day
  • set up a mock table display
  • promote! social media & local posters

What did you do this week in preparation for the Etsy Made in Canada Market? And do you have any advice for producing and pricing your goods? 
Follow Love of Sweeties's board Craft Fair Planning on Pinterest.

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