sell your crafts

One super-simple thing that will increase your craft sales drastically.

Are you participating in craft fairs or any face-to-face shows this holiday season? How have your sales been?
Do you know there is one simple thing you should be doing that will increase your sales drastically and create loyal customers? One easy, obvious thing that you probably aren’t doing.

Place your work in their hands. That’s it. Easy peazy, right?
When I attend craft fairs, I notice artists only speaking to people who ask them questions and mostly just saying “hi, how are you?” or “thank you”. Or worse,
sitting in their booths texting, reading or looking bored.
People who shop in-person for crafts want to have face-time with the artists, to know the person who makes the art. To be able to tell the gift recipient or their friends who admire the piece they met the artist.  They want to touch and feel the work.

Try this next time you display your art: Greet every single person who walks by your booth. If they hesitate, they are interested in knowing more. Invite them into your space and tell them a little about your work. Talk about the process. If they are looking at a particular piece, put it in their hands and even invite them try it on if it’s wear-able.

I guarantee you will have a lot more sales and happy, return customers.
Let me know how it works for you.

Are you getting your work in front of discriminating buyers?

If you’re looking for more exposure for your work, how creative are you about where you sell you crafts? If you make items for dogs or their people, do you sell strictly to pet boutiques? Have you thought of approaching handcrafted galleries? Shoppers who value handmade will pay more if they see your work in a craft gallery rather than a pet boutique beside inexpensive imports. If you make baby gifts, don’t just sell them to children’s shops. Try to get them into shops with other hand made products. Why put your handcrafted pieces in a location where they are compared with manufactured goods? Get your work in front of buyers who are discriminating enough to appreciate handmade. What other locations can you think of where your work will get the attention and price it deserves?

Are you missing this HUGE segment of the RIGHT buyers for your crafts this season?

Are you counting strictly on Etsy, Artfire or other online platforms to sell your crafts for the holiday season? If so, you are missing a huge chunk of the market and a ton of revenue.  Here’s why:

There are a lot of web-savvy buyers who just don’t like to shop online. Even those of us who do purchase manufactured products, books or music  online, want to see and touch art in real-life. For many shoppers, meeting the craftsperson face-to-face is part of the attraction of buying hand made pieces.

It’s mid October and definitely time to be getting your work out there for early holiday shoppers. So, how can you get your work in front of the people who value made-by-hand? If you shy away from the large seasonal craft fairs like Harvest Festival, I don’t blame you. The booth fees are hefty and the whole experience is exhausting. Many artists who previously exhibited at the big festivals report more sales and a better bottom line when they exhibit at smaller venues such as school, church or community craft fairs. If there aren’t any small festivals in your area, you can approach schools, churches or clubs and offer to set up an exhibit of your work and give a percentage to the organization. (Think of it in place of a booth fee.)

House parties are another good way to sell your work. Ask friends, relatives or co-workers to host a party where you can display your work for their friends. Maybe partner with a caterer who is willing to make appetizers just for exposure to new clients.

Retirement homes are often happy to let you set up a display at no charge. It gives their residents an activity and chance to do their shopping independently. Look for upscale independent living communities, not nursing homes. Many of these residents have good disposable income, are educated in the arts and thrilled to have unique gift options without having to depend on anyone to take them shopping.

Corporations and hospitals are open to people setting up a lunch time or after work sale for their employees. It cuts down on personal days or “sick days” which are commonly used as shopping days around the holidays.

Ask gallery owners or boutique retailers to host a trunk show of your work for a percentage of the sales. Particularly if you make jewelry or smaller gift items, it benefits them as well. Galleries sell fewer large pieces of artwork before the holidays so this is a way for them to offer something to their clients that they may not show the rest of the year. If it ‘s a success and your pieces sell well for them, they may agree to carry your work year round.

For more ideas on how to sell your craft, download a free copy of “13 Easy Low-Cost or NO Cost Tips to Turn Your Crafts into CASH NOW” on the right side of this page.

Why now is the perfect time to raise money with crafts

In many areas, school starts this week. It used to be that the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day were all about popsicles, bicycles and running through sprinklers, right? School seems to start earlier every year.

With all the recent budget cuts, districts are more in need of funds for even basic supplies so expect the doorbell to ring more this fall with kids selling the usual magazine subscriptions, chocolates and wrapping paper. Unfortunately, that revenue won’t cover the arts and sports so groups will still be open to new fundraising ideas.

Whether you’re an artist, crafts person or just good at organizing, this is the perfect opportunity for you to approach the PTA, sports teams or chorus and band leaders with a new fundraising project. Any group in need of funds will be thrilled to have someone else handle the details and have something that doesn’t require the kids going door-to-door.

A craft fair can be a high revenue, low-cost event to operate and is also a convenience for the teachers and parents who don’t have to use their personal days to run around town shopping for gifts. Simply contact the person in charge of the school bulletin to put out a call for entries or send a flyer home with the kids letting parents who are artists or crafts people know that you are organizing a crafts fair and include a booth entry form with your phone number and email address. Ask each participant to donate a specific percentage of her sales to the school, teams or organization. Ideally, each craftsperson will man her own booth or table. If you don’t have a network of artists on your radar, you can approach a local crafts guild to participate. And don’t overlook the obvious. While bake sales went out with poodle skirts, the new gourmet cupcakes and artisan breads command a higher price and are well received. Of course, hand-made soaps and body lotions are also considered crafts so include a good variety.

If your neighborhood school holds a fall festival, you may choose to piggy-back on that event and run the crafts fair simultaneously or you may find it more beneficial to run it as a separate boutique. However you do it, make sure to solicit help from other parents and artists.

Remember, each event is more exposure for your craft so be sure to always have a personal bio and tag with your contact info. Look at each time you show your work as an opportunity to build your mailing list of raving fans. Rather than see this fair as a one-shot time to sell your art, view it as exposure to more repeat collectors who will not only buy from you but tell their friends about your work. Include extra cards with each purchase so that your customers can pass them out to others who admire your work.

Do you have hints you’d like to share with other readers about raising funds with your crafts? As always, we’d love to hear your comments.