I was poking around the forums one day and was very surprised to read a question regarding whether one should set up and sell at a craft fair. I guess I just presumed everyone started at the craft fairs!
Yes! You should sell at a craft fair. There is no better way in the world to learn more about your target market and your customers. You have instant feedback as you watch your customers browse your products. Who stops by? Who lingers? Who buys?
Find a small venue in your community. Maybe a farmer’s market allows crafters; maybe there is a small art fair at a local church or community center. Those venues tend to be smaller and less expensive and of shorter duration than the big art festivals. It is a good way to get your feet wet.
First you need to make sure you have a state sales tax id. You probably already have one as a seller on Etsy. Most states require you to collect and pay sales tax on items you sell. Craft sale organizers are required by law to only allow sellers at their venue who have valid sales tax ids. They will ask you for the number, require a form, or ask you to sign a form stating that you will collect and pay sales tax. If the craft sale organizer is then ever audited, they have their bases covered.
Second, you should find a portable table that you can set up for your display. If your venue is in a community center or church, they frequently have tables you borrow for free or rent for a nominal fee. Practice setting up your display at home. Think about treasuries as you do so! What catches your eye? How many products should you display at once? What kind of table covering (if any) will showcase your items? Will you choose a color scheme? It’s a lot of fun figuring that out.
I started at our local farmer’s market with my 24”x24” table. It cost $5 per market to set up and the market lasted an hour and a half. From there I graduated to the holiday craft fairs at the local churches and community centers. After that I opened my shop on Etsy. I opened my Etsy shop after receiving feedback from customers asking how they could find me when they got back home. I didn’t even have business cards to hand out back then!
Now I’m set. I have my business cards directing customers to my Etsy shop and to my blog. I have coupons that I tuck inside every purchase for free shipping from my Etsy shop and another coupon to give to their friend back home for free shipping, too.
Let me know how your craft sales go. What fun!
Find me at www.aShareeDesign.etsy.com
Or check out my blog at www.aShareeDesign.blogspot.com