Marketing Your Homemade Crafts

Marketing homemade crafts covers how to sell your crafts at shows or stores. It discusses display tips, pricing suggestions, consignment options and inventory.

So you have taken the initial steps and have your craft items finished. Now what? First, is there a market for the item you have made? Is this a unique item or are there already similar items out there? Do you have enough in inventory to set up a good display? Questions, questions and you have only just begun.

First, you need to decide where to market your crafts. You have several options. You could sell directly to friends and co-workers. However, how fast will this market dry up?

Second, you can set up a booth at a local craft show or bazaar. Alternatively, if your item is of top quality, you could approach local stores and ask if they buy items from local craftspeople or possibly on consignment. We are going to explore these last two options, plus other tips to make your crafts more desirable, such as display hints and pricing.

Bazaars and Shows

Whether you live by a small town, or in a large city, chances are that a church, organization or the local mall, has at least several shows a year. The first thing you need to do is get a listing of local shows. This can be done by calling the malls and churches, or if you know someone that already goes this route of selling their crafts, ask them. Most crafters are more than willing to share info of this kind.

Display Tips

Once you have the list, and have decided on a particular show to attend, the work has just begun. You will need to contact the source and make sure a space is available. What is the cost of the space and when does it need to be paid for? Do you need to provide a table or tables and chair or do they? Are displays or racks, if needed, provided, or again is this something you need to bring? Even if these items are available from the source giving the show, are they items you need, or does your craft require a specialized display? When you rent a space at a show, find out your area size and dimensions. Keep these in mind as you are designing your display. Question the lighting. Will you need additional light and will plug-ins be available?

Think in terms of visibility. Remember that you want to draw people to your table. If you can get them to stop and browse, this will increase your chance of a sale, and that is, after all, the idea. If you lay all your items flat on a table, many people will walk right on by. You need to get some items up and more visible. Small items could fill a nice basket and then secure one item to the front of the basket. Wire racks can be used, the sort sold for use in kitchens look nice and work well. Small boxes, in varying heights under the table covers make excellent upward displays. All the time you are working on this, think view. Ease of view to the customer and pleasing to the eye.



Once the basic setup is decided come table covers. An exception here would be if you are not using tables and have racks set up to hang all your items. Then think backdrops if needed. Covers or backdrops should somehow reflect what you are selling. Some suggestions include lace, muslin, burlap and flannel, even silk scarves. Your choices are as endless as the items you are selling.

Prices need to be clearly in view. Display should be kept neat and orderly. If an item sells, replace it if you have extra inventory left. Be attentive and friendly and lastly, have fun!

Stores

This is another option for many. When approaching a store the very first thing you need to remember is professionalism. They are a business and will demand you to be professional in your approach. Telephone ahead and make an appointment to meet with the storeowner or manager. Dress neatly. Do not show up with kids in tow. Be prepared with info and prices. Remember to think business!

Most stores will need the items prepackaged. Pricing is important. Remember the store needs to make a profit. You need to make a profit. Yet, the item still needs to be at a reasonable price. If all goes well, and the store wants to carry your items, they may offer to purchase outright. This is good for both sides. They do not have to keep track of what sells to reimburse you. You get your money right away. The other option may be that they will offer to carry the item on consignment. They sell the item for a set amount on top of what you are asking.

Either option is acceptable, but if selling consignment, a contract is advisable.

Things to be decided ahead will include markup price. How long a store will carry an item? When will payment be made? What happens if a product is damaged or stolen?

Pricing

While listing this last, it is the most important thing. If you decide to market your crafts, you need to keep track of the cost in making them. How much do the supplies cost? This needs to be all supplies, even incidentals such as glue. The hardest part in figuring cost is time. How much time is involved and what is your time worth? Do not over exaggerate. Stopping to fill your child's Kool-Aid cup five times while gluing that last bit of lace in place can not be added to the cost. What price are similar items? You need to price competitively. Good luck!

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