Make Money Selling Knit and Crochet Crafts at Crafts Fairs
Selling Knits at Craft Shows
Craft shows are amazing places to buy and sell local, homemade goods. They provide a marketplace to bring what you loving create to paying customers.
Learn what to expect when selling at a local craft show and how to make craft shows a part of your overall business plan.
Choose the Right Venue for Selling Crafts
Not all craft fairs are created equal. The event you choose to attend will have a huge impact on your success and your bottom line.
Free Admission Craft Fairs
Craft fairs that have a free admission for vendors are usually held at local public schools, churches and community centers. These are common around the holidays. You do not have to budget for an event fee but the trade off is the show will probably be small, which translates to fewer customers. This will be a good fit for someone just starting out with not a lot of merchandise looking to build their brand and get craft show experience without the risk of losing a booth fee.
Events with Vendor Fees
Most homemade craft events will charge charge a booth fee for vendors. These range widely in attendance and quality. In general, the higher the fee for vending the more people will attend the event and the more customers will walk past your booth. A good handmade fair or farmer's market will spend some of the collected fees on marketing for the event, bringing in more paying customers to the show.
Juried Craft Events
Many craft events are juried, whether they charge a booth fee or not. Sometimes there is an additional fee for your items to be judged by the jury panel before acceptance into the show. If you have high quality, unique products then finding juries shows will help your sales because they tend to attract customers that are looking for quality items.
Make Your Craft Show Booth Stand Out
Hand knit and crochet items are already in many storefronts in craft fairs. Many sellers will tell you that the market is too saturated to try to sell your hats or scarves at a local show. It is true that there are many sellers of handmade knit and crochet accessories out there but a new handmade business can still be successful with the right approach.
Unique Handmade Crafts
Your products will need to be unique in order to sell inventory. This might be a unique design or unique materials. Something beyond the traditional hat or scarf that will make a buyer seek you out specifically.
The booth display you put up to sell your items at a craft show is your store front to customers walking by. This needs to stand out from the crowd and immediately inform the customer why they should stop and take a look.
Pricing Handmade Crafts
Pricing your handmade crafts to sell is a difficult but important part of attending a craft show as a vendor. Handmade crafts have a value that is less straight forward to price than retail goods. Before we get to the actual formula to determine how to price knit or crochet items we need to understand your customer.
What options are available to the customer you are trying to attract? A hand knit hat is a common example. Someone looking for a winter hat can always go to a retail giant like Walmart and buy a cheap acrylic one for $10. This is not meant to be discouraging this is meant to remind you that you are not competing with Walmart and you are not trying to appeal to the person who wants a generic hat from a retail store. Thus, prices for your handmade items should not be influenced by retail prices. This is a race to the bottom with crafters not getting the money they deserve from their efforts.
Instead, the price of your items should be based on:
- Time it takes to create the item
- The cost of raw materials
- The cost of selling (includes marketing, booth fees, etc)
Total up these three elements to determine the price of your item.
Alternatives to Craft Shows
Crafts shows take a lot of set up, time commitment and sometimes expensive booth fees. Often the results can be hit or miss so a handmade business needs to be large enough to weather the ups and downs.
Other alternative market places exist that might be a better fit for your handmade business or allow you to add additional income streams that will benefit from the marketing you accomplish at craft fairs.
Setting up a store on Etsy and selling your handmade items there allows a handmade business to keep operating in between craft shows. If you still attend craft shows, hand out your business cards and let passerbys know you are selling on Etsy. Then they can find you online later when they are ready to buy.
Handmade Product Website
Selling your products directly on your website is another aleternative to selling only at craft shows. Like the Etsy business model, you can still use craft shows to drive traffic to your site.
You can offer your goods to retail stores at a wholesale price. This means they will do the selling for you and you get paid immediately. Some items work much better than others for selling via wholesale so you will have to consider product volume before choosing this route.
Partnering with an established retail store or another local maker can open up more opportunities for selling. Consider sharing booth fees or website space to increase your product's visibility. A good partnership will be benefit to both parties.
Successful Craft Shows to Knit/Crochet Items
Make your craft show successful by making sure you choose the right craft event for your product, taking into account the booth fee that will be charged. Create a display that is unique and draws customers in. Determine pricing that is fair to both you and your customer. Lastly, consider using craft shows as a supplement to other income streams and online selling venues for your handmade business.