7 Tips To Make Money At Craft Shows

An image that says "This is how your make money at a craft show. 7 tips to help you succeed".

A Successful Craft Show Relies On You, Your Booth, And Your Items

Craft shows are one of our favourite things to do, and you can make a lot of money with proper planning. A long time ago, when it snowed up to our knees, and we had to walk uphill both ways to get to school, we did crafting shows whenever there was one available. We're going to teach you how to run your successful craft show and give you some tips and tricks that we used as well.

Everything we discuss here will apply to paper crafts, as that is our speciality. However, the ideas that we're about to go over can be used to any craft you're selling. If you're looking for items to sell, all of our products in our members area ($30/month) have been successful at every craft show we've attended.

7 Tips For A Successful Craft Fair

Before we get into it, I want to stress one thing: It doesn't matter if it's a free or paid show. Think about it; everyone knows the event is a craft show, anyone who shows up is already expected to see various crafts, and are interested in buying it if it's something they like. They wouldn't go to these events if they didn't think this.

We've done free shows before, and we always end up selling out all of our products. There's a lot more to a successful craft show than attending a paid show.

1. Your Booth Needs To Look As Good As Your Crafts

An example of a bad booth and a good booth that is seen at a craft show.

You're going to have to put some effort into your booth. If you're thinking of attending a show with a foldout table, chairs, and maybe a tent, then you're in for a tough time. It doesn't make sense to be selling crafts and having a booth that looks like no effort was put into it. What do you think customers initial thoughts are going to be on your products?

Decorate your booth, use table clothes for your table, and create a banner to hang over your tent is a good starting point. Think about the day of the show, is it outdoors and a hot day? Provide cover over your booth that can give you and your customer shade so they can browse your products without the scorching heat beating down on them. Are you going to be attending the evening show? Make sure to bring lighting so people can see your booth and products from a distance.

Make sure you have enough change. Sometimes customers only have big bills like $50s or $100s. Be prepared to give them change. We recommend all booths to carry coins and small bills. You don't want to lose a customer because you couldn't give them change!

2. Presenting Your Crafts

A shelf with various items, including crafts, on display.

The way you show and display your crafts is important. If you're lumping everything together, it'll be hard for a customer that's browsing to see everything. You want them to see every little detail in your crafts. You put hours of effort into each one; you want to show each of details to the world.

At our booths, we love to section our crafts. We have one side selling our greeting cards, another section selling tealights, and one last section that sells explosion boxes. Not only will this make it easier for the customer to find something they like, but it'll also make it a lot easier for you to restock as the products are being sold. On top of that, we love to bring shelves to allow us to stack or level our products. Think of a magazine stand; each row can be a theme of products. With this, it also gives you more room to hold and display more products.

Also be sure that each product has a price tag. There's nothing worse than losing a potential customer because they couldn't find the price and they were too shy or couldn't wait to get your attention to find out. Make the lives of your customers easier!

3. Don't Be Pushy To Your Customers

A picture of an old man inside a booth with his mouth wide open.

Engaging with your customers is essential. Greet everyone with a smile, but be sure that you're not pushing your items too hard. We've all been in that one store where an employee was constantly hovering over you asking if you need assistance. Don't be that employee. Let the customer browse freely. Help if they look like they need help, but most will engage with you if they have questions. It's important that you don't take it personally if you push too hard, it's just how humans are when they feel bothered.

4. Packaging The Products For Customers

A picture of a red tag that says "kiss me", a string, and another white tag.

Packaging is something that we've embarrassingly didn't think of for our first show. We were so excited to attend that we forgot that people still have to walk around with our crafts when they purchased it. No one wants to be carrying greeting cards or explosion boxes around all day. It could be damaged very easily. And that's no good, especially if they purchased it as a gift for someone else.

Make sure you have a way to protect the items for the customers, and it's easy for them to carry around. What we did for our greeting cards and explosion boxes, was provide them with a bag and an envelope for the cards. This way, they don't have to worry about damaging the items, and they can use the bag to carry anything else they may buy.

5. Advertise Yourself While Making Your Booth A Customer Magnet

A busy craft show with people browsing different vendors.

We're not sure why people don't like a crowd at their booth. There is nothing worse than an empty booth or one with a few people in it. Seeing that alone makes people question your products. If there's a crowd, that means your items are lovely, and will naturally draw in people.

One of our favourite things to do is to make an interactive wheel, just like the one in our store. Let customers spin the wheel and give them prizes. It can be discounts, freebies, or even a buy one get one free coupon. People love this because they have nothing to lose and only something to win. It doesn't have to be a wheel; it can be anything that you want to do. You can even go handing out coupons and pointing people to your booth where they can apply it. Be sure you have someone watching over your booth though.

More people = more money. It's not rocket science, but it's often ignored.

Be sure to have business cards or a way for people to find you outside of crafting shows. If someone loves your items, they'll rave about you like how people rave out celebrities. You want to be building lifelong customers, especially if this is what you do or want to do for a living. We mentioned that we provide packaging for all our products, we like to put our business cards inside each package so they can find a way to contact us in the future.

6. End Of The Day Flash Sales

A picture of a store front that says "UP TO 60% OFF".

The goal of a craft show is to sell as many products and make money right? Well, unfortunately, time isn't on your side, and you only have X amount of time at the show. Plus, you're going to be tired towards the end of the show, and you would like to pack up ASAP right?

With this, we love to do end of the day discounts on our entire booth. Yup, we've done up to 50% off before. Sure, profits on each sale dropped, but we were able to sell more items, hand out more business cards, and have more happy customers that'll show their friends and family our products. Doing this helps you in the long term. You can potentially make more money in the future as your business grows because more people are seeing your crafts.

7. Learn And Apply To Your Next Show

A picture of a hand, pen, and note book. The hand is writing notes in the notebook.

Chances are, your first craft show will be rocky. That's not a bad thing because anything that you do the first time never does as well as you expect. It's important to take notes or mental notes of what went well and what didn't work.

Did one product sell more than another one? You should make more of that one craft that did well and less (or even stop making) of the one that didn't do well. You can even make similar designs of the item that did do well too. It could be the start new crafting line of yours!

Maybe you were pushy to a few too many customers. Think back to how you approached them, there is most likely something in common with the way you talked to them or even body language that they all had in common. Recognize and adjust to avoid this for the next show.

Did another booth attract more customers? What did they do that was different than yours.

  • Was it the way they decorated their booth?
  • Did they have some promotion going on?
  • How did they display their crafts?

Take notes on everything you can! You'll be learning more and more as you attend more craft shows.

Ending Thoughts

We're hoping that you learned a thing or two as we tried to make this to teach newbies or even craft show veterans something new. Craft shows are an excellent way to make money on the side or grow a business. Make sure to not give up after a bad show, everyone has to start somewhere. You have to make sure that you continue to attend shows and learn from each of them. It'll become very rewarding as you continue this process.

Everything in our store, we've sold successfully at craft shows. If you ever need items to sell, you can access all of the craft products in our members area. Our memberships are $30/month, and you'll get access to all new products that we release as we test them at craft shows.