When you go to a market, a fair or even into a shop, you are only seeing the end result of days, weeks and months of planning. The stock is carefully laid out and the area is clean and tidy. What you’re not seeing is the extra large takeaway cup of coffee behind the counter or the chaos of overstock under the table!!
- Make a list. Have a list of things you need to bring, and bring it to every fair. This can include things like sellotape, cash float, snacks, bags etc. Keep this list handy on the day so you can add things as you think of them.
- Get rest. I try to make sure I have everything packed and ready 2 days before the fair so that I can relax and rest the day before. This is especially important if you are doing a long day or even 2 days at a fair.
- Plan your outfit. This might not apply to everyone but I find nothing more stressful than waking up early on the day of a fair and not finding anything in my wardrobe that works! Wear layers, some places are freezing and some are roasting but they are very rarely at a comfortable room temperature! And wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable, if you feel good you will convey that in your sales pitch.
- Buy a yoga mat!! I have never done yoga in my life but the mats can change your world if you are standing all day! They are light to carry and don’t take up much room in the car, trust me, you should have one!
- Bring snacks. I see so many stall holders who spend their earnings on food bought from other vendors at the fair. While I’m all for supporting other crafters, you are there to make money and it can be very discouraging to get home and find you’ve spent a big chunk of it already. Nuts, seeds, crackers are all great as you can just snack throughout the day when there’s a lull in customers. And don’t forget the water!
- Get more info. If you haven’t been to the venue before ask the organisers for more information. How big is the table/space? Will you have a wall to hang posters/products? Is a chair provided? How far is it from the car to the table? (pack boxes lighter if its a long way) Answers to these questions will help you decide what you need to bring.
- Set up at home. If you don’t have your own table mark out the dimensions on the floor. Set up your table as if you were at the fair and once you’re happy with it take a photo on your phone. This way you aren’t wasting time on the day trying to rearrange and getting stressed when it dosn’t look right. Use your photo as a point of reference on the day.
- Signage. When I’m at a fair or even in a shop I don’t like asking questions because I then feel pressured to buy. A lot of people feel the same so make sure you have signage to answer any questions they may have. Pricing is the most obvious one, but depending on your product maybe a small explanation of what it is or how its made. A slideshow presentation on a tablet can also be very effective. This also keeps people at your table for longer, improving the chances of a sale!
- Keep a float. I try to keep my prices to .00 or .50 so I don’t need to mess with anything smaller than a 50c coin. Make sure to have plenty notes too, you don’t want to have to refuse a sale because you don’t have the change. If you have a credit card machine keep it with your float, as well as a notebook to keep track of sales.
- Bring a friend! I have a friend who could sell ice to the eskimos! She has no problem praising my products and selling their unique features. I’m not as comfortable doing it so while she sells I look after payments, wrapping, restocking etc. Having someone with you also makes it easier for toilet breaks and lunch breaks. Just make sure you’re selling, not chatting!!
I hope some of this helps you. If you have any other tips leave a comment below 🙂
Until next time…
Thanks for reading, Grainne x