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BUSINESS: Top 10 Tips for Craft Fair Traders

Jo Whitehead (aka Glassprimitif) shares with us her top tips for those selling at craft fairs and arts markets.

1. Make friends with the person at the next table. They will watch your stuff when you nip to the toilet, bring you a cup of tea and chat to you when the market’s quiet (you should reciprocate).

2. Take a good look at everyone’s table display – what ideas do they have that will help you to improve yours?

3. Don’t forget your business cards and put these somewhere prominent and accessible on your table. Not all potential buyers want to ask you for one.

4. Didn’t make many sales on the day? How many visitors did you speak to about your stuff? These may turn into customers in the future or they may contact you directly after the event.

5. Only sold your items to fellow crafters? A sale is a sale and sellers are customers too.

6. Don’t nip down to the local shops, buy the newspaper and spend the rest of your day reading whilst ignoring potential customers. OK, you’re shy, but make that eye contact and smile! (And don’t pack up early – keep working on your charm right up until the last minute, that’s when the best sales are made).

7. Be chatty, be friendly but discourage your friends, Mum or children from standing in front of your table obscuring your stuff and monopolising you. Don’t do this to other sellers either.

8. Know your rights and also the rights of the consumer. Unlike distance selling, customers do not have the right to a cooling-off period so if they have changed their mind, tough. However, if your item is faulty or not as described please give the money back.

9. People are strange (!) They think it’s OK to tell you that your prices are too high, that their six year old could make that or exclaim “it’s a WHAT?” You have the right to smile fondly and to tell their child to take their sticky hands off your beautiful stuff.

10. If you don’t tell us, we can’t fix it. If you have a genuine concern or you think the organiser isn’t doing a good job – talk to them.

Find out more about the arts markets run by Jo at the Keighley Arts Factory blog.

For more thoughts about craft fairs, check out our recent article on how to pick the right craft fair