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amount of inventory for 1st craft show

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Forum topic by trsnider posted 01-11-2019 03:58 PM 963 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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trsnider

128 posts in 2398 days


01-11-2019 03:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question craft sale inventory

I’m thinking about selling bread boards, pizza peels, and possibility kids coin banks in a local craft show this spring sponsored for our church. What’s a reasonable amount of stuff to take? I have no idea. I don’t want to have so few of anything that I end up leaving very early but don’t want to have a ton of stuff left over either. Examples can be seen on my projects page but more on my worpress site
https://timsnider.wordpress.com/small-projects/
Suggestions are appreciated —Thanks!!


16 replies so far

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tomsteve

950 posts in 1607 days


#1 posted 01-11-2019 04:13 PM

im thinkin it depends on what the turnout typically is- you may want to ask about that.
id say have 5 of everything and have order forms if you run out ir for custom work.

that link showed me an empty page,too.

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trsnider

128 posts in 2398 days


#2 posted 01-11-2019 04:20 PM

oops try this one https://timsnider.wordpress.com/small-projects/ sorry. I corrected it in the main post also

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Rich

4479 posts in 977 days


#3 posted 01-11-2019 05:00 PM

What’s the duration of the show? Some are 4 hours and some are 3 days. Also, have you sold any of the items before? You need to get a feel for what goes fastest and make plenty of those items.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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trsnider

128 posts in 2398 days


#4 posted 01-11-2019 06:51 PM

The show is 8 hours. This is my first time selling stuff – hence the post.

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steve104c

52 posts in 1626 days


#5 posted 01-11-2019 07:22 PM

Bring as much as you can load into your vehicle,counting your display,tables and chairs. Use large plastic storage boxes for your product. If you’re going to do more shows than making more is better. You have really nice products. You will probably be surprised how fast they sell. DO NOT under price your pieces. Just what I have seen on that site, you have very high quality pieces. Your time is worth more than you think. And also don’t over price. I make lots of different types of handcrafts and have found that there are people out there who will pay for ” fine handcrafts” which you definitely have. Might take at least one show to figure what people are willing to pay. Good luck. Let us know how it goes. I’m going to let you see a good craft show portable shelf unit I made.Steve.
The uprights are hinged and shelves just rest on the uprights. It all folds down flat and stores easy.

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Rich

4479 posts in 977 days


#6 posted 01-11-2019 08:22 PM

There are a lot of variables. Like the previous poster said, bring as much as you have in inventory or as much as you can fit in your car. Also you need to consider how much space you’re given. There’s a big difference between an indoor market where you get one or two 6 or 8 foot tables and a parking lot setup where you generally get a 10 foot wide parking space.

For either venue, I’d take one or two high-end pieces like your chess set and G&G side table. Price them high and get them out where they can’t be missed. People will ooh and ahh over them, touch them and it draws them in to see the rest of your goods. You also want a wide range of prices. Someone who sees your G&G table might obsess over it but not be able to afford it, however they’ll feel good walking away with a lesser priced item. Things like coaster sets, trivets and small boxes do well for that. Making items that might complement one another is good, so someone might want a cutting board and then decide to get a trivet and coasters because they look good together.

Probably 6 or 8 each of your cutting boards and pizza peels is enough. It’s no big deal if you run out of them as long as you have a good inventory of smaller items to keep going. Some show promoters take a dim view of anyone packing up early.

Staging is important too. Nothing’s more boring than a table with stuff spread around randomly, looking like a flea market. You have quality pieces, so give them more of a look like you’d see in Williams Sonoma. Have one board down flat like it’s being used. We have a whole collection of fake food for our displays. It gets peoples attention and is goofy enough to start a conversation. The more you can do to get customers to visualize your product in their home the better.

We have products at every show in the range of $19 to $600. We’ve gotten very good at it and now get invited to exclusive events because we up the atmosphere given that most shows feature jewelry, cosmetics and simple hand crafted things like oven mitts or knitted items.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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trsnider

128 posts in 2398 days


#7 posted 01-11-2019 09:00 PM

thanks for the responses. looks like I’ll be busier than a … (insert your favorite euphemism here).
I was also wondering about displaying so Steves idea is good.

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trsnider

128 posts in 2398 days


#8 posted 05-26-2019 12:24 AM

ok—(late) update on the show. Disappointing in a word. It was a bad time of year, not good/enough publicity, and most of all not enough traffic. The neighbor lady bought my big honkin end grain cutting board (yeah :) ), my daughter-in-law bought a small board (pity sale?). I had 2 real sales of animal banks. IIRC I made ~$150. So there’s a holiday sale at a Catholic church in Wichita. I need to decide if I’m going to apply for that one.

Etsy sales haven’t been much better. 2 animal banks, 1 pizza peel, and 0 of 49 cutting boards.

I ready to start giving all this crap away. Fairly disillusioned right now.

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Rich

4479 posts in 977 days


#9 posted 05-26-2019 12:42 AM

That’s a shame. Blame it on the promoter. Some of them don’t give a rat’s ass as long as they get their $/vendor.

My experience is that church venues are good. It’s a community thing and the crowds are large. They probably ask for a contribution for a drawing, so be generous on that. It really boosts your image.

Also, look around for organizations in your area that have shows. Here in Tucson we have SAACA, the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance. They run several events a year and they are really professional about it. We did their two day spring arts festival in March where they get traffic in the thousands and did extremely well.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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Desert_Woodworker

1805 posts in 1602 days


#10 posted 05-26-2019 01:05 AM

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bruc101

1343 posts in 3930 days


#11 posted 05-26-2019 01:06 AM

Sorry to hear about your not so good of experience. Rich has good info for you and I would suggest following his advice.
I’ve never done shows, only attended a few.

I sell only farm tables and syp cutting boards, and have dealers. not on consignment. They order they pay with their order. I’ve had these dealers since the 90’s and we’ve been through the good years and bad years together. Their Christmas orders are in and they want them in September no later than October so I’m slammed with work all through the summer.

Cutting boards are a flooded market now. I’ve seen them on Etsy, Ebay, Craigslist and Amazon for prices that are so cheap they’re laughable. I can’t imagine how they price them so cheap.

Follow Rich’s advice and find shows that are well organized and well promoted. Things will most likely improve for you then.

Good luck

-- Bruce Free Plans https://traditionalwoodworking.org

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Desert_Woodworker

1805 posts in 1602 days


#12 posted 05-26-2019 01:13 AM

Also, “If you build it then they will come.”
http://sherrasewellmarketing.com/ifyoubuildittheywillnotcom/
Bottom line the ”stuff” has to sell….........

-- Desert_Woodworker

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CWWoodworking

480 posts in 567 days


#13 posted 05-26-2019 02:14 AM



and have dealers. not on consignment. They order they pay with their order.

- bruc101

Same hear. I did 2 shows and realized that it’s not a family friendly job. Build stuff all week, then sell it on Saturday and Sunday? When do you fish? Play with the kids? Sit on the porch? I work damn hard, probably too hard. But I’m done by 4-5 and rarely work Saturdays.

If the shows continue not to work, maybe look at doing wholesale.

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bruc101

1343 posts in 3930 days


#14 posted 05-26-2019 10:36 AM


Same hear. I did 2 shows and realized that it’s not a family friendly job. Build stuff all week, then sell it on Saturday and Sunday? When do you fish? Play with the kids? Sit on the porch? I work damn hard, probably too hard. But I’m done by 4-5 and rarely work Saturdays.

If the shows continue not to work, maybe look at doing wholesale.

- CWWoodworking

I definitely understand what you’re saying.

With one wife, Russian, 5 daughters, 3 of them Russian and 2 Russian-American, working on weekends…wife would say, “wanna bet?. Now that they’re all grown and managing our family business, if I told my wife I was going to work on the weekends…”wanna bet”, it’s our time now.

I still haven’t figured out yet after over 25 years of marriage if that’s a culture thing, wife thing, or woman thing lol.

-- Bruce Free Plans https://traditionalwoodworking.org

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Jim Finn

2705 posts in 3310 days


#15 posted 05-26-2019 02:56 PM

I have been selling at about twenty sales a year for nine years now and have learned that I almost never sell more than two of anything except for small cheap items like toys. Now I no longer take more than that to a sale. I display about forty different items. Just my experience.

-- No PHD just a DD214

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