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Forum topic by Joshuah posted 05-14-2012 06:38 PM 1542 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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152 posts in 3294 days

05-14-2012 06:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question selling craft fair

Seeing as how summer is coming and I am a teacher, I am going to have some free time in about a month. I have decided that I may tempt selling some projects (jewelry boxes, humidors, and things of that nature) in a couple craft fairs these upcoming months.

Do any of you go and sell projects at these?
And I guess what process do you use? I have a friend who sells specialty cheeses and has a credit card scanner that plugs into her phone…it seems like giving people more options than just paying with cash would be nice?
Any advice would be nice since projects thus far have been purely gifts and commissions, but never built for the purpose of selling.

-- -Joshuah

6 replies so far

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3706 days

#1 posted 05-15-2012 12:43 AM

Joshuah, I am also a teacher and I have been selling at summer craft shows for a few years. I now mainly sell boxes and cutting boards and have done well if i pick good shows. I started going to shows that were small and didn’t cost much. Last year I started doing bigger shows which charge more to enter. I am also looking at where people might be willing to spend more money. I don’t take credit cards, but people who do report it helps sales. I started making things for fun and giving them away. My friends and relatives suggested I could sell things also (or instead of giving it to them??) I have sold all I have made in the last few years. I usually take 20-30 boxes and 20-30 cutting boards to a show and sell about half of them. My advice would be to look for bigger shows that charge $150.00 and up, and that have large crowds. Art shows that are juried are better than ‘craft ‘shows with lots of imported stuff and food. Take a good variety of inventory. Have a good display set up and canopy. Be engaging, but not too pushy. I found good advice here by ClosetGuy in his blogs. I bought insurance last year from ACT, Artist, crafters, and tradesmen, insurance program. I also got cheap, but nice, business cards from Vista Print. Some shows are ‘Art Shows’ because I don’t sell much, but people get out and see some Art. Feel free to ask me questions. It is nice to have some income during the summer and I keeps me out of the house.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

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robert triplett

1566 posts in 3706 days

#2 posted 05-15-2012 12:47 AM

sorry for the double post. I must have done something really wrong!

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Joshuah's profile


152 posts in 3294 days

#3 posted 05-15-2012 03:30 PM

Wow, thanks Robert!
Yeah I was trying to decide on how expensive of a Craft (art) fair to get into. In my area there is tons, but I could definately take the short drive over to the Seattle area and get into the “Artsy” theme over there.

So I take it that for these “fairs” you build in assembly style? This is something I have never done… Most times my projects have one definate direction and I only make one of them.

-- -Joshuah

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 3545 days

#4 posted 05-15-2012 04:08 PM

Hello Joshuah. I do about 15 – 20 art/craft shows a year. Robert is correct that the bigger the fee, the better the customers.

As far as taking credit cards. I always take credit cards as it is a great way for them to add more to the order. I use Square(website= They do not charge any annual or monthly fee and the money from swiped cards are deposited the next business day into your account. They even provide the card reader for your smart phone for free. It’s a great way to get started for little cost.

As far as building goes, definitely do production line working. Saves you time on tool setup for each operation. I would also advise that you visit other craft shows and look at the way the displays are setup, how the displays are made and what material they use. If they are not busy, ask them questions as each one of us is proud of our display and will help you out with our ideas.

For more information, check out the Sweating for the Bucks forum. there is a topic posted that has a good video posted that talks about doing shows. It is a good one for new people to the business of shows.

If you have any questions, let me know.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3706 days

#5 posted 05-16-2012 03:25 AM

Joshuah, if you check out my boxes, I do them in groups of about 20. The same basic design, but different sizes and woods. As Jim said, the set up time is less and I can do a lot in a short time. Sanding gets to be a chore, but then it is done! I do boards in much the same way. A bit of planning and then set up the table saw. glue a bunch, run thru the sander. etc. For me, the use of different woods and designs balances out the production aspect. Each is still unique.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View DrDirt's profile


4600 posts in 4343 days

#6 posted 05-16-2012 09:53 PM

Joshua – there is a lumberjock here called “çloset guy” (EDIT – I see Robert pointed you that way already!)

He did a blog series here called “Craft SHows R us” with like 20 entries including all pics/horror stories/ successful leads etc.

He also did an Online Sales R us blog.

Also consider a vinyl banner – - where I am at our UPS store makes banners, they run ~100 bucks. but dont rip, or have any issue with getting wet.

He covers Insurance requirments, Tent/Canopies etc.
I would read through his blog and use that to shape what you want to try this summer.
Key item is that many of the shows have application deadlines that are several months in advance of the show… so some things for this summer may already be booked.

Not any kind of peeve – but i would have posted this in the “Sweating for Bucks Through Woodworking” part of the site/forum – it would have caught more attention (maybe)


-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

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