So, what exactly does sell at craft shows? Woodworkers want to know. Why do some people make out like bandits, while others languish?
I’ve made several observations – and found actual data – to help answer that question, and I’ll share it here.
What sells depends on variables: What kind of show it is (juried, non-juried), the venue (inner city, or Beverly Hills?), the clientele (woman, men, kids, mixed?), season, position in the venue, and more.
The first variable to consider, in my opinion, is the clientele. Typically, this is women, and as we all know, they love to shop. Generally, they are bringing some cash along, and are open to, if not outright seeking to, part with their money. Men, when they are toted along, don’t tend to spend much, in my observations, the exception being at food stands, where everyone spends. Therefore, your target should be women, unless you want to try to nail down the man niche.
You tend to see a LOT of jewelry made by women for women; easily 30% of the show; usually young to middle aged women buy here. Then there is the crocheted/knitted items – dish cloths, doll cloths, doilies, and so on. This is also probably another 30% of the show. Older ladies tend to buy this stuff; it’s not expensive. Food vendors usually tend to make out well at shows, both the ready-made food carts, and packaged products, such as mustards and jellies. Decorative items, both inside and for the garden, lawn or home tend to do well, if they are nice. Following up the rear are woodworking items, like kids toys, cutting boards, birdhouses, etc.
It’s worth noting that people aren’t looking to spend a lot at these shows – though there are regional shows in which high-end pieces are sold, such as a $5,000 Queen Anne Highboy. For the most part, things under $30 are the lion’s share of sales. Also, things that are easier to carry around a show don’t hurt – though I have seen good-sized rustic planters purchased then set aside for the customer to pick up on exiting.
In future blog postings, I’ll be exploring WHAT to sell, and how to sell it.