Tag Archives: Craft show

Craft Shows: What Sells? Part 2

I’ve been to many craft shows, and have observed things that sell consistently well. Usually, they are decorative items, geared towards women. Here are a few of those items; maybe they’ll give you some ideas, or you can just start making these things and selling it yourself!

Plant hanger

Wrought iron plant hangers.

Self-standing, and ones you attach to a house or pole. They don’t take all that long to make, and the materials aren’t that much. If you’re a woodworker, metal work might not interest you, but they do sell well.







Rustic Plantar

Rustic style planters.

Planters are always a good seller, especially rustic types, like this one. Some old barn wood, birch bark, twigs, and you’re good to go. Figure about $40 for this one.

Alpha Letters






Photo Letters

If you’re a decent photographer, and you have a decent-size town, and no competition, sell these. Even if you aren’t a good photographer, become one! These have huge mark up and little work put into them. The basic deal is, you go around your town, find objects that make up the entire alphabet, take a quality photo of it, make 100 copies (about $10), and tape them to the back of a matted frame, and sell it. Check out a gal that does them in my area; she gets $55 for three letters, matted and framed. She must get the frames and mattes in bulk, probably $8 for a three-letter frame. I’ve actually had a booth, right next to her, and seen her rake in the cash. Women love it because it’s decorative, it’s different, and it can be customized. You can put in a name, “love”, catch phrase, or whatever. If she wasn’t around, I’d be doing this.

cutting board

Cutting boards

The woodworking staple in every craft show. They do sell – fairly well – but make sure you have a good quality, unique product, and make sure you are near the entrance to the venue, because you want to get the sale before the other guy a ways down the line in the venue. That’s generally a good rule for any product you sell in a craft show – be the first one people come to, because once they buy one, it’s doubtful they’ll buy a second, so be the first guy.





Food always seems to go well at craft fairs. I’m not talking about hot dog vendors and such, but prepared, jarred condiments, such as mustards and jellies. A local brand, Nunda Mustard always sells well at craft shows; they sell for $5 each, and I always grab a jar or two. Specialty jellies, like mint or jalepeno seem to do well too. I don’t know how much trouble you have to go thru to sell food products, in terms of the the state health laws, I’m sure it depends on the state. Something to think about if you’re a foodie! By the way, you must provide a sample at a show; you can’t expect people to buy food without tasting it in this situation.


Handmade Soaps

We all know the ladies like things that smell nice, and handmade soaps do, and usually do well at shows; I don’t believe there is any state health law issues to deal with, since this isn’t a consumable product (but I could be wrong). At about $5 – $6 each, I’m guessing the mark-up is quite good. I like them myself, and I’m a guy, so I gotta believe women really like them!

Well, there is some ideas for you, or your wife. I hope they work out for you!

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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in BlogNotes



Craft Shows: What Sells? Part 1

Craft showSo, 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.

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Posted by on February 8, 2012 in BlogNotes


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