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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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!