Friday’s Fast Five: Holiday Markets

on Nov 11th, 2011 | in Fast Five

Craft fairs and holiday markets are the best shows of the year. Many handmade vendors earn a good portion of their profits for the year at these jam-packed shows with loose holiday wallets. With so much traffic, winter craft fairs are the best opportunity to maximize your sales and leave a lasting impression on customers.

Small, affordable impulse items can help break the ice at craft fairs. Deciding to make a purchase is a mental speedbump to get over; once a customer decides to purchase a small item, they’re much more likely to throw in other items from your wares. Even no-profit impulse items will often be worthwhile in drawing in sales.

The first challenge at any show is drawing in the crowd. Have an item displayed prominently that will bring people closer just to get a better look. It could be a large item or your most unique piece. Shine a spotlight on the item – literally, if you have a power hookup! As long as the item or display can engage a passerby, it has done it’s job.

In a sea of competition, it’s important to stand out. Ever notice that many vendors use black tablecloths? Shake it up, create a unique display for your items. Don’t forget to share with customers what makes your product different and special.

Most people are not looking for a sales pitch at a craft fair or market. Skip the used car salesman strategies and just be yourself. Talking about how and why you made your items and sharing a bit about yourself is a far better way to engage a buyer than using a dry sales pitch.

Free gift wrap is a great option to offer during the holiday season. It’s important to figure out gift wrapping that you can do quickly, so that you don’t hold up a transaction. Make sure the wrap is low cost to you or only available on purchases over a certain dollar amount, so you’re not biting into your profits too much. Remember to remove the price tag from items before gift wrapping!

For more in-depth tips on craft shows, see my Vendor Virgin series that covers attending craft shows from start to finish.

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