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Topic: disappointing craft fair  (Read 5637 times)
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« on: November 12, 2004 02:19:09 PM »

I'm not sure if I want answers or just sympathy, so bear with me, craftsters!  Grin

I went to my first craft fair last weekend, selling my handmade purses and handbags. I have sold probably 12 or 13 bags to acquaintances so I figured they must be half-way decent, right? Anyway, I paid $50 for my space at the craft fair. I made about 50 purses, some of them I used fabric I got for free, but some I bought fabric or  at least handles. And of course I had to buy interfacing, thread, etc. I have no idea what it cost me.

The first thing I saw when I got there was that two booths away from mine, there was a couple selling mass-made tote bags for $6. sigh. then my hubby walked around the whole fair and found two tables selling designer knockoffs. gah. nothing handmade, just mass-made crap.

The fair started at 9 and I didn't sell a thing until 11. I sold two knitting needle cases to one lady. which was great, of course. then I sold a nice tote bag to a very cool gal for $35. An elderly lady walked up to my booth, saw my faux fur handbag and said "I HAVE to have that!" hee. it was $20 and then i sold another handbag for $20, so I made $110. Subtract the cost of the booth, that's only $60. sigh.

I had a nice table, I thought, and lots of people stopped and looked at the purses. No one said they were too expensive or anything. Any ideas on what I did wrong? I'm quite disappointed. My husband thinks I shouldn't give up, that even selling five things was great. I'd appreciate your advice. Thanks!
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2004 02:37:24 PM »

That's just the way of the craft fair-you never know what type of crowd will be there. My advice to you is to look for a craft fair that is strictly handmade items, no vendors. That may help you get people that are more in a handmade frame of mind. At least you did make money, so keep that in mind! My first craft show, I ended up only making $8 after paying for the table! So, keep your chin up  Wink  it sounds like you have good stuff and a supportive husband!

out of town until July 10th...I will respond to any messages then.
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2004 02:46:08 PM »

first thing, your husband is sweet, now go hug him.
second thing is that your husband is right, you shouldn't look at it as a disappointment, YOU SOLD 5 BAGS, WOOHOO. maybe the next fair will be better suited for your 'handmade' bags, so don't give up. you didn't sink a ton of money into this so you can afford to be patient. maybe you can work on another craft to sell along side your bags.
my shift key won't work so please imagine exclamation points and question marks.
good luck

« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2004 06:59:56 PM »

Yeah, I say hang in there.  At least you sold some stuff, right? 

« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2004 07:56:39 PM »

Yes, at least you sold enough to make back  your booth fee and a bit more.  the last one I participated in, I sold NOT ONE THING.  No one sold anything, so I didn't take it personally, but at least you didn't lose money on it.  And you learned something from it, even if you don't know what it is now.  Whether it is how you want to set up your booth next time, or that knockoff handbags suck, you learned it. 

Cheers!  You did great!
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2004 03:11:00 PM »

Your husband is right--you sold 5 bags!  That's great, and you made up what you paid for the booth, so it wasn't a total loss.

Definitely find a craft fair that is for focused on homemade things.  Those craft fairs that are mostly vendors selling mass-made crap really suck. 

And it's not a loss on your bags because you can still sell them through your site or ebay, etc, right?

Next time will be even better, I promise!

« Last Edit: November 13, 2004 03:13:44 PM by donutgirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2004 03:45:54 PM »

its always a gamble if your going to sell anything at those..right now im planning to do a pretty big festival next year and im scared to death..the booth is 200 bucks..which with the number of people that go to this, i should be able to make back..eep...also i went to a xmas fair a few weeks ago..sucky..it was like evey other table had purses..the same purses..like they all got them from the same vendor..maybe 2-3 people had truely handmade stuff...i had mentioned to the ladies at the door what a disappointment it was..and they asked me about my stuff..heh..they insist i get a table next year to bring a littel "spice" to the group..heh...
 im happy you made your $$ back for the booth and all...its a true learning experience..good luck at your next one

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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2004 04:37:47 PM »

seriously, be lucky you made any money!! My first one a few months ago was dismal. I sold NOTHING! I was out the 30 bucks for the fee, not to mention all the time & energy I spent getting ready for it. There was almost nobody at this thing!! It was horrible & I was ready to give up, but luckily I was already signed up for another & my wonderfull encouraging boyfriend told me to keep trying!! It's a learning experience, starting off is hard, you don't always start out ahead!! Don't give up!!!

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everything looks like a nail"
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2004 05:57:06 PM »

All craft fairs are definitely NOT created equal. I agree with whomever suggested that it is a good idea to stick to fairs where items are handmade and not mass produced. Don't stop there though. Talk to the organizer. Make sure they are booking crafters to have a good variety, not just to fill up space. I'd also ask how they plan to promote the show. After all, you want to be sure that there will be prospective buyers in attendance, right? Lastly, I would try to talk to crafters in your area to see if they will give you some insight into what different shows in your area were like for them.

Best of luck to you.
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2004 10:46:15 AM »

Thanks, everyone.  Smiley I do feel better and I took a little break from purse-making, so maybe that helped! LOL. My hubby is great, thank you for the compliments on him!

I am going to try to get into one more craft fair this year (hopefully one with mostly handmade stuff!) and see how it goes. Also, my friend's boutique. so I will keep trying!

Thanks, craftsters! you all are great.
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