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Topic: Designer Rip off Bags at a Christmas Craft fair  (Read 6520 times)
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« on: December 07, 2008 01:00:37 PM »

I am so bummed out. I have no one to rant to so please forgive me I hope this is not  an inappropriate subject. ---- I paid $75 dollars for a table hosted by a Church/School.-- $75 is a lot for me but people had told me they get a really good turnout so I tried it.  A man not 20 feet from me had 2 tables of designer rip off handbags.  I make and sell crochet, knitted or sewn handbags and Totes. I sat all day and watched people line up at his table.  I didn't have a chance, I could have cried.  I think my things are really special and reasonably priced.  The fair was billed as Christmas gifts and crafts. I feel so sad about it.  How can you compete with that?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2008 09:12:31 PM »

i know exactly what you mean. i have had some terrible shows because of this kind of thing. when the avon lady next to you is raking it in and youre sitting there praying to at least make your table back, it gets pretty discouraging. i have adopted a few rules for myself concerning shows. first i only do shows that are 100% handmade, we all know mass produced junk is cheaper because it's junk, why compete? second i try to only do juried shows, this fills the spaces with people who are serious crafters. i've been to too many shows where people arent serious and have no problem selling a crochet afghan for $15 (sheesh, couldnt even buy supplies for that but i've seen it so many times). sorry this wasnt the best show for you Sad i'm sure your handcrafted bags are a thousand times better than mass produced knock-off junk!

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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2008 04:29:52 PM »

I feel so sad about it.  How can you compete with that?

I wouldn't even try.  Just try to stay away from those kinds of events.  ("Gifts" would've raised my eyebrows) Real craft fairs have a completely different clientele.  Chalk it up as a learning experience.  Undecided

« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008 05:33:47 AM »

thanks guys- for being supportive.  I will keep what you have said in mind.
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2008 11:51:41 AM »

Wow, I would definitely steer clear of that show next year. It is hard to compete against that kind of thing, and it hurts when you spend time and effort creating something beautiful just to be undercut by someone selling mass produced merchandise for so cheap. I always hear stuff like "I've seen the same bag at Wal-Mart for $10" as people walk away from my table. Obviously not, since I'm not one of Wal-Mart's suppliers...

At my last show my friend and I were so upset about the table across from us. It was for the Flower Factory (I'm not sure if this is a national chain, but it's like a Sam's Club or Costco for home decor and party supplies). I was admiring the woman's work because I thought she made it all, a lot of it was like country-style Christmas decorations like handpainted wooden signs and snowmen figures, etc., until I realized she just brought merchandise from the store and was trying to get people to sign up for memberships!


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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2008 05:21:02 AM »

there was not one but TWO designer rip-off bags at the craft fair I just did. But the one lady packed up early b/c she hadn't had one sale.

employed = hardly any time to sew :-(
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2009 09:03:10 AM »

I guess this is why people were so excited around here when we advertised our craft show as 100% handmade items. I was the co-ordinator, and I must have gotten 6 emails a day from people who wanted to sell 'scentsy' candles or Pampered Chef stuff. I tried to be as nice as possible while I rejected them. HellOOO? HANDMADE!

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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2009 11:40:30 PM »

I'm glad you stuck to the "handmade", especially for the scented candles.  I was at a show and there was a couple of young ladies behind me on the next aisle.  Poor things made their own scented candles from scratch and were having to compete with Gold Canyon, Yankee Candles, a soybean candle vendor and a couple who were selling very cheap imported candles.  The table fee for the day was $40, and they only had two sales all day.  Most of the folks who looked at their candles commented about how some of the others were cheaper.  When the young ladies pointed out that they had actually made their candles and the others were cheap imports, people just shook their heads and walked away.  We were supposed to stay until 4:00, but they packed up and left at 2:00, and when the show organizers came over to complain that they were leaving early, did they ever get an earful.  You see, the organizers were working with a new school and had put most of us crafters in the big gym at the far end of the school.  They put the company vendors in the halls on the way to the gym, so guess who got most of the sales.  I had made over $200 at that sale in 2007, but in 2008 I only sold $80 worth of merchandise - hardly enough to make the trip worthwhile.  Handmade only for me from now on.

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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2009 05:37:36 PM »

This has happened to me several times, too. I was wondering if it was a regional thing. Apparently not.  Undecided I make jewelry that is individual, and I have been told very reasonably priced, but when you have to compete with Avon, Silpada, etc. it's tough. Most shows don't limit how many vendors they get in each category and I'm usually also competing with other handmade jewelry vendors as well as the mass-produced _____. I wish the organizers would be more specific about the event and audience. But many don't really care, because once you've paid your booth fee, they've made their money. Sometimes it's a live-and-learn thing. I have learned that school and church/temple bazaars aren't profitable for me, for the very reason the OP said.

But if they are calling it a CRAFT fair, it should be handmade!!!
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009 05:38:38 PM by Feast Your Eyes » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2009 09:07:01 PM »

moments like this make me feel less alone..I totally get you Smiley

I put 110% of myself into every handmade item I make and it hurts when you see a mass produced thing a few steps away and for less..

I dont even try to compete..theres NO way a mass produced item can be compared to a handmade item..I really do wish other people get it..it always seems like the ones that 'get it' are other handmade artists..

its ME!!
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2009 02:16:04 PM »

Just yesterday I went to the big Christmas craft show in the town I live in. It is apparently quite the big deal, and I am considering renting a booth next year. It is supposed to be handmade/artisian items.  What did I see? A ton of cheap junk imports that you would find at a flea market. I honestly don't know how well I would do trying to sell things, because I would charge for materials and the quality of my work.
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