15 Craft Shows Tips & Tricks to sell more, stress less and have more fun - part trois

11. Accept Credit Cards

With propay it's easy and inexpensive - paypal also has a virtual terminal that can be rented monthly as needed. I bought a card slider (aka knucklebuster) for about $20.00 on Amazon. I imprint the cards and then put them through after the show - this is a little risky, but I haven't had a problem. If you sell pricey stuff you probably need to be able to process the cards at the show. Google it - there are lots of options - you can even process cards with a slider attached to your phone.

Alot of people do buy with cash at shows, but I find customers with larger, multiple item orders pay with credit. Your average sale $ will increase when you accept them.

Make sure to put up signs that credit cards are accepted - it costs you money to accept credit cards so make sure you advertise it.

12. Get a cash bag - keep your eyes on your moulah.

My niece once had one customer distract her while their accomplice walked off with her cash box. She didn't notice until they were long gone - she lost hundreds of dollars. Alot is going on at a show and, especially if you are working alone, you need to know where your cash is.

I have an amazing traveler bag (this is so not a fanny pack!) from JennyNDesign that is perfect.

13. Be nice to your neighbors.

Say hello. Tell them your name. Don't encroach on their space. Be considerate. If you ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your booth so you can run to the restroom (something I don't really recommend, but it can happen) - realize their commitment is to their own booth, not yours, so make a run for it and be sure to thank them.

(at Art Star last weekend after setting up my tent I noticed my neighbor staring at my wall - on her side - and realized hubby had stuck an X made with duct tape on the outside to cover a hole - I rarely use the sides and hadn't noticed it - since my outside wall was about to become her interior wall I quickly ditched the tape - the hole BTW was about 1" and the duct tape a gigantic 6" X!)

14. Don't be afraid to do a show alone.

You can do it! I've done it many times. It's more fun with a partner, but don't let your inability to lasso a friend into helping you (I bribe people with free jewelry and cookies) stop you. The set-up and take-down is a little tiring solo, but no one knows your work like you do - it isn't that hard.

15. Try to offer a freebie.

When I'm offering up a little free something or other to someone (usually a cork stopper with my logo) every head near my booth whips around - people love freebies! You could give out a sticker, pin, etc - I once saw someone giving out free teabags with their logo - people drank it up!

16. Oops I have one more - After KJ reminded me yesterday that buyers like to tell people they know the artist it is a good idea to save a part of your display area for a little self promotion - set up newspaper stories, any articles you are in, any books you are in - you can put pictures of your work in a book (think Blurb) very inexpensively and it makes you look very impressive.

(I know I would be impressed or depressed since I've never done this)

Photos of your work being worn or used are a must; a photo of yourself with your own story - makes your handmade item even more personal. You can set up your laptop and flash pictures of your work and draw people in.

We could go overboard with this - remember we are not DaVinci - but we are the creators of our own amazing work and if we are not impressed with it no one else will be either!

Hope some of these tips help someone - I didn't focus on our displays since being the crafty mavens that we are, we can most likely come up with something amazing - just think staging areas (grouping things in different areas) and using various levels and especially having items or photos at the customer's eye level.

I made my first magazine ad yesterday directed to retail stores - whatcha' think? My brother, the artist, said "very nice - the only thing that is unreadable is your studio name in your logo" - ha!

* be nice typography print by tiny bungalow


lynn bowes said...

Amen sister. I usually work alone and have made some of the most cool friends at shows but then, I'm a talker and have never met a stranger, you understand.

And maybe it's just my good karma but I've used the same Propay technique with a knucklebuster and entering the info when I get back to my computer and I've NEVER had a bad charge nor bounced check. 'Be Nice' pays off big.

:: lynn ::

Mel's Art Buffet said...

Thanks for the tips, these are so helpful! I'm trying to get up the nerve to do a show... The ad looks GREAT!!

doforanimals said...

Thanks for all the great tips! Hopefully I'll have enough art for my own show (some day) and will keep these in mind.

Jen Judd said...

Love this post and can't wait to read the others. I have been avoiding shows like crazy because they just seem like too much work for too little reward. It's great to hear your positive attitude and the great practical advice to take care of business in a way that makes the experience more fun...and ideally more productive.
Great to meet you!

Catherine Ivins said...

Thanks all - yes, Lynn doing a show alone is a great way to meet your neighbors! Mel & Jen- you can do it! Jen- yes they can be alot of work for a little reward - I have made as little as $50 at a local show, but I have made thousands of dollars, too!!