Craft fair success – Part 2

Stock

How much is enough? How much is too much? Will I have enough? What sells well? These are all questions you should be asking before your first craft fair. In this blog post I will try to answer some of these queries for you and help you along your merry way.
But before we go into that, remember the invaluable notebook that I told you about? It is the best way to log the stock you sell, you then know how to replenish your stock. Not only does it help with your replenishment, it helps you to know what products sell well. You can look at this in terms of times of year which items sell well so that next year, you know what to make and when. The first fair you do will always be a learning curve. You just have to jump in but be mindful that you can learn from the good and from the bad.

So how do you know if you’ve got too much?
It’s important also to remember this is a craft fair right? Not a jumble sale. If you can’t see your table cloth there is too much on your table. Less is definitely more in this case, but I’ll go into this more in the display post. A messy display does not make people feel inspired to buy. If you have more colours available in something, a little ticket saying such is more effective than overloading your table. This says a lot about your stock levels. Take a step back, you love your items, and you want to show them all off, but be selective. 
Towards the end of the fair a few gaps are not the worst thing in the world. Having a full table will look like you’ve not sold a thing all day and your product isn’t very popular. Gaps are easily disguised when your items are on trays or baskets etc, spread your things out more if you’ve sold through your stock.
And what if I haven’t got enough?
The worst time to have a sparse table is at the beginning of the fair. You do need enough stock to make a good display that fills a table. Get it all out at home lay it on the table and have a practise. The easiest solution to this is make more! There is no point in booking a 6 ft table when you only have the stock to fill half of it. If you are struggling for stock and time get a friend to help! Better still find another crafter whose style is similar and share a table, this works well if you just want to dip your toes in the water. But keep the stock consistent. It will look a bit disjointed if one of you decorates cards and the other makes toy aeroplanes. It confuses the customer, they don’t know what you’re offering. 
The other thing to consider is asking the organiser for expected footfall, this is especially important if you make perishable goods, it can help you to gauge how much to take. It will certainly help with your shrinkage. Don’t forget to include samples within your stock levels.
In my experience the things that sell well are often the items that are pocket money items. Often people come to a craft fair with a maximum of £20-£30 on average. They might want a slice of what everyone has to offer, (including the slices of cake) and unless they find one thing and fall in love, £20 split four ways is only a fiver so make sure you have items to suit that sort of budget. If you don’t have a card machine try to concentrate on having enough lower price point items, but don’t purposely under sell yourself. Charge for your time. Again, this will be something I go into further when I talk to you all about pricing. Have more expensive items on your table too, but use this to show case what you can make, without a card machine you’re unlikely to sell them, but of course it’s a bonus if you do! One of my pocket money purchases are my hair clips. Cute small, and a little bit of crochet for everyone. 

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