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SUNGLORRY's Photo SUNGLORRY SparkPoints: (0)
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5/6/08 12:45 P

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WOW.... Those were amazing tips. I want to thank you ladies! It is very helpful for the people like me who only have 2 shows under their belt!!!!

Kelly

5% Goal is 16
10% Goal is 34
15% Goal is 50
20% Goal is 67
25% Goal is 84
30% Goal is 100
35% Goal is 117
40.3% Target goal is 135


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LADYBUGVIV's Photo LADYBUGVIV Posts: 1,032
5/2/08 11:39 P

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Thanks for the tips, Ladies. emoticon viv

When anybody asks me who I am, I tell them I'm a child of God!


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ONLYTEMPORARY's Photo ONLYTEMPORARY Posts: 42,795
4/30/08 1:03 A

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I used totes too and tape a list of contents to the top.

Try livedeal.com it's free and covers the continent.

It's Only Temporary

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JW's On the Narrow Path Teams

'It's only Temporary'

Water is very important for us. We may, and I do, require more than the 8 glasses a day. The link goes to a water calculator I use to see what I need for my current weight. Mt requirement has dropped 9 ounces due to weight loss. Yipee!
fitnessgear101.com/fitness-calculato
rs/water-requirement-caculators.aspx


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ANGORA4's Photo ANGORA4 SparkPoints: (31,432)
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4/29/08 6:24 P

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Some people use a notebook or computer spreadsheet with each item numbered. W002 would be the second wool item, Y98 the 98th skein of yarn. If you mark the code number on the sales slip, you'll know exactly which item sold. You might want to record who bought what on your master list, in case you have repeat customers that want to match previous orders. I only did that for special items, not for the usual small stuff.

I packed like items in tupperware totes, crushable items were packed in stackable boxes within the tote. Each tub was tagged with type of item, it makes it easier to find something when you get a sale outside of the show. The tupperwares, along with a tub with set-up supplies, were packed with other "infrastructure" items: booth tent, table, chairs, crates, shelves, rug, clothes racks, whatever items you need for a show. The setup tub had the tablecloths, extra sales books, signs, display baskets, paper and plastic sales bags, tissue paper, whatever else you usually need. Plus the cashbox of course.

When I stopped doing shows, I did business for quite a while through the internet. eBay sales take streaks, sometimes things would sell faster than I could list them, and other times sales would dry up at a moment's notice. They'd go like crazy, and then stop on a dime. Some things sold great, others didn't sell at all. Sometimes I could wait for another season, and they'd sell like crazy. Quilt patches sold well, which surprised me.

You can set up a free website through www.geocities.com. PayPal offers a free shopping cart system, I was able to set up an online store for a friend without too much trouble, you'd need at least a little computer experience to set it up. She did get some sales through the website, you'll want to hand out business cards or advertise in show books from shows you used to do, with your website listed.

Have you tried running ads in the local "free" newspapers? Or perhaps try a consignment shop. They usually take 30-40% of the profits, so be aware of that in the pricing of your items. However, they should stock the items for you, handle the sales, and send you a check for your share of the profits. Here, the local Center for the Arts runs a Christmas consignment sale that I've used. There are also several consignment shops, but I'd use ones with a good track record, and contact people who use the shop to see how quickly the store paid, and how reliable they were.

Another possibility that I've used, but only works if you really trust the other person, is to share booth costs with someone who can take the crafts out for you. It could be a friend that doesn't have enough crafts of their own to fill a booth/table, or perhaps a friend who isn't a crafter, but would enjoy being out and being a salesman, on a commission basis. The problem with this method is that you have lost control of how the booth is set up, and what the other person tells the customers. However, if you can't get out at all, it might beat the alternative!





"Life is more than food. . ." Luke 12:23a


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COMFORTCRAFTERS Posts: 197
4/29/08 4:11 P

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I love to sell my crafts and did the craft circut. But now I am fully disabled and can not do a show alone anyone have any suggestions on other outlets for selling items?

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LADYBUGVIV's Photo LADYBUGVIV Posts: 1,032
4/29/08 3:11 P

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Where do you keep and how do you organize the crafts you have made before going to a show?

Edited by: LADYBUGVIV at: 4/29/2008 (15:10)
When anybody asks me who I am, I tell them I'm a child of God!


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ONLYTEMPORARY's Photo ONLYTEMPORARY Posts: 42,795
4/28/08 3:39 A

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Like Judy said, things change but what I have found that doesn't is the Hand Embroidered T-Towels in set of the 7 days of the week and others and singles. I have sold dozens of sets. Pillow Case sets too. I buy my towels in the 5 towel pack at WalMart for $5.00, have several dozen sets of stampings in all thesem and a large box of Embroidery thread. I also get the larger T-Towel off the internet in bulk and with shipping they come out to $1.25 each. They are also larger and more of an off white color. Those I sell for $22.00 a set, the smaller ones $18.00 a set, the singles $2.75. I can emcroider 1 - 1 1/2 while watching TV for a couple of hours. The Pillow Cases I can get at yard sales, flea markets, GoodWill for .50 to $5.00 a pair. A;ready stamped and many with the trim holes for Crocheting. These if they need Crocheting too go for $25.00 a set and the others $15.00 a set. I watch for thread on clearance or at Yard Sales etc. I can get it for a nickel a skein or sometimes even a quarter for a small gift card box full. I also get clearance fabric at WalMart that can be made into Wall Hanging, blankets or the like. One thing it seems that a big share of people want are crocheted or knitted dish cloths, netting scrubbies and Refrigerator Towels with the Crocheted tops. I have a woman that comes to my house and will buy 3 dozen at a time. I sell the plain top ones to her for $18.00 a dozen. They took me at most 15 min. for a top and I used scrap yarn left over from other projects. I get the towels in bulk at WalMart 5/$5.00 and BiMart has them for .88 all the time and then I also watch the Dollar Stores for nice thick ones with pretty designs. So getting 2 towels from one for this type, I make a pretty good amount. For the Floral topped ones I get $2.30 each and the Dress topped one where I use the towel folded over, I get $5.00. Some sell theirs for much higher prices in WI and CA. Some Farmers Markets prices for tables are really low and you can sell a lot. 1 Couple that make Tiedyed shirts and womens jumpers, sell out every weekend and have to work hard the rest of the week to get stock for the next weekend.

It's Only Temporary

Member of:

JW's On the Narrow Path Teams

'It's only Temporary'

Water is very important for us. We may, and I do, require more than the 8 glasses a day. The link goes to a water calculator I use to see what I need for my current weight. Mt requirement has dropped 9 ounces due to weight loss. Yipee!
fitnessgear101.com/fitness-calculato
rs/water-requirement-caculators.aspx


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ANGORA4's Photo ANGORA4 SparkPoints: (31,432)
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4/25/08 11:49 P

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Now there's a question that we've all asked, wished it had an easier answer. I made my living for several years on the craft circuit, and one fellow crafter once asked me if I had a spare jar of peanut butter in the cupboard? Seemed a weird question, but it was the best one I'd ever been asked. He said if you don't even have a spare jar of peanut butter, you're not making a living! Living hand to mouth on the circuit isn't really making a living!

Enough of that, anyway, I've done this long enough to know that what sells like hotcakes on Friday may not move at all on Sunday, same show, same setup. I've had things I'd carried around for years suddenly become the hot item. What people say they want, isn't what they buy anyway. If we knew what would really sell, we'd actually make money at this!
All of that to say, there is no surefire thing to make that will always sell well. The public is fickle, and things are constantly changing. What's in vogue in the Martha Stewart type magazine may make a temporary difference.

A few things that I've found: You want things to be well made, but still have the handmade touch. I've seen chunky spun and handknit hats outsell perfectly spun and knit lace hats. Why? The chunky hats "looked" handmade. Junky, shoddy items aren't going to get you a good reputation, so you want good workmanship. But you also want it to look special, the artist's hand.

My best sellers are what we call the "5 dollar wonders". Items $5 or less. People pick these up as impulse buys with pocket money.

I walk around prospective shows. I look for three things:

1. How much of a draw is the show? Was it well advertised, and is it well attended? How many prospective customers are there? That tells you whether it's even worth buying table space there.

2. Are the customers carrying bags of stuff they've purchased there, and if so, what percentage of the people are buyers? I've been to some small shows that really paid off, because the show was marketed to motivated buyers, and a good percentage of the people were buying lots!

3. What are the customers wearing? This sounds silly, but it tells me a lot about what kinds of things may sell there. Shows with people wearing upscale, designer clothes, are much more likely to buy my high end items. They appreciate having something unique, and are used to paying a good price for a special item. Shows with people in cutoff jeans and old t-shirts are more likely to be "lookers". They'll be more likely to buy the low end item to keep their kid happy, and much more likely to buy food. They probably don't have many bags in the crowd, and most of them have food in them. Not that I don't make great sales sometimes at those shows, but it usually because I had a good stock of small items.

Pricing: There are several rules of thumb. One is 3x materials cost. So if an item cost $2 in materials, it would sell for $6.

That method goes out the window for items that take little or no materials cost, and hours of work. A person that goes out in the woods and gathers their own oak splits for baskets has no material fee, but hours of work preparing the material for use. If this is you, you might try charting your hours. How long does it take to go from beginning of gathering materials, to the final finished product? Take your hours and multiply by at least minimum wage. If you couldn't possibly get anywhere near that much money for your product, you either need to find time shortcuts, make a simpler product, or find another job.

In reality, you need more than money for your time. You need money for gas back and forth to shows, taxes, printing of fliers and business cards, show expenses, show insurance (you can get a rider on your Homeowner's policy for about $100 a year, that will give you liability insurance while you are at the shows. Some shows require proof of this coverage. Separate policies usually start at $500.) All this stuff together is called overhead, and it makes a big difference in your profit. If you only get out of an item time and materials, you are losing money, because you have all of these other expenses that need paid.

Check out the prices on similar items to yours at craft shows, and at places like WalMart. They are your competition. If you are going to sell for more than them, what makes your product special, that makes it worthwhile to spend the extra money on your item? It may be in unusual colors, style, or have extra features otherwise not normally available. If not, you are probably going to need to stay within the price range others are selling for.

You can do a search on eBay for items similar to yours. When you find them, look on the left menu for "completed items". Click on the box, and hit 'search' below. This will give you final sales prices of deals that were completed. It tells you what items sold, and for what price. This also helps in pricing.

This is a super long answer, but it's an important question. I tried to hit the highlights. As far as WHAT to sell, what do you like to make? Is there something special of yours that people are always asking about? I'm afraid crafting is more of labor of love than a get rich quick scheme. Perhaps others can say what's doing well for them.

I'm now a full time caretaker for my mother, and can't attend shows anymore, so I can't give any help on what's currently hot on the market. Anyone else have any clues?



"Life is more than food. . ." Luke 12:23a


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JOHANKA's Photo JOHANKA SparkPoints: (0)
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4/25/08 4:07 P

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what craft items sell and how do you price the items

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