what if i don't sell anything?

I always ask myself that question before a craft show. A few weeks ago I asked myself that question before we had a little family yard sale. I guess that our natural inclination is to doubt ourselves...or it is my inclination. And it is always possible, yes, that you won't sell anything. But I guess it's worth the risk because I keep doing craft shows.

Because I always have these doubts, I thought I would share a few things I have learned from craft shows. I feel like I have come a long way. Not that I have gotten this down or anything. I have done roughly 10 or more shows that I can remember off the top of my head. I couldn't find the picture of my first craft booth, but here is one of the earliest ones...

....here's a little more recent (a year ago)

present...most recent show...

But back to the task at hand...I may talk more about what I have learned about displays at another time...
  • Dress for the look you are trying to present to buyers. In a sense, they are buying you. That sounds strange, but I think it's true. I try to wear a product or two of mine and put thought into what I am wearing that day. 
in this instance, i wore a baby. this is not what i was trying to sell........har har....
  • Don't be too pushy. This is my personal opinion. Be friendly, but a craft show is sort of a strange experience where you are watching them look through your shop. Don't make them feel like you are just sitting there watching them. 
  • Have everything that you need to make a sale happen. Bring some $10s, $5s, $1s and change. And try to have a way to accept credit cards. I just started to accept credit and I feel like it has added to my number of sales. This allows there to be no excuse for someone not to buy something if they want to.
  • Have low/no expectations. This sounds harsh. #sorrynotsorry - I a lot of times flip flop in my mind before shows between hoping I am going to make some money and thinking I am going to sell nothing. I have never actually not sold anything (so thank you Lord!), but I having really high a lot of times is not realistic. You don't know who is going to shop and sometimes the right person comes along and spend $100. You just don't know. 
  • Have a variety of priced items. I recently added hair-ties to my show items. They are something small that people can pick up and put in their hands without making a big financial commitment. I also have items up to $25 (still not too expensive, but a lot more than $1). 
  • Try new items. I have found shows as a great way to experiment with new items and see what are appropriate prices for them. I couldn't believe I sold out of my headbands at my last show, but I guess those are an item I should continue to make. 
To answer my question in the title. What if I don't sell anything? That is okay. A lot of times that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with what you are selling perhaps the right crowd did not shop that day. Maybe prices are a little too high or something is selling something comparative for a lot cheaper. But there is no way to grow your business better than taking risks.

If you do craft shows do you have any tips?



  1. I always go into it with that dread of not selling a thing. Last year was my first year doing shows and I did two and they were complete flops, so I figured it wasn't for me. But this year I got an itch to do them again, and did much better. A slightly different crowd for the second two events, but I feel like I'm still struggling to find the right crowd in this area(I'm in Chesapeake).

    I saw your earrings when I stopped in Kitsch a few weeks ago. Have you been able to sell much there?

    Also, there's a giveaway on my blog right now, just in case you're interested! http://www.studio336.com/2012/04/giveaway.html

  2. Erin,

    I can't remember if I replied on your blog or not. Kitsch has been great. I have sold a lot there.

    I feel like I should change the title of this post. I have always done pretty well at craft shows but there is always the doubt that I feel the day before and sometimes during!


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