Craft shows ??? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 10-14-2008, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Craft shows ???

Anyone sell items at craft shows? If so what kind of items do you sell? Maybe one of these days I will get to where I can sell things.I just have alot going on and cannot find the time.I like to visit and see other peoples talent when I can.It's amazing what kind of things you find out there.
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-14-2008, 07:17 PM
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Hey Don:

I was kicking around the idea a couple years ago. There's a national show that comes to the indoor mall in Peoria once a year. Pretty typical of most shows, I think...most venders have two or three tables, and you can buy anything from garbage can boxes to wall sconces to little shelves with key-ring hooks...the variety is endless.

The tables line the causeways of both levels of the mall. Little old blue hairs are bussed in, and their happy (or confused?) little old men follow them faithfully as they browse table after table of hand-made, mostly wooden goods. The parking lot is full of 30 or 40 3/4-million dollar motor homes (the big jobs, the diesel pusher Prevost bus chassis made into a motor home), and each one has a painted-to-match 40' foot enclosed trailer parked behind it. I assume it is full of each vender's garbage can boxes and little shelves.

So, being the enterprising guy I am, I looked into it.

This particular franchise (if you call it that)---the sanctioning body from whom you rent table space---charges something like $2500 per year to place in their shows, then they have the gall to charge you per table, per show, as well! And, if you didn't want to sign up for the year-long circuit, you could buy a half-year package, or rent tables per show. The cost per table per show was $400.00, as I recall. This was some years ago.

Holy CRAP I am in the wrong line of work!

I hope you can find better, cheaper shows out there in your neck of the woods.

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post #3 of 11 Old 10-14-2008, 09:31 PM
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LOML's paremts did them for years. Paper plate holders, etc, etc . . . "crafts" ( no offense intended to anyone ! ). Their stuff sold for $5.00 - $20.00 and they always did rather well. They talked me into doing some "on-the-road". My stuff (see pics) sells for $80.00 - $300.00. I did not fare well. After much analysis I figured out that most folks going to craft shows and "bazzars" aren't loaded down with cash on a saturday afternoon. But I'll admit they were small town gigs. We also had a LOT of fun. I'd suggest trying a couple before you sing up for a "tour" and paying the rents up-front. Of course if its the craft show up the street for $15.00 rent I do it just for the fun and to show off ! Best of luck to ya' !
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-14-2008, 09:46 PM
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My wife and I do one a year. It's this weekend so am pretty busy right now getting the tables and displays ready. Since I do mostly scroll saw items it is a chance to clear out older items and make room for new things. I don't like to do the same thing over and over so this and holiday gift giving keep my stock down so I can try new patterns. Setup is $35.00 for a 10x10 area. your supply your own tables ect. When we started the setup was $20.00 so have been doing this for a number of years. Business comes and goes. Have just barely made enough to pay the booth fee some years and some years nearly sell out. I'm not holding my breath this year with the economy the way it is but I think I have a good assortment. The guy in the booth next to me is a turner and the booth right across from me is a couple of older guys who are turners. Will try to get a picture of some of their items. I am going to give them this forum's address in case they want to get involved in posting.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-14-2008, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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I went to a local craft show(Festival) this past weekend just to see what was new and I came away with a nice birdfeeder.I got a card from them and for what he charged me for it I told my wife I should just buy them from him to re-sale here after the festival is over.I could not buy the wood for what he sold it to me for. It was a large(2ft long) Aromatic cedar birdfeeder that was very well constructed and had real glass in the feeder for 25.00. I think I could easily get 45 to 50 for it.I'm going to advertise it some and see if I can get some bites and if so I'm going to call him and just buy and sell.He had several different styles to choose from and some of them was as cheap as 12.00. They were nice too. I figure that he will give me a better discount if I buy in quanity. It's a thought but it might work. What do you think?
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 10:10 AM
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IMHO (and it ain't worth much ! ) the next sound you'd hear would be "You want how much ? I could have gotten it for less at the show." Then you start to get irritated. And I'd hate to hear you had twenty of the things stacked up in the garage sitting there. I've just found out the hard way that if it isn't custom work . . . be willing to sit on it for awhile. Nature of the beast.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 10:24 AM
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I have done many craft shows. You can usually find them in your local newspaper under church bazzar or sale. They are usually $25.00 for a 4X8 table. I find that small items usually sell the best. People don`t go to church bazzars or craft sales to spend big bucks, therefore, I find that $5.00 scrolled christmas ornaments or small folding rocking chairs ($20.00) usually sell quite well. Wooden fridge magnets made from scrap oak for $1.00 each sell well also.
I usually only do these sales when I want a new piece of equiptment and although I don`t make enough money to pay for the tool in its entirety, the money from the sale usually take a large chunk out of the price.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 11:41 AM
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I got started by attending a craft show and seeing lamps that I thought I could make better. That whole story is in THIS thread.

Once I had made some products on the floor of an apartment, I took them to a local flea market to sell them. So, I'm a believer in craft shows both for the artists, and as incentive.

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post #9 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 11:42 AM
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I can echo some of the previous comments regarding prices levels. This summer I did what was billed as an "art fair" in a fairly affluent section of St. Paul. The art fair was part of a larger event.

I did manage to sell 4 pieces for about $1200, but they were priced at very rock bottom. The guy next to me was selling forks bent into various shapes. He was swamped with buyers. I got lots of compliments on my work, but not that many buyers.

So to make it worthwhile you have to make sure the event is not geared to low price items. I think "art fairs" may be a better option (except the one I was at) for higher dollar stuff.

I'm looking at a couple in Minneapolis next year. I looked up this year's exhibitors to get a feel for what kinds of things they were selling, and it looks better.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 11:44 AM
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Don716...he gave you a really good you want a better deal! Maybe never mind.

Never... I mean always... never mind Rick
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post #11 of 11 Old 10-15-2008, 12:42 PM
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I think my experience is reflective of those already stated. I have not tried to sell wood products, my experience comes from LOML trying to sell some stuff she was making last year.
The cheap stuff sells... anything under $20.00 that isn't complete junk (plastic toys from China, etc) does well. Anything over $20.00 will sell, but not enough to make your money back.
All the shows we did were small church bazaars, and the like, but the booth fee was closer to $100.00 bucks, not $15.00!!!! She NEVER made her booth fee back.

We concluded it simply wasn't worth the effort to pay someone for the privilidge of sitting in a booth for eight hours doing absolutely nothing but staring at the people walking by.. and stopping to buy stuff at the booths on both sides of us that were selling $5.00 candles
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