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Investigate Craft Shows Just In Case (Read 753 times)
 
Don Stephan
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Investigate Craft Shows Just In Case
Jan 24th, 2014 at 11:58am
 
Some knowledge and understanding of craft shows can be helpful for every turner even if not presently interested - the urge to sell can pop up unexpectedly and last minute decisions are especially challenging.

Give some thought to the different pricing strategies you could use.  First decide if you are going to recover workshop, utility and business overhead (registration, insurance, property and other taxes, advertising, . . .)  If so, these will have to be included in your prices.

You could price each item based on the input of labor and materials and aim just for recovery of out of pocket production costs, a portion of out of pocket, or out of pocket plus an hourly labor portion (small or large).

Price vs quality affects buyer decisions.  If the items looks too underpriced some people will walk away, just as if it is too overpriced.  But this will depend significantly on the show and show visitors.  Some shows have a reputation as a place to get some kind of gift for under $25 or $30 - not necessarily nice or meaningful gifts, just something to give.  You could be offering museum quality bowls for $45  there and won't sell many, not because people don't recognize the quality and tremendous value, but because they are looking for throwaway gifts and don't have extra $ for other purchases.

As a general rule shows with more significant entry fees ($200 and up) attract vendors with higher quality and higher prices, but no guarantee buyers will spend money - the show could simply be regarded as low cost afternoon entertainment.

One should expect juried shows to have better prices, but a couple summers ago I visited a juried show and found one vendor selling a 7" diameter high gloss wooden bowl for $8.

Try to identify a few shows in your area and spend a couple hours at each this year as a potential vendor. 

Some questions for existing vendors might include:
How many hours packing for the show and unpacking after?
Does the show provide display tables; if not, how do they store and transport theirs between shows?
Are discounts from the listed prices needed to make the sale?
What other shows do they participate in, and how does this show compare in terms of average and total sales?
How does the entry fee for this show compare to the other shows they participate in?

Study the show visitors to see how many people are carrying purchases.
How much does the quality of work vary from vendor to vendor, and where does your level fit in?

In summary, it's important to try to get a good match between your expectations and results at different shows, and study and planning go a long way towards a good match. 

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Ed Weber
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Re: Investigate Craft Shows Just In Case
Reply #1 - Jan 24th, 2014 at 6:20pm
 
Thanks Don, I for one think this is great information for those thinking about a craft event.
There is so much more to consider than simply selling, if you're not aware, you can loose money, actually it happens a lot. So like Don said "study and planning go a long way"
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Investigate Craft Shows Just In Case
Reply #2 - Jan 24th, 2014 at 6:33pm
 
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Bill Neff
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Re: Investigate Craft Shows Just In Case
Reply #3 - Jan 25th, 2014 at 9:27am
 
Great information!
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Some people are like slinkies... totally worthless but it puts a smile on your face when you push them down the stairs.
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Walt
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Re: Investigate Craft Shows Just In Case
Reply #4 - Jan 25th, 2014 at 11:19am
 
Very good and true info
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