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Thread: Trade Shows

  1. #1

    Default Trade Shows

    Thought I would ask to see who does trade shows or hobby fairs, sort of a poll. Do you still do them, do you recommend them? What sells and what doesn't? Tips and tricks? Particular age group or gender? Fall or spring? We know that in general people do not want to pay much. I have worked them before at another business. They can be very long, boring and very little financial gain, if any. Just wondering. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Galva Kansas
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    1,002

    Default

    I do them. I have found that I have better luck doing actual craft events, rather than doing stuff where it's an event like 4th of july celebration and, oh by the way we have vendors. At craft shows people are coming there expecting to buy stuff and they are looking for what you are selling. You never know what's going to sell. Sometimes if you do an event type thing, such as a Veterans reunion that I do every year, and you have stuff aimed at that group you can do well. Doesn't hurt that I'm a vet too. Also, have stuff aimed at kids... parents like to buy stuff for their kids and if you have something that will draw kids to your booth then you have a good chance. Get one of the gadgets so you can take cards on your phone, stay away from personal checks, and ALWAYS get paid in advance for custom work... at least a sizeable deposit. I have a box full of custom stuff I did then people didn't follow through. Oh, and get a good quality tent if you are going to do outdoor stuff. I bought a cheap one to start and ended up buying a better one later.
    Kansas Wood Shop
    Disabled Veteran owned and operated
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    A machine with rock, CS machine, Designer 3, centerline, conforming vectors

  3. #3

    Default

    dehrlich, thanks for your response, we are thinking the same with a craft show rather than a celebration. I read a post from 2011 and it said never to do one if they are selling alcohol, makes sense to me. I may go with a credit card reader, not sure. I am told the rate is very high. Hopefully I will be close to an ATM. Something I will have to look into.
    But, I did not put any thought to a *Tent* what a good idea. I'm very fair skinned, burn easily. thanks for the heads up.
    Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Galva Kansas
    Posts
    1,002

    Default

    If you already have a Paypal account you can get a reader from them, works well and the fees are not that bad. Believe me, you will make twice as many sales if you take cards... most people prefer it these days. If you don't have an account its easy. You could also use any of the others... square, go payment, they are all about the same.
    Kansas Wood Shop
    Disabled Veteran owned and operated
    Visit www.kansaswood.com
    A machine with rock, CS machine, Designer 3, centerline, conforming vectors

  5. #5

    Default

    I know you are right, most people who want something, they want it right away (me too), I will look into it. Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Poway, CA
    Posts
    350

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    Square charges 2.75% and the money is in your account in 2 days. The reader and app are free so there are no start up costs and it doesn't matter how much you use it. Very easy to use. Amazon also now has a service that I think has an introductory rate of 2.25% if I remember correctly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    St. Marys, Ga
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Tents are required at most shows 100$ at walmart and we use ProPay card reader very reasonable/ i know i am 2 years old being here but




    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1 View Post
    dehrlich, thanks for your response, we are thinking the same with a craft show rather than a celebration. I read a post from 2011 and it said never to do one if they are selling alcohol, makes sense to me. I may go with a credit card reader, not sure. I am told the rate is very high. Hopefully I will be close to an ATM. Something I will have to look into.
    But, I did not put any thought to a *Tent* what a good idea. I'm very fair skinned, burn easily. thanks for the heads up.
    Mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Nuevo, CA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default

    Harbor Freight regularly has sales on their pop-up - about $70.
    Clint
    CarveWright StartU team member
    Web Site WWW.clintscustomcarving.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Elcho, Wisconsin
    Posts
    255

    Default

    I have tried the craft show route but found that a lot of people will buy throw away items for $5-$10 but will not spend $60-$75 for an item that will last a lifetime. I now do one or two shows a year and they are usually more on the line of art shows. These shows are juried and must be handcrafted and will not allow any imports. You must send in photos of the product you make to be either accepted or denied entry to the show. These shows normally have a fee that they chargefor booth space but I have found that the people that go to these art shows realize the product prices will be higher than at craft shows. I also have found that you need to find your "nitch" or specialty that people are looking for. Also , I definitely agree that you need to accept charge cards. I use the Square. I try to have my generic products but also show nd offer custom serices. Always be open to new suggestions and provide excellent customer service. My first show was a disaster. People loved and purchase my product but I was not prepared for the after the sale. No bags or boxws to carry away my product. I now have packing and identifiable boxes and people really appreciate it. Good luck and enjoy the experience. It is work but it is a great fun and a terrific way tomeet people and get your product out there.
    P C M Custom Woodworks
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    New Iberia, la.
    Posts
    1,866

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    Very good info for crafters, I bring items that can be sold that day, and I show others items that can be ordered to meet their custom ideas. These work very well, I hand out business cards, they work really good later, after they look at my website.
    I do 6 to 8 real craftshows, 10,15,30,000 people a weekend and stay far away from the eating, drinking and dancing too.
    there is a charge to enter, so you get real people looking for crafts.
    the other info y'all have mention is really good too.
    My Shop 1044

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