A wonderful Etsian, LayneDesign, has posted a very helpful list to help those of us that want to attend our first Craft Fair, or even for those that have gone but would like a few extra pointers. She has graciously agreed for me to post her advice here, so be sure to check it out, and please add comments or questions. Maybe you will have some tips as well!
Be sure to check out LayneDesigns's shop - she makes "everything from oil painting, to decorative painting to cloth primitive dolls." It's a really cool shop. - Bonnie
I have been doing craft shows for 16 years. I spent 3 years weeding out the bad ones. Here is my advice.
1. Stay away from churches and firehalls.
2. Display means a lot!! My sales tripled when I took the time to put a nicer display together. (you dont want to look like a garage sale)
3. You have to have your 1 and 2 dollar items. then middle price 5-10 dollars then the higher stuff. Around 75 - 80% of your sales will come from the lower and mid ranged priced items.
4. Check with your chamber of commerce or with who ever is holding the craft show. They usually have numbers of how many people attended the year before.
5. Talk to the other vendors. They usually have a good idea as to which shows are better.
6. Be picky as to what shows you do. I used to try to do as many shows as I could a summer. All I did was make myself tired. Now I only do 3-5 shows a summer and one in the fall.
7. THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! People steal at the shows!! (not other vendors, but the crowd). Make sure you have someone with you for potty breaks!!!! If not another vendor next to you is usually willing to keep an eye on things. If it is a super big show always have another person with you. You have to really pay attention especially if you have smaller items.
8. Don't give up my first show I made 18 dollars. Now I usually make over $1000.
9. You MUST have a state tax ID number. Yes the state goes to the shows and checks. AND you can get a fine. (You have to collect sales tax and send it to the state) The Certificate must be displayed in your area. (check with your local state as to the exact laws)