Finding Profitable Maker’s Markets & Vendor Shows
Do you want to start selling your handmade products at shows, but don’t know where or how to find the best shows?
In the sea of craft shows, vendor fairs, maker’s markets and flea markets out there, it can be a struggle to figure out the best shows for your products.
The best way to weed out the good shows versus the not-so-good shows, it to ask questions!! Some important questions to ask the organizer are:
- How many people have attended the previous shows?
- How many booths are there are how many sell similar products to yours?
- If there is an entrance fee for attendees ( people who pay to enter are more likely to purchase something)
- What type of fair is it? Does it allow vendors of new items, all handmade etc
- Do they have repeat vendors? (if they do, it’s a good indication the vendors are selling and making money at the show)
- Do they advertise the market?
The following tips will help you find events in your area and determine which are a good fit for you and which will help you make the most profit! Once you have found the venue, be sure to ASK all the questions we went over previously.
- Check with other makers: Some of the best advice you can get, comes directly from those who have done it. Other crafters are often eager to help others who are just starting out and to point you in the right direction.
- Use Facebook:
- If you follow other makers who have been selling their items for a while, check to see which shows they have scheduled or attend.
- Search the “Events” tab in Facebook, to find upcoming markets happening in your area. You can get a good idea of attendance, by the number of people “interested” in the event.
- Watch the Chamber of Commerce website for your town and nearby towns, to find upcoming shows/markets. The shows listed are usually larger, proven events.
- Check with your local farmers’ markets, to see if they also allow makers / crafters. Often the booth fee is reasonable and the competition of like items is small. People attend farmer’s markets, knowing they will pay a little more for the produce they want and this will carry over to your products as well.
- Aim high. Sometimes it is better to challenge yourself and apply for large shows that have a higher fee and proven attendance. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get accepted the first time. Some shows are HARD to get into, but keep trying. These shows have tons of applicants for a reason. People are making sales and making $$$ at them. Send the best photos possible and drop names if you know others who are vendors. (It can’t hurt, right?)
- Do you have an Instagram or Facebook page for your business? If so, ASK your followers to help you out. Ask them which local shows they LOVE and where they would like to see your products. It can be THAT easy to find a great show!
- Use websites like www.fairsandfestivals.net, to search shows in your area. This site will show the number of attendees, the entrance fee and organizer information. These shows have paid to be on the roster and are often well advertised and therefore, well attended.
- Think outside the craft show box. Local breweries, coffee houses and cideries are hosting more and more crafters for evening events. Often with live music, they draw quite a crowd of customers. These can be amazing opportunities to sell your items, pass out business cards, network with other makers and help support other small businesses.
These tips will help you to maximize your profits and find the best shows to match your product. Happy Selling!