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Selling at Fairs & Art Shows
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davka



Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:57 am    Post subject: Selling at Fairs & Art Shows Reply with quote

Hi everyone, I am thinking to try to sell my goods (I am not the original artist) at flea markets and art fairs. Does anyone have expereince with this? I would basically be the vendor. I noticed most art shows feature works by the artist, but in my case, I buy from the artist & sell to others.

What would you recommend as the best way to sell at a fair, or any other short-term retail method? I don't want to sell at a junky flea market, since my inventory is new, not used.

Any thoughts out there??
Thanks so much!!
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vintageinterestnmore



Posts: 505

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Davka,

I've not had a massive amount of experience selling at either one of those venues. For about five years, when I was into floral design using natural products, we went to many arts, arts and crafts fairs and shows. Although the competition was fiercer, fees were higher, and the set up took longer, the older, well established, mega large ones were where we earned the most money. More people, more sales.

We also had a booth in a craft shop until they went out of business due to the owner's health. We did pretty well all year long.

A couple I know spends practically every weekend during the summer attending and selling at art fairs or celebrations.

My mother belongs to a rural electric co-op and receives their monthly magazine. In each edition, there is a list of events for the state. You might be able to find one for your area or some list similar to that if you're in a large city. Most of these have opportunities for vendors to sell their wares.

Personally, I never snubbed the junky flea markets either. People who attend flea markets are a special breed(raising my hand unashamedly), they recognize quality work and will pay for it. You might be the rose amongst the thorns that attracts their eye and their wallet.

Good luck!
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grannyscrafts1912



Posts: 223

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sell at craft fairs all the time ( loving it ) going to one in november for christmas.
do a search selling at craft fairs lots of great info.
most of all have fun and good luck
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bigtallmensclothing
moderator


Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've sold at huge fairs .. like the Peoples Fair, the Taste of Colorado and even the Colorado Country Christmas Gift Show
Lots of money have been spent to do these shows with crappy results. Normally our online orders for the weekend were more than the sales in the booth that we paid to be in.
No more shows for us. Too expensive and not enough sales.

Any shows JUDGE your work before allowing you in. They won't allow you to just be a vendor, you must be the artist. Selling the work of others is not allowed at fine art shows like that.
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vintageinterestnmore



Posts: 505

PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three years ago, we sold at something called the "Gypsy Caravan." It benefits the Symphony Orchestra and is held each year on Memorial Day. Set up is Sunday, sales begin Monday I think it was at 8 a.m. for early birds. The thing about Memorial Day is that quite often it rains. That year it did. Despite the heavy intermittent rain, after subtracting entry fees, we made almost 600.00. Not a lot, but with the conditions I thought it was a pretty good take.

The last two years have been nice, but I did not attend to sell. I had to rely on others to help me get set up the first time and was not overly happy with that part of the sale, so bowed out until I can get my own larger vehicle.

That was the first fair or show I'd done in about 20 years. Can't predict when I'll try another and you can't predict the type of sales you will get.
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WellspringChakra



Posts: 203

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might want to test the waters at your local flea market, but check it out first to see if there's competition and if your merchandise fits the venue.

I do shows and farmer's markets, but they all require the merchandise to be handmade by the seller.
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davka



Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:58 pm    Post subject: Thanks so much! Reply with quote

Great advice & thoughts! Thanks for your time.

I am going to sell at my first local arts/crafts & vendors fair this weekend, so we'll see how that goes. I am selling for cash only, since I don't have a state tax id yet (yikes hope that's ok) and don't have credit card machines to accept payments.

does everyone have a state tax id that sells on ecrater? i'll need to get one, once I am selling regularly I guess.

ciao!
Marina
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bigtallmensclothing
moderator


Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
since I don't have a state tax id yet

Hope you are in a small town. Here in Denver the CITY even on Saturdays has a tax dept employee go to each seller station requesting to see the tax certificate. Denver requires you to have a special event tax license for every show. Each one cost you about $25 or maybe it was $35. It's good for only one show.

Quote:
does everyone have a state tax id that sells on ecrater?

some city/states require them if you do business.
You can NOT collect sales tax without one.
Contact your small business assication, they are a great help!
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davka



Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:25 pm    Post subject: Sales Tax! Reply with quote

thanks, I'll contact the small business association great advice!
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SheilaDeesPostcards



Posts: 4057

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never discredit Flea Markets, some could be very profitable for your special products. Make sure you know the laws in your town, county, and state regarding license, sales permit and sales tax. Better to be informed than pay fines.

Two other quick points,
1) take enough change to get started! It's really sad to loose a sale because the customer doesn't have change and neither do you. Also, get a pen to mark the larger bills to avoid getting stuck with a fake $100 bill.

2) Don't try to add sales tax. Mark your items with tax included and your day will go much smoother. Everyone will pay tax and you can "back-out" the amount of tax collected after you are home.
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bigtallmensclothing
moderator


Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be sure to post how you did and what you thought about it
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davka



Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:09 pm    Post subject: Seling at Holiday Art Fair Reply with quote

Thanks, I'll post after Sunday's sale to give an update about how it went.

One question, why does marking the $100 bill identify if its a fake? I noticed they do that at stores, but never knew why?

Thanks!
Marina
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bigtallmensclothing
moderator


Posts: 21854

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Seling at Holiday Art Fair Reply with quote

davka wrote:
Thanks, I'll post after Sunday's sale to give an update about how it went.

One question, why does marking the $100 bill identify if its a fake? I noticed they do that at stores, but never knew why?

Thanks!
Marina


If you use the correct marker it will identify the bill
http://inutiles.wordpress.com/2007/07/24/fake-100-bills-and-how-to-spot-them/
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vintageinterestnmore



Posts: 505

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope your sale went well Davka or was a great learning experience. Any major revelations?
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davka



Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:06 am    Post subject: Results, TBD! Reply with quote

Hi all, so I was all ready for my 1st in-person sale, and then the storm hit NJ, and the town was out of power for a few days. So, the sale was postponed for 2 weeks! It will now be on Nov 13th, 11-3pm if anyone is in the area, pleas stop by! I'll send you the address. Its in Hackensack, NJ 07601.

I will report back after the 13th! (hope that's a good luck 13!)
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