Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Selling your crafts? Tips for picking the right venue, Part 2

Craft shows are a great place to sell handmade goods but are normally available only on the weekends. Traveling to shows also requires extra time to set up and break down the display, not to mention hauling it all around, plus the time to sit all weekend and sell. It’s a system that works for some, but not for all and that’s where selling at stores has its advantages. Stores offer more days of the week to sell, rather than just on weekends, and there is no need to constantly haul display equipment. There are a few things to consider before signing any contract with a consignment shop or store:

1. Just as with crafts shows, it is equally important to find out how long the store has been open. Shops that have just opened may have weak sales at first because it takes time for customers to find out that it is there, but monthly rental fees are usually inexpensive in order to entice new crafters to sign contracts.
2. Get to know the owner. Do they have any experience owning their own business? How familiar are they with the craft market in their area? How hard do they work to satisfy their customers? Businesses are a reflection of their owner so crafters need to be sure that the owner and any employees are the people they want representing and selling their creations.
3. Shop around. Compare rates, display areas, location, and the types of crafts that are sold. If the store sells items that are not handmade, be cautious about selling there. Mass produced items don’t always hold the same quality and craftsmanship that a handmade item does. Most crafters do not want their creations associated with a mass produced product. Depending on the item, it can de-value something that is handmade.
4. Avoid shops that let anybody sell anything. These types of stores can end up having a flea market type of environment, which can be a disadvantage to most crafters when it comes to pricing.

Whatever venue that a crafter chooses to sell at, the most important thing to consider is the comfort level. Crafters should be comfortable, no matter where they sell.

For more info on where to find craft shows in the Waukegan area, visit

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