If you have a cottage jewellery business or want to earn income from a hobby, selling jewellery at craft fairs is a lucrative way to move inventory. Craft fairs are sponsored by organisations, clubs and sometimes shopping centres. Watch for advertisements of upcoming shows in local publications. Ask about area craft show opportunities at local bead or craft stores. Remember that your table only has a few seconds to interest passing shoppers. The display and merchandise must be eye-catching.
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Things you need
- Waterproof plastic or rubber containers
- Banner or sign
- Price tags
- Cash box
- Business cards
- Plastic stands for business cards
Pack your jewellery and supplies in large rubber or plastic containers. Boxes can be crushed or saturated by spilt liquids. Pack your containers so the tablecloth, banner or signs and displays are on top so that you can unpack and set up the table quickly and in an organised fashion.
Arrive as soon as the craft fair sponsors allow vendors to set up so you won’t be rushing around when shoppers arrive. Check with the sponsors to learn where your assigned booth or space will be if you haven’t been mailed this information.
Arrange your table as far back into the space assigned as you comfortably can. This invites the shopper “in” to your table and creates a store-like environment rather than just another table in a line selling things. If you have multiple tables, arrange the tables in an L- or a U-shape.
Place a solid-colour tablecloth in a neutral or rich jewel tone on the table. Pull the tablecloth as close to the floor as possible. Solid-coloured tablecloths won’t distract from the beauty of the jewellery being displayed. Polyester tablecloths are durable and easy to maintain.
Hang a sign or banner on the front of your table or behind you, if there is space. Your sign or banner should list your jewellery website to encourage orders. Customers won’t read cluttered signs. A business name and website or phone number tells the customer what they need to know. Be sure to include the word “jewellery” on the sign.
Set up your display units. Place your most eye-catching jewellery display front and centre where customers' eyes are most likely to zero in. Velvet-flocked plastic neck/shoulders and hand/wrist displays or velvet cylinder displays allow you to attractively showcase your merchandise. Use baskets, ring boxes or individual zipper plastic bags in the appropriate size to present the jewellery. Set up a mirror on the table so customers can see how the jewellery looks on them.
Organise your table in sections to display single units of jewellery, such as a section for earrings, a section for bracelets and a section for necklaces. Have a separate section for sets. This way, customers can immediately focus on the section that features the type of merchandise in which they are interested.
Place your most inexpensive items near the front edge of the table. Shoplifting is a sad fact of business. Shoplifters tend to take what is easiest. By putting your least expensive items in front, you reduce your monetary loss if something is stolen.
Display prices on small hang tags on each item. Make sure the price is showing on each tag. If the price is not visible and the customers have to ask for it, they generally won't make the effort to do so.
Set up small plastic stands to hold your business cards and place them near the front centre and at the front ends of each table. Replenish the supply of cards throughout the day.
Put away all packing materials or items you won't be using into the plastic containers. Put the lids on the containers and store them beneath your table. You can also use the containers as concealed tables to place your calculator and cash box on. Make sure you have change for your customers.
Tips and warnings
- Craft fairs inform you ahead of time whether or not they are providing tables. Always inquire about table availability beforehand if this information isn’t specified on the application. It’s a good idea to purchase a banquet table or two folding card tables if you plan to attend many craft shows.
- Have a sheer piece of fabric or curtain cover your table with in the event that you need to use the rest room or grab some coffee. This allows shoppers to see your wares without feeling uncomfortable because you're not there. They will return or wait for you if they're interested.
- In most states it is illegal to sell crafts and merchandise at fairs, bazaars or shows without a sales tax permit. You must figure sales tax in with your merchandise or add the sales tax to the purchase price. Apply for a sales tax permit at your state’s official website.
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