How to Price Your Art and Crafts! {It’s Craft Fair Season!}

Hi friends! The one topic I get asked the most about (often in private messages) is pricing crafts and artwork. I don’t think that there is any point being quite about this. If we charge fair prices for our wares we are all going to do better at craft fairs and on ETSY type stores. The rising tide lifts all boats. (BTW I just found out that ETSY now allows mass producing companies to sell there so color me unimpressed.) I am an artist living in a small town who only sells locally (well, I do sell to fans who email me about stuff they have seen me make on YouTube but I don’t list crafts and artwork in an online shop) and I still manage to get a fair price for my stuff and outsell other crafters and artists at fairs. Do you want to know how? Then watch the video!

OK, here are MY successful art/craft selling rules:

  1. The price of an item must account for materials and time.
  2. Price everything. If customers do not see a price they will assume that they can’t afford it OR that the price is subject to change OR the artist does not know what to charge.
  3. Do Not Discount. If something on my table is $5 it will be $5 later in the day, that is the price. However you can reward your best customers with a deal like buy 2 get one free, especially on items you can batch up quickly. Think, instead of selling 1 pair of earrings for $5 you sell 3 for $10 without putting an item on sale, win win!
  4. Evaluate after a show, not during. At the end of the day if something did not sell at all think about why: Price? Season? Crowd? If you suspect the price was too high lower it on the NEXT show. Customers do not like to see you changing the price during shows, it will make them wait until last-minute to buy. If you sell out of an item make more and price them higher if appropriate next time. I will often give an item a couple of shows to see if it was a bummer or just the wrong crowd. Don’t spaz out and start giving your stuff away if it is not moving as quickly as you like.
  5. Grab Bags! Move inventory without slashing prices. Say you got a little carried away and, I don’t know, made 45 birds nest pendants and after a year of peddling those suckers you only sold 5. They are taking up precious space on your table which could be used to showcase new stuff. My solution is the grab bag. I make a lot of things. My top seller s $5 beaded earrings that take 10 minutes to make, I always have a surplus but I like making them so I will go though and take any pairs whose packaging is starting to look shabby and odd ball items (you made a batch of something and now have 2 left and it seems weird to only have 2 of something on the table) and the aforementioned birds nest pendents and put them in grab bags. Price these cheap, like $5 even though they contain $20 worth of perfectly good product and you will sell them out and people will look for you first next show to make sure they get one. Be sure to drop your business card in there and leave the original prices on the grab bag items so customers will know what they cost when the reorder…and they will. Grab bags lead to more sales. It is almost like a free sample.  Great, now everyone know what’s in my grab bags this year LOL!
  6. Don’t spend money to make money the first time out. Use up what you have, be creative with your current supplies so you can make a profit. A mistake I see many beginners make is they run out and buy a lot of new supplies to make stuff for their first craft fair. Cardmakers go out and buy the newest paper and stamps, sewists get new printed fabric, jewelry makers go on a bead binge. Do not do this. The people buying your handmade cards or dolls do not know or care that the paper and fabric you are using is 5 years old use up what you have and reinvest in supplies for next time. That goes for displays too, be creative, recycle and borrow. Find items that you can use to store and transport your items and use as display. Think Low overhead=more profit.
  7. Be friendly, smile but do not stalk your customers. I like to bring watercolors and watercolor cards with me. Sometimes I will paint requests on the spot if it is slow. Ether way it keeps me from coming on too strong to the customers because I tend to be excited about what I do and I do not want to scare people away. Also I juggle at my booth…I’m not sure if that is helpful or not….

I hope this helped you. If you have any questions leave a comment and I will help. I am contemplating a new craft fair this year, it is November 1st, the day after Halloween, not sure I can pull it off but at least all of my stuff is packages and priced! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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