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!

22 Responses

  1. lol dont stalk your customers😀 ! i cant imagine you stalking anyone🙂 tfs great info yet again…you are truly a giver and a teacher in the most high of its meanings! God bless! xoxo❤🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you are wonderful and talented and very generous in sharing what you have learned through experience. I am double your age, but still want to be like you when I grow up–doesn’t make sense but what the heck!!!


  3. You are so sweet (you stalker LOL LOLOLOLOL) always sharing what you know and your experience with others. Lindsay – I cannot get out due to health weakness and pain, so one of my doctors collects my cards to sell at a resort hotel here. It does narrow my artwork to beach type cards because that is all they want. I ache to make more variety and I do, but give to friends and relatives for occasions or to help cheer them. So know your customers, what they want and are looking for. Typically what your area is renown for will do well. Pricing? I charge $10 per card but they are very intricate, layered, embellished, (hopefully) tasteful, with matching envelope and a little card info about me and how to mail their cards. Some are $15 but those are specialty folds, larger cards.I hope that helps the cardmakers. Would love to see your best selling bead earring video – is it here? Love ya!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great advise. Loved all the tips. But one thing you didn’t really tell about was cards. I make cards, cards and more cards and send most of them myself. But once in a while someone ask me to make one for them to give and don’t have a clue what to charge. Most of mine are 5 by 6 1/2 or 6 x 6 with an envelope. They have many layers of card stock or whatever and usually home made flowers. Some are scenery done with copic pens and some are people or kids with pens or flowers. A few are funny. A few are water colors, but I’m not very good with those. Give give me some kind of idea what to charge. Thanks. Edna


    • I sell my watercolor cards for $7 and my stamped/crafterd cards for $3-$5. The watercolor cards go for more because there is mire “perceived skill” that goes into making them and people are willing to pay more for that. Birthday cards and Christmas cards sell best and I make multi packs of Christmas cards to sell, like a pack of 5 for $8 or so. My cards sell modertly well so I think I have them priced for my area but they would probably go for more elsewhere. Here most people buy cards at the dollar Tree. You have to know your market.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Great tips Lindsay….thanks for the info!!!!


  6. Many people have said it so well. but can’t hurt to tell you again.
    How very generous and kind you are to share your knowledge, experience and wisdom to anyone willing to take it. A genuine pay it forward in action every day. I only hope you know and are told how much it is appreciated. Please feel free to ask your readers(followers) for anything you might need. I’m sure the response would be overwhelming.
    Oops! Read your advice to late. Just bought more fabric. Think I’m addicted.
    Again, Thank you. You’re just wonderful!


  7. Great advice! People love to buy something they see being created-it tells a story and they will repeat that story to their friends. So any additional advice I would give is to realize that people admire what an artist can do, so be proud of it and charge accordingly. A positive, professional Attitude is huge at a show-If someone does ask a price, don’t answer with an apologetic tone. Lyndsey is right-no markdowns at a show. I have seen many artists say “Well it’s $25.00? but if you really want it? I’ll let you have it for $15.00?…and before long the artist sounds so unsure and desperate that the “buyer” often leaves with nothing. Same thing goes for the art craft show artist who sits in her booths reading a book or stays on the phone-all attitudes that say “I’m not interested in conversing with you.Leave me alone.” Paint or create instead! And always have a story ready to share about your wonderful artist’s life and creative inspirations 🙂. Your potential buyers see your creative life as differrent and creative and most want to be YOU. Leave out the artist angst.
    So love what you do, price for a profit and stay positive throughout the show!
    As far as Etsy-whoa has it changed! THe Chinese have flooded the site with their mass produced goods and I remember when we had to send in a photograph of our studio to prove we made our products ourselves! SO SAD. ETSY you have sold out the small craftsman!
    Somebody needs to start another one!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Lindsey, thanks for this helpful video, can you show us one of your grab bags on utube , best regards…


  9. Can’t thank you enough for all the helpful tips about pricing. I sell cards as well other paper crafts, so pricing can sometimes be a challenge. Your tips have been most helpful. Thanks so much.


  10. Lindsay, how do you feel about having a snack in your booth? I see people having lunch and for some reason it turns me off to the booth,


    • If I have too (long day and no helpers) I discreetly eat something and have a neighbor watch my table and do the same for her. I have a travel mug of coffee all day, that usually is all I need then I order takeout with my earnings that night LOL! After spending all day at a show I understand that someone needs a meal and might not have booth help so it does not bother me to see.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent tips, Lindsay! I wish I’d had your input back when I used to do craft shows. You’re so great about sharing what you know. Hope this is a terrific week for you. Hugs!!!


  12. Hi Lindsay, I can not get enough of your videos. I just started to solder jewelry (nothing expensive) I learned so much from your video, that I had no idea about, how to do it. Keep it coming, you are my most favorite crafty gal on the internet. (((creative Hugs)))


  13. Hi Lindsay, I just viewed your video on pricing (I know I’m a little behind🙂 Anyway, I am making ornaments (half-globe) with a 3-D snowy scene. Materials are card stock and faux snow. Was wondering if you think $5 an appropriate price. Thanks for any input.


  14. Thanks for the tips Lindsay! ~Diane


  15. I enjoyed this video clip… I was always wondering about this. Thanks for the advice🙂


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