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10 Tips for First Time Maker's Market Vendors

I've been selling my work at craft shows for...a long time. For every show I've done, I've made just as many-if not more mistakes. Below are a few helpful tips that would be helpful for a first time vendor.

1. Introduce yourself to the vendors around you. You never know who you'll be put next to, what their experience is and how you might be able to learn from them. Also, you will need someone to keep an eye on your booth for a bathroom break.

2. SIGNAGE. Customers need to know who you are and what you are selling. If I can't tell within seconds of looking at your booth....I'll keep walking. 

3. If you hate social media, too bad. That's how a lot of businesses get noticed and how you will (most likely) reach new customers. Take photos of your booth set up, get someone to snap pics of you interacting with customers-this is all valuable content you can post again and again.

4. Is there a vendor selling similar items to you? A good event organizer will have already vetted vendors and they most likely won't have EXACTLY the same things, but introduce yourself. Maybe they make something you don't and you can send customers to their booth and vice versa. 

5. BE PROFESSIONAL. Show up on time. Clean up after yourself. Mind your manners. I'm sure you're stressed and nervous and maybe this is your first show but the event organizers also haven't slept in days so if they seem grumpy-well, DUH!

6. If this is your first event (or one of your first) do some market research and ask people that stop by your booth all the questions-what would they expect to pay? Are there products they'd like to see but haven't seen at this market yet? Things like that.

7. Merchandising. This means a few things but for this list, specifically how you display your items. When I first started out I actually got away with laying scarves on a table which won't fly anymore. Look at Instagram accounts of other vendors, shop flea markets for weird fixtures and lastly-Amazon. They have everything. Search "craft show display" and kiss three hours of your life goodbye as you infinitely scroll.

8. OH MY GOD. DO NOT RUN OUT OF BUSINESS CARDS are you kidding me. Yes, everyone uses Instagram these days but their parents and grandparents have money and want a business card. 

9. When I get enough people at an event telling me that my products are too expensive that usually means that my target customer doesn't shop the event I'm at. I make a mental note and move on.

10. BE POSITIVE. There's an upside to everything. Even if you didn't make any sales it is always a learning experience. Were other vendors busy? What products are they selling? Maybe your products or price points are not a good fit for that event.

In the end, it's all a learning experience. I also tend to think that there are more than enough customers, ideas, and markets out there so that we can all be successful-so stop stressing out! Also if you ever have any questions-DM me!


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