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OTHER ITA SITES:
Selling Your Craft Over the Competition
If you are planning to head to several craft shows to sell youritems, there is a good chance that somewhere along the line youare going to run into someone who sells a similar craft toyours. I know, with all of the possible craft ideas out there,it seems like a long shot to actually run into somebody who hasthe idea as you. But, it does happen. People have caught on tothe same fad as you, or they have seen something in a magazineor in a craft store that they thought they could make a littledifferent or better – and then you both end up at the same craftshow, selling the same sort of item.
You are both going to get people through your booths, and youneed to capitalize on the initial sales when people get there. You don’t want them going to the competition to get the samepiece, when they can get a better one at yours… right?
So, what do you have to do to convert the traffic in your boothinto sales, before your competition does? Here are a few ideas:
Sell the quality – You might want to take some time to wanderover to the competition’s booth and see just what they have tooffer. Maybe they aren’t using a certain piece, or constructingthe craft a certain way. If so, you can sell your product in away that doesn’t bring down the others product, but builds yoursup.
Your booth set up - If you make your booth easy to navigate,inviting and put people in the mood to shop, your sales willsoar. Make sure the booth is neat and tidy and people knowwhere to find things. Some booths frustrate you from the momentyou walk into them, and the only thing you can think about isgetting out as soon as possible. Make your booth better thanthat.
Merchandising – Hand in hand with your booth set up, should bethe way the product is displayed. If you have hand knittedsweaters, then you probably want to model one of the sweatersyourself, and have a couple of mannequins modeling them as well. Create the environment you would find your craft in, and yourcustomers will be able to visualize themselves owning it andusing it for that purpose.
Offer all forms of payment – or at least as many as you can. You should definitely take major credit cards, cash and evenchecks (with identification). You will really set your boothapart if you set yourself up to accept debit cards for point ofsale purchase. You never want to lose a sale because you aren’table to accept someone’s form of payment.
Customer service – Be prepared to answer whatever questions thecustomer might have, and don’t be afraid to strike up aconversation with them. Ask them if they craft themselves. Askthem what they like or don’t like about your craft. Peoplealways enjoy buying products from people they like. With thatsaid, let them shop, too. Don’t be too peppy or overbearing.
Price – This is the last measure you should take when you are ata craft show, competing with other booths. While you want tomake sure your price is competitive with the other booths, itdoesn’t have to be lower. Only if you notice a steady declinein sales should you even think of lowering your price. It is alast resort method to help you save some sales from goingelsewhere.
You don’t need to let cash out of your booth if you pay carefulattention to what your competition is doing, and then do itbetter. If you follow a few of the suggestions that I have puttogether above, there is no doubt you have a greater chance ofselling your craft at a craft show than your competition.
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