How were this years shows for everyone?

Discussion in 'Craft Fairs & Shows' started by PuddinAndPeanuts, Nov 21, 2017.

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  1. Nov 21, 2017 #1

    PuddinAndPeanuts

    PuddinAndPeanuts

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    My show sales for 2017 are down a good 30% over 2016. A few of the bad shows I can pinpoint where things went wrong. I changed a few things that I need to evaluate as well, but over all, it just seemed like attendance and spending in general were off. I was wondering what other people’s experience has been.
     
  2. Nov 21, 2017 #2

    jcandleattic

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    I don't do many shows, and am done for the season, but overall my shows were awesome and I did around 40% better overall this year than last year. In fact it's a good thing my shows for the season are over, as I have very very little stock left, and need to work all year to get my stock levels back to what they were before the start of the next market season.
     
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  3. Nov 21, 2017 #3

    navigator9

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    I stopped doing shows over a year ago. It had gotten to the point that the disappointing ones outnumbered the ones where I sold a lot, and you know all of the time and effort it takes, and if you're not selling enough to make it worth it...well, it gets pretty hard to drum up much enthusiasm.

    The one show where I consistently did extremely well, was the one at the place where I worked. There, everyone was familiar with my soap, really liked it, and bought a lot. In general though, it seems that craft fairs (in my experience, and my area) just aren't what they used to be. And I'm not sure why. For a long time I blamed the economy, but I'm not sure that's as much of a factor these days. With the wealth of info on the internet, are people making their own crafts? I do know that at the fairs where I didn't do well, the majority of the other vendors had the same experience, because I went around and talked to them. There always seemed to be a couple of vendors who always had customers at their booths, and they were always different. Once it was the year that those ruffly scarves came out, and those sold like crazy. Another time it was the jam and jelly booth, another time chocolate truffles. And once, it was crocheted pot holders and those towels with the crocheted loop at the top that goes over the handle on your stove. Go figure!

    My friends and I always liked to shop at craft fairs because we knew that we'd find unique gifts there. Maybe the fact that a lot of craft fairs these days allow vendors like Avon, Tupperware, Scentsy, etc., so that they seem more commercial than artsy craftsy. I don't know, but if you ever figure it out, let me know! Until then, best of luck. :)
     
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  4. Nov 21, 2017 #4

    shunt2011

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    This year wasn't as good as last year by about 30% I too am noticing that more and more shows are crafts with other vendors and I don't want to do those. So, I'm going to limit what I do next year and hopefully focus on my website and perhaps find another wholesale account or two. Though, I didn't do any show after September this year due to having surgery and a lifting of more than 5 lbs ban until the end of December. So, haven't made anything since July. Will need to light a fire soon. I have very little stock for the first time in years.
     
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  5. Nov 21, 2017 #5

    cmzaha

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    I really think in my area there are just to many outdoor markets and yes sales are down, but then I have not been able to do as many with the parent situation. I also think a lot of vendors that were out during the economic crash have fortunately found jobs so no long vend. All the markets around here are taking commercial vendors even the 2 weekend craft fair I do that was at one time still a full juried craft fair. I talked to the manager during the Spring fair and she mentioned she cannot fine vendors other than soap and jewelry. I am praying she limited the soap vendors like she did in the Spring, but it is doubtful, so I am not counting on it being a great show like it was for me last year.
     
  6. Dec 12, 2017 #6

    cmzaha

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    My 2 weekend (5 days total) was also down at least 30% from last year. On the plus side I did a craft fair that is once a month and did the best I have ever done, in approx 4 yrs of doing it, most were my regulars but I did get some new customers.
     
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  7. Dec 16, 2017 #7

    TBandCW

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    We weeded out the bad craft fairs and farmers markets and only stuck with the good ones. We have also added beef jerky to the mix (weird, I know but we sell a ton of it) so that helps the bottom line. And we will be adding spices and sauces too. Every year we re-evaluate the biz and it looks like soap will be limited as there are tons of soap vendors out there. Kinda sucks though as I just got a ton of free organic goats milk from a neighbor. My freezer is over run with it! We did add a fall event that lasts from Sept thru Dec for every weekend and that has been phenomenal for us. And took a gamble on some very expensive shows that paid off well. Always changing.........
     
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  8. Dec 16, 2017 #8

    navigator9

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    It's sad for us soapmakers, but I've always noticed that food items seem to do very well at craft fairs. Best of luck to you!
     
  9. Dec 16, 2017 #9

    cmzaha

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    I cut back on my supplies this year, in fact I am almost out of every oil I use and debating how much I am going to purchase. Around here craft fairs and farmer markets keep popping up but none are any good, which is why I keep adding more and more crochet pieces because they sell great at my one market I am doing not. It is a Kaiser Hospital that does not want crafters but I think the Corp gal from Kaiser is finding out there are not many quality vendors out there. Also there is one other gal that makes soap and tries to sell it in my tiny little market with less than 20 vendors and the Kaiser rep keeps telling the manager she wants all produce and vegan food. Once in awhile he finds a new product vendor but they do not return... My hubby wants to do food but I don't want the hassle of cooking and acquiring all the permits or he is threatening to get a job then I will not be able to do any markets. But food does sell
     
  10. Dec 16, 2017 #10

    mx6inpenn

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    I agree that food sells. I sold baked and canned goods at a market here for a number of years. I was happy with what I made the first year. I doubled my volume the second year and regularly sold out after that.

    I stopped doing it a couple years ago because a 1 and 3yo made it hard to do. Sure do miss the money tho. For approximately $50 worth of supplies, I was taking home $400+. Our booth fee was miniscule, $25 for the whole 13 week season.
     
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  11. Dec 17, 2017 #11

    Zany_in_CO

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    My soaping buddy in AZ has a hubby who sold cheese and sausage for a while, but cooking and acquiring permits was indeed a hassle. He switched to sharpening knives and scissors and is crazy busy and rakes in the $$$ every market they do, whereas the soap/lotion part is hit and miss. Something to consider?
     
  12. Dec 17, 2017 #12

    LilyJo

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    Same here, did loads last year and for lots of reasons we ended up not doing any this christmas but more than made up for it with website and etsy sales.

    To be honest its the same in the uk, too many big companies elbwing their way in, too much competition in one fair, uneven playing field with people not selling in accordance with regulations.

    For us, its trying to increase our web presence and diversifying as much as we can without impacting the brand.
     
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  13. Dec 19, 2017 #13

    TBandCW

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    Thanks!
     
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