Monday, March 28, 2011

Selling homemade: craft fairs and consignment

Selling handmade items online (i.e. is a great and effective way reach customers, but you have to admit, there is something special about the human touch.

In the real world, you walk into a shop and see an item that catches your eye. You pick it up. You run your fingers across its soft texture. You connect with it. You can't keep your eyes off of it. You hold it and know it has to be yours.

While many of us don't have a physical shop where we can sell, there are ways it can be done. As the season shifts onward to summer, plans for street fairs, craft fairs, farmers markets (some run all year) and city celebrations begin. Find out what's in your area and how you can display and sell some of your handmade items.

For Washington State, I found a website Washington Fairs and Festivals that lists craft fairs and festivals going on right now, through the rest of the summer. Also check your city websites for upcoming events.

I, myself, am going to join a crafters showcase at a local Washington favorite, Remlinger Farms. Their Northwest Crafts Showcase allows local artisans and crafters, like me, to have a place to sell for the summer. A place where handmade meets human contact. Sigh. They do charge a $40 set up fee for the season and 30% of your sale goes to the farm (ouch), but for me, I'm looking forward to joining the real world, if just for a season (no pun intended, well maybe just a little).

What about consignment?
Find a local shop willing to place your items on consignment. I know the idea of approaching shop owners sounds intimidating (I still haven't gotten the guts up to ask a couple local shops myself), but it can't hurt to ask, right?! A portion of your sale will most likely go to the shop, but since they're proving the place, a reasonable fee seems only fair. Just make sure you're comfortable with the agreement.

Any other ideas?
Good luck with your sales!

1 comment:

  1. 30%!! geesh! I never knew the percentage was that high! But I'm sure it's great to get out there and get your products out there! I wonder if you could still drive your sales to online- or would you get in trouble?


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