Friday, September 11, 2015

Actions That May Be Costing You Money At Craft Shows - Pt 1.

First I want to thank everyone that participated in this survey. Without you, none of this would be possible. I realize some of these questions may have been a bit confusing as to what I was asking. In the future I will try to be more concise in my questions. These questions were designed to look at what actions maybe costing you money at craft shows. I am by no means an expert on marketing or selling, but I designed the questions based on observation and research.

Over the next few weeks I will be publishing the results in reverse order starting with number ten and working my way to number one. So here we go. Today we will be looking at numbers 9 and 10.

The number 9 and 10 money losers: Sarcasm and irritation.

Let’s face it, customers ask us really dumb questions sometimes. And you will hear the same question dozens of times. It can make you want to scream. But if we respond to those questions with irritation or sarcasm, we will lose the opportunity to sell our work. And what is worse, we may lose more than one opportunity, if any potential customers overheard us. Even if someone did not overhear, some of us carry that aggravation with us, and may accidently take it out on future customers.

When asked questions like “Did you make all this?” You may want to respond “Well why else would I be here selling all this stuff?” But a better answer would be “Yes! I made everything here. Each piece is handmade using the finest (insert materials here.)” ect. When customers ask us questions that will drive us batty, it is simply because they are looking to learn more about us and our work.

What about when people cannot make up their mind? Take that opportunity to explain to them which piece you feel would work better for their goals. During my last show, I had a lady decide to pick out a pair of my reclaimed glass earrings for a friend of hers, but she got lost in the choices. Together we narrowed down the choices to a pair for her friend. I started by asking favorite colors, to which she did not know. Then we went on to discuss what type of a lady was her friend, girly girl or tomboy? That lead us to choose colors and sizes. The customer chose to buy not only the set we picked together, but also got a pair for herself, which she had not intended to do. But not getting irritated, I made not one sale, but two.


  1. Very well said, and I agree, sometimes a person doesn't even realize their comments are irritating to the customer, it's all in the tone of voice and how the comment is perceived.

  2. Great idea. I look forward to seeing the rest of the survey results. I always try to be pleasant, but it is sometimes tough after a long day at a show. I'll keep this in mind in the future.

  3. I was glad to participate in the survey. Saturday while I was at a show, I could stand under my canopy and tell you from the booths I could see, who would and who wouldn't get a sale, all from the body language of the vendors. The show was to end at 6:00PM. Those who had stood in disgust with frowns, packed up and left early because they weren't getting sales. Rather than thm ralizing they weren't getting sales due to their body language, I am sure they will blame the show's promoters. I should have taken pictures. LOL

    Have a great day and I hope you will take the time to comment on my blog too.

  4. Great information...I have my first show in about 3 weeks so the info. is very timely.

  5. This is so true! I noticed this at the last craft show I attended. It really can be a turn off to a shopper when you sound like a crab. Sometimes it's not easy, but try to be friendly and smile.

  6. I can't wait to see the rest of the results! I do have a problem with the undecided shoppers; I hate to sound intrusive or even bossy so I just allow them to make a choice and sometimes they don't, LOL. I will try your technique.

  7. Thanks for your survey, of course I knew what the "right" answers were but I made sure to be honest.

    There were a few qualifiers I would have liked to add such as I never discuss low sales shows within earshot of customers. I've made some of my best friends with fellow vendors and with the bond we share it I can't help but have some sort of shorthand communication as to how things are going.

    I admit that with a certain familiarity and comfort level with a weekly occurring show such as a farmer's market it just feels like home and I have been known to stray and get too comfortable.

    There's also a habit of my friends that will congregate right in front of my booth to visit with each other and practically block my table. I gently lead them by the hand a few feet away to make way for potential buyers! I found myself doing the same thing more than once!
    I guess my proximity to the food booths have something to do with that, kind of like standing in someone's kitchen.

    It can be easy to forget that customers may be viewing your booth for the first time, especially if shows are something you've been doing for a long time.

    For me the best way to get customers is to have a tray full of jewelry assembly on my lap and get totally focused on what I'm doing and then miraculously I can't get back to it for another hour!

  8. Great advice, and very timely, as my first craft fair of the fall season is only 4 days away! Thank you for posting this :)

  9. Coming in late, but this survey was a cool idea. Have to input that the question "Did you make all of this?" is not always a dumb one, and is actually a good idea at my booth.

    I'm also a coordinator or presenter for several of the shows I participate in; I frequently share booth space with another vendor so we can watch the booth for each other. We know each other's stuff pretty well, but for the questions we can't answer, we both let the customer know that the crafter will be glad to talk to them as soon as she gets back.

    I also often have items for another crafter at my booth, as I have a friend who has had to miss most of the last year's shows because of multiple health problems. I've even called her from the booth and handed my phone to the customer for a question, and that ended in an $80 sale.

  10. Timely, this just happened to me right on Etsy. I wanted what were described as post earrings, but could not understand from her photo how that could be, so I wrote to her.
    I got a snarky answer, so not only did I not buy anything from her, but headed right over to EBay, found more of the same and cheaper, and bought it there.
    She's lost a customer forever, and also trained me to look at EBay as well as Etsy.


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