Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Craft Fair Tips for Etsy Sellers

Diana from joliefemme on Etsy shares her experience and advice about selling at craft fairs and festivals
Etsy can be a useful way for handmade artists to reach customers from around the world, but have you ever considered selling your  items at a local craft fair or festival?

Participating in local events allows you to meet real customers face to face. Being a vendor can help you build your brand, increase your revenue and may even lead to additional on-line sales and custom orders.

The idea of selling your items at a craft fair may be a little overwhelming and intimidating at first so here are answers to a few common craft fair questions you may have.

How do you find and choose what craft fairs you sell at?

You can start by looking for information from local Etsy teams. I have found lots of support online with my NewMexyEtsy team to let me know about local shows. Searching online can also get results. There are many holiday shows held indoors at local schools that are reasonably priced and well known so people come back from year to year. Indoor school show customers can vary from those who expect to pay very low prices to those who understand handmade art and craft and will pay what it is worth. You can only learn by attending them as a customer or a vendor to see if they are a good fit. If you have a relationship with the organization or local store putting on the show you can usually build a following of customers and have customers expect to see you there each season.

What is the average vendor fee? Are you able to make enough profit to cover the fee?

The fees can range from $25 to $ 250 depending on the show/street festival or length of time, one day or up to a week at some shows. Profit varies from venue to venue and year to year and weather is also a factor. This year has brought many wind storms and essentially shut down the chance for sales at outdoor shows. But when it is nice weather and good attendance you can really sell well.

Tips for being a successful craft fair vendor

How much inventory do you bring?

I never bring all my inventory to a show and usually tailor certain lines to certain shows. For example, I bring Dia de los Muertos themed items to a show that I do in the summer each year and a different selection to shows depending on their themes. Holiday season shows get holiday themed items.

How do you handle your Etsy inventory while you are at the fair?

Sometimes I close the shop if it is an out of town venue or a full weekend show but if it is a day long or half day show I will leave my shop open and deactivate any listings I bring along. You can also use the Sell on Etsy app to remove items as they sell at the show.

Has your participation at craft fairs led to custom orders or sales on Etsy?

Yes, I have had repeat customers from certain local venues. They have wanted to order an item from my shop since they couldn’t make it to the show. Or custom order have also been generated by those customers who are local and do not mind waiting for an item to be made especially for them.

Setting up a craft fair booth

How do you process payments? Do you have a credit card reader?

I take cash and sometimes checks at local venues depending on how familiar I am with the customers. But usually use the Square Pay System to process credit card payments.

What do you bring with you besides your inventory?

Depending on the show, there is different set up required. If it is an outdoor show, I bring a pop up tent, tables and display racks. I have been accumulating different gear over time. I have found that garden d├ęcor items can work well to display my wares. I always bring price signs and product displays such as shelves and baskets. It’s also nice to bring cloth to make a backdrop or decorate the outside of the tent. This helps turn the tent into a nice shop atmosphere for customers. When weather is a possible issue there are many more accessories required such as tent stakes, tent weights and rope.

Do you have any other helpful tips or resources for people interested in selling at craft fairs?

I have found support on Etsy with a team called Craft Fairs…It’s a Living. Their threads are full of advice and support for established vendors as well as beginners.

Also Etsy local  helps Etsy sellers let their customers know about craft fairs they are in. You can't reach it from your shop dashboard or even the bottom of the page or homepage, so make sure to bookmark it, https://www.etsy.com/local.

On Pinterest and in the blogosphere there are also many helpful posts and ideas on displays and equipment to be found.


My name is Diana. Self-taught seamstress of clothing and household decor, I start with inspiring patterns and modify them to my taste. I'm hooked on fabric accessories! Soft and washable! Great fun fabrics inspire me! I love to explore new styles and designs! Handmade is a process that should show itself in the finished product and adds to its beauty. Custom requests are welcome!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Keeping Your Facebook Followers Engaged

How to keep your Facebook followers engaged.

It's not a secret. Your Facebook news feed features posts from pages you interact with regularly.

This can have a HUGE impact on cottage businesses, like Etsy sellers, who use a Facebook page to market their shop. Even if you have a million Facebook followers, if your followers do not frequently like, share or comment on your posts, you will eventually disappear from their feed.

So how do you keep your followers engaged?

Post Frequently

If you are only posting once or twice a month, your stories will get lost in people's news feeds. You simply won't be seen. People will think your page has become inactive and eventually un-follow you.

There's no magic number for how often a business should share on Facebook. I like to post once or twice a day because not every post is seen by every follower. If that seems like a lot, you can start off by posting 3-4 times a week.

Welcome New Followers

Everyone likes to feel special. Post a welcome to your newest followers every week or two. You can make it extra special by including a pretty picture. Think of it like sending a little greeting card to say hi.

If another page has liked your page it's nice to include an @mention in your welcome. (An @mention is just the "@"symbol followed by the page's user name. It creates a direct link to the other business page and sends them a notification that they have been mentioned.)

Thanks for new likes from DeUno Art, Viktoria, Pearl, Lucy, Mis Stepp, and Zelda! Hope you enjoy our posts!

Be Personal

Indie businesses have an distinct advantage on social media because in addition to selling products, we each have a very personal story to tell. Don't be afraid to tell your followers about your triumphs, struggles or even just things that make you happy.

A beautiful handcrafted necklace for a beautiful friend!! Couldn't be prouder :D
Posted by Hanji Naty on Sunday, June 28, 2015

I am 3 items away from 1,000 items sold. I think I should do something special for whoever buys the 1000th item from my shop. Should it be a surprise? Still thinking about it. Feel free to offer suggestions!

Can you find Mr. and Mrs. Goldfinch?I hope they leave some cosmos seeds for me!#chillin #inthegarden #birdwatching

Ask Questions

Everyone wants to share their opinion from time to time. Asking your followers specific questions not only engages them, it also makes them feel like they are an important part of your business.

I have been thinking of remaking a few of these in other colors but it seems the more I think the less I figure it...

Spread Some Love

Small businesses aren't always competitors. If you regularly promote other indie shops, people will remember and possibly even promote your shop.

This is my journal recently purchased from this lovely shop! https://www.etsy.com/shop/CarolaBartz Please visit and find some lovely treasures for yourself!
Posted by Joliefemme on Saturday, June 13, 2015

Found another artist I like. Check out this glass blower:https://www.etsy.com/listing/214506940/black-eyed-susan-lampwork-hand-blown?ref=shop_home_active_7
Posted by Babywear by Babs on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Follow Others

Don't forget to put the "social" in social media. "Like" other relevant business pages, including the SPS Team, as your page. Also, interact with other pages by liking, commenting and sharing posts you enjoy.

You can find a list of other SPS Team members in the Facebook Directory on our Etsy team forum.


My name is Ellen and I LOVE to design and create things. I find it deeply satisfying to start with nothing more than an idea and finish with a tangible, beautiful, functional piece of work. I enjoy learning new techniques that I can incorporate into my creations. I practice a variety of different art forms, but find I always have at least one knit, crochet or sewing project in progress.

shop The Chilly Dog

For free craft pattern's, tutorials and inspiration visit my blog, The Chilly Dog.