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Stuff for craft fair? Ideas wanted!

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paulrbarnard

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Used to do a lot of craft fairs many years ago.
Came to the conclusion that the only way to make any money was to be the bloke charging admission.
I hauled my marquetry wares across a good few counties. I used to hear comments ranging from "patience of a saint" right through to "our cousin Billy used to do marquetry...and he was a lot better than you"....
Yes, you need a thick skin!

I finally gave up when the lady on the stall next to me had a roaring day. Some of my marquetry pieces had literally taken days (in hours) to complete, but were all "realistically priced" to sell - probably less than a fiver an hour labour.
The next-door lady's "craft work" involved sticking a pencil into a polystyrene ball with a face on it.
She sold ****ing hundreds of 'em.
It’s a case of know you’re market. Items of a higher quality will do far better somewhere like Etsi than at a your typical local craft fair. From my experience they cater more for the lose change impulse buy than any real craft.
 

Rustic Mike

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Used to do a lot of craft fairs many years ago.
Came to the conclusion that the only way to make any money was to be the bloke charging admission.
I hauled my marquetry wares across a good few counties. I used to hear comments ranging from "patience of a saint" right through to "our cousin Billy used to do marquetry...and he was a lot better than you"....
Yes, you need a thick skin!

I finally gave up when the lady on the stall next to me had a roaring day. Some of my marquetry pieces had literally taken days (in hours) to complete, but were all "realistically priced" to sell - probably less than a fiver an hour labour.
The next-door lady's "craft work" involved sticking a pencil into a polystyrene ball with a face on it.
She sold ****ing hundreds of 'em.
That’s just my thoughts, I now do what I do for my pleasure, and that’s it. 👍
 

Smithy

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I have done hundreds of craft fairs selling bird boxes and feeders and did really well. The one thing I have noticed is the one thing that is guaranteed to make money is fast food.
 

Cabinetman

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I have been on the organisational side of craft fairs a few times and yes you’re right that’s where the money is as we also did the fast food! Used to feel sorry sometimes for the guys who turn bowls and pens and clocks and anything else that’s round. Hours and hours of work and usually extremely good but they never used to sell much. As was said it needs to be quick and easy to make and appeals to people with lots of other garbage in their houses, —stuff as I call it. Ian
 

Cooper

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I Art school, 50 years ago, we were told you'll never go broke underestimating the taste of the English.
 

TRITON

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Scandinavian Butter Knife ?
You could probably bandsaw much of it then something like an oscillating or just a belt sander
 

Alpha-Dave

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Back in the early 90s, before shops could open on Sundays, the only real shopping experience was carboots and similar fairs. Some were massive.

An entrepreneur I used to know owned 4x restaurants also had a van selling hot roast-meat sandwiches at a big carboot fair; he said that he made more money from that one van on one day per week than the 4x restaurants combined for the whole week.

Of course this is just an example of being able to sell something that a relatively large group of people wanted relatively quickly (no discussing the provenance etc.) and the same people coming back each week may buy another sandwich, possibly for many weeks; how many people would buy craft items each week?

An old joke, but relevant: The best way to make a small fortune selling your own craft items is to start with a large one.
 
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