Monday, July 13, 2009

Tips for Craft Show Shoppers

First off, I'd like to apologize for neglecting my beautiful blog and my fabulous blog readers for the last few weeks. I've been in a serious funk that started when I got laid off from my day job. I've been applying to everything that I am qualified for and some things that I am over qualified for and even a few that I am not quite qualified for. So, if anyone in the northern NJ area is looking for an environmental engineer, send them my way!

I have to thank my awesome EtsyNJ friends for snapping me out of my funk. I spent an awesome day at Om Baby in Point Pleasant NJ and although sales weren't abundant, the friends certainly were! I now got my mojo back and am ready to blog and create and photograph and list and promote! So, look out internet, here I come!

Now, the reason for this post, as I mentioned, I recently did a craft show in Point Pleasant with my EtsyNJ friends. Are you a frequent craft show shopper? My number one point that I want to make is that the person behind the table at the craft show is a person with feelings just like you are! And they have put their heart and soul into creating the products you see on that table. And we are not deaf! We hear comments like "Oh, I can make that myself" and "Oh, so-and-so makes these things so much better than this person" and "wow, does she really think her stuff is worth that money?!?" For example, I made an adorable star shaped baby blanket, and these two women were eyeing it up, touching it, examining it and really seemed quite interested in it. Well, one finally said to the other "I'm not spending money on this, you can make me one that is soooo much better." OUCH! Why not just shove a knife in my heart?

So, you are standing at a table and you see something you really like. You ask how much and you get told a price. You are iffy on it, you aren't sure if you want it or if you want to spend that much money on it. Some people may try to bargain, which may or may not work depending on your approach and the type of product you are looking at. Most people say "Oh, I have to go to the ATM, I'll be right back" or "I'm going to look around a bit and see what else is here." Here's the truth - we sit and wait for you to come back! We check our watches, look around for you, think "gee the ATM is only across the street." Don't say you'll be back unless you really plan on coming back. And certainly don't ask that something be put aside for you when you have no intentions of purchasing it.

Craft shows are long days for vendors, we get there two hours before the show starts to set up and then are obviously there for the entire length of the show and then we spend another hour or two packing up, then add the travel time. Its a long, hard day where basically nothing else is accomplished aside from sitting on your backside on a steel folding chair waiting for someone to make a purchase.

Thanks to everyone who's visited me at a craft show and a giant thanks to anyone who frequently makes purchases at craft shows. I can honestly say that we appreciate every purchase and that every time someone admires our work enough to purchase it and take it home with them or give it as a gift, it really makes us happy. Support your local independant artist! Visit a craft show or take a "stroll" through

See you at the next show!


Krystyn/KameKnits said...

I agree with everything that you said. I've never been a vendor (yet) but I could only imagine how terrible it is to hear that kind of stuff. I actually have heard the same types of comments said by friends/coworkers of mine about things they have seen online and it's like "okay well i think i would be more willing to pay extra for something that was hand made or customized" and it makes me sad when people say that.

The only time that i have EVER said anything like that was when I saw something that I HAD made and was selling something similar at my store (same yarn and all) and the person was selling theirs for like 3x the amount. I just thought to myself "Am I severely underpricing or are they really overpricing that much?"

Anyway - way to go on a tangent right?

We may not have had a chance to talk when I came by (i stopped by everyone's booths but not everyone was manning their booth when i got there). I hope to see you at one of the next shows. I'm going to try to attend more so i can get more ideas so one day when i decide to finally put myself out there I have something to strive for. :-D

barbara said...

Really enjoyed your blog. Since you are currently without a JOBjob, and you are passionate and knowledgable about the NJ crafting world, have you ever thought creating and managing your own craft show?