Your items are all made. You’ve done your research as to how the best way to price these treasures you’ve been working on for so long. Now it’s time to get packed up and go! There are some essential and not-so-essential items that you should remember to take with you on the big day. I’ve compiled a checklist here to help you get ready!
A Friend: First and foremost, bring help with you! Don’t think for a minute that this is something you can do entirely on your own. Running a booth is a constant juggling act, so having your “right-hand man” is key to having not only success, but everything is more enjoyable when you can share it with others! Having a 2nd person to take payments is a great asset so that you re fully available to answer questions and show your products. It’s also valuable for transporting items, being able to take a restroom break, or even grab a lunchtime meal. This person also becomes your “cheerleader” to help support your efforts throughout the day! I promise, you will be so grateful if you can find that special friend or family member to help you on the big day.
Your Products: How many you ask? That is a good question. Bring what you can, but make sure you have a sign-up list available for those who would like to special order.
Bags for Customers: Shoppers need bags! There are a number of resources on line of how to obtain bags, but one of the best resources may be in your very own area! Before doing a show several years back, I went to our local drugstore as I knew their bags did not carry the individual store’s name. Instead there was a rose and I figured if I could get them at a good price, it really didn’t matter what was on the bag! So I went in and asked the manager if I could purchase some bags from them and indeed they did let me! The cost was unbelievably cheap and I now was ready to take my bags with me to the booth!
A Possible Credit Card Machine: If this is doable, you may want to seriously consider opening up this method of paying to customers. By doing so, you are offering a convenient service to them. If you don’t, you may lose some potential buyers. I say this not to scare you, but perhaps intrigue you by looking into this option more seriously. It not only makes your booth look even more professional, but it is also a much safer route to go rather than accepting personal checks. You must obtain a merchant account in order to offer this, so be sure to check with your bank on how to do this. Taking credit and debit cards can really boost your sales!
Your Money Center : Some craft fair organizers provide these for you and some do not, so be sure to check into your options. The small table is a great place to set up your money center. Along with this, don’t forget your calculator, a receipt book, a sales tax chart, cash box or machine, and the credit card machine if you go that route. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to bring change! A copy of your sales tax certificate and your business license to hang up in your booth is also a nice touch.
A Small Cooler: Bring some snacks and bottles of water to keep you at your peak performance all day. You may easily get worn down if you wait too long before taking a break. Sometimes a small snack is just the right energy boost you need!
Office Supplies & Other Misc.: These include: pens, stapler, tape, a garbage bag, sales tax chart for your area, extra price tags, markers, business cards and brochures, tape, your cell phone, a camera so you can document this fun day, and possibly some candy in a bowl. Don’t believe for a second that the candy is just for the children! The grown-ups love it just as well!
Any Hang Tags or Care Instructions: If you’re offering any item for sale that requires special instructions, be sure to include those attached to your products. Your customers will truly appreciate your efforts.
Tissue or Newspaper: If you have any items that are fragile, you’ll want to be sure to have these on hand to help package the items in the customers’ bags.
Shelves: If possible, see if you can find some shelves that you can put onto your tables. Keeping items at different levels is more pleasing to the eye. So lift! Keep the booth interesting by doing this. Crates and stacks of blocks also work well with linen cloths draped over.
Company Name Sign: Make it big and make it something special. If you have a website, be sure to include that on your banner as well.
A Sign Up Sheet: This will help make future contacts for your business. A name and an email is a perfect way to contact interested customers in the future and keep them updated of new products and upcoming shows.
What items do you take with you when selling at a craft fair? Did I leave anything off the list that you would suggest?