Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Preparing and Packing for a Craft Sale

So you've made dozens of your creative domathingy that your friends and family love. Neighbours go gagga over them and you've been getting some orders from word of mouth. Your Etsy shop is slowly getting off the ground but you're curious. How would perfect strangers react to your wonderful creations?

Well,it's time to find out and try a craft sale!

You've found a local indoor sale, the table price is reasonable, you've written them a cheque and your application has been accepted.

Now what? The sale is in a couple of weeks, you think you have enough product and you want to get ready.

Calm those butterflies and Make a List!

containers to pack everything into - I can't say enough for items with wheels, suitcases and dollies if you need them for heavy items are a back saver! If you don't already own some, borrow from friends or relatives before you invest in your own, it pays to find out what works for you and your set up
product - enough to make a nice display and some extra to have under the table
table covering - better if it reaches the ground in front of your table and covers the items you have tucked under neath, sheets, tableclothes, plastic, almost anything will do as long as it's neat and not wrinkled
table risers - pvc pipe or bed risers from the home accessory store to raise your table height if you have small items
display items - racks, boxes, household items, avoid the flat table look if at all possible, use what you have, it doesn't have to be store bought! My first bracelet rack was a tin can wrapped in velvet
packaging materials - whatever you want your customers to take your items away in
promotional materials - business cards, flyers, hand outs, banner, signs
album of examples if you do custom work
lighting and cords
safety pins

basic repair and pricing kit - for me that's pliers, earwires and a few tags, for you it may be other items that allow you to customize your pieces easily
something to work on if it's slow, preferably an item you are selling - NEVER A BOOK!!!
float - the amount and denominations depend on your item prices
receipt book
comfortable shoes and an outfit that is layered so you can adjust to temperature fluctuations
refillable water bottle
lip balm
non messy snacks, gum
notebook, pen, black marker, scissors
cell phone
so you can tweet or facebook what's going on at the sale
depending on the events logistics - parking $, lunch order and $
car keys

Do a dry run of your table set up. Is it a 6 or 8 foot table? Find out and set up with the alloted space. Draw a quick sketch of what goes where to help your remember - bring the sketch, it will help calm your nerves on the morning of when you are frantically setting up so you can sit and wait for the doors to open!

And don't forget your most important sales tool - a smile!!

Have fun and see you there


  1. That was a great list, after 20 plus years of sales, it is still good to see a list that covers everything. Thanks for that as I get ready for Scatttered Seeds.

  2. thanks Nancy, anything you would add?

  3. I take a photo of my dry run. That way if I need a helper to help me set up, it's more clear, and more helpful!

  4. Great list Ruth.
    For me, I need to always remember to pack pain/headache/migraine/upset tummy relief :)



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