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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at doing some selling at craft fairs - I make and design 'botique' style childrens hair bows and such. I am definatly going to be doing a big gift show at our church, but that is not until end of November - and I was hoping to get some under my belt before then - espically with the holidays on eveyones mind. So how do you find out where they are, how much does it cost to participate (and how much is too much) how well are the sales....any thoughts, suggestions, ideas would be more then welcome! Thanks

Grace

also posting this over in the wahm forum...
 

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Hi Grace,

I actually might be of assistance. I did the craft show route for bit, but decided to take a cushy weekend job instead. Unfortunately for you, I'm at said job right now, and my crafting notebook is at home! I will, however, post more info that is actually helpful for you in the next couple of days.

May I also suggest you try hitting local art galleries/children's specialty shops to sell your wares? Ooh, and what about hair studios? I find the galleries/specialty shops a nice, low maitenance route, although you do get more cash at the fairs!

Kimba
 

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I make dried florals and some fabric items, and have found craft fairs to be very hit or miss (and I'm in suburban NY where people seem to have tons of disposable income). After a year off, I've done 2 so far this year, and would like to get it up to about 5 or 6--which is all I can handle with dd at 13 months and hubby who would prefer that I work on the house (he calls them CRAP fairs
).

Make sure the timing is right--don't sign up for any that occur on holiday weekends when people are out of town or doing other things--I did one this spring in a very $$$ community nearby. Late in the day when all of the vendors were complaining that this was their worst fair ever, we realized that it was graduation weekend, and the first sunny weekend the Northeast had and everyone was at the beach.

I do one fair in August in the town I grew up in, which is a summer resort community, and that is always a good one for me, even when other people don't do well.

To find fairs, call the Chamber of Commerce, churches, and community organizations, read your local newspapers for ads and search the internet. The best thing to do, though is to go to them this year and see which ones people are really buying at, and remember to sign up for the next year. I pay about $65 for a space, which is high, but it's due to where I live in suburban NY. When I lived in a more rural area upstate, I think I paid between $25 and $50.

Also, look into selling on ebay (do searches for the type of items you make and look at the completed items to see whether the stuff is selling, what category to list in, etc.) and make your own web site--I do fairly well in both those places and can do it on my own time schedule instead of packing up and having to spend a whole day sitting somewhere...

Also, realize that it may take a while to be profitable and recoup the money you laid out to start, and that you'll probably end up working for less than minimum wage until you get it all figured out. I have not yet made a profit at my business, and have been doing it for a few years. I enjoy doing it and think of it as my hobby that might make money someday, and I think this year I am on the right track to make a few bucks (need to do my books to be sure, though)!! However, I do keep all of my books religiously and deduct my losses from our taxex, which lessens the loss a little.

Please feel free to PM me if you have any more specific questions, and I'll help if I can, and good luck!!
 

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I've been wondering what the term "juried" means in regards to craft fair exhibitors...can't figure it out for the life of me...it's probably quite obvious
:

Thanks
 

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Juried means that your work is evaluated by a committee. ou sent a little portfolio with pictures/samples of your work. You may or may not get in. Most craft fairs allow anyone to buy a table, and when the tables are gone, the craft fair is full. In a juried show, they go for artistic quality, a balance of different vendors, etc.

Sometimes, though, it's highly political, and quality work doesn't get accepted for petty reasons.

Good luck!

Mel
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the good info ladies! You guys are the greatest......I too was wondering about the juried thing....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another question - what about sales tax and things like that....do I need to file something to be able to sell, and do I collect sales tax????
 

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Every state is different, but it's a sure thing that someone will want your tax money. In NY, I had to sign up for a tax id#, and collect the tax and report it based on what county I'm selling in...they make it ridiculously complex here.

For craft shows, I mark the items up enough to cover the tax, making everything end in multiples of 25 cents so I don't need nickels, dimes and quarters, and include the tax in the price--which is legal in NY as long as you post a sign that reads "NY sales tax included in prices as marked". Otherwise it's not legal. I'm sure there are plenty of people who think I am not reporting the tax, but I report and pay everything faithfully.

I also make a spreadsheet prior to each sale with every item I'm selling on it, so it's easy to calculate the entire day's sales and put the tax I owe right on the sheet, like a giant invoice. Then I just remove the items that were sold, add any new items and re-save it for the next fair so I don't have to write it from scratch every time.

Look online for your state government and I bet you can fill out the forms for the sales tax from there. If not, they'll tell you where to call or write to get them. They probably make it pretty easy, as they WANT the money!!!
 
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