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Tue Jun 26, 2012, 08:27 AM

Please Share Your Experiences in Selling Your Products

I've dipped my toe in the water once or twice at a couple of consignment shops and at one craft fair in which I shared a booth with someone else. Neither was very lucrative (consignment shop sold nothing in 6 months).

I micro-macrame and I've been doing it for about 40 years. People have bought things from me (mostly jewelry) as I have pieces displayed in my family room and I've received excellent feedback. I place First at our County Fair nearly every year. Unfortunately, when people think macrame they think of the owls and other clunky stuff made back in the '70's. My stuff isn't anything like that. I've studied knots and knot-tying from all over the world and incorporate them into my work. I don't use a lot of beads as I think the focus should be on the knots and not the bead work (different art medium). But I digress.

I'd like to know how other artists sell their stuff. I looked at Etsy but there are hundreds of pages under the heading "macrame" which makes me wonder if I'll be on page 439 which means no one will ever see it. If you've had experience with Etsy I'd sure appreciate your insights.

I've looked into Craft Fairs and found that some are better than others. The problem is the up-front cost in the pagoda, the display cases, the sight fee plus the cost of travel. I have virtually zero money to work with. It's only because I've purchased so much stuff over the years that I've been able to produce works with just the materials I have. Any advice you could offer would be much appreciated.

The only other thing I've been considering is placing things on consignment but the stores want 50% and that seems REALLY steep. I appreciate that they are lending me counter/wall space for no cost but it's disheartening when a $20.00 pair of earrings earns me only $10.00 it's a little disheartening.

Anyway, I sure would appreciate your feedback. Perhaps others are wondering the same thing and we can all learn together.

Thanks,

LTH

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Reply Please Share Your Experiences in Selling Your Products (Original post)
Le Taz Hot Jun 2012 OP
SheilaT Jul 2012 #1

Response to Le Taz Hot (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 06:53 PM

1. Start small. Start with a local craft fair or two,

 

and don't worry about getting a lot of display stuff. Do the ones where they supply a table.

There are people who make a living working the various craft fairs, and depending on what they're selling, they may need a full-sized van to carry the tables and display cases and so on.

I crochet and make jewelry. I have pared down what I sell to a particular style of scarf and earrings. I make some extra money, but could not possibly make a living at it. Actually, if I could sell all the earrings I make, and I only charge $5.00 a pair, I could probably make a decent living, because they're so easy and fast to make. But I can't sell them all, alas.

I actually do my best sales when I have no competition. I work an information desk, and I have an amazing amount of down time, and the company doesn't give me any other tasks to keep me busy, so during the cooler months I quietly crochet on the job. People will notice what I'm doing, admire the scarf I'm making, and ask if I sell them. Yes, I do, and do so very discreetly. I will always have at least five or six other scarves to show them. It's a slow day when I don't sell at least one scarf that way.

I have considered getting a kiosk one of these years at the local mall, but I would need a much larger inventory built up than I currently have, but perhaps some day.

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