Keep Your Craft Customers Once They Are in Your Booth

Readers' tips for getting your craft customers to buy once they are in your craft booth.

Keep Your Customers Comfortable

Your items may be beautiful, but at a busy craft show there are many beautiful things to look at. I've bought many items at many craft shows, and the most successful booths I've seen - the ones where people are buying things - are typically the most inviting ones for potential customers. Here are some tips for making your booth inviting:

* Don't organize your space so you have to stand at the front and stare expectantly at everyone who walks by - give people a chance to get comfortable with your work. The potential customers at your show may be getting overloaded by all the beautiful things and just need a bit of time to take in what you have in your booth!

* Put small, inexpensive items out front by the entrance to your booth - this way people can focus on the small items, and then when they are comfortable, they can look up at the other things you have to offer. The less expensive items also draw more people into your booth, so this can create a "buzz" around your work.

* Don't hide at the back - anyone can find anything they want in a store, the reason they are at a craft show, and not in a store, is to meet people involved in the craft. They want to hear you telling others how you made something, or how long it took you to get your technique just right.

* Don't growl at the small purchases - people may be thinking "I might want to buy that big thing... but I want to see what else is available at this show... and I definitely want this small thing." If you are not friendly for the small purchases... no one is coming back!

* Pick one color for your background and use many different shades of it - make it easy for people to remember you. "Oh right, that was in the purple booth... let's go back to it."

Craft shows are long and busy times, making everyone more comfortable will make you more successful.

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Put Your Best Items at Eye Level

I personally am a handmade soap saleswoman, and I've learned a lot over my decades of craft show experience. But outright I can tell you that the most important thing is placing the best deals/showiest items at eye level.

Passers by won't take the time to look at the ground, and they expect the best things to be presented to them. Think as if you were the customer, the better thing you have to be drawn in, the more likely they'll poke around further, looking down and around at all of your wonderful products.

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Fill it up!

by Melissa Lanouette

One of the most important things that I learned in my career in retail is that displays need to be full.

You will sell more if it seems you have a lot of a certain item, and if your display looks full.

One of the ways to accomplish this is to use filler product. If you don't have enough of a certain item that you wish to display to properly fill your showing area, then include another similar or related product to fill the holes. Even if the other items do not sell as well, or if you do not particularly want to display them, by filling up the area, you will drive sales.

This is particularly important if you display your wares on a wall. Although you don't want to over-stuff it to the point that a customer can't comfortably browse without knocking stuff over, having holes in a wall display makes you look like a lazy merchandiser, and as though you don't have enough product to fill the wall.

If you have been selling briskly and you actually do not have enough products to cover the wall, then try and get rid of an entire row or column of inventory by rearranging, so that your display simply looks smaller, not sparse.

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