15 Tips to increase your craft show sales

image by somethings hiding in here

Since we are thick in the middle of craft show/festival/fair season, I thought I would share some tips for how you can improve your craft show sales. These tips are based on both my experience as a shopper and as a seller and with more than a few shows under my belt in both capacities, I hope that these will prove helpful to you.

If this post is right up your alley, then you might also like my post on  14 Craft Show Display Do’s. Additionally, if you are looking to shop at an indie craft show, try Craftzine for event listings.

1. Stand

Standing is a much better vantage point for engaging customers. Sitting down has the potential to send the message, “I’m taking a break, don’t disturb me”, and that’s not what you want.  Now sitting is okay, if you use a tall chair (like a director’s chair) or a stool and are out in the booth, rather than behind a table. Of course, taking breaks is a necessity, but try to stand as much as possible…you can rest later.

2. Smile

Even if you are grumpy, hungry, disappointed in sales and/or tired, make sure to smile. I’ve walked out of booths before just because the people behind the table looked disinterested or unhappy.  No one wants to interact with miserable people, especially for an items that aren’t the necessities of life.

3. Display a credit card sign

Not everyone is going to ask, especially folks who may be new to craft show shopping.

4. You are not a clerk in a department store, you are an artist

Don’t ask, “May I help you?” or something similar. You aren’t selling socks at Kmart, you are selling your wares. Come up with a good greeting that fits your personality. I always used a friendly “Hi!” when I was doing crafts shows. It fit my personality and people seemed to respond well. It set the tone and often led to more conversation.

5. Engage people

So, you greet people when they enter your booth, what’s next? Keep talking. Talk about the weather, the show, your wares, something the shopper has on, something else they purchased, ask where they got that smoothie, etc. Come up with some good conversation starters beforehand that you can use. Selling at craft shows is like dating or meeting a new friend, you are trying to make a good impression. Remember, the longer you talk with someone, and the longer they are in your booth looking at your stuff,  the more likely they will buy.

6. Don’t be pushy

Be chatty and try to engage people, but if they give off signals that they don’t want to talk and want to move on, shut-up.

7. No gossiping

Don’t talk about other customers, or other people for that matter in front of customers. It’s rude and tacky. Unless it is something nice, of course.

8. Customers come 1st

Whenever customers enter your booth, stop chatting with your partner/helper, you can chat with them later. You won’t get another chance to sell to me, if I can’t get a word in edge-wise.

9. Share your craft

When you see customers engaging with your goods, tell them a little about the process and/or materials, especially it involves something special or uses materials they might not recognize. For example, if you make polymer clay jewelry, let people know that when they pick up a piece to study it, don’t wait until they ask. Don’t be too pushy though, let it drop if they clearly aren’t interested.

10. Make it easy for shoppers

It shouldn’t be difficult for me to try/sample/imagine buying your products. If you make edibles or consumables, have samples or testers available. Also, have a mirror handy if you sell wearables, and even if it’s in plain sight make to sure to mention it when a customer starts putting one of your necklaces. If possible, have a changing station if you sell clothing.

11. Differing price points

If you sell pricey items, consider adding lower priced items to your offerings just for the show. It will add to your show sales and might lead to some repeat online business later.

12. You are legit, so look like it

Make sure to have a sign for your business,  business cards out, a professional looking display, be organized and don’t ask me to write my credit card # on a scrap of paper for you to process later.

13. Be genuine

Be yourself and don’t be all salespersony. People will run screaming from you.

14. Post your prices

Don’t make shoppers ask how much something is. If you are busy they will walk away without asking and it might make them feel like you are sizing them up and they will walk away anyway.

15. Remember, you are selling yourself too

Finally, not only are you selling your crafts, but you are selling yourself. Be professional, knowledgeable, friendly & helpful.

image by Thomas Hawk


  1. Teresa, I’d suggest sitting in a tall director’s chair if you can do that; that will put you at eye level with most of your customers. When you have to sit in your chair, try to position it so you’re not perceived as hiding behind a table or your display, so yes, out to the side or something like that. Just my $.02 …

  2. Ok this sitting down thing has me worried. We are doing our first show Sat.So if I am in a wheel chair should I have my booth so I am more to the side of it. So it is not perceived that I am being lazy? I can sit on a high chair and stand if I am having a good day, but on something like this I do not think there will be any getting away from having to use my wheelchair.

  3. The whole sitting/standing thing is interesting. I recently went to my first craft fair as a buyer. At one stall the lady running it was busy sewing and didn’t look up at all. I kind of felt like I was intruding and nearly didn’t purchase (which would have been a shame – she was really friendly once I managed to make eye contact. On another stall I got a cheery ‘hi’ and was then left alone (which is how I like it) until I exclaimed at one of the products which I wasn’t certain what it was. Turned out to be a little apron with some cool little ideas for toddler independence putting it on. She told me all about the fabric and the idea behind it but wasn’t pushy and I ended up buying. Strangely enough I probably wouldn’t have bought it if it had been better displayed as I would’ve written it off as just an apron but the opportunity to roll the whole thing out and explain it briefly to me sold it to me.

  4. Good suggestions for the most part, however I would agree with Lauren (one of the first comments) who said that, as a customer, she preferred to shop in peace and quiet.

    Say hi to your customers (potential customers) and be available to answer their questions, but leave them the heck alone unless they ask you a question or seem to need help with something.

  5. Tip 14: Post your prices, is one of my biggest pet peeves when shopping. I HATE having to ask the price of something. Especially if I am interested in more than one piece. I always price every item.

  6. The pricing visibility is very important, make sure pricing signs are above and below / front and back of the items ( if you group them together )… otherwise mark them individually.

  7. These are great tips with one small exception. As a customer I prefer an artist that doesn’t talk too much. A simple, “Hi, let me know if you have any questions.” is a much better approach. An attempt to keep me in the booth through conversation would have me actually leaving faster.

  8. I haven’t worked at a craft show since I was in my teens (my advice: have a teenager there, people think it’s really great when a kid is running a booth), but as someone who shops at lots of craft fairs I think it’s so important to not forget general customer service. Once, I was looking at some wares at a booth and apparently was taking too long because the woman running it asked my friends and I to leave because we weren’t buying anything! It was her first interaction with us, too – she didn’t say hi when we walked up, ask if we had any questions, nothing.

  9. I am about to do my third craft show and these are good tips 🙂 Most of them I figured out the hard way from selling at my local farmer’s market, but I am glad you put the one about sitting. I sat pretty much the whole time at my last couple of shows because I crochet while I am there, but I think I will try and find a tall stool now.

  10. Love these tips!! Standing, greeting and mingling with the customers is important without scarring them out of the booth. I’m always rearranging my product if there is a free moment in the booth. Looks as if you are restocking too. 😀

  11. Super helpful, I have a lot of craft shows coming up and I always feel kind of awkward interacting with people there because I don’t want to seem pushy but i don’t want to seem disinterested. Thanks for this post!

  12. This is from a customer perspective.. I don’t know if I am weird or what, but I like when the seller doesn’t bother me at all, maybe just a hi and that’s it. If I have a question, I’ll ask. Otherwise, if you’re talking to me, trying to tell me about your products or any of that, I can’t concentrate on actually looking at your product and deciding if I like it. Honestly, I’ll just wait until you’re done and leave.

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