Selling jewellery at craft shows gets your work out in front of customers and helps to build your jewelry business. It’s also fun to meet other artisans and, of course, to make some money. If you are new to the craft show arena, take some time to plan your approach. The following tips will help get you started.
1. Choose the right craft show.
A well-established show with repeat vendors will be well-promoted and have a balance of artisan-crafted wares. On the other hand, you don’t want to be one of a hundred or more other jewelry sellers, so look for a show that sells a variety of things like handmade soaps, jams and preserves, textile wares, photography, paintings, greeting cards, sculptures, hand-crafted toys and, of course, jewelry.
2. Look for a juried selection process.
Juried selection limits competition between artisans and provides craft show customers with various designers and price points. You’ll be asked to submit photos of your work with your application, and a “jury” determines how suitable your designs and prices are for that particular show. Ensure you have the best photos possible. There is usually a small, non-refundable fee for a juried selection.
You’ll have a better chance of being selected if you actively showcase your work on social media.
3. Visit the venue before you rent a booth.
Is it busy? Are vendors selling their wares?
- Observe who’s buying jewelry like yours.
- How many customers are browsing, and what are the busiest times?
- What kind of jewelry are other vendors selling, and what is the average price? If all your jewelry is of higher value than other artisans, it may not be the right place for you.
4. Is the event well planned and promoted, or are organizers just selling booth space without advertising? If customers don’t know there is a show, you won’t have many sales.
5. Electronic payment methods are essential. Is there adequate Wi-Fi for electronic payments?
6. Take cash as a “float” for making change, but alternative electronic payment methods are strongly recommended.
7. Where will you park?
8. Locate the power supply and find out if there is a fee to use it.
What is the best way to sell handmade jewelry?
The best way to sell handmade jewelry is to get your creations in front of as many people as possible. While there are many excellent online selling platforms, the best advertising is free on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Create social media posts with attractive photographs and short videos to showcase your work. When you provide the post with a link to your online selling platform, customers know where to go to buy your jewelry.
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What kind of handmade jewelry sells best?
According to Small Business Trends, the following types of handmade jewelry sell well at Craft shows and online platforms: Whether you’re selling jewelry on Etsy, eBay, Instagram, Pinterest, at local retail stores or in your online shop, these popular designs and “trends” will drive your sales.
The fastest growing trends are:
- Silver anklets.
- Silver chains.
- Nose Rings.
Also popular are:
- Gemstone rings.
- Personalized pendants and charms.
- Simple pendants on a chain.
- Beaded necklaces.
- Gemstone rings, bracelets, earrings, and pendants.
- Engagement rings – estate pieces or your designs.
- Pearl Ring Settings
- Wedding bands with custom engraving
- Jewelry made with precious metals such as gold, silver, or platinum.
- Turquoise jewelry – rings, necklaces, earrings.
- Stacking rings.
- Stacking bracelets.
- Raw, uncut gemstone creations.
How do you display jewelry at a craft show?
One of the best ways to display your creations is to wear a bold or sparkly piece during the show. Also, a statement piece is sure to catch your customer’s eye. Other display ideas are:
- Price items with tags or labels so people don’t have to ask you about the cost of each piece.
- Have a range of prices to suit all budgets.
- Provide pieces in different sizes – widths, lengths, and weight of stones for larger and smaller customers.
- Provide a mirror so buyers can see how they look in one of your pieces.
- Display your name! Wear a tee shirt with your business name and hang a banner that identifies your business name and what you sell.
- Keep displays stocked up as you sell.
Is selling handmade jewelry profitable?
According to jewelry industry statistics, in 2022, the US jewelry market is expected to reach $59.57 billion in revenue and will continue to grow in the following years.
There is definitely money to be made selling handmade jewelry.
Who is buying the most jewelry?
Statistics show that the jewelry industry is still primarily local. The big jewelry companies capture only around 12% of the market.
A quarter of jewelry consumers are under 35, while two-thirds are between 35 and 55. Customers with an income higher than $150,000 make only 7% of the jewelry buyers. Most of the revenue (about 30%) that jewellers get is from consumers who earn between $50,000 and $100,000.
Allied Market Research states that the trend has shifted away from precious metals and moved toward more affordable (and sustainable) costume jewelry, which is promising news for artesian jewelry makers.
How do you price items for a craft show?
In the crafting world, sellers use a pricing formula that accounts for the cost of materials, overhead, and labour. Crafting is considered skilled labour, which, according to Dave Radloff from Michigan State U, pays up to $20.00 (or more) per hour.
In her Tips for Pricing your Handmade Goods blog on Craftsy, artesian entrepreneur Ashley Martineau, using a $10.00 an hour labour rate, suggests this formula:
- Cost of materials + $10 per hour time spent = Price A
- Cost of materials x 3 = Price B
- Price A + Price B divided by 2 (to get the average between these two prices) = Price C
For example, if the cost to purchase supplies to make one unit of your product is $4.28, and it takes you a half-hour to complete it, then your formula would look like this:
- $4.28 + $5 (half hour’s work) = $9.28 (Price A)
- $4.28 x 3 = $12.84 (cost of supplies) (Price B)
- $9.28 + 12.84 = $22.64
- $22.64 divided by 2 = $11. 32 (Price C)
Adding on overhead
In the crafts world, overhead allocations range from 25% – 50%. So let’s go with 25% for this example.
$11.32 + 25% ($2.83) = $14.15
You may also need to calculate the tax for your item:
$4.15 x .07 (sales tax in Canada) = $0.99
So, your starting price (with tax included) would be $15.14
Adjust the formula according to your costs to determine how to price items for a craft show.
What should you do and not do at a craft fair?
Before the show, you will receive a list of rules from the craft show organizer, letting you know when to arrive, where to park and what you may need to bring. The best tips are to be prepared and stay engaged with customers.
- Follow the event rules.
- Be on time.
- Bring a helper.
- Make a list of what you’ll need during the day and take those items with you.
- Talk to your customers. People have questions, so be available.
- Have lots of change ready. Bring about $100 in small bills and change with you and keep it in a cash box. Record how much change you started with and write down your sales as they happen to track how much you make. Keep your cash box out of sight.
- Have a jewelry tool kit on hand to make adjustments, repairs, or swap out hooks for clip-ons.
- Bring a helper to oversee the security of your jewelry, help with wrapping and payments, and give you time out for a break.
- Bring a project to work on during quiet moments. People will enjoy seeing you craft and ask questions. Engagement is good!
- Hand out business cards.
- Gather email addresses so you can keep in touch with people about new pieces, sales, and promotions. Be transparent about how you will use the email (no spam or selling email lists) and how often you will contact people.
- Arrange to raffle off one of your most admirable jewelry designs. Have people enter a draw, and you can collect their email information simultaneously.
- Keep your display active until the show closes. Then, pack up when it’s all over.
- Tear down your display and move your vehicle from the parking area as quickly as possible when the show is over.
- Don’t stand back checking your phone or chatting with your helper. Instead, stay engaged with your customers. Buyers are curious. Talk to them.
- Don’t skimp on having business cards. They are an inexpensive and practical marketing too.
- Too much clutter makes it harder for shoppers to browse. Keep your displays well stocked and organized.
- Don’t go without food and hydration during the event. Take a break now and then.
Make sure you have everything you need at the show.
Helpful items are:
- A supply kit with a notebook, pens, paper, calculator, bags, tape, extension cords, zip ties, tissues, hand sanitizer, snacks, and water
- Sales slips/receipt book
- Fully charged cell phone
- Tools (hammer, scissors, tape, rope, nails, S-hooks, wire, etc.)
- Display structures
- Tissue paper and bags to place sold merchandise in
- Price tags
- Business cards
- Folding chairs
- Tables (if not provided)
- Tent or pop-up (if not provided)
- Step stool or ladder