It's been almost a year since I started to toy with the idea of Upcycling as a craft and second income and even less than that in the art/craft festival scene. So, I may not have a ton of experience with which to qualify as a person to seek advise from. But I have learned a thing or two that has helped me increase my festival sales and I know I have readers who are just getting started or are at least thinking about it. With that in mind, I'd like to share the three most important lessons that I've learned so far:
1. If you sell something special find a way to tell people without actually saying a word. When people walk by my booth they see yet another vendor selling jewelry. And if they aren't in the market for jewelry it's hard to get them to stop. What they don't realize is that my jewelry is made out of trash. While I find it very complimentary that people don't see the difference in my beads and those that one would find in the craft store, it would be nice to have shoppers stop and look. I struggled for a long time to figure another way to tell people just how different my stuff was from every other vendor, I mean other than installing a neon sign outside my booth. Well, I'm happy to say that I found my "neon sign." Remember that grand shutter display that I used chalkboard paint on? Adding the simple words "made from newspaper, magazines and soda cans" has drawn an increasing number of people to my booth and not just women! There are so many husbands who stop now and pull their wives in to look when they read my display.
2. Square up! If you aren't set up to accept credit cards do it now!! I can't count the number of times that I made or increased a sale because I would take a credit card. And, yes, people are Christmas shopping already and the ability to accept credit cards will start driving that traffic now. Square Up is great little gadget that is only a 1" square piece of plastic that acts as a credit card reader when plugged into your iPhone or Droid. It's free to sign up, you don't pay monthly fees, the equipment is free and you only pay a small percentage when you accept a payment just like Paypal...except that you're money is deposited into your designated bank account much quicker and automatically! I can not recommend it highly enough.
3. A mending kit is a must! In one day, I adjusted the length of three bracelets for customers who needed a little more room. As a result, I made three sales that I would not have made otherwise. And that was just on that one particular day. I make adjustments pretty regularly as well as change clasps and earwires (when someone needs hypoallergenic wires). As a bonus, you make a very happy customer when you are willing to make their purchase just right for them.
Like I said, I'm a novice so take the advice with a grain of salt and please DO leave a comment below and share your secrets to success with everyone else.