Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Preparing for a craft fair part 2: organising your inventory

Missed part 1? Read it here! 

Organising your inventory is the single most important thing you need to do when preparing for your first craft fair. If your products/ crafts are not attractive to buyers, people will not buy them- no matter how pretty your stall is, and no matter how neatly you have organised your labels. 

What to sell 

You may already be an established crafter, with a crafty specialism or talent. Great! In this case, it will be clear to you what type of products you should be making to sell on your stall. Other crafters (like myself!) enjoy making lots of different things, trying new crafts and are interested in hosting a more general crafty stall. If you fall into the second bracket, you will have to make the decision about what type of things you think are best to make and sell. 

When starting out, I recommend a mixture of mainly low-investment, high-profit crafts, coupled with a few more time-consuming, expensive or statement pieces. This reduces any significant monetary risk to you, as your profit margins are higher at the outset while you are still establishing yourself as a seller. Ideas for low-investment, high-profit crafts coming later in this series... watch this space! 

Browse Pinterest for inspiration, and make a list of what you plan to make and sell. Then spend as much time as you need to, actually making the items and ticking them off your list. This is really satisfying, especially when you imagine laying them all out for sale on your table.


Since this is your first step into selling at a craft fair, you are yet to discover which of your products will prove popular as "best sellers". This makes it difficult to know how many of each item to make in this first instance. The most important thing is to make your table look full, busy and interesting from the start, and have enough stock to replenish throughout the day as you sell. Roughly, one-and-a-half times the amount of stock you need to fill your table is about right.

I think the best way to decide on volume is to lay out a space at home which measures the same as the table you will be using on the day- this will give you a better understanding of how much you will need to make. Don't worry if you are left with most of your stock on your first day- there will always be more opportunities for you to sell it!

Storing your items

Make sure you store your finished items well, securely and safely. Invest in some plastic stacking boxes to keep them free from damage. 

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