Production and Pricing of Craft Show Items
This is where you can really make or break your craft show career. Being able to produce quality crafts as efficiently and affordably as possible is the key to making a tidy profit from craft shows.
How Production Evolves
How you handle production of your craft show items will evolve over time. Initially you may produce all your craft items alone. This will likely be the most cost effective way to start your craft show creations. As your business grows, you may decide it is best to find employees who can recreate your artistic flair – so you can build more products and increase your overall revenue.
Time and experience will help you streamline your production cycle for maximum efficiency. You'll learn as you go how long it takes to produce your craft show items, how long to allow for drying, setting or baking, what quantity of supplies you need for a certain amount of inventory and how much inventory you'll need for a one-day craft show. Basically, you are going to get better and smarter about how to build your craft show items – so you can maximize the profit!
Always have some form of quality control if you're working alone, such as a friend or family member checking your crafts for sturdiness, appearance, etc. If you make jewelry, have someone else try on a necklace to make sure the clasp works, it doesn't fall apart while putting it on and that you are pleased with the appearance. If you have put a frame around a small painting, ensure the frame’s sturdiness, so your craft customer isn’t disappointed when it falls apart. Think about how you will transport your products during the production process, making them sturdy enough to travel or finding strong packing materials through your suppliers.
Over the years, your products will evolve as you make modifications to existing designs and add new products. With feedback from customers and keeping abreast of current trends, as well as developing new skills and interests, you'll probably add new products and remove slower-moving ones. As soon as you see a steady decline in sales, consider dropping the product—don't get attached, this is business. You can always use slower products as bonuses, gift items or for raffle drawings or donations.
The crucial question about pricing is: How do I price my craft show products for the best results—good sales and good profit? Can I have both? You may fear that if your prices are too low, you could incur the wrath of your competitors or make less profit. If your prices are too high, your sales will drop. The right price is one of the most significant factors in contributing to your success or failure—and one of the most difficult factors to decide upon.
There are several schools of thought on how to arrive at the best price for your work. Again, time and experience will be your best guides. It is easy enough to raise or lower your price with each craft show you attend and eventually find the best fit. You may even find yourself changing prices at different craft shows as you learn the shopping patterns of your customers. If someone seems interested then walks away, ask them why they didn't buy and if they say price, ask what they would be willing to pay. If you get the same information repeated several times, it's an indication of what customers are willing to pay—at least at that craft show!
Although you need to test your prices, don't make drastic price adjustments in the same weekend, as customers may complain. Make smaller adjustments in different towns based on craft show results and customer feedback. Sometimes the difference in improving your sales can be as small as $1.00, such as lowering a $12.00 item to $10.99. And sometimes selling fewer items at higher prices can be more profitable in the long run.
Take time to consider your price carefully. Consider cost of supplies and labor, craft show fees, transportation and other expenses involved. The efficiency of your production will also have an impact on how much profit you can make from your craft show items, and ultimately both will determine your success on the craft show circuit!
This article was posted on September 05, 2005
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