My First Time Selling At A Fair

Hey everyone! So in the beginning of April it was my first time ever selling at a fair, and it’s obvious to say I learnt a thing or two and now know more or less what to expect at my next one.

I really enjoyed it, and despite my anxiety it was a pretty stress free day! I thought it was going to be incredibly stressful and something that I wouldn’t want to ever do again, but instead I’m ready to book myself in for the Summer Fair at the same place!

So without further ado, here are some of the things I learnt from my first fair.

  • Get there early. I like to be early for things so I can situate myself and know what I’m doing and where I am, but I have to say being early for a fair or show is a must. Quite a few other stalls got there only an hour before opening time, and were still setting up their booth when people started to arrive.
  • Be friendly. I’m not a hugely sociable person, but I made sure to at least keep a smile on my face and to engage with customers when they came to my booth or commented on my work. Even just a “Good Morning” can make the difference between a sale or not. Also be friendly to your neighbouring booths, it’s nice to have a little chat when it gets slow!
  • Not everyone will be nice. I read this in one of the many articles I read about fairs and events, but I really didn’t think it would happen to me. I make rustic signs ( which you can find on IG at rusticus_domum ) and had a large “Bakery” sign out front. I had other promo signs stating what I was selling, but this particular one was quite large so it definitely got more attention. A lady made a beeline for my booth, which I thought was a good thing! When she arrived, she stopped dead in her tracks and said in a horrible tone “oh, I saw the bakery sign and thought you sold cake. I have to say it’s a big disappointment.” All I could say was sorry and laugh it off a little, but I couldn’t help feeling a little put out by the comment. She might have meant it nicely enough, but her tone really made me look at my items in another light and start wondering if they really are a disappointment.
  • For every bad comment, there are 50 good ones. Having said the above, I received a lot of nice comments about my signs. Loads of people asked if they were handmade, and some couldn’t believe they were done entirely free hand. I gave out a lot of leaflets that day, and I am so glad people genuinely enjoyed my work.
  • Give people a place to find you after the show. Not everyone will buy from you, whether that be because they don’t want to walk larger items back to the car or they don’t have the cash on them (I don’t use a card machine yet!). If they’re interested, it’s great to offer a business card or brochure with a website, etsy, social media handle, or a Facebook page. Who knows, you might just find your biggest fan!
  • Display and set up are important. I only signed up for the fair two weeks before the date, which meant I really didn’t have a lot of time or money to invest into my display, so it could have been a lot better than it was. Your display is what entices people from the other side of the fair, what catches their eye, so make sure you at least put some thought into it and make yourself stand out to your target customer!
  • Have cash with you for change. This is another mistake I made. I had about £15 in coins, and no notes. To be completely honest, I didn’t expect people to be paying for a £1 item with a £10 note. I had to refuse a sale, simply because I didn’t have the change to give. Thankfully a member of the group gave the customer a £1 coin and completely saved the day, but I’ll be making sure I’m not in that position again next time!
  • Remember to have fun! You might be there to sell your handmade items or earn a little extra money, but don’t forget to have fun and enjoy yourself. I could have easily sucked myself into a  “I’ve not had anyone even look at my booth for over an hour this sucks” mindset, but I kept myself positive. I ended up really enjoying myself, and can’t wait for the next one.

So there you have it, some of the most important things I learnt at my first fair! If you have any tips or advice,  please leave me a comment down below, or link to you own post on the subject!

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you next time,

B x

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