Tuesday, December 7, 2010

To craft sale, or not to craft sale...

EmenGeeDesigns has been seeing a great deal of success on-line lately but since we now live in the same City we decided to try out some good old fashion Craft Sales!

The idea of setting out all of our designs on a table and showing the community what we do for the first time was an exciting endeavor.  Although, being our first sale as EmenGee Designs, we weren't quite sure what to expect and were careful not to set our hopes too high.  We decided to participate in three during November and December. The first was at a small community centre, the second at an Artist Co-op and the third at a well known music store.  Each sale was quite different but had one thing in common, not too many people showed up.  Maybe it's our crazy Manitoban winter weather, but the lack of craft sale go-ers was hopefully the main reason we didn't sell too much and not because they just didn't like our stuff.  But there were quite a few people who had very positive responses to our designs, some even double checking to see that we did in fact make everything and didn't just buy it wholesale in China.  And we can now say that our designs will be enjoyed by a few more Manitobans this year.

One thing we were surprised at though was the number of people who felt the need the say: "I could make this, what a neat idea!"  holding our carefully crafted items in their hands and examining each detail for future use.  But that's the thing with craft sales, being there in person you can actually see how people react to your creations and who's to say that we don't get many online visitors who do just the same!

Our third and final sale of the year was very slow going and we decided to hold an EmenGee Designs meeting in order to discuss some pros and cons about craft sales (from our perspectives anyways):

  • Promoting local business
  • Selling pre-made items instead of "as ordered"
  • Provides a connection to the Community
  • You receive input from your customers
  • Opportunity to sell small items that people normally wouldn't want to pay shipping on
  • A good end goal for stocking up your shop
  • Time could be spent making new items
  • Selling on-line doesn't require us sitting and waiting for a sale
  • People can easily compare our prices with others
  • If the sale is unadvertised it can be a waste of time
  • Larger craft sales cost a lot to participate in
  • Normally craft sales only accept cash
  • Awkward sitting right in front of people while they look through your stuff
In conclusion, we've decided to take a break from the craft sales, at least for this year and try to concentrate more on our online shop.  Have you had an experience similar to ours at craft sales?  Do you have any advice you can leave us?  We would love to hear from you, being beginner craft sale-sellers who don't want to give up just yet!  

1 comment:

  1. Don't give up! Sales attendence has been very spotty this year so don't base your experience on three low turn out shows. The great feeling from a show with lots of folks enjoying and buying your stuff is worth experiencing!!
    Also if you feel awkward sitting by while customers examine your wares think of bringing something along to craft. I would also reconsider sitting, standing is much easier to back off while they look, or pop in to answer questions or introduce your items. Craft sales are not just about laying your items out on the table, it's an experience and many folks like to interact with the creators. Have fun!