What sells best at craft fairs?

Has anyone sold items at craft fairs? What would you price your items at?
I was thinking socks, felted bags, and dishcloths might sell well?

I have never been to a craft fair…but I once knit a bear for charity, and he went well…

(rant)
cheap crap.

most visitors to craft fairs want cheap hand knits.

[B]hand knit socks[/B] (at least 10 hours of work, even when knit big and loose, and felted) [B]should command at least $100

Really nice hand knit socks [/B](12 or more hours of work)[B] should command $125 –

[/B]but people want hand knit/hand crocheted stuff for a little more than the cost of the yarn… ($20 for a baby blanket that uses $10+ worth of yarn.

and these prices–that never include the hours of effort/labor as a “cost” devalue the craft/work/effort.

(end of rant)
[B]
If the fair is a charity fair[/B], in support of church, or other non profit, you can donate your work, and sell stuff at cost (or a bit more than the cost of the yarn)

IF you live in a major city, you might find a craft fair supports a market of High end ($$$) hand knit goods (and you can price your goods so that you are fairly comp’d for your efforts (including the cost of buying a booth at the fair, and spending 12 hours maning the booth selling your crafts.

but be aware, you’ll find many who object to hand knits being reasonable prices (that is priced to include minimum wage for the time/effort that went into the production)

few will buy $100 socks… fewer still will $350 hand knit sweaters.

LOTS OF FOLKS will want $20 afghans knit from acrylic.
(and if you actually knit them in pretty colors…)

People are always telling me I should sell my stuff. I make cute hats and cute water bottle holders and cute soaker (diaper covers). If I use yarn that cost $5-10 a skien and I use 1 and half skeins, then add for my time and cost of selling it, it turns out to be about $30. For a kid sweater $50-$75. And for adults $100-200. Afghans I can only imagine. But in my head, no one wants to pay a lot for anything. I think people go to craft fairs cuz "craft’ =cheap. Art = expensive. And I’d have to devote a lot more time to knitting then working for a paycheck. It all depends on what time and patience you have.

It has been a very long time since I’ve been to a craft fair, so I don’t remember much about it. However, I thought I would mention that my friends and co-workers go crazy over my dishcloths and washcloths. Since the yarn is so inexpensive (I just use Sugar & Cream) you should be able to mark it up enough to see a profit.

I haven’t done craft fairs in decades, but I do remember that people generally don’t want to spend a lot of money per item. I would keep whatever you make in inexpensive yarn and not time consuming to make. I would maybe go to a few and shop around and see what’s moving and in what price range. Try and get to know your customer base.

The above replies are why I always refuse when someone asks if they can either buy something I made or if they could pay me to make something for them. Nobody wants to pay what it’s really worth.

Even my crappy knitting is worth more than people are willing to pay. I would much rather make something as a gift for someone than to be insulted by an offer that is far below what it’s worth.

I sell things at craft fairs, but not anything knitted. For one I’m not the fastest knitter and two, what everyone else said. I’ve been doing show for 10+ years and people are not willing to pay any where near what a knitted item is worth. That being said, there are a few (and I mean a very few) shows that you can sell a very labor intensive item for a good price. I sell sewn items (kids hooded bath towels, heat packs, broomstick skirts and a couple of other small sewn items) and I make jewelry from ostrich egg shells that I hand paint.
Every year its different. I hate to totally discourage people from doing craft shows, as I have enjoyed doing them, but its a tough business. Luckily my DH is the bread winner or we would be in the poor house!
If you are really interested in doing shows, it would be helpful to check out a few shows in your area and talk to some of the vendors. Most (not all) will be pretty honest about the quality of the show and you can get a feel for what is selling. I would be happy to answer any other questions you might have.
Angel

I get so many people telling me to sell my stuff. I make booties and mittens in no time flat. I agree however that most craft fair goers are looking for stuff at cost and they certainly don’t want to pay you for your time. I think the best way to sell your beautiful knitted items is thru word of mouth. Maybe bring a basket to work to have on display and then people in your building can buy them from you. I bet it would snow ball from there. If you have a bunch of stuff already made and you just want to sell it for fun then go to the fair and enjoy. I think mittens and baby things would go the fastest and felted bags-or felted things generaly (clogs, mitts, hats). i also think hand knit bears and bunnies -cute things like that. Good luck!

i really agree with Mason. I am a quilter, and people will ask me to make baby quilts…but when i explain that in material alone will be 50- or so, they back off quickly.

however, i greatly enjoy gifting someone who will like what i’ve made. there is a joy in that.

betsey

I know this probably won’t help ya in your quest, but in the cake biz, we have a saying: “If they have to ask the price, they can’t afford it!”

I have been to many craft shows. And I Love Them! However, I’ve never tried to sell anything there. Personally, I would give it a try with my least expensive items. I think once you’ve done a few shows and have built up a customer base (I remember certain artists who I return to at certain craft fairs every year), then you can start adding your nicer more expensive items. Its worth a try anyway.

For me, I don’t think about the “profit” because for me, I’ve already been paid… Paid with the joy of being to knit. And as long as I get money to pay for supplies, and maybe a little extra, I look at it as me getting paid to have fun. :slight_smile:

That is a really interesting view point…

I always feel awkward when someone offers to pay me, and I often undercharge when I do sell.

I do agree that a gift (and charity knitting) is always the best way to go…for me…

I was requested to make one of these little guys for a girlfriend for Valentines day last year (not this one specifically - but one like it…they are only 4" tall) and I quoted the guy $5 and he gave me $10…so there are a few ppl that do understand!

I agree that most people go to craft fairs hoping to find a bargain. If you want to try it though go for it!

I would think something that you can make inexpensively like dishcloths would be a great idea. If you want to try something that requires better yarn, more of your time, and higher prices just be aware that you may come home with it. Then again craft fairs are full of lots of people and someone may find that bag irresistible! :thumbsup:

re:[COLOR=Blue]For me, I don’t think about the “profit” because for me, I’ve already been paid… Paid with the joy of being to knit. And as long as I get money to pay for supplies, and maybe a little extra, I look at it as me getting paid to have fun.

[COLOR=Black]If it is fun, then do it for fun.

if it is for pay, do it for value.

other wise those of us who would like to do it for value can’t make a living… (all you fun loving gals are giving away your labor for free.)

I know lots of guys who LIKE working on cars…

but they don’t do it for free/fun. (except on their own cars)

but for some reason, women do it all the time.

I knit for free all the time (for family)

I knit for fun too.

but if i knit for sale, I charge what its worth…

but i don’t often get the chance. there are too many women who are willing to knit for free, because its fun, and generally speaking, the perception of knitting is: ITS WORTHLESS.

(cause all the effort to turn $10 ($100!) worth of yarn into a blanket is worth less than the cost of the yarn–ergo knitting(the work) is worth less than the material. )

any wonder, knitting is still often considered ‘womans work’?
[/COLOR][/COLOR]

Well put…:cheering:

First, I have to agree with the post on the previous page about knitting for fun. I knit because I want to knit. Period. At the end of the year, I place any extras in our company craft fair to recover the cost of the yarn and hopefully, some profit.

The last time, I put in 18 baby sweaters, in the 18 months to 3 year range. All were simple, using mostly stockinette stitch and color work rather than more time consuming patterns. I priced them from $20 to $30 depending on the size and the cost of the yarn.

And I heard? “Well, you know I could get something similar at WalMart for $6.99. Why are you charging so much?” I don’t think most of the people there even put any thought into the [I]time[/I] involved–they were too used to the "you can get it cheaper if it’s imported from ___ " mentality that everyone seems to have.

I knit mostly now for either myself, gifts for people or charity. The charity groups appreciate the work that you put into your items way more than any craft fair shopper ever did.

If you’re going to do it, I would keep it to simpler, smaller items like dishcloths or washcloths, baby booties and hats, hats, scarves, coffee cozies, wrist warmers, ect. Look at the thread that gives TONS of ideas on what to do with scraps. You should get some good ideas there.

Oh and another thought. People are more concerned about going “green” these days, so anything that can be reused (like the string bags) may be a good idea too.

I agree with everyone else that you won’t get big bucks for anything, but if you’re willing to give it a go and see what happens some of these items may be a good place to start.

Hey Cryket…

i LOVE your teddy bear! love it love it love it! when you decide to sell one, please let me know…

betsey (just cause he’s way too cute!!)