How to sell your crafts at local shows

How to sell your crafts at local shows

As a crafter, you may have made creative items and given them as gifts or sold them to family friends. But what do you do when the time comes for you to really make some extra income from your craft projects? Get a tax ID number.

For some, the mention of a tax ID might make you squirm with thoughts of record keeping and lost income. But the reality is that a tax ID number is a simple way to get you started in the world of craft retail.

In fact, with a tax ID number, you can even elect to sell your crafts wholesale – meaning that you sell your crafts to a store or person who will then resell them to make money for themselves.

To obtain a tax ID and get started selling at local craft shows, log onto your state’s Department of Revenue Web site and gain access to the necessary literature and application forms. It is strongly recommended that you do read all the literature to determine of obtaining a tax ID is right for you. Once your application is complete and the tax ID is confirmed, you will need to find some shows and fairs where you can sell your wares.

Contact your local chamber of commerce or do a Web search in your area to find out about upcoming events that include crafters. Once you have a solid list and have contacted the event chairpeople to apply for a spot, you need to spend a fair amount of time getting organized. Some helpful things to remember:

Make sure you have enough of your craft items (many people will talk about “selling-out” of an item, but the fact is – you should always go home with a few still left. If you sell out, it means you probably could have sold more).

Make sure you have made pricing lists – one for yourself and one for your display. People don’t want to ask you how much every single item is. Post it, neatly but discreetly.

Make sure you think about your display. A table with a tablecloth might seem okay, but is there something you can do to make “okay” seem “incredible.” Add color. Buy a shelf. Be unique and come up with creative ways to display your crafts.

At the show, you’ll need to keep good records. Buy a notebook or binder just for your craft shows. Write down what you sell and how much it sold for. Your own tax ID literature, depending on the type of ID you obtain, will give yo specific instructions – be sure to follow them. You may need to offer receipts to customers. Above all else, have fun – once you have seen success at a few craft shows, you are well on your way to a wealth of opportunities in the crafting business.

At the show

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