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Old 02-02-2011, 05:05 PM   #1
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Default What items sells at shows the best?

I would love to some shows in the upcoming year or so but, should I focuse on one area from portraits to shelfs or clocks or should I do a varity of things? I would really like to stick to the portrait side and do those of many diferent things but, if you dont think they will sell that strong in show I would have to switch to something else. Do you guys think I could do alright with doing portraits of all different things or would there be something else I should be looking to stick to?
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:39 PM   #2
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I beleive it depends on what the public wish to purchase in your area. I know that does not really answer your question, but all areas are different. My area (Hawaii) I make lots of bowls, baskets, platters, and Island collectables. People here on vacation wish to take something home that reminds them of the good time they had on their vacation, as well as items they can use day to day in their home or office. This past week I had people ask if I made cribbage boards that look like the Big Island....haven't, but I am going to start making them. Also cutting boards sell well here.

If you know any friends that sell at craft shows in your area, it would be good to ask them what sells well.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:46 AM   #3
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I think Hawaiilad hit it. My AK ornaments sell very well as a tourist and a locals item, a state outline with a bear or eagle or moose. Ak is outdoors and wildlife, so wildlife portraits or scenes do well. I have had people ask me to take them out of the frame, they just wanted the scene. Also, I try to cut fairly simple things that can be packed in the luggage and not break, and stack cut them 3 to 6 at a time, so they can be left or right views, and finish both sides. Doubt I could sell a clock. Your market will be different, but you might try a state outline and the state bird or flower or landmark as an embellishment.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:47 AM   #4
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Where are you located? The locale will pretty much determine sales. How is your local economy? How much do you need to charge for your items? Do you have special interests in your area? Maine crabs, Texas long horns, Montana Elk & Grizz etc.

Attend some local shows and get a feel for what is selling. How long have you been scrolling? Are you any good at it. If your expertise is not honed you may want to practice more before venturing into sales. Not picking on you just saying.. quality sells.

Have a variety of items and price points to appeal to everyone. Never judge a customer and his/her ability to afford one of your items by appearance. I've had guys come into my booth I'd swear did not have 2 nickels to rub together and buy several of my more expensive items and whip out a wad of cash that would choke a horse.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:20 PM   #5
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I find that items priced under $20 sell well at carft fairs here in Texas. I offer, but seldom sell, items over that price. Toys always move and I also sell a lot of small cedar boxes.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:00 PM   #6
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I don't think you will ever go wrong with deversifiying with a little of everything..from low cost items to high priced stuff. That way you have something in most everyones price range. I have only done one show last year but do sell online. I have a lot of people "WOW" at my portraits..But I have never sold one other than custom ones from friends or family members that know I can do them. ( Which is something I do not like to do as I am not comfortable doing my own patterns of people, though I am improving greatly now but still not my thing)..I really have only been selling for about 6 months too..but I have done well with ornaments, stand-up puzzles, and key chains..

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Old 02-04-2011, 02:16 PM   #7
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For markets I do best with small and portable. Have a few large items as well but they won 't move as fast. Small stuff keeps my fuel tank full. Magic
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:56 AM   #8
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I will be opening a small booth at a local craft gallery in about a month. For starters it will be mostly names cut from 1/2 birch plywood and will be taking custom name orders. From past experience working with some folks that did craft shows every weekend it seemed that no matter how crappy everything else was selling, wooden names sold consistently everywhere. Will also have some other scroll work such as little crosses, etc.
We shall see. Betting I will soon get some orders for kids names from parents who have named their kids in some odd ways....

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Old 02-11-2011, 12:10 PM   #9
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[QUOTE= it seemed that no matter how crappy everything else was selling, wooden names sold consistently everywhere. Phil J.[/QUOTE]
I have sold at some craft fairs that had poor attendance and some vendors sold not one thing all day!
I was the only wood crafter there and I had a great day. Keep the price down and folks will buy wooden items.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:33 PM   #10
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You have lots of good advice here. I would make some of what you like to cut most and see what sells. After several shows you should be able to hone in on what people want and are willing to pay. Will you be the only scroller? Will there by woodturners there? If there are turners, you will be competing with them for the bowls/baskets. I find that I can hold my own very well against a turner & bowls as theirs usually start at $30, and they should, but for $30 they can get a much larger basket from me. I do one show where there is another scroller. We have become friends and we make it a competition. He does portraits, clocks, ornaments, sports items and things like that. He usually takes up 2 spaces and has tons and tons of merchandise. On the other hand, I have my 2 tables loaded with baskets, my tree loaded with gift card holders, puzzles & more puzzles, and out sell him $$ everytime. There are fewer and fewer woodworkers at shows and if your work is of excellent quality, the field will be wide open to you. By excellent I mean no no no glue spots! Good cutting and finishing. I don't mean to put you down but quality does sell.

GOOD LUCK and keep us posted.
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