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PaPa Jack

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Posts: 154
Reply with quote  #1 
Would like to get some suggestions, from those who attend craft festivals, etc, on ideas, pics, etc of how you display your toys.  Need some suggestions for a typical 10 x 10 booth.  Also any other suggestions on things that have been successful for you.

Posts: 235
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Papa Jack, I haven't done a craft show yet so I am also interested to see what others have to say.

I'm hoping to have a small table set up at our church's midweek playgroup sometime in October or November. I did this last year and I found that while the parents (and kids) were interested in the items I didn't make any sales. I did get a couple of orders though.


Posts: 118
Reply with quote  #3 
P8050114.JPGTested at home

20160813_095406.jpgJust waiting for customers




Papa Jack

I have just completed another craft fair. I have set out below my tips and pictures that make my day successful.

Ask round your area to see if anybody has done craft shows and what they paid for a plot either inside or outside. The show I did on Saturday last was out side and I paid in dollars $14 for a 3m x 3m plot I will only pay up to $25 dollars as over this you will struggle to get a return. Give yourself plenty of time to set up. Before you even think of filling the car (make a list of all you require). work out how you see your stand. I put up my gazebo and set it out as I wanted it in the garden a week before. Manufacture things like shelves, table tops, table supports (some fairs supply tables and chairs but do check) The one on Saturday did not but I had table tops made from old flat internal doors (these cost me nothing)  If it is windy weight down the legs some people use bags that are filled with water I just use guy ropes. 

This is a list of things I put in a box to take with me.

Plastic electric ties to hold the gazebo sides, signs,

Gaffa tape

Set of small tools


Small cash float broken down into small amounts

Credit card machine

Box of plastic bags to put sales in

I am sure you will extend this list

On the day do not sit behind the display stand in front of the table and engage with the visitors including the children as they are the decision makers. Do not pack up before closing time people leave decision’s to the last minute. Make friends with next door  (remember toilet breaks) 

I mix the toys I sell but the best sellers for me to make the till ring and cover costs are Dragons and Knights, Dinosaurs, Small cars.  I have on display sets such as Noah’s Ark, Farm sets. Animal jigsaws these generate orders. In front of the table I place 2 boxes with small very cheap toys I have made but not quite happy with the finish but they go very well.

I am sure I could go on but you will see from my pictures what I get up to on a craft fair day. By the way on Satureday I sold $210 and took order for $220 for Xmas completion 



Posts: 107
Reply with quote  #4 
Ken ; thanks for the photos and the ideas. They will certanily help. If it isnt too much trouble could you post a better pict of the easle with the prices. You seem to have a handle as to what are good for your products . thanks , Greg
PaPa Jack

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Reply with quote  #5 

Posts: 118
Reply with quote  #6 
Papa Jack
I do like the banner

Posts: 118
Reply with quote  #7 
How did you do on the day. I notice most of your toys are unpainted did this make a difference as I can only sell painted. Did you sit behind the stall or at the front as again I have noticed stalls do better if you are at the front and engaging with customers.
PaPa Jack

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Posts: 154
Reply with quote  #8 
IMG_0674 (1).JPG 
ken, thIis is the new set-up I am using.  I do sit behind the table or walk around in the booth but what I have had happen is that I am able to show more toys than on just two flat tables.  Nice thing is that I can put several of the same toys on one shelf and put a price on the shelf in front.  when they all sell I can simply add other style of toy and change the pricing.  I have found that the booth will actually get crowded with buyers shopping the shelves and seeing the pricing.  I use to have a stand-up price list and people had to ask which was what, etc.  Now people are just picking out the toy they want and hand it to me to baga and charge them.  Notice I have a box of $3.00 cars in front and it really draws in people to look.  I had a poor sign this time but next time I will have a large hand fan type sigh like they use in produce baskets.  The are four shelving units with 4 shelfs in each unit.  That give me the opportunity to display 16 various set of toys.  I can get 5 Arks or 5 Commando Helicopters, etc, on a single shelf.
I have been unsuccessful selling toys that are painted.  I do put the bees way oil on all.  Painted toys are time consumming for me to make and cost is significant.  Plus I do not paint well.  My customers seem to like the unpainted most.  I continue to ask them.  I sell the small Ark for $35.00 and if i painted it I would have to add $15-20.  Personally, that has been out of range for the festivals i have attened.  Bi-planes are selling good at $25.00  Trucks and wreckers at $18 to 25.  I do not have anything in my booth over $50.00.  I have been able to get $45.00 for the Pirate Ship.  All of my toys are southern pine with some mixed hardwoods for contrast.  Hope this helps.  Let's keep this going and help with suggestions.  I certainly appreciate the ones I have received.  Thanks

PaPa Jack

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Posts: 154
Reply with quote  #9 
Ken and others, I noticed that you have a toy catalog at the front of your booth.  Great idea!  I would like to share with you an idea for a catalog that is a 5x7 small, inexpensive booklet of 100 pictures.  They cost $3.25 !  NO that is not a mistake.  It is called "Groove Book"  It was introduced on the "Shark Tank" about a year ago.  Your up-load 100 pics from you smart phone from a free app.  I took pics of all my toys and I am using it for a catalog.  They are so inexpensive, that you can have several or keep changing and improving it as you build more toys.  Catch is yu must do one each month or that bill you $3.25 - big deal.  I  am making one for grandchildren, friends, family members etc.  Easy to do one for a particular vacation or trip.  I have been able to actually give one to friends that show them around for me to other people at parties, etc.  Give it a try.  You can stop anytime - just tell them.  When you download the free app in the top right hand corner is a (i) top on it and it gives you all FAQ's and answers.  The bood is bound in a way that if you want to give someone a pic you can simply pull it out and it does not affect the bood binding.  I sometimes pick popular toys and have them make several pages for that one.  Good luck and let me know what you think about it.  I can't get over how good your painting is.  Really great job.!

Posts: 103
Reply with quote  #10 
Hello,  just a comment on the craft shows.  I go to 3-4 a year.  The last one I went to I had a little kids card table that I put a bunch of smaller toys on in the 3-5 dollar range.  The kids could pick up and play with them.  I sold a bunch of these as the kids could see them well on the little table.  I think it also lead to selling bigger toys as the adults became more interested when the kids were able to handle them and show them to adults.  I made $350 at this show in 4 hours.  Not a huge amount, but I was pleased.

This was an art in the park, so I had unlimited space for $15.

PaPa Jack

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Posts: 154
Reply with quote  #11 
Hello everyone ! Thanks for all of the comments.  One thing that has struck me is the low prices for booths. Here in Texas all of the booths I can afford to go to are from $ 75 - 175.  The real big ones with multiple days and 100,000 plus people are running $ 300-500.  I have not been able to justify going.  Not sure I could have enough toys to go several days.  With only  < $3 - $ 25 items I would have to sell a lot just cover the booth fee.  Has everyone seen these rate or better?  Still have not been able to decide if I should go to several small show that are inexpensive or go to 1 show a year and pay the price for the larger crowds.  
Rod T

Posts: 597
Reply with quote  #12 
Interesting topic.
Here in Canberra, Australia we have a few different markets. 

I haven't sold anything at any of them as I don't have enough toys to justify, but the rates for stalls vary greatly.
There is a weekly one here that charges about $50 a stall and then there is one that specialises in hand made items. It runs 4 times a year and charges $650 for a stall. There are a few others in between, but these 2 would be the extremes.

I know of a few people that prefer the 4 times a year market over the other weekly one. They tell me they sell heaps (Not toys, other hand made items) as this 3 monthly market is a bit more exclusive and the shoppers flock there. It also gives them enough time between markets to make more items and get organised etc. They are usually run over 2-3 days and are advertised quite heavily.

Where as the weekly one tends to have the same sellers every week, so it gets a bit stale and the shoppers only go now and then. 

Bit of psychology involved in it I suppose, but these few people that I know that do it capitalise on social media etc. They present themselves very professionally with business cards and postcards that customers can take away with them, so that if they don't buy anything on the day, they can contact the seller later. 
These sellers generally have a website etc. as well so they are using the markets as a platform to direct customers to purchase online and build their brand name etc. These sellers are running them as a business effectively, so the stall fee to them is justified as rent and advertising I guess.
One person that I know is selling about $8,000 worth at each of the 3 monthly markets. With the xmas one just around the corner, she expects to sell about $12-$15k. Not bad for a hobby business, but she works hard and long hours making her product and constantly fine tuning her product range to fit the market. Her cost of goods is about $2000 for $8000 worth of sales, just to give some perspective.
She also tells me that it has taken a year (about 4 markets) to establish her name and presence, which means that having a stall at every one of these 3 monthly markets is a must for her. 
Interestingly the couple of people I know who use the weekly markets don't see much difference in sales if they are there every week or once a month or every few months.

From what I have seen here, the more exclusive and expensive 3 monthly markets seem to attract sellers that are moving in the business direction and trying to make a living out of it. The weekly cheaper stall markets are more for the hobbiest who enjoys making stuff and selling some items to cover costs and make a bit to have a treat now and then. 

Just my 2 cents worth, whichever way you decide to go I wish you the best of luck and sell lots.

Keep us posted with your progress.

Rod T


Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #13 
Hans Meier from the Gwinnett Woodworkers Association has a good video, over an hour, of a talk he gave about how he does craft shows.

It had all kinds of great tips, tricks, and things to think of.

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Posts: 1,127
Reply with quote  #14 
+1 Hans Meier from the Gwinnett Woodworkers Association

I've watched all of his videos and a lot of the Gwinnett Woodworkers Association videos. There is some great stuff there.

Advanced techniques are the basics perfectly applied.
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PaPa Jack

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Posts: 154
Reply with quote  #15 
RodT, I  am beginning to fine the type of venues that work well for us.  I like the schoold (large ones) that have an established festival and usually average 10-12,000 people in attendance.  ONE day only, indoors, low booth fee (under $125).  I attended one such event this past weekend and it was great.  I sold out short of a few small items in spite of a terrible constant downpour.  Cannot imagine how much better it could have been if it was a sunny day.  I also like another thing that do.  If you are want to have your same booth and are coming back next year you pay now at the current festival and that insures your spot.  If you do not plan to come back you loose your spot and you go into a "hopper" to be drawn out 2 months before the next festival !  They average 300 booths per year. The most exhausting things that you have to do like tent, weather, night, heat, etc are taken out of the mix.  Now the secret is to find the best large schools to  attend.  I think age is creeping up on me also making it easy to do the one day shows.  Making sawdust for a few more weeks @#!
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