MONEY SELLING AT
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
economy in a bad shape, and unemployment rates high, many people are
electing to sell goods at fairs and festivals in order to pay bills and
support the family. If you have a great product, you can make some
good money. On the other hand, if your
product is not suited right for the fair, you may be lucky to break even.
However beginners can learn a lot even if you just break even.
Look at is as a learning experience and realize that the longer you are in
the business, the more money you will make.
Back in 2007, it was common to make $1000 a weekend selling at fairs and
festivals. But then the economy went bad and unemployment
became an issue and people stopped spending and started hoarding their
cash. Since then, it has been hard to make much of a profit and the
game was to stay in business until the economy improved. Today it
looks like people are spending again, but if we see $5 a gallon gas, there
will not be any money left for entertainment and fairs. The fair
season is just beginning and we are hopeful it will be a good year.
equipment you need to exhibit at most fairs include a 10x10 canopy, a
couple of fold up tables and some folding chairs. All these items
are available for purchase at Costco or Costco online.
You can make some tablecloths from material at Wall-mart, and all you need
is a product to sell.
Probably the most common product sold is handmade jewelry, or jewelry
purchased at wholesale markets. Usually you get better rental rates
if you can claim hand made crafts. The number of items you can sell
are beyond your imagination. As a beginner I suggest being flexible
and open to trying something different, even changing your display can
make a difference.
a beginner, I suggest you attend a couple fairs and festivals and see what
others are selling and see who is making money.
Talk to vendors and let them know you are
thinking of becoming a vendor. You will be surprised how they open
up to you. It is like joining a fraternity, you are now one of the
guys. Donít talk to the pretty sales
girl; look for the owner.
Another thing to consider is matching your product with the fair. If
you are selling jewelry, you do not want to be at a kids carnival.
Instead you might want to sell balls, or toys that light up at night.
If you are selling at swap meets, I suspect kids toys and staples may be
good items to sell. Also consider the income
levels of the crowd. Is it a Latin community that spends
money on their children, or is it a drinking crowd that is spending money
on them selves. Usually the higher income
the crowd, the better the sales. Personally I like beach communities
in Southern California. In a poor community, the first of the month
is better than the last weekend of the month because welfare checks are
delivered around the first of the month.
there are unique crowds like gay festivals where you frequently have two
wage earners and no children to support. We have made money at these
festivals, but they are expensive and the economy has also hurt them.
If you plan on selling at a gay festival, have an open mind and make sure
you have ample selling hours to justify your efforts. We did one gay
festival where the crowd was there from noon till 3 PM and we did not have
enough time to earn the rent.
When selecting a product line, start small and be prepared to add product
line as you learn the business. I have a garage full of dead inventory.
Also select a product line where you can make at least a 300% markup on
the product. It takes that much to justify your effort. Fore
example, you can buy sunglasses wholesale for $1.25 and sell them for $5
to $10 a pair. But you need a hot sunny day to sell them.
Rainy areas sunglasses do not sell well. I understand there are
books available at Amazon.com, 500 Tips for Marketing Your Crafts.
Some vendors make products to sell, such as rubber band guns, marshmallow
shooters, funny signs, dried flower arrangements, wind mill birds,
Jewelry, computer enhanced photos, or even
fortune telling. What I hate to see is a fortuneteller complaining
about how poorly they are doing, didnít they know before the fair