Craft and fine artists have their hands full in the holiday season: in addition to creating gifts for loved ones, there are ample opportunities to make and sell artworks and art objects to the wider public. It can be difficult to identify the best sales strategy, however. How can artists make sure they are investing in themselves and their artworks to achieve the greater return on their investment? Do artists really gain high sales volume by joining holiday and craft markets? Can craft and fine artists rely on proven strategies to secure sales of their art to as many customers as possible? There are several tried and true methods to succeed in sales, both within immediate networks and at fairs, and we’ve assembled some of the best advice right here. After reaching out to the best in the business so that craft and fine artists can root their sales approach within proven methodologies to make their holiday season merry and bright- and lucrative!
Experience-Driven Sales Work Best
Going all in and selling artworks and handmade goods in a fair environment is not a decision to be taken lightly! There are three key elements that can make or break sales potential at a fair: research, presentation, and – perhaps most importantly – attitude. Make yourself available, but not over-eager, to potential customers scanning wares at a craft market. Laura Kandel, Director of crafts fair company Artrider Productions, has some pivotal advice for craft and fine artists new to the fair circuit. “Be prepared to do the research and take the risk of trying events that may or may not be your market. Also, be patient and prepared and [get ready to] interact with everyone that walks in the booth, even if just saying a quick “hello.”” Kandel boils sales potential down to an artist’s ability to tell the stories behind their works. “Shopping directly from an artist is part of the reason why a lot of people come to craft shows,” observes Kandel. “They want an experience to go along with the item they purchase.” Providing a unique, personal story to accompany the art objects on sale can be the deciding factor for customers on the brink of making a purchase, so give them something they can share with the recipient of the gift – or admirers of their purchase!
Craft and Fine Artists: Apply a Careful Design Eye
Making the best impression and netting a potential sale starts even before casually chatting up potential customers. Creating a presentable and attractive booth area for prospective buyers is crucial to achieving top sales marks. It is important from a sales perspective to not only keep presentation neat and tidy but to also make sure that all products for sale are easily seen. Handmade Business notes this essential strategy can make or break a fair vendor. “The key ingredient is visibility.: it may seem obvious, but if the customer doesn’t see the product, and see it quickly, then it doesn’t exist.” While acknowledging that different artworks and objects can demand different presentation styles (for example, 2-D artworks versus 3-D objects), another key tenet for meeting top sales goals is to keep display shelves and tables full. “It’s a strange element of show psychology, but customers who see half-empty shelves are not impressed by how well your product has been selling. Instead, they will glance at your nearly vacant display and walk on.” Don’t give potential customers a reason to pass you by – instead, keep displays sparkling clean and brimming with arts and crafts objects!
Art Sales Depend on Careful Planning
A customer is ready to pay with a credit card, and wants their purchase gift-wrapped and handed over along with a receipt right away – they needed to go meet a friend for lunch five minutes ago. As important as planning merchandise layout, and selecting what which art objects will be laid out for sale, it is equally vital to be prepared for sales! Have everything organized so that customer payment can be finalized and guests sent effortlessly on their way in a heartbeat. Maintaining a pain-free, convenient setup will ensure a steady queue of customers and ensure the highest volume of sales. Indiemade sums up key ingredients for craft and fine artists to assemble a successful fair presentation. “Get as organized as you can ahead of time: fill out price tags and get a notebook to track payments.” Noting perhaps the most salient sales point, they add: “Make sure your craft fair display ideas are fresh in your mind.” By instinctively knowing where to find the sales point device, stapler, gift bags and receipt pad, customers purchases will run more conveniently.
The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity for craft and fine artists to share their work with eager new fans! By preparing effectively and being able to translate the story behind the works for sale, artists can be sure to guarantee a seamless and fulfilling experience for visitors to their booths.
Are you a craft fair and/or holiday fair pro? Know some tips and tricks that we left out? Give us your two cents below and help to prepare new artists for the opportunity ahead to show their work in a new venue.