Craft Show Pricing Tips - Wholesale Supplies Plus
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Craft Show Pricing Tips

Pricing your handmade soap products is difficult as it is, but determining prices for craft or trade shows can be even harder. Here are a few tips on how to determine prices for products if you are new to the craft show scene.

Pricing Products to Sell at Craft Shows

Selling handmade items at craft shows is a challenge because pricing tends to be in $5 increments, and often other vendors are selling below retail pricing. So if a product typically retails for $6.95, the craft show price is often $5 or 2 for $10. Some buyers expect a "deal" from craft shows. Don't feel pressured to mark your prices down or sell at wholesale prices at a craft show.

If you are selling the same line of products at a craft show that you are also wholesaling to retailers, there are a few ways to price your products a bit lower than regular retail. First, you can offer a "show special."

Example: 8 oz. Shea Butter Body Cream
Suggested Retail: $18
Wholesale: $9
Show Special (Limited Time Offer): 2 for $30 – save $6 

This "show special" pricing is not available on your website. It is offered as a one-day or two-day special price. Rotate the offers on your products at each show.

A second way to sell at a slightly lower price than suggested retail is to combine products. For example, pair products together that, if sold separately, would individually be priced a little higher. This method can be accomplished through gift sets and baskets. Let customers know that when the items are sold together, the price is lower. Gift sets often sell well because customers believe they’re getting a great value for their purchase.

Selling a Different Line at Craft Shows

Creating a new line of candles, soap or bath and body products is one way to get around competing with wholesale accounts in terms of pricing and playing it safe at craft fairs. 

Of course, if you're not wholesaling your products, then you are free to price the items however you’d like. If going this route, ensure that you've covered your material costs and the associated shipping costs, overhead for running your business and labor costs. For labor costs, set an hourly rate and multiply it by the time it takes to produce each product.

More Craft Show Pricing Ideas

Try a promotional "Buy One, Get One 50% Off" limited-time sale. Again, make sure your margins are there to make a profit because this offer will take an average of 25 percent off each item. Rotate your specials so you aren't underselling your retailers.

Why not offer a price incentive sale? For example, if customers purchase $75 worth of products, they receive a free gift or 10 percent off an order.

Another idea is to offer personalization on soaps or products over a minimum order. Customers shopping at craft and art shows are looking for unique items. An example would be to sell personalized melt and pour soaps using dissolvable paper to print names or photos, then embedding them into the soap. Customers can order them at the craft show and email a graphic to be placed in the bars. This would be a profitable way to sell shower or wedding favor soaps. If they retail for $6 each, then consider offering them at $5 each if customers order 20 bars or more. Take a deposit on the order or have the customer pre-pay and ensure a timely delivery to fit their needs.

A Few Other Tips

Remember that the cost of the booth and any travel expenses fall into your marketing budget. These costs do not get added into the final cost of your items. That being said, you'll want to determine whether your products have enough of a markup to participate in shows with high booth fees. 

It's also important to know your audience and whether a show has the potential of being profitable for you. There are no hard rules here. The best you can do is research the show by speaking with other participating crafters and ask them how they would describe the average customer. Ask the other crafters what their average selling price per item is for this show, and if they don't mind sharing their average sales per customer. Some crafters will openly share how much they make in a day or weekend. Be sure to keep that information confidential.
Walk the craft show/art fair a year prior to applying or participating if possible. If this isn't feasible, then ask the promoter if they will share contact names and phone numbers of a few crafters who have attended the show for two or more years in a row.

If there is a website for the craft show with a listing of crafters, check out their websites and see if their products look like something your customers would purchase. Also, take into consideration the price points of your fellow crafters. Gaining an understanding of the show this way will help you prepare for the types of buyers who will be attending. This research is a good way to determine whether a show is a good fit for your product line.
Juried shows that require an extensive application process for acceptance (typically include booth photos, product pictures and a detailed application) and art shows typically attract an audience who is willing to pay a higher price point. On the other hand, flea markets, elementary school gymnasium shows and family event shows usually attract vendors with lower price points. 

Even after you've armed yourself with information, there is no better way to know about how you'll do at a show other than jumping in and participating. But since time is money, do as much research as you can to evaluate whether your time at the show will be profitable.

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