On the heels of my trip to the One of a Kind Spring show, I decided to jot down a few tips for anyone who isn’t familiar with the craft show experience. It can be overwhelming and I encourage any newbies to keep the following tips in mind.
- Go early! Especially at smaller shows, the good stuff can disappear pretty quickly. Bonus: most shows offer a gift at the door to the first batch of shoppers.
- If there is a show guide or program, make sure to grab a copy. This will list all of the vendors and will save you so much time later if you want to remember a specific booth or business name.
- Come with a good idea of what you want to buy. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and leave with armfuls of goodies but having a good idea ahead of time will help you focus. For example, if you know you need to buy a gift for your mother, a friend and would like a new handbag for yourself, you can filter through this lens as you peruse and hopefully save yourself from buying a bunch of stuff you don’t need.
- If you see something you like but don’t have a reason to buy it now (i.e. it’s not on your list or out of budget), take a business card. Most vendors have Etsy shops or online stores so you can buy the same or a similar item at a later time. And if they are local, you can usually set up a time to meet in person to save on delivery costs.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. In my experience, craft show vendors are incredibly lovely people who are more than happy to chat with you about their products and to share their stories.
- Bring cash and stick to your budget. Unless you are feeling really spendy, it’s probably a good idea to bring a set amount of cash so that you don’t go overboard. Most vendors take credit cards these days but cash is still king and you can usually haggle a bit of a discount if you choose to pay with cash.
- If you see something you like, buy it or be prepared to deal with the consequences. This goes beyond FOMO* – most vendors will have unique items on offer and if you snooze, you lose!
- Start at one end and work your way through. This way, you won’t miss anything.
- See something you like but it’s not quite right? Ask the vendor if they do custom orders. Many jewelry makers for example are happy to create a custom piece for you at no extra charge.
- If you are posting photos of your finds on social media, be sure to tag the business. Most vendors will have Instagram and Twitter accounts and they will appreciate you helping to spread the word.
Have you got any more tips to share? Feel free to add them in the comments below.
*For those not familiar with ridiculous online slang, FOMO is a “Fear of Missing Out”.