Before Christmas, I had the opportunity to sell at a few craft fairs. I found a lot of posts about how to be a better seller, but after the experience, I thought I’d share a few ways to be a better customer. I never thought much about how I acted when I visited craft fairs in the past, but being on the other side of the table has made me realize that I could easily be a better browser and customer!
1. Don’t Block the Booth
Now this one kind of goes out to my wonderful family and friends who visited both of my craft shows, and I realize I’ve been guilty of it at craft fairs in the past. Don’t get me wrong — I LOVE MY CUSTOMERS. But it’s so easy to stand and chat in the middle of the booth. I watched a lot of people pass right on by because they couldn’t get into the booth to look at my stuff. So if you’re chatting with each other, or even with the owner of the booth, make sure to stand to the side so that you’re not completely blocking the seller’s wares.
2. Make Eye Contact and Be Nice
Now I thought this would be a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many people walked halfway into my booth and walked out, never saying hello or looking at me. Trust me — I won’t expect you to buy something if you look me in the eye. I won’t guilt you. I won’t try and tell you every single thing about my booth. Just say hi! Honestly, it just sucks to feel ignored. (Especially when the weather was so bad.) So be nice to all the vendors, even if their stuff isn’t for you.
3. Don’t Ask “Did You Make This?”
Really? Did I make this? I can’t believe how many times I was asked this question. Of course, I answered it with a friendly reply about how, yes, I do make everything in my booth. What I really wanted to say was a sarcastic, “No, actually I went and bought it all at Target and came out here to sell it in the freezing cold snow.” I’m a nice person, so I never said that. But I sure thought it.
4. Ask Better Questions
If you’re interested in a product, ask about it. Ask about an artist’s vision or influences. Ask where else they sell (online, other shows). If you’re unsure what an item is, just ask. I love explaining that mug rugs are basically a large coaster / small placemat — perfect for a cup of coffee and a snack. I’m always excited to talk about what I make!
5. Don’t Set Your Things Down on the Table
I had one woman who set her damp purse on my table. My things are made of fabric! They are basically sponges! Thankfully nothing was ruined, but I can imagine disaster at many types of tables. Wet soap can’t sell! Jewelry will get caught on bags! Purse hardware will scratch furniture! Ask a friend or even the shop owner to hold your things if you want to set them down to take a closer look at one of their products.
6. Be Nice to the Products
Which leads me to this. It was a cold and snowy day during my second craft fair. I was very worried about people picking up my pillows and other products — what if they dropped them?! Luckily, everything that fell out of people’s hands (which happened several times) landed on the table or the crates I had set below the tables. But goodness! My heart stopped every time.
I also heard horror stories about how people dug their fingernails through soap, or tried on scarves and hats when it had been raining. If you ruin a product, it can’t be sold. Which is time and money down the drain for the vendor. So think and be careful before you pick up an item!
Those are just a few ways you can be a better shopper at a craft fair. What are some of your suggestions? To contrast, what drives you crazy about sellers? I’d love to learn how to be a better vendor!
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