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Craft Fairs... it's a living! Average income from craft fairs

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Craft Fair vendors, farmer's market vendors, or if you want to start selling your wares in person.

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Original Post

Hi!

If you don't mind sharing I would love to hear how much on average you earn from doing craft shows each week/month/year.

I'm looking into doing my first show and am wondering if this could turn into something more permanent in the future if it's affordable.

If you have any other tips or tricks on this topic please share!

Thanks x

Posted at 7:15 am Apr 12, 2012 EDT

Responses

jill from jill2day says

I think we each have a different take on this. It would be very dependent on what your product and sale price is, if you do a lot of small shows or a few huge shows, if you sell the same line at shows that you do on Etsy, etc etc...

Having picked up my taxes yesterday, I will say that shows were the bulk of my income last year... but, this year, could be totally different depending on where I put my effort and promotion this year.

Posted at 8:08 am Apr 12, 2012 EDT

my goal is 10x the booth fee, if its a $100 booth fee i'd like to make 1,000 but as we all know thats just a hope, sometimes its more but mostly its less , i read that somewhere once and its always my goal

Posted at 9:24 am Apr 12, 2012 EDT

I always explain this to people who go on to anime/gaming/comic convention forums, because the question gets asked A LOT.

You have three people, all of them make $1,000 at a show during a weekend.

Person A is going to be ECSTATIC - they've never made that kind of money before, they never even dreamed of that kind of money, they're doing a happy dance right now.

Person B is going to shrug their shoulders and say "oh, that's about average for me"

Person C is going to be really, really angry. They normally average much more than that and are really upset that the event went so poorly, sales wise.

Just like Jill said - it all depends on where you focus your efforts. If you spend tons of time scouting out the best shows, work hard on your displays, create quality products at reasonable price points, promote outside of the event, etc. then you have the possibility of making income enough to quit your day job.

BUT - if you go into it thinking you're going to make huge piles of cash, then this is the wrong business for you. :/

Posted at 10:34 am Apr 12, 2012 EDT

I think it's totally possible to turn it into something more profitable. A couple of the shows I did last year - 2-day shows each - I made as much in those two days as I do in 2 weeks at my job. So, ya, I'm hoping to turn a corner this year with more shows and maybe I can quit my day job!

Posted at 10:36 am Apr 12, 2012 EDT

In my area with my products I make about 5X booth fee and I'm okay with that. It all adds up. I don't go to bigger shows further from my house where I could make more money because I have young children and logistically it is a nightmare. So for the next year or two I would rather make a little less money but have less hassle and a happier family.

Posted at 10:58 am Apr 12, 2012 EDT

Well let’s see, I probably made net 6k last year after 10 shows. I did just start last year though and maybe I will figure out how to make something with more demand. Last year it was only fabric hair accessories and brooches. Now I've added necklaces and earrings.

At my day job I made 86k according to my W2...

So I guess I won't be quitting my day job any time soon (-: For me it’s more about feeding a desire to create something beautiful. Maybe one day it will be fruitful but whatever the case may be I will always make art of some medium.

Posted at 11:09 am Apr 12, 2012 EDT

and in addition to all of that, you have to think about the $ you pay to the government, my taxes this year were EXORBITANT. add in health insurance (which, once you quit your day job, largely become the responsibility of your husband's job, or you get to find your own, not fun), and the actual price of running your business (inventory, material costs, booth fees, gas, food, all that), it gets crazy. I do very well at the shows I vend at (5x to 20x my booth fees), and I still will be at my day job for a long, long, long time.

Posted at 12:05 pm Apr 12, 2012 EDT

Usually about 10x my booth fee is a pretty profitable show for us. We take what we make and subtract about a third of it for materials, then subtract our expenses for the show (booth fee, gas, meals, possible motel?) and if we have a couple hundred dollars after that we're good. Of course if you broke it down to hourly pay for two of us, including time to create, prepare, set up, sell, take down, drive to and from, our hourly wage is not too good.

Posted at 12:43 pm Apr 12, 2012 EDT

I do support myself selling my jewelry at craft fairs. But I live a very simple life. My car is 12 years old,I grow my own vegetables and cook food at home. I don't own alot of high tech gadgets and the things I do for entertainment are low cost: I surf, hike, bike and spend time with friends. This is the type of life that I choose to live and supporting myself doing something I love is my greatest reward.

Posted at 3:40 pm Apr 12, 2012 EDT

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