Craft Fairs... it's a living! What percentage of craft fair attendees actually buy?

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Original Post

This question came up in my Facebook vendor forum today. Does anyone have any stats (or personal guess) as to what percentage of art and craft fair / festival / market attendees actually buy some thing? Or maybe for example: if a show has 50 vendors there needs to be 2,500 people in attendance before sales seem to be good for people. Any thoughts?

Posted at 9:33am Nov 29, 2012 EST


Any thoughts?? I find that yearly craft fairs must have several thousand (say 3,000 minimum in attendance to support 50-75 vendors. And that's about a 5X booth fee worth of sales. More traffic would result in a better show.

Posted at 11:34am Nov 29, 2012 EST

I've been wondering this too. I would think most are planning on buying something, especially if they had to pay a dollar to get in. But I know I didn't always used to. I used to like to just look. I do buy now that I know how important it is to support my fellow crafter/ artist. I always wish I could buy more!

Posted at 11:56am Nov 29, 2012 EST

My husband and I were having this discussion just this week ... we've been comparing some stats that we've seen and been told ...

website traffic ... 100 views and pretty soon a sale.
craft fair traffic ... 100 people and pretty soon a sale.

We're wondering if this 100:1 ratio or 1 percent is a good average for non-specific targeted market type groups of people?

I'll try to say that better ... if I have very targeted marketing, I expect the ratio is higher.

So if I'm in a craft fair that is my general target audience (women 35-50) can I reasonablly expect a 1% purchase rate?

Since I'm a rookie, I'm interested to hear what the veterans have to offer from experience.

Posted at 7:48am Nov 30, 2012 EST

Liz from LizArti says

Elisa, I think you're on the right track - My guess is depends on how many vendors there are in relation to how many visitors and what sort of event.

At a holiday craft fair, I'd expect almost 100% of visitors to buy. At a street or music festival, I'd guess much less.

At a street festival I do there are ~40,000 visitors, 400 vendors and I sell ~30-40 items. That seems pretty neat :)

At a very small farmer's market I did this fall, there were visitors in the hundreds, just a few non-food vendors and I sold almost as much as the big street fair! (It was a cold day with lots of kids needing hats)

Interesting question to ponder.

Posted at 8:22am Nov 30, 2012 EST

crudeco from crudeco says

I have noticed this year that attendance is down, but purchasing is up. Most all the customer's browsing have packages in their hands.

And I've notice a increase is vendors buying from one another. Maybe people are more free to make purchases this year without worry.

Posted at 8:31am Nov 30, 2012 EST

I've heard this statistic: 10% of visitors will buy something. If there are 1,000 visitors, 100 will make a purchase. If there are 50 booths, that's an average of two sales per booth. (Note the word "average" - some will sell more, others less.) It's a guideline, of course - there are lots of other influences to factor in. But it's worth considering.

Posted at 9:14am Nov 30, 2012 EST

I've done shows where there was 30,000 people coming through and had a bad show and I have done shows where 5 people show and had a good show. I don't know that it really matters the volume but whether people are buying what you are selling.

Posted at 10:56am Nov 30, 2012 EST

This makes my head spin. :)

Posted at 1:51pm Nov 30, 2012 EST

Anita from sweetpeapurses says
This makes my head spin. :)

Exactly why I never bother to question it. :)
Just have fun. People will buy or they wont. You can't put solid statistics to it. :P

Posted at 5:11pm Nov 30, 2012 EST