8 Tips For Selling At An Art Fair
I recently did my first-ever art fair selling both my own art and the products that Harriet and I have created for our small business Memory Holmes. The preparation for this ended up being pretty frantic, designing and printing labels, creating price lists, making makeshift business cards, packaging, and just general planning. I have learnt a lot from the experience and I would like to pass on some tips to anyone else preparing for an art fair (or similar event).
1. Display each item that you’re selling
You want to give each piece of your work the chance to catch someone’s eye when looking at your stall. Don’t leave some pieces left to be dug out from the back of a box.
The pieces of mine that weren’t displayed so obviously did the worst while the ones clearly displayed or laid out at the front did well. The piece I had framed on the table was my best seller which I think is because it helps people visualise better how to display or use it.
2. Have some smaller pieces that you can sell at a low price
I had bookmarks and postcards available to purchase. These did really well on the day because people don’t mind spending a couple of pounds, and if they can’t afford to spend on prints or originals this is a really nice way for them to still purchase a bit of your art. And, the perk is they are much more likely to remember who you are just by having this small token of your work.
We also have stickers at Memory Holmes and these were a firm favourite for the kids at the event!
3. Get a portable card reader
Luckily I was prepared for this one but with most sales card was the preferred means of payment. You can get a square card reader for roughly £20 and they’re so easy to use, just connect to your phone when making a sale. You can also put all your products into beforehand to make the process much quicker and simpler. And, if you’re preparing at the last minute you can get these on Amazon Prime so you can get them to you as quick as tomorrow.
4. Have change ready for the day
Some people are still going to want to pay cash at events like art fairs, especially when buying small items like postcards and bookmarks that only cost a couple of pounds. Make sure you’re prepared to offer change to your customers. Get yourself to a bank or post office before the day of the event.
5. Keep your prices to a round number
Continuing from that last point, you will be making things much easier for yourself if you keep your product’s prices at nice round numbers. Mine are either rounded to pounds or 50p – this means the only loose change I need is £2, £1 and 50p coins. Not to mention it makes the maths so much easier.
6. Bring lunch and drinks
Chances are you won’t get much of a break throughout the day and you won’t want to spend much time away from your stall (or any at all if you’re doing it solo). So, plan ahead and pack some food for lunch and drinks to have throughout the day. The most you’ll want to leave your stall for is a toilet break and perhaps a quick coffee run.
7. Individually price items
While price lists are great and I still recommend having these, some people want more clarity for each item. Before individually labelling I was asked several times how much certain things were because people just want to be sure. And, when there’s a crowd the price list can be more difficult to notice. I ended up adding some small post-it notes with prices on to my products and this helped with smoother transactions.
8. Make your table look good
Something I’ve noticed as an attendee at art fairs is that I am more drawn to the look at the stalls that look nice. Attention to detail and nice displays make a stall both more interesting and inviting and make it look more professional. For you the artist it’s also a great opportunity to get across your style and have more fun with it. I recommended tablecloths, stands, frames, whatever works best with what you’re selling. My stall was incredibly pink!
I hope this helps anyone who has an art fair coming up! Do you have any more tips? ★