Selling Soap at Craft Shows – Mistakes I have made part 3
Posted on December 23 2012
Part 3 Mistakes I Have Made While Selling Soap at Craft Shows
Here is part 3 of the Craft Show Mistakes I have made. These are pretty important ones and have made a huge impact on how well I have done at Craft Shows and Farmer’s Markets in the past. I hope you can learn from my mistakes.
Too Many Natural Soap Choices on Your Table Can Effect Sales
It’s great to give your potential customers lots of different natural soap
options to choose from, but can you offer too many choices?
I have so many different types of soap in my stock that
I could offer an entirely new display for every show I attend.
The problem with this is too many choices can actually
lower your sales. I have witnessed this at my own table.
By experimenting with the amount of soap on my craft show display,
I have concluded that 13 types of Natural Soap works best for me.
This includes 8 core soap and 5 Rainforest series soaps
(dedicated to the Orangutan orphans that I help support).
My core soap includes:
Lavender (or lavender blended with other essential oils)
Peppermint (or mint blend)
2 different art soaps
The soap bars may change each show. For example I have 4 or 5 different straight
lavender soap batches that are all different (color and special oil) so I might choose from a different batch each show.
I will often bring a few untypical bars of soap and keep them under the table in case there is a special request for them.
The point of keeping your soap selection small is to help your potential customer make a
quick decision. I find if a visitor at my booth has to think too long about which soap they
really want, they may decide to walk away.
Do Not Underestimate The Importance of Good Lighting.
It was a very old, beautiful heritage building with an extremely high ceiling.
The lighting was so dim that you couldn’t tell the difference between navy blue and black.
Personally I love this type of lighting for craft shows. It gives me the opportunity to
illuminate my booth and highlight a few of my art soaps on display.
I felt really bad for many of the vendors who depended on the lighting of the venue instead
of looking after the lighting themselves. It surprised me because this was not a cheap show
and many of the vendors were higher end jewellery artists.
I know how they felt because I was in their situation before. Never again.
If you are in an outdoor setting, in the daytime, this will not be an issue.
You can rely on the daylight for all of your lighting needs.
Inside a building is another matter.
I was at a venue where I thought the lighting was great. I set up the booth according to the
lighting in the building. When the organizer announced that the doors were to open in 15 minutes,
he dimmed the lights for ambiance.
I didn’t have nearly enough light. I spent the next 2 days practically invisible while the other booths
around me had track lighting, spot lights and pin lighting to highlight featured products.
I am grateful for this lesson and learned from it. Good lighting boosts your confidence at indoor shows.
It makes you look professional and shows off your products like nothing else can.
Before you pack up your products for an indoor show, I recommend you set up your display first.
Complete with the lighting you intend to take, then turn off the room lights.
Does your lighting illuminate all of your products? Can it stand alone without lighting in the venue?
Can you help your display by adding a few clip on pin lights or spot lights?
Answering all of these questions is important. Think of the venue as a blank slate with an electrical outlet,
table and chairs (if supplied) and that’s it. Do not depend on the venue to supply your lighting.
Before you take down your booth at home, take a few pictures of your set up. This will help you when you are
setting up at the show. The direction your lighting is aimed, the area that you clipped the light to, the display
in general will be right there for you to look at. No guess work, no challenging your memory.
This allows you to get into your zone, bond with your products and your surroundings, chat with your new
neighbors at the show and not waste time tweeking your display. It is all there in the picture.
With your lighting and your display picture in hand, you can give yourself enough time to be ready
and shine at the show with the right attitude to face your return customers and any new fans that you acquire at these shows.
One more thing about lighting…… Bring lots of extension cords and power bars. You never know how far
the outlet is from your display and you never know when you are going to be next to a neighbor who thought
of everything except an extra extension cord.
Next week I will continue with this series on mistakes I have made with my natural soap in
Craft Shows and Farmer’s Markets.