I’m kind of freaking out. I bought a Glowforge Pro about 8 months ago and haven’t really been successful about generating sales. I’m not in the same universe in terms of sales that I thought I’d be at this point. I was, in fact, drawn in by the countless videos of makers and their success stories. It just hasn’t taken for me yet. I don’t consider myself a salesperson so figured I’d stick to the online piece (Etsy, IG), create some high quality custom things and grow slow, organically, etc.
Brings me to now… I have this 2 day craft fair coming up. It was a considerable investment, but now I’m kind of freaking out about what products would be best to sell, and how to best set up my 10x10 space for this event. I think, if I can’t see a pathway to making my money back to at least breaking even I may be looking to sell my Glowforge Pro. Not because I don’t love it…but because it may have been too much machine for my skill and skillset at the time.
Does anyone have any thoughts on what types of things I need to focus on (Best products, selling techniques, physical set up at this outdoor fair…)?
I seriously need help.
What’s “best” will depend on the attendees of the event, and your ability to churn out enough to sell well in advance, at a pace you find reasonable.
Browse the Made on a Glowforge section here, review the gallery, that should give you plenty of ideas.
I see many more posts about craft fair setups and sales tips on the various Glowforge Facebook pages than here in the forum. You should take a look at your material inventory for first tips at what to make. It is important to know your own market so it is hard to give you ideas of what would sell in your area. Maybe school mascot related items or things related to your unique area of the country.
The personalized sports jersey engraves that folks have done here would seem to be a timely thing this time of year. Graduation oriented gear as well. I’d bring the GF with me and personalize on the spot.
When I first started I was thinking of a local flea market nearby. Going there I discovered that something for $5 was considered very expensive and figured out that I would not make money in such an environment. There are some places that sell artisan work very well, and there are times that are better than others. 60 years ago in Miami it was like printing my own money. I would make something, walk a block away and turn it into cash.
There were hundreds of gift shops everywhere then, all looking for what I was making. Now, in Tampa I have not found one.
As others have said, you should look at your customer market - what do you think they want?
Things I would suggest to think about are:
- Anything that will support a wedding - Spring and summer weddings are popular - signs like “Pick a Seat Not a Side, We’re all Family Once the Knot is Tied.” and small boxes for trinkets, visitor book covers, table decorations, and so on.
- House decorations - wall hangings - layered pictures, house numbers, seasonal decorations, etc.
- Jewelry and hair clips- all kinds – add some chains to wood and acrylic projects
- Meditation products are really hot now - like candles - you can make all kinds of candle holders, things to hold healing crystals and other special body products and if you work in leather make bags and other things for the trip to the gym or just for the workout room, etc.
- Gift giving items, wine bottle holders, toys, [Check out Excited Atom Design on Etsy - he used to be in this forum all the time and sells great patterns for the Glowforge.]
- Fathers day is just around the corner, “Dads Stuff” will be popular, maybe create a “Kit” for dad to put together. All you have to do is purchase the patterns and cut all the pieces - Dad can put it together.
Hope that helps some
Thanks everyone. This does help. Awesome ideas. What’s great is that a lot of these are things I thought about, but quickly became overwhelmed because the GF can do it all. It’s almost as if there are too many choices. I figured I need to focus on some items and show my market what I’m able to produce, even if I don’t have the physical product for this two day fair. So while I want (and need) to sell, this is both marketing and market research for me.
The show is the first week of June. I’d love to come back and let you all know how it goes. I have another question about pricing for engraving and cutting services but I will do some research first and then pose a new question if I can’t find the answers here.
Thanks again for the responses.
a few questions…
have you been to this particular show before?
what is the price point of this show.
I ask because, I spent time turning wooden pens. I enjoy it. but when i went walking around craft shows there were people selling pens there for far less than what I would be selling mine for. for a couple of reasons. they used lesser quality materials, and they valued their time at ZERO per hour.
so you are your booth selling pens for 45.00 and up. vs a guy selling his for 15. what’s gonna happen? gonna zero your sales right out for the most part. so I never went the booth route.
my dad is an accomplished wood turner(also teaches turning). he discovered right quick like that setting up a booth for expensive vases, urns etc. wasn’t going to fly. so he had bottle stoppers, cake servers stuff like that for the gen pop. and nicer pieces for the folks that were looking for that kind of thing.
in a nutshell you have to know the audience at a specific show.
That’s a good point. One of my fears is being ‘too artistic’ for my market. This will not only be my first time at this show, but my first time at any show. It’s an outdoor event meant to showcase local artisans. I don’t have a ton of experience at these, and zero as a vendor, but it’s what you would imagine a suburban artisanal craft show would be…sponsored by a couple of local vendors with small brick-and-mortar storefronts selling unique handmade clothing, gifts and presents.
Hopefully that paints an accurate picture for you.
I gotcha. you could ask the organizers what the typical price point is for items.
where I am. the St. James Art fair has stuff into the 10’s of thousands.
If they have the vendor list already you can check out your fellow vendors for a price point/value feel. (Around here hand poured scented candles in amber glass jars with minimalist labeling can be anywhere from $5-35 depending on the store) Also a good way to see if your offerings will be unique (if that’s what you want).
Yes indeed. I am looking to be unique as a selling point. 4 days to go…
All of those are great ideas. The local area high school’s graduation is the day after the fair ends so the 2023 Graduate items will be on the list. Fathers day, clearly. I’ve got some ideas for “Dads Stuff”, and I’m all in on the meditation/Zen tip. On top of items ready-for-sale I plan on doing limited custom work on site (Image engraving roughly $1/minute plus the cost of the blanks, Signage, Keychains, coasters, etc.). Thanks again everyone. This has been helpful. I will be sure to provide an update with results.
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