Topics: Selling, Art Shows

Q.
I am interested in selling jewelry at craft fairs and shows. I will need to have a pretty large inventory of necklaces, bracelets and earrings. What do you recommend as a good amount of inventory for a fair or show? Thank you!
- Vickie
A.
I wish I had a crystal ball. It's a common question, though, and a good one. There's no real way to predict what you'll need at any given event. And what seems like a ''large'' inventory to one jewelry maker may be small to another.

A little homework will help you decide how much to bring. First, contact the show or fair promoter in advance and ask for attendance figures from the last time the show took place. Also, ask for a flyer or vendor list from the last time it was held and contact three vendors to see what kind of volume they experienced.

If possible, visit and ''shop'' a show before renting booth space. You can walk the aisles and see how much jewelry vendors have on their tables and ask them if they mind telling you how much they brought with them for the event.

Bringing too much jewelry isn't as much of a problem as selling out is. I often advise that jewelry makers bring photos of each piece (this is good for insurance reasons, as well, in case of theft). If you sell out of a style, you can show the photos of those pieces and take orders to be delivered later.

Another tip is to bring extra material and tools with you so you can make up pieces on the spot! Making the jewelry right there can attract people to your booth (people love watching something being made).

- Dr. David Weiman
Dr. David Weiman is a respected expert in the field of marketing and selling handcrafted jewelry and a well-read contributor to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads "Ask the Experts". He is the author of Introduction to Marketing and Selling Jewelry, The Jewelry Selling Answer Book and The 5 Keys to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry. A free newsletter on selling handmade jewelry is available at his website: www.marketingjewelry.com.

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