Monday, June 18, 2012

Selling at Craft Fairs vs Selling Online

I check the Etsy forums a few times a week to see what kinds of changes Etsy has made to the website.  I also find threads about lots of other issues and one question that comes up at least monthly is whether vendors sell more at shows or on Etsy.  The short answer is--it depends on what your product is.

There are people whose sales on Etsy are in the thousands.  But jewelry, generally, is a product people need to see in person, handle, and try on.  Some people buy on the spot, others need to shop a little and then come back.  Because, of course, my jewelry is better made and more unique than anyone else's:)
I get very few questions from customers at craft shows beyond, "Do you have earrings to match?" and "Can you shorten this chain?"

But lately, in my Etsy shop, I've had lots of questions like...

    "What does the center stone weigh?"
    "Can you make those with yellow pearls?"
    "Can you put up a picture of a girl wearing these earrings?"
    "You say the stone is fuchsia but it looks pink on my screen."

I try to answer questions and send pictures requested asap even though they may not be perfectly set up.  And I have yet to receive a response let alone a sale.  It seems only polite to let me know you've changed your mind.  I think even in the short time between their interest in the product and my response they've already moved on.

I love doing craft shows (except in the rain) and hope I can continue to do them for a few more years.  I like personally seeing my customers and being able to talk to them.  I like knowing where my favorite pieces are going.  And I can sell more in one weekend than I sell all year online.


  1. Yep! I figured as much...*sigh*...That's why I wish I could physically do shows instead of selling online. Everyone that comes by (friends and relatives) and sees my jewelry and scarves and things in person say I should be doing shows....Duh! Oh well, i'll keep plugging away it!

    1. While shows are fun, they are a lot of work. My daughter, who has done every show with me, will be moving in August. I'll have to figure out how to manage alone. They'll definitely be more work.

    2. Really?! O_O I didn't realize that....Something else to consider.