Summer Craft Markets for Extra Cash

Need to Make Some Extra Cash?

Consider Selling at a Craft Market.

If you want to make big profits in a small sales business, you must find the best selling craft market items. Starting a craft market business is a great way to make extra money or create an entire income with sales.

Almost every city has summer markets. In big metropolitan areas, this can mean large indoor events organized in convention centers or arenas. In small cities or the countryside, it usually involves setting up tables and booths outdoors, often around items such as consumables (fruits or farm items) or antiques. You can sell beaded jewelry at summer markets as long as you follow some basic rules.

Research the venue.

Many summer markets are informal affairs attended by people looking for a variety of items. This may be fine if you sell jewelry or small items, but may not be the right place for you if you sell expensive paintings or sculptures. Some venues also have a theme (country, farm, antiques). Unless your work matches the theme, you may not be able to sell much.

Find out how the place works.

You may be required to buy a table, or you may simply need to make a reservation and then share a percentage of the profits. Other places may allow you to put up a table or a booth for a nominal donation.

Keep your booth small.

People at summer markets are there to walk around and enjoy the market, rather than to look for art. If you have too many things to sell, people may get overwhelmed and walk away. Offer a variety of things at different prices so you can appeal to different people.

Watch the weather, especially if you are selling art that can be damaged by water.

If you are completely outdoors, make sure you have a tent or large patio umbrella to protect your work, or keep a car parked nearby so you can pack up and leave if the need arrives.

If you want to make some extra cash, investigate spring and summer craft markets. Whether it is a one-time thing (perhaps to de-clutter) or as a potential source of ongoing income, craft markets have one thing that yard sales do not: You are likely to have many more people wandering through.

There is quite a variety of craft market venues. Some are run every weekend, others once a month. The size of spaces vary. Tables are frequently provided (for as little as $10 a day), and you bring a canopy, should you want one. Indoor locked venues often let you leave your merchandise there overnight.

Here is what to do in advance:

If you have a choice of locations for your table, check the traffic patterns of people walking through. Where will you get the most passersby?

Ask about setup and takedown times, limits on items that can be sold, and any discounts for paying in advance for multiple weekends.

Note what the other vendors are selling and at what price. You will need to be competitive. Your pricing depends on what your intentions are: Do you want to de-clutter and make fast cash? Or do you want to set up a regular business?

Decide whether you want to stick to one type of merchandise or put out a variety. You will find anything and everything at a craft market.

Arrange for help. Have at least one other person at your booth or table to keep an eye on the cashbox, make transactions and relieve you when needed.

Gather your supplies:
Plastic bags, so your buyers can carry away their purchases.
Pricing stickers.
Pen and paper.
Tape to hang any posters.
A table cover: a plastic or paper picnic table cover will be perfect.
A canopy, if it is allowed at that venue (ask around and see if you can borrow one).
A chair.
Portable shelving: for smaller items you do not want on the table.
Change and small bills.

If you make enough money on a trial weekend, consider doing it on a regular basis. You will learn over time what will sell. Scout yard sales and businesses that are closing for items you can sell at a profit, or decide on an unfilled niche.

Trendy costume jewelry with beads, leather, metal, and charms sell quickly to kids and teens. More teens are out at the craft markets in the summer when they have no homework on the weekends. It is also very easy to find costume jewelry at low wholesale prices: sells jewelry and other accessories for under $2!

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