Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tips for selling at a Christmas boutique

Observations from an Experienced Seller

by Judi Hammer

After fourteen years managing a large Christmas boutique, I had the opportunity to observe numerous crafters selling their wares. I also sold my own handcrafted items. There is definitely a thrill in seeing customers purchase your merchandise. There is also a real sense of discouragement when the beautiful items you have worked so hard to create just sit on the shelves rather than sell like hotcakes. There are many things that contribute to why some things sell and some don’t. Sometimes, there is no good reason, but more often than not, there are things to do to help you be successful in selling your handcrafts. It is always important to be aware of the venue where you are selling and the type of customer that venue draws. In other words, who is your target market and are you selling at the correct venue?

Some more ideas for success in selling your handcrafts:

· Quality is very important. Create each item with much attention to quality and detail.

· Uniqueness – Are your items unique? Think about style, design, color, fabric, originality, etc.

· Current – Items should be up-to-date in style, color, pattern, etc.

· Variety – Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, as the saying goes. Whatever your expertise is, think of ways to make a variety of items at a variety of price points (see next point).

· Price – First, be sure that your items are priced fair for the market. Check similar items to see if your prices are appropriate for the customer as well as covering your costs. Also, be sure to have items in more than one price range. (At Mary Roseanne’s, the average price of an item sold fell between $8-12.)

· Display & Packaging – Thinking of creative ways to display your merchandise as well as clever packaging, if appropriate, can really help your items stand out in the crowd. (How many times have you bought the more expensive bottle of olive oil because you liked the bottle better?)

Have fun crafting and good luck with selling all you make. Also, feel free to contact me with any further questions or insights!

1 comment:

  1. Great things to think about! I'm starting to get my inventory under way, so I'll keep these in mind.