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Finding Craft Shows and Farmer's Markets to Sell


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Ready to sell your products at craft shows and markets but not sure how to find them? I get asked often how I find the shows and markets I do. Its not that hard, really!


Many Farmer's markets run from early spring until fall-- usually from May to October. The hours are anywhere from 8 or 9 am to 12 or 1pm Saturday mornings. But not all markets have the same hours. Some run all year, others are seasonal, while some have daily markets and others are Saturday only. You can usually find several in your area.


I first start checking out my town's local website along with the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism websites. Find the calender or event button and check out the month you are interested in. If they have a craft show or farmer's market it will be listed on the calender or event page. Click on the event and usually if its a craft show you can find the button to click on for the application form or rules and regulations forms. If not you can usually find an email address or name and phone number to contact.


So for your local town/city/county check out the websites for: Chamber of Commerce, Tourism, and Town, City, or County website. Your city may have also have a local merchants group. These groups meet regularly and are a good source for news about local events and and also meeting merchants that may be interested in your products (consignment, wholesale).


Next, try googling your state's website. Find out if they have a listing for farmer's markets and craft shows. These lists vary but often have at least a contact name, website, or email/phone number.


There are also many sites that 'sell' memberships that include information on their websites or publications that have market and show listings. I have tried a couple but learned that I can find most shows and markets on my own and don't need to pay someone to do this. An example of a membership craft listing site is Craft Listers.


Once you get your feet wet and do your first craft show or market be sure to talk to the other crafters. You can usually find some of your best tips on upcoming events from them. The majority of events I have attended came from tips I got from my fellow vendors. Remember they also know details you can't get from websites. Like how well attended the event was, was there entertainment, good sales, what was the target audience, how your products may or may not fit in, how well was the event managed, the fees, parking, etc.


Once you start doing events make sure you get on their mailing list for next year. Talk to the event promoter or managers. If you are on the mailing list you won't have to worry about the next year as the application and flyer will be mailed or emailed to you and you can sign up early enough and even in many cases get a better or more suitable booth.


Another thing you will want to keep in mind for the future is to continue to look for new events. Populations change, incomes change, shows that were once popular may loose attendees, another event in town could pop up and effect your shows attendance, management might start charging fees to attendees, etc. Many things can make or break a show or market. So to keep ahead keep asking around about new events. If you find one and it works for a year or two or six thats great. If the next year its dead you'll want to find another event.


If I think of any more tips I'll post them. If you have any you want to share please post them. Thank you.

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I just remembered that some of the shows I got into by invitation. As you start doing craft shows and markets some promoters attend them too looking for people like you. If they like your product they may give you a flyer or invite you to their next show. If they don't have a flyer make sure you give them your business card and ask them to put your name on their mailing list. Once you have the information about the event you can decide if its one you want to attend. I have found several craft fairs and farmer's markets this way.


Also, have a business card ready for merchants you may meet at the event who are interested in your products. I have found wholesale, consignment, weddings, fundraisers, this way for extra income. If you are approached about any of these selling venues like wholesale and fundraisers, make sure you are already ready to do this. If you are not I would advise not until you are.

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Befriend some vendors, because they do like to chat about shows and you can learn a lot about the traffic, the size of event and variety as well as other things. 

We happened to luck out with a prime publication that cost us like $25 and apparently sends updates, but some of our best finds for shows have come from a mix of places ... that publication, the popularity of long-standing shows and other vendors. 

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Another resource is your state agriculture department. Find their website and peruse it for a listing of state farmer's markets. If you don't see one contact them and ask if they have one or can direct you to a source that does.


Also check out your state's tourism website. Some states have event calenders or can send you a free publication listing the events in your state.


Even if you don't find a listing in your city there is bound to be events in your county or neighboring counties that may be worthwhile to check out.

Edited by Candybee
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