Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Selling your wares - part 2

Last month I started writing about where to sell your creatives outputs. You can read that post here.

Number 2 on my list is party plan or home shows, not because I think it is the next step for everyone, but sometimes it follows on naturally from selling to family and friends. You know your friends say to you "I'd love to see your creations and I've told my friends all about them and they'd like to see them too."

Advantages of a home shows is that geographically it is close to home and you need minimal selling accessories, as you would if going to a market.
You can just stay at home and unpack your goodies or you pack up your goods and go!

There are several approaches to party plan.

1. You can invite people to your home and just have a home party.

2. You can ask some of your very supportive family or frinds to host one for you.

3. You can advertise.

The other thing to decide depends on what you make in a way.
Are you (1) going to just sell your stock on hand, with perhaps some custom orders?
Or are you (2) going to just take orders?

If you make mostly one of a kind items or original art works then you will probably do (1).

If your business is one where you develop a collection or range and have easily reproducible pieces you might prefer to do (2).

OK, lets say your hosting a home show at your own place, what are some of the things you need to do?

1. Prepare your stock and have it priced.
2. Prepare a display area that is easy for people to walk around and have a look at things.
3. Have a mirror and/or changeroom if your guests need to try things on.
4. Serve some simple food and drinks. Self serve is best, but you could conscript a helpful parter or child.
5. Decide on payment options. Cash only. Cheques. Paypal.
6. Have a cash box with change, and a receipt book.
7. Wrapping paper, bags etc.
8. Business cards and other information.
9. If you are going to take orders for later delivery you'll need an order form and/or a catalogue.

If a friend is hosting for you you might need to scope out the room where the party is to be held.
Check out if she has tables you can use for display.
You should  take your own cloths to cover any display tables.
Check on access to the house and how you will get your stock and display equipment inside.

Hopefully your friend will supply the refreshments.
Perhaps you can offer a little hostess gift or discount as a thankyou.

photo and great post from Popko

Other ideas from etsy sellers -

- offered a 20% off if you bring a friend deal, which went over really well! (I gave both the person and the friend 20% off). Alex Wijnen

- putting a dab of 'vanilla on a light bulb gives the room a wonderful fragrance and entices people to shop, as does the smell of fresh baked bread crochetgal

- Maybe have some cute "shopping" baskets that they can "fill up"! SewInspirations

- from my experience I wouldn't offer too many places to sit. My open house turned into a seated chit-chat. I think if there had been fewer places to sit, they would've mingled and browsed more. SouthernSkirts

- don't just hide behind your table waiting for people to hand you money---get out from behind there, socialize, have some fun, grab a drink, and party too! KreatedbyKarina

Have you had a home show?
How did it go?
Do you have any tips to share?


zsazsazsu said...

put a huge mirror ! Ask others to come and sell handmade at your home, so you have some diversity.

planettreasures said...

A big mirror is a great idea, especially if you are selling clothing or accessories.
I've often wondered about sharing with other designers or artists...less pressure on the guests to buy perhaps?
Have you held successful home shows, zsazsa?

PoetessWug said...

I've been tossing this idea around in my head for at least a year now. Thanks for the great tips!

planettreasures said...

Go for it Debbie!
And then let us know how it goes!

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