I've Come To A Realization...

Business By MariaK38 Updated 15 Nov 2010 , 12:06pm by MariaK38

MariaK38 Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 7:20pm
post #1 of 15

... about selling my treats at local holiday craft fairs. It's just not worth it! I've done them for the last two years, and after factoring in the booth fee, ingredients/packaging, and after all the time it takes, coming home with $30 in profit just isn't worth it! People in charge of these things (at least at the ones I've been to) don't keep a good handle on what their vendors are selling. Either that, or they just don't care... they want that extra booth fee! Yesterday's fair, for example... my main product is peanut butter buckeyes. My business name is Maria's Buckeyes. I was promised that there would be no other buckeyes sold with the exception of the charity bake sale ones. Two other vendors were selling buckeyes, and Lisette's Buckeyes was there, too. Seriously?! TWO main buckeye vendors, with two other people selling them, too?! It just wasn't fair to either of us. Don't people think?!
Anyway, I've decided to not do these anymore. I think I'll do better just selling them to friends, neighbors, current clients, etc. for the holidays and doing the party favors. It's alot less of a headache, for sure!
Done venting... thanks for reading!


14 replies
CakeDiva101 Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 7:36pm
post #2 of 15

I'm sorry that happened to you. I have not done any type of fair/market so I really don't know much about it but If I ever wanted to be the only vendor that sold an specific item and was "promised" such, I would make sure I had a contract stating that.
I have a friend that makes beautiful sea glass jewelry. She did a market/fair and did not sell anything. I told her that her stuff is much higher end . My point is, if you sell at the market, you will get market people, looking for bargain and there will be more competition. I think your idea of targeting friends and such is vetoer than market. I get a lot of business from Facebook...friends see what they friends got from me and they want. Don't under estimate word of mouth.

Good luck thumbs_up.gif

MariaK38 Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 8:34pm
post #3 of 15

thanks! I"m happy that I came to this realization now instead of later! Last year I did so many fairs and wore myself out so much that I was sick and in bed for 5 days over Christmas. I missed the whole holiday with my extended family, which really sucked! It just wasn't worth it... financially and otherwise.

cutthecake Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 8:50pm
post #4 of 15

What are peanut butter buckeyes?

Brendabeeper Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 8:56pm
post #5 of 15

suggest picking a few items and telling everyone, face book, co-workers ,neighbors, and friends. Let them know you will be selling these Holiday packages great for gift giving to teachers, co-workers and friends. You willl be surprised that maybe even making less product you will be making a lot more.
last year I did cookies on a stick sold two (coffee cups with 5 cookies in them for $15.00 to $20.00 each. I brought them to work for the girls and now I already have 6 orders and I havenet even told anyone this year yet.

playingwithsugar Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 9:11pm
post #6 of 15
Originally Posted by cutthecake

What are peanut butter buckeyes?

They're like peanut butter cups but they're made into balls, almost like a peanut butter truffle.

There are tons of recipes for them on the Internet.

I make these instead of peanut butter cups for my family every year. They like them better because they can just pop them in their mouths instead of having the PBC melt in their fingers before their next bite. They like them best when I use crunchy peanut butter.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

cutthecake Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 1:25am
post #7 of 15

Thanks. Are they baked or not?

MariaK38 Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 1:45am
post #8 of 15

nope, no baking. just peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar rolled into balls and dipped into chocolate. you leave a circle at the top undipped so that they look like a buckeye nut. check out my website for a picture... marias buckeyes favors dot com.

sugarandstuff Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 1:46am
post #9 of 15

I have to agree with you _ I've sold at an outside market foor the past 3 years for the holidays - get up at 4 a.m. on Saturdays, after working a 60 hour work week, freeze my butt off, pack, unpack, load, unload, all to make $100 profit, if that - not worth it.

mom2twogrlz Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 1:55am
post #10 of 15

WOW...thanks for this post. My husband has been trying to get me to go into craft fairs. I have always thought it would be risky, alot of work and investment for not much return. This just confirms that.

How about farmer markets? Do they do better? It seems that people come to those ready to buy, rather than look like they do at holiday fairs.

HeyWife Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 4:55am
post #11 of 15

I also make candles, and I stopped doing craft fairs a few years ago for the same reason. The last fair I was at put me right behind another candlemaker! Another problem with craft fairs is most of them are no longer "hand crafted". They allow Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, etc. just to get paid for the space. If they want to do it that way they should call it a Vendor Fair.

indydebi Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 6:59am
post #12 of 15
Originally Posted by HeyWife

Another problem with craft fairs is most of them are no longer "hand crafted". They allow Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, etc. just to get paid for the space. If they want to do it that way they should call it a Vendor Fair.

As a craft fair attendee, I feel like I'm being cheated when I see these types of booths! I go to a craft fair to see CRAFTS!! I want to see artisan talent on display. I dont want to feel like I'm walking thru a booth version of walmart.

adventuregal Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:39am
post #13 of 15

this is my first year doing craft fairs so I am planning on soaking it all in and then deciding if I want to continue to do them next year. So far I've done one and even though I sold out I kept hearing the other vendors say it was alot slower due to the economy. Alot of vendors were very disappointed. The next one is this Saturday and I'm making about twice as much product because I'm anticipating a bigger crowd. You are definitely right about the amount of work. It's alot of investment too-I have to make around 200 dollars just to break even icon_eek.gif
I'm also taking this year to gauge where I can save money if I choose to do it next year.
It's good to hear your thoughts though! I think you will have no problem getting orders online-those buckeyes sound yummy thumbs_up.gif

adventuregal Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:42am
post #14 of 15

I want to also add that I totally agree with Indydebi! I love seeing hand crafted, unique items at the bazaars and craft fairs. It's sad that there are so many manufactured items now. The ones I vendor at allow like 20 percent manufactured items, but some have more. One lady I spoke with was doing wreaths and chistmas ornaments...I spent the day staring at them admiring her craftsmanship only to later have her come over and mention that she buys them from a design market in town!!! icon_eek.gif Not cool!

MariaK38 Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 12:06pm
post #15 of 15

Thanks for all the replies... I"m glad it's not just me!
I really wanted to do a local indoor farmers market this year, but they rejected my application... space issues was their reason, but I suspect it may have also been because of other sweets vendors... no buckeyes, cake truffles, etc., but they had other sweets, so it would have cut down on their business. I understand, but I'm disappointed.
I, too, also feel cheated when I see so many direct sales companies at these fairs. I want something homemade, not something in a box. It really means more, at least to me, when people take the time and energy to make something... I'd pay more for that than for some bread mix or mass produced candle.
And it seems like so many booths do the same types of crafts. Maybe the real artists have decided that the fairs aren't worth it, like us, and don't do them anymore!
The only thing I really liked was the lady who makes doll clothes. My daughter will be thrilled this Christmas, and her doll will be the best dressed one on the block! icon_smile.gif

Quote by @%username% on %date%