Thursday, February 28, 2008

Part 8: Bells, Whistles and Signage

Both my Husband and my friend Beverly preach Signage Signage Signage. In their retail training, they were taught to put a sign on everything; signs will draw folks to a product.

The key to signing your booth is simplicity. I always had fun with fancy fonts and graphics and it usually was a waste of supplies. I have learned to keep things very simple: Name of Product and Price. In Big Bold Lettering. Black lettering.... and a few colored graphics or borders around the lettering... can't help it; I love color. And those signs must be at eye level... my mistake was trying to put the signs at My eye level... I'm 6'1"... I tower over most of my customers, so I've learned to keep my signs at their eye level. Eye level is Buy level.

I also have chosen to Price Point my products instead of trying to tag each individual item. Hot pads are one price, wash cloths are one price, coaster sets are one price.... everything on this table is one price.

This became my number one labor saver. Some items sell better at different times of the year, so I could mark them a little higher. The customers at some shows prefered multiple piece gift sets with a different pricing structure. It things got dusty at an outdoor show, it was no major chore to drop them in a washer, since I didn't have to remove tags.

Price Pointing your product- instead of tagging every individual piece- allows you more freedom in providing what a clientele wants at any given venue. And you don't have to spend the money on purchasing little tags... that can make your merchandise look shop worn, when those tags get dirty.

I’ve had great success with Assortable or Multiple selling. Buy 1 for $5, 2 for $8, 3 for $9, 5 for $10. This puts money in the cash drawer, and draws people into the booth to look.

Every Crafter has told me to have some cheap little item, to ‘pay the booth rent.’ I have put that inexpensive item in the front of the booth to act as a Bell and Whistle. The sign with a small price can draw folks into a booth just as easily as the colorful blankets/afghans that line the walls.

Bells and Whistles (something my husband preaches) are those unique aspects to your booth that will draw people in from the aisle. You can’t sell merchandise unless folks come into the door of your ‘store.’

  • Signs are an excellent way to draw folks into your booth.
  • The Multiples Discounts/Assortable Pricing have been a big success with me, but your Signs-detailing these discounts- must be easy to see from the Aisle.
  • Offering a Free Gift with $XX purchase is another trick.
  • Having a ‘clearance’ section in the back corner of the booth will also draw folks in.
  • I have tied bunches of helium balloons to the corners of my booth to make it stand out... but the only people who saw them were kids who wanted to buy them.
  • Shiny- sparkling things will draw folks in, so I used ‘remnant’ squares of sparkly fabric as table skirts.
  • Again, the only people who were drawn to the sparkly fabric were kids... who would drag mom into the booth.
  • I have used portable stereos with ‘soothing’ music (which is why so many stores used to pipe in Muzak: studies showed that people spent more when they were relaxed.) But most craft shows are now banning portable stereos- if everyone has music playing, it becomes noise.

I don’t pay extra for electricity and lighting, since it never paid off for me....not even with my jewelry.

My most successful Bells and Whistles were Assortable Discount Signs, my room dividers with colorful crocheted blankets & the tall bakers' racks with my pattern books on them.

When you are visiting craft shows and other sales venues; look at the booths that are getting the most attention, and also look at those booths that no one seems to even notice. What is catching attention? What is it about the 'invisible' crafter that no one wants to visit their booth? Sometimes you learn more of what 'not' to do, and that information is just as valuable.

Tomorrow’s Post... ARNie’s experience has convinced me not to do craft shows... what else is there?

© Angela ‘ARNie’ Grabowski 2008. All rights reserved. For more crochet fun, visit
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