Friday, July 12, 2013

Craft Shows and Liability Insurance

Should you take liability insurance as a vendor for your craft show? Why? and Why not?

Check out the fine print

This is an important decision because  as jewelry artists many times we run with shoe string budget. And do these insurance really cover us?

In my last blog post a  dear follower commented about theft in your booth and how to avoid it.

So I’ll try to address these issues in this post.

Lately I came to know that I need to have Vendor’s Liability Insurance Clearance Certificate if I want to do a certain show.

I have been doing craft shows for the last four years and this is the first time I am facing such a mandatory requirement.

Taking an insurance was in  the back of my mind – all those “what if? “worries.  But now I have to decide on one of these insurance policies if I want to participate in this craft show.

Why should you have Liability Insurance?

* When it is required from the manager of the show


Here is an interesting article on how to eliminate theft atcraft shows.

*Unforeseen disaster like some ones tent blows and lands on yours.  I know you are safety conscious and have proper weights tied into your tent. But what if your neighbor is not?

Perusing the Etsy forum I found several sites that you may want to consider for buying vendor's liability insurance.  I researched the following two.

You may also talk to your own insurance agent with whom you have car or home insurance.

Actinspro have several options for people like me who needs it more for the show promoter’s need.  Even though they have a three consecutive day option for $39 it will not work for me.

If I decide to take the 90 day one that will cover all shows I do in this time period, mind you it will not cover the products.  It is for the general insurance. So, check clearly what is covered.

Their yearly policy of $250 plus  will cover your products too.

Petty Theft:

In my four years of doing craft shows it had never happened.  I rather lost quite a few pieces of earrings in transporting, during the  busy packing and unpacking times.

But there is no guaranty that you may not be a victim of theft from your booth.  The preventive measures I take are:

Always keep money on my body.

 I wear a light weight fanny pack or a cute bag across my shoulder where I keep small notes, no coins.  I usually round up and give the customers the change,  if any,  as a token of appreciation.  I keep my card processing things in it too.  I use and it works very well with me.  You may try Square or Paypal too.

Keep high ticket items a little higher and not so easy to reach;

Autumn Necklace

These are usually the necklace pieces and they are on busts. Also, usually I sit close to them at the end of the booth with my easy to do projects.

Try to have a friend to keep an eye while I am not there.

Knitted bracelet in emerald green


I try to prevent wind blowing off my tent by putting stones wrapped in color coordinated pillow covers and then I tie them with the legs of the tent. 

The rest I pray.

You may like:

How to prepare for Craft fairs 

Craft Fair - it is worth it?

What is your experience or thoughts?  

Monday, July 8, 2013

How to prepare for the craft fair business

 Here are the  three most important things I’ll focus for the craft fair business this year:

Are you ready for craft fairs? 


As the days are warming up I  feel that it is time for those canopy hanging time, but I must revise all the lessons I have learned from the last four years of doing craft fairs. Also,  I have some resources now that will let me focus.


How often ?

 I see lots of people who do craft fairs every weekend.  I can handle only once a month or so.  How about you?

 Craft fairs are hard work but then I find that is when my jewelry sell the  most.

Katie Acres in her blog puts it very nicely about  how important the scheduling part is.  You don’t want to overwhelm your self and get sick because of poor planning.  Then,  there are too many distractions, too many craft fairs, near and far.  Some are low cost some are not.  It is confusing to decide  which ones will work out.  

How much shall I spend on booth much energy do I have for this commitment?

 It  is important  to know when your show is, how many of them are you doing in the near future and the characters of each craft shows.  It is important for me to think the factors,  like how many days apart are they, you need time to recuperate,  and when are  the dead lines for  each of  the applications...etc,  etc. 

For the time being I am getting  ready for three shows in the next three months.   Some  are in the holiday season,  six months away but the dead lines for application is now.

So making a calendar and sticking with the to do list is a must.


How much stuff shall I take?  Here you’ll find some answer in the  Etsy Forum

 There is a saying that you have  made a good show if your sales are 10 times the booth fee.  I have never achieved that.  If it is five times, I am happy enough.

Say I paid $50 for a booth.  If I make $250 - $500, I’ll consider that I have done pretty good.

 In order to sell $500 of jewelry, my rule of thumb is to take 10 times more of that, meaning I must take $5000 worth of stuff. But I do not need to or should  display them all at once.

I believe in  the power of white space and the branding of my style.

From experience I have found that  there should be some low end items from $10- $20 which  usually   should cover the  booth price.

 Here is the challenge I am facing.  These low end items have to be eye catching,  kind of unique,  quick  to make, and made with less material cost.

On the other hand this is the time to show case your workmanship and high style also, because jewelry is tactile.  People  want to feel it, see it on person and then get the emotion that it must be  bought – NOW.

Here is an interesting article I read about How NOT to prepare for a holiday craft show.  Take a look

Now I have to give some  serious thought about these points.  Do I do this kind of  research before displaying or making  my stuff?
Selling is not the only reason to do craft show


Each craft shows have different goals to me.

 Selling is not the only reason we do craft fairs.  I have made great friends with fellow vendors and got  valuable tips, links to future shows and business.

 This is the time for networking too.  Promote and appreciate each other.  This is the time to grab future customers.  One vendor once told me that her goal was to get rid of her whole packet of 250 business cards.  She was new in the area and she was determined to let 250 people know about her existence.

This year one of my goal is to have some cards made with coupon codes in the back.
You can get them from MOO.COM or, Vista prints 

Another article on:  Craft Fair: Is it Worth It?

Stay tuned for more craft show articles.  I am researching and will write soon.

What are your tips?  What are your questions?  Love to hear your comments.

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