Craft Shows: How Much Inventory to Bring?

It’s Holiday craft show season once again and vendors everywhere are struggling with the same question: “How much inventory do I make for my shows?”

Want a quick answer that works? Here’s the most common formula:

Figure out how much you plan to make in sales at the show and bring about 3-4 times that amount in merchandise.

Example: Planning on selling $500 at the show? Bring at least $1500 – $2000 worth of merchandise. (Keep in mind this is a very, very general guideline)

Very Important: The idea here is you have to have stuff to sell stuff. Use the back-stock inventory to add on to sales (suggestive selling) or replace items that have sold throughout the day. This does NOT mean that you have to put out ALL of your inventory on display!

Here’s a perfect example of a great display by booth

Beautiful booth display by Glass Elements

Okay, so the 3x / 4x factor very effective starting point – HOWEVER….
Before you can set your sales goals, you need to know how much you can realistically expect to sell at any one craft show.

Of course, we all would LOVE to go into every craft show with the expectation of selling $1000 every single time. We also know that is just not a realistic way to look at it. (You DO know that, right?)

This is why I suggest figuring out a MINIMUM amount you need to sell in order to make any one particular show worth your time.

But wait a minute. What does “worth your time” mean to you?

What it SHOULD mean is making enough to cover your booth fee, cover any extra supplies you purchased for that particular show, your time away from your studio, the time it takes to set up and break down, meals at the show, etc. etc. PLUS an amount for pure *profit* above and beyond all costs and labor.

What it should NOT mean is just “making your booth fee back”. That is just NOT enough to make a show worth your valuable time. It just isn’t. Nope. It isn’t. I’m going to tell you why. Stop arguing with me and listen for a second, please! 😉

In order to sustain your business and yourself, you have to value every moment you spend on your business. Otherwise, you won’t make enough to reinvest into your business. If you don’t reinvest, your business doesn’t grow – and if it isn’t growing, you will find yourself struggling needlessly every day wondering why it’s so difficult to make a living selling what you love to make.

You love yourself more than that, don’t you?

Next post: “Craft Shows: How Much Should You Expect to Sell?”



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Marlo M, EtsyRAIN. EtsyRAIN said: trying to figure out how much to take to your next craft show? Marlo Miyashiro has some great advice for you:… […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Craft Shows: How Much Inventory to Bring? « Creative Arts Consulting -- — November 19, 2010 @ 4:10 am

  2. What a lovely photo!

    Comment by Jonathon Colman — November 20, 2010 @ 8:59 am

  3. […] I was searching for resources for this post I read on one post that if you plan on making $500 at your craft fair you need to bring at least $1500+ inventory. […]

    Pingback by Top 7 Craft Show Checklists | Crochet Business | Guest Blogging | Crochet Blog | Crochet Jobs | Selling Crochet — March 20, 2013 @ 2:16 am

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