When you are hosting art markets, as I do, it always pays to have vast inventory. Always do an inventory check in the run-up to your art markets. If you are low in inventory, you need to address that shortfall. This may take the form of time-out to either design some cards or renew your orders with a distributor.
Customers buy seasonal items that you have made. It is a good idea to have some in your stock. For example, if you have Valentine cards for sale, try and make them as early as October. Then you will certainly be ready for your fairs. Having ready-made stock helps you in your social media campaigns. Who knows what this leads to?
I create my Christmas cards in July, so they will always be ready by September. Then I can create my social media campaign in October to get some sales going. It is important to be on top of things because you are competing with other artists who create some amazing cards.
Did you know that the Christmas adverts for television, which are broadcast over the Christmas period are actually made in June-July? Yes, it’s true. And I heard a few weeks ago that the Later With Jools Holland, broadcast on New Year’s Eve, is also produced back in July, and edited for broadcast as late as November. It’s all in the preparation.
This is a big one here. Always make sure your credit card readers are able to take payments. Many artists selling their wares have lost sales because their credit card readers wouldn’t function properly. What is going wrong? It’s nothing to do with the broadband or your phone’s 4G. It’s all in the software updates. If your card reader’s software hasn’t been updated, this can cause problems. Then again, your phone’s software also has to be updated. Do these two things and you are safe.
I like to give customers other methods of making payments. For example, if they do not want to use a credit card reader, I suppose you could direct them to the nearest cashpoint. But mid-way, they may change their mind and never return. On my iPhone I have PayPal for anyone who wants to use it. I suppose it couldn’t hurt to use another online payment app. Flexible friend, anyone?
When a customer buys a card or two from you, always ask them if they would like a paper bag. This sort of thing sounds much more professional. And always give them your business card. Giving them your contact details can’t hurt. Who knows...you may pick up more sales later. Maybe a commission? It’s the little things that matter, so always be ready and be professional whenever you have an art market.