How to Shop Craft Shows

Craft shows are no joke! Are you ready to shop handmade?

There are a handful of simple things you should consider bringing with you to craft shows to be completely prepared for a great day of shopping.

1) Cash. Although most makers have a Square or other method for collecting credit card payments, not all of them have that technology available. Take cash with you to guarantee that you'll be able to actually purchase any item that catches your eye. (HINT for makers, if you don't have a Square and you want one, sign up here and we can both get some fee-free processing. P.S. It's FREE to get a card reader). 

2) Reusable bag(s). It's far easier to carry 1-2 large bags full of goodies than a number of smaller bags from the various makers you purchase from. You'll thank yourself for this one! 

3) A pen & special place for business cards. This one comes from our friend Lisa at Blue Martinis Designs! When you come across a maker or an item that you don't want to buy that day, but think you may get something at a later date, get their card and write down what it was that you were interested in purchasing from them. Then keep all of those business cards in a ziploc bag, or other separate space so they don't drift to the bottom of your purse, never to be seen again ;) 

4) Snacks & water. If you're planning to make a day of it, make sure to take some nourishment! Many shows will also plan to have a food truck or other source of food present, but in the event that they do not, you'll definitely want to have your own fuel to keep you in the shopping zone!

Yes, etiquette! Make sure that you, your partners-in-shopping-crime, and any little ones are on their best behavior when you go to craft shows! 


Don't barter. A PSA from our friend Danielle at The Little Things, backed by us! If you didn't go to business school, then you may not know there is a steadfast formula for pricing goods and services; an even more complicated formula for those that are tasked with pricing their own handmade goods. The prices are what they are for a reason, please don't try to offer less or try to finagle a "two-for" deal.

Keep the 'I could make that' comments to yourself. It will literally cost you $92 worth of supplies, plus time, and probably 3-4 complete fails before you get it right. Take my advice, this breaks makers hearts, plain and simple don't do it.


Ask to take photos. A tip from Andrea at 614 Knit Studio! Sometimes you need a second opinion before you take the plunge and purchase something, and makers get that. Chances are they are going to let you photograph an item, but please do them the courtesy of asking first!

Take and post a photo of your haul. One thing that makes the hearts of creatives across the land happiest is seeing their products in use, in their new home, or just included in a collection of other handmade items you got at the show. Make sure to tag them in the photo so they actually see it. (HINT, if you have a private profile, send a direct message to the maker of the photo you took/posted otherwise they won't be able to see it even if you have tagged them).

My haul from the Craftin' Outlaws Spring 2016 Show featuring Kill Taupe, Logan Schmitt Illustration, and Jodi Lynn Doodles.

Do you have any "must takes" when you head to shop at a craft show? Leave your suggestions in the comments! 

P.S. I often come up with the general topics for these blog posts myself, but sometimes I need a little help from my friends! I have an amazing community of creatives that I turn to and ask for input to get my wheels turning. In addition to the makers already mentioned, I'd also say that this blog post is brought to you by the following:

Katie at The Chair Parade
Tessa at Ben Boh Botanicals
Shannon at Comfortably Lovely
Chandra at Wheatland Avenue Designs
Cherie at Outsider Art Jewelry

Thank you all for taking the time out of your day to share your thoughts and ideas, I appreciate you!