How to sell your badges at a market or fete or show

It's always a good idea to check the show or fete before you book a stall.

Are other products going to compliment yours, or are you in a show like an art show where the other items are many hundreds of dollars, if this is the case perhaps you need to think about another show. If you choose a farmers market and there is only food on sale there this may not be suitable for your badges either.


This is related to the previous point, but it is related to what the potential customers may be willing to spend.

Check the show that you're going to be selling in, and see if there are other products that match the prices of the badges that you will be selling. There is a simple reason for this, this means that the customers to this particular function will be expecting to spend that amount of money: they may have a budget that they can spend at this particular function of perhaps fifteen or twenty dollars.


Start with a small presentation


You don't want to bring with you over 1000 completed badges and key rings and mirrors, only to find that you're taking back 950 items, this just means you've been exerting yourself with all that weight you've been carrying around.


Make sure the prices are correct


Sometimes there is a temptation to price your badges too cheaply, perhaps you're worried about the sales, but this can be a mistake. Without giving you any guidelines set in concrete, you should perhaps look at four times the raw material cost;

 For example: if the mirror backed badge kit costs you $0.44 (don't forget to include any postage you may have paid to get those components) you should also include your time and effort.

If you made 10 mirror backed badges in one hour, you might expect to look at the average wage in the country in which you are living. (Currently in 2014, the average hourly rate in Australia is $16.37.) And divide that by 10, so your labour cost for those 10 badges is $1.64 per badge. Add those together and you're looking at approximately $2.08 cost per badge.

So you can see now if you multiply by four times you are really looking at $8.32


However, this is just a guideline.

You will need to adjust your final badge selling price bearing in mind the perceived value in your customer's eyes, the cost of driving to and from the venue, and the rental for your space at that venue.


Bring your credit card machine (these days, it’s your phone)!


These days it's a lot simpler to take credit cards than you might expect, there are a number of different options available from your local bank, the one we have seen used very successfully is a new system used by PayPal. In brief it allows you to use your mobile phone to take the credit card details from the customer. (We use this PayPal Here system at Alond and it works very well)

There are of course costs involved with any transaction involving credit cards, but we all know how much people rely on credit cards these days.


See if you can bring a friend


Sites and shows and venues and market stalls can be extremely busy all day (if you are lucky, see point one)

And, you will need some time for a coffee, a bit of lunch and perhaps a chance to look around the venue yourself. So, see if you can find somebody to help you.


Pack up what you need


Bring all the items that you will sell, bring some change with you and some small currency notes as mostly customers won't, bring your badge machine, circle cutter and your badge-making raw materials, don’t forget a solid stable table to rest them on.

If you can create your artwork for the badge on-site, then bring that kit along as well. Your customers will always appreciate seeing work being done in front of them (it adds perceived value). Being able to make the badges in front of the customers will personalise it for them, and will give them a talking point when they're telling their friends about the badge/key-ring purchase, and you always want your customers telling their friends about your products!

Update: Late in July 2014 Alond will be supplying Jewellery items to combine with your 25mm badges, please visit us to see the latest additions:


Presentation, presentation, presentation


Make sure everything is clean and tidy, depending on your artwork and designs you may wish to lay out a clean cloth covering the table, if the style of the show/your products is “country”, consider putting the completed badges in a wicker hand basket. The wicker hand basket of course is not going to work if you're selling heavy metal band badges!

I hope you understand what I'm communicating here, the badges-keyrings-mirrors-jewellery that you are selling need to be treated with respect by yourself, if you value them and take care of them there is a good chance your customers will value them.


Audience participation


Many of our badge machines are used by schools for fundraising, so many of the points that are mentioned in this blog article are not so relevant.

But, one way to ensure you can get children excited about badge making is to give them the opportunity to make the badges themselves.

We have covered this in a separate Alond blog article, but I will just mention three points:

A good way to encourage participation is to print out black-and-white artwork which the children can colour in themselves from crayons that you supply

With a desktop circle cutter you can avoid any sharp objects (most circle cutters do have sharp blades)

With careful supervision the children can even make their own badges


Make sure you get people's details


You really should see if you can get people's e-mail addresses especially if they expressed interest in knowing what other products you can sell them.

I could have called this point "build your mailing list"


Social media? Of course!


Make sure you have a sign giving your Facebook/Pinterest/Etsy details.

I'm going to get a tiny bit technical here and suggest you use a QR code on your poster (this is one of those funny looking black-and-white patterns you see on so many advertising posters these days) this simple QR code will link your customers phone directly to your Facebook site or your website. QR codes can be printed from various websites usually at no charge. You can choose the weblink to your page and all you have to do is to download the QR image.


Tell them where else you show


Sometimes your potential customers don't want to wait four weeks until you arrive back at that market, so tell them where you will be next weekend.


Never be afraid to give out your e-mail address


You may find that a person picked up a key ring that you have made and have asked how they can get in contact with you. They may be working for a company that has asked them to look for a new marketing idea and they have decided that 1,000 key rings with a company logo on it would be ideal.

And you are the first person that they have found that makes them!


Calculate your takings for the day


You really do need to do this, not just for the fun of earning the money, but to calculate which venue you have attended is the most lucrative. There's no point in going to the same market week after week and never seeing an increase in your takings.

You should always be looking at increasing your business, perhaps changing the designs perhaps changing the mix of products, but most importantly, making sure the venue you are attending is worthwhile.


read this for a great discussion about making a living at craft shows!


Read the rest of our Blog for more great Badge Making ideas, Tip, and Hints!