Written and Created by PaperCraftCentral Susan
Have you been to a Craft Auction before?
"I used to save all my rejection slips because I told myself, one day I'm going to autograph these and auction them.
And then I lost the box".
~James Lee Burke
This type of event allows people who make handmade items band together and offer their wonderful creations up for sale to each other and to anyone else who is interested in buying them.
These shows can be held in real life among friends, or you can create an event online using a Facebook page, for example.
You should have some guidelines for purchasers, such as setting dates and times the event will run and sticking to them, and requiring anyone interested in buying an item to type 'sold' in the comment section under the item listed for sale.
Someone needs to moderate the event as well to settle any questions or disputes that may arise over sales.
Some of the wonderful handmade crafty items were made by some of my friends from an online scrapping forum. The girls at the forum make all sorts of lovely hand made items, some of paper and others not. Some were crocheted and sewn, for example. Some items could be shipped internationally while others were offered to Australian residents only, so always remember to check the shipping information if you are interested in an item for sale.
I made a few card toppers for one auction I took part in. Here's a little picture of the toppers I listed. They are are all sold now though
A card topper is a paper embellishment you could use to complete a quick handmade card. I usually keep a few of these on hand in case I need to create something in a hurry.
During the last auction I attended, most paper crafters who sold items donated their profits to the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Appeal after some devastating floods happened in the State.
Often a worthy cause will be nominated and the auction will be held as a fundraiser, so you can not only purchase something lovely for yourself, at the same time you will have the knowledge that you may be supporting a charity event.
Sometimes taking part in a these kind of events will encourage a crafter who makes a lot of sales to strike out into a business of their own, selling the items they create independently.
Crafters who have already established hand made businesses may also be willing to take part in a craft auction so do approach people like that if you intend to hold such an event yourself.
Sometimes a crafter's items will not sell well at auction. This can be for many reasons, such as the market being flooded with similar items at that time, or interest in a particular trend being high (and that crafter may not have made items that fit in with the trend).
Sometimes people price their items too high or too low. It is important ot get a bit of a sense of the people you are marketing to. What do they expect to find at the auction? How much are they likely to want to spend? How much do commercially made items similar to your own offerings usually cost?
If you take part in a craft auction and your items do not sell well, remember it could be for these reasons, and have nothing to do with your actual skills as a papercrafter.
If you are the moderator or organiser of such an event. remember to check in with your contributors after the close of the event to make sure everyone is satisfied that things were run well and their sales were completed as expected. This can be a valuable way to receive good feedback about running future events.
If you have goods to sell, I know Etsy can be a good place online to sell things and to do research about how ot price things you want to sell.