8 Tips for Successfully Selling Hats at Craft Market

1. Start Small

The best practice for beginners would be to start with one style. Perfect that style and you will become known for offering it.

2. Create For a Multiple Customer Base

Choose a style that would work for both men and women. A bucket hat or 5 panel cap would work well here.

3. Offer a Size Adjustment Option

Having a size adjustment on your cap or hat will increase sales. If your hat does not offer a size adjustment then you will need to offer a range of sizes, from small to large.

4. Give Your Clients a Good Variety of Fabric Choices / Selling Hats at Craft Markets

Offer your customers a variety of fabric choices. Some fabrics will be better suited to men and others to women. Then create a small amount of caps with alternative prints which would work well for both.

5. Create Eye Catching Displays

Most Markets offer you a table but when it comes to hats, it is best to display them on a hat stand. It is easier for customers to see the variety you are selling this way. Extra stock can be presented on the table. Use individual stands on the table to display your hats at different levels. This will work to catch the eye of the customer better than stacked and sitting at one level.

6. Offer Your Customer an Easy Try On Opportunity

Make sure you have a mirror which is set up and visible for customers to have a look at themselves. Your mirror should be positioned to offer the customer a level of privacy if possible. Greet your customers and let them know they are welcome to try on the hats without any commitment to buy…trying is FREE!

Have a second mirror which others can use if your main mirror is being utilized. I can not stress enough how important this will be to your sales. If people notice a mirror they are more likely to try on your hats. If they try on a hat then they will be more likely to buy.

7. Take Your Service One Step Further

Other than a mirror, your next most important sales opportunity will be for you to offer the service of a hat stretcher. Having a hat stretcher will enable you to offer your client the most comfortable fit possible. Stretching the hat will also offer onlookers the opportunity to witness one of the hat makers techniques. People are genuinely fascinated when they see an antique hat stretcher go to work right before their eyes.

8. Be Informative and Friendly

If customers look interested, have a few important facts about your product that you can share. Do not overwhelm customers with chit chat, unless they start the conversation. Pouncing on customers is the worse thing you can do, it reeks of desperation and your sales will suffer. Once you get the hang of it you will be able to read your customers and know who would like to chat and who would not.

If your market caters to the Tourist industry in your area, then be helpful to your visitors. Ask them if they are enjoying their trip and offer them some advice as to what they should experience while visiting your area. I find that most tourists genuinely enjoy interacting in this way and the connection you make has nothing to do with hats but it almost inevitably ends with a purchase, due to the experience they have had with you. Tourists appreciate purchasing a product from the crafter that created it. Be sure to let them know you are the creator.

7 Benefits of Selling Hats at Craft Markets

Whether you are a beginner or a more seasoned crafter, markets are a wonderful way for you to exhibit and sell crafts. If you are on social media, it is advantageous to offer your interested clients a venue, which they can physically visit and try on your creations.

1. Commitment & Flexibility – Selling Hats at Craft Markets

Many Markets are open, one or two days a week. This allows you the rest of the week to produce your products. While I was at Camden I attended the market every Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the week I worked at replenishing my stock levels for the following weekend.

Your rental is taken daily and you are not locked into any long-term contracts.

2. Experimental Freedom

You have greater freedom to experiment with new styles before you commit to a full production run.

3. Customer Interaction and Feedback – Selling Hats at Craft Markets

The feedback you receive from customers and onlookers is priceless. Listen to what people are saying about your product and watch out for repeated remarks.

4. Wholesome and Inclusive Selling Environment

Visiting a craft market is a joyful family day out experience. Many craft markets are outdoors and the vibe is very different from an indoor shopping mall experience. The whole family enjoys the experience and this will give you access to all customers at one venue, kiddies, women, men, grandma, grandpa.

The outdoors is the ideal environment for clients to try on sun hat or caps. Even when I sold in an indoor market, I created the outdoor garden, indoors, for my clients. Nature and Headwear have always gone together, hiking, horseracing, weddings, beaches.

5. Creative and Sociable Surroundings

Being surrounded by like-minded creatives is one of the factors I enjoy the most about craft markets. If you are a newbie, often they will take you under their wing and offer advice and support throughout the day. Working in a solitary manner as a hat maker can be a bit lonely at times. Having the opportunity to socialize in a creative environment can be a blessing and great fun too.

My Experience

In 1991, while living in London, I recognized the opportunities for selling hats at craft markets. From Monday to Friday, I set up my stall at St Martins In The Fields, and Saturday and Sunday, I traded from Camden Lock Market. I spent my evenings painting and replenishing my stock. If you read my bio on the ABOUT page, you will see that Craft Markets have played a major role in my career as a hat maker. While I was selling my wares at Camden Lock Market I managed to secure my first wholesale order with Harrods of Knightsbridge.

Selling Hats From Your Own Retail Space

Craft Markets and their popularity has increased as the shopping mall has slowly dithered. As a self-employed hat maker, craft markets offer the opportunity of retail space, without tying you down to a fixed contract. Not all craft markets will work for your product. It is important to choose wisely, according to who they attract and their foot traffic.

Camden Lock Market 1992

Selling hats at Camden Market