Monday, 21 May 2012

List 34: stupid things people say at craft fairs

Most of these are probably considered to be normal questions but, for some reason, they make me develop this sort of bulging vein in my forehead. I think it's probably just a result of the stress that comes with selling at fairs, or maybe I'm just not really a people person.

1. "I could make that myself" (usually said loudly to whoever they are with - I'm never sure what they expect to achieve by saying this. With the exception of technological items, you could make pretty much anything in any shop you go into. You don't walk around Tesco going "I could grow those vegetables myself" though do you?)

2. "do you have this in any other colours?" (yes, yes, I actually have it in 50 other colours, I just don't put them out on display because I don't really want to sell things...)

3. "if I buy two necklaces can I get a discount?" (since you asked - no. Maybe you could ask Topshop though, I'm pretty sure they do discounts if you buy more than one item.)

4. "did you make this?" (they usually ask this question to whoever is helping me out, and then when they say "oh no my sister/daughter/friend did" the person responds "cool." WHY DID YOU ASK?!?!)

5. "how much do they cost to make?" (yup, people ACTUALLY ask this. for reals. my response was "if I told you I'd have to kill you." in my head was thinking "I may just kill you anyway though.")

6. "oh yeah I saw her stuff at the last one" (coincidentally this was at my first ever craft fair....)

8. "what age child are they suitable for?" (this was asked about a butterfly necklace - really, if you need to ask then maybe you shouldn't have children. How about, as soon as they are old enough not to strangle themselves to death with it.)


  1. Hahaha!!! This made me laugh so much!! I too have been asked every single one of these questions or heard a similar comment when I've sold at craft fairs! We just have to smile politely through gritted teeth I guess?!! �� xx

  2. hahaha! made me laugh too! I too get these questions/similar comments; it's funny how people don't seem to think you are listening to them when they talk about you to their friend... The most common question/comment I get is 'are these cards?' me: no, these are prints, the cards are here in the middle in these two cases and are £2 each, the prints all have individual prices on them / shopper: oh right OK (picks up an A4 £18 print), so this isn't £2? / me: no. Or it will go 'oh these are nice cards (when looking at A5 prints), ohhh £8 that's a bit expensive for a card'. It's SO frustrating - why on earth would a card be a4 or a5 with a border around it and a title and signature?!?! AND why on earth would anyone try to charge £8 for a card?! A lot of people can't seem to grasp the idea of a print and the difference between them and a card. And why they assume everything on my table costs £2 when I have a sign with an arrow pointing to my cards saying 'cards are £2' and another sign saying prints are individually priced is beyond me!!! Argh! OK rant over. I am glad it's not just me!! The number of nice people who get what it is all about make up for those that don't :) (Oh, and once a lady asked me if I could give her change of a £1 coin for the bus....!!)

  3. So true! I've been sitting here, reading through this list and nodding and giggling the whole time.

  4. "I may just kill you anyway though" LOL.

  5. I think this is pretty harsh! What's so bad about somebody asking if Its your work? They may want to compliment you or meet the actual artist.
    I could write a pretty extensive article about how cold a lot of sellers are at craft fairs. Its like you lot need some life pumped into you or something...such friendly, pretty lively pieces of work and then a glum unresponsive face behind it all just doesn't really work! Maybe you've all spent too long cooped up drawing or something to remember how to engage and have an actual conversation with someone without doing it like the girl above says 'through gritted teeth' It doesn't make for a pleasant experience for the shopper and will ultimately effect your sales! so next time make a little effort to help people feel comfortable around you and your work rather than treating them like an inconvenience! unnerving them with unfriendly vibes.

  6. Haha OH girl...I just got back from a craft fair (I was just there to buy, I didn't have a booth) but it AMAZED me how many times I heard people ask/say the above things, right in front of the artist, as if they were completely invisible. Especially the "Oh my gosh I could TOTALLY make that myself." That's great, maybe they can, but the fact is they're NOT the ones making it and selling it right now. It kind of demeans the seller's craft, and like you said, what point does it achieve exactly? If I was a seller, that would really bother me too.

  7. this is so funny + true!
    we had to do a lot of sales as our young enterprise company and hell, the people there are 10x ruder, and I think you're definitely prone to condescending customers if you're younger than them. sigh...

  8. I agree with everything that you've said! and would say to 'anonymous' person that getting the guts and courage up to sell your handmade items face to face with real life customers is one of the biggest and hardest steps to make when you make items yourself. It's not bad for customers to ask if this is your own work...that's fine especially when they say 'WOW! did you make this yourself?' its when they look at you with disdain and say 'did you make this yourself' as in why did you waste your time doing this. There are lovely customers out there no doubt, i've met many of them but for every nice customer there is one who is rude and arrogant and some how equates hand made to mean 'cheap as chips' It's nothing personal towards you but I've brought a few items from Zoe's stall and have received nothing but great customer fact ive been to loads of craft fairs and haven't received any bad customer i guess we havn't 'ALL SPENT TO LONG COOPED UP DRAWING OR SOEMTHING TO REMEMBER HOW TO ENGAGE AND HAVE AN ACTUAL CONVERSATION WITH SOMEONE'

  9. Great post and a fun read. I can totally relate. I also just had one where I guy asked me what he could take (as in giveaway/freebies). NOTHING! I didn't come out here tonight to GIVE away my hard work.

  10. Ohh this has scared me a little, I have my first fair coming up on the 23rd of this month (June), it's only a small local things but still, I'm feeling pretty nervous. In a way this post has also made me look forward to doing it so I can see what kind of response I get as I presume it's not easy selling stuff and putting up with comments like those. I'm glad I came across your blog (via HelloDoDo) :)

  11. Just started reading your blog, Love this post. I can't believe that somebody has commented negatively ANONYMOUSLY, that's balls for you. I work in retail, hospitality, and am one half of designosaur and I will agree with you that no matter how much you answer peoples questions, and greet them, that you will still get scowls and turned up noses.

    Best comment we have had is "Does anyone buy these?"

    Keep up the good work, I would also like to say that yes, some stall holders are rude, just like some customers are, but you are not one of them :o)

  12. The question I hate is when randoms ask "How have you done today?" which in my opinion is really none of their business! I wouldn't ask someone how much they earnt at work that day! Irritating to say the least, especially when its kinda obvious you probably havn't done so great that well... I generally reply "Yeah, not bad actually thanks!" and just smile. I think smiling is the best thing you can do when you get asked the list of above stupid questions!
    Stuffed nonsense is right, it takes an enormous amount of guts to get up there and actually do it, which is why its simply mean for someone to say "Oh, i could make that". Well, go on home and do it then!

  13. Your post is so true! Why do these people come to fairs if not to buy handmade? My biggest bug bear is also 'I could make that myself, no trouble' Ive even had one woman ask me to explain step by step so that she could go away and make her own!!!!!!
    Having said that I love doing fairs especially vintage ones, the atmosphere is great. Always a good day out.


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