Anonymous asked: Hello! I see that you participate in artist Alley's all the time! Is there any advice you can give since I've been looking to maybe participate in a artist alley next year?
Hi there~ Thanks for the message! Indeed I don’t often give up chances for artist alley… I’ll do my best to help! Everyone has a different way of doing things, so this advice is solely based on my own experiences:
- Observe your customers - Things such as what they’re cosplaying, what other merchandise they hold, their conversation with a friend… can really help you give good recommendations to your customers on what to buy. They have so many other booths to see that they won’t linger at your place for long, so if you can expedite the process both parties end up happy. 8D
- Customer service goes a long way - Along with #1, make sure to talk to people! It’s one of the reasons I have so many customers that keep coming back <3 I love to shoot people a “Welcome back” or “Is there something in particular you’d looking for?” or even “I know you wanted this at the last event, I restocked!”. Seriously, you never know; once a University professor in his 60s bought my doujinshi because I had a good 5 min conversation with him… (And then he brought his friends to buy more stuff…)
- Bring ENOUGH CHANGE - There will always be that first customer who doesn’t have small bills. ALWAYS. My usual is about $150 CAD in small bills and coins, but look at how you price things to see if you need more or less of a certain bill/coin.
- Have a good set up/display - Think about what you’re going to sell and try to find ways to show them off. It can be stands, racks, picture frames, boxes, or a catalogue. Make it work to sell the art for you when you can’t deal with everyone at once.
- Get VISA SQUARE - “I don’t have money on me.” “WE TAKE CREDIT CARD.” It’s the new best friend of every small merchant, and getting one is free.
- Sell things that you’re proud of - I think it’s more a number one rule as an artist, to make sure that the pieces I draw is what I would WANT people to buy. Because if I don’t like the piece myself, I can’t work hard to sell it and expect others to like it. I understand that some artists like to draw fanart of what’s popular because it rakes in more money, and it’s completely okay to do that because to them artist alley is a business. Ideally though, you’d want to sell things that you adore and have it appreciated by many others.
I could go on for days about how to sell (finding print stores, product making etc…) but I think more text would have you running from my blog. Feel free to message again though if anything is unclear or you actually want me to go on. Hope you have a great time in artist alley! It’s a really great experience, if you’re prepared to make it an easy process!
ETA: I guess it would be better to add that working with the above, I’ve never had an event where I didn’t profit. 8D;; You probably wouldn’t want to follow my ways to end up in the negatives TvT