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Show inventory

Good afternoon,

I will be attending my first show as a vendor in November. I am a
one of a kind custom designer for 20 years. I was asked to
participate. Apparently, “thousands” attend this two day event. My
question is: how much inventory should a person have on hand?
Assuming 60 pieces (some are variations of one design). Thank you for
your advice and consideration in answering my question.

Cameron Kieffer

My question is: how much inventory should a person have on hand? 

Can’t give you a single universal number, as it depends on the type
of the work, how much space you have to show in, how you display it.
But of course, if you have more work, you’ll be likely to sell more.
Your guess sounds like a decent start for many people. You can’t sell
what you don’t have.

After that, I’d use as a guide the look of your display. How will it
compare to your fellow exhibitors? If there’s too little, or the work
too simplistic, you may find viewers not taking serious time to look
or taking you seriously.

Conversely, too much on display crammed into a small place might
seem impressive to you, but viewers eyes might be just overloaded,
and they’ll just keep moving.

Your display needs to catch the viewers interest and attention, and
then show them enough from which to choose, and from which to see the
full depth of what you do. If you’ve optimized that, extra inventory
on hand but not all on display can be good if things are selling
well. The price points you’re setting will also have an impact on
this. If all your work is priced in the thousands, you may not need
as many pieces, as sales likely will be slower in volume (you’ll also
have to pay more attention to security in this case).


My inventory is simple as each piece is one of a kind and handmade
from cutting the stone to finished product. So I take all that I


I also have found that people but more when there is more to buy. I
choose some designs that will be affordable and produce several of
them so that there is a price point for everyone. I did the
Nashville Pride Festival last weekend, which is all impulse-buy, and
had about 225 pieces which were all priced under $50. My next one is
an artisan festival, so I need to have pieces priced in the higher
range, but I have enough inventory left over for my buyers on a

I can’t claim that I cut my own stones but, I do have one of kind
pieces and have created them for 20 years, so I must have some
staying power. When you say “all that you have”; would you please
give a ballpark number or range? Cameron

I am doing a show this weekend in A Central New York resort
community. It is a craft show connected to a very nice antique show.

I will show sterling silver bracelets in 8 styles in 8 sizes. I will
also carry replacement pieces for stock as it sells. The prices
range from $50.00 to $350.00.

There is two dozen pairs of earrings in various styles from$18.00 to
$36.00. Rings, pendants, pins, and oddities I call special nifties.

This is a show I have done for years. And there are several others
in the area that I routinely attend.

My advice is to treat this show as if it were Your brick and mortar
business for this weekend. Set your display as if it were in your
sales outlets. You may not sell anything this time and you may have
a hell of business. But go there and set up like you are in the

Good luck.
Don Meixner