I know it will depend a lot on where we are located, the type of sales markets etc & the other felt & fibre stalls nearby, but I'd be interested in what you are finding the best sellers this year (for those who sell).
I'm just back from my regular small monthly craft market - it's very local, not well publicised, predominantly attended by a small group of the same people. Today I sold just 1 large nuno felted shawl, 2 pictures & 4 or 5 of the 'cheap n cheerful' entry level scarves I make - just simple loop infinity scarves sewn from vintage sari silk fabric. I'm trialling a few sewn items - a range of phone kindle & ipad cushions fairly simply quilted; thought they may make a good man gift. I sold a couple & took orders for specific colourways for 2 more. So not great not terrible. My prices are low, by the way, too low!
I find scarves sell and hats, nothing to crazy but different ones. I have a couple of crazy ones to attract information. Felted soap always sells. I made round zipper pouches this year and they went really well. Low prices can be a problem if the sale is a better quality one. people wonder why your stuff is cheap when other peoples stuff is expensive.
I hate the psychology of it all, prices too low or too high, or everything is 'too nice to use'. I listen to what people say and try to adjust accordingly, but by the next fair, everyone's changed their minds.
I agree with Marilyn Jill. I know how disheartening it can be but please take joy from the fact you enjoyed making everything. I have just returned from a new small village craft fair, eyeing it up for me to attend next time maybe, but I know I will be setting myself up for the same feelings Zed and yourself express!
I do enjoy doing them especially for those times when people really have a positive feeling about the work. Yesterday the 2 paintings I sold were to someone I know, who is very creative & very stylish. Her house is amazing! So I felt honoured actually that she wanted them. She didn't take them in their frames as she wants to get creative with displaying them, so I will be really interested to see how she adds her creativity to mine!
There is very little quality handmade stuff where I live, but then again few people have the cash to buy anything other than basics.
I really ought to try some more bags or hats - I think because I'm not keen on wearing them my heart hasn't been in it!
Small fairs are always hit and miss affair. You may just missed your particular customer and that was it! Another point is variety. I've just returned from large craft show, sold a few of everything. And I'm sure no one knows your specific market better, if I tell that my best sales were fish and apples, not sure it's the same on Cretan market .
Finding the sales that fit you is always hard. I would like to do a few more shows but finding them is not easy. They have to be small enough for me to have enough product but they need to be juried quality shows. the big ones that I know would work well for me are just to big and I would need to much product and are usually at least a week long. Talk to other vendors not necessarily the same type of product but that sell in the same price range, find out where they go. Maybe something that is more art oriented would work.
Just spent 4 days at a Christmas market focused on locally produced crafts and food. About 200 vendors and 27 000 visitors (who have to pay an entry fee). That's a lot of people for a market in a small town in Northern Sweden. But the market is quite popular, held in an outdoor "museum" (i.e. a historical setting) with old wooden buildings, horse sledge rides etc. All the vendors also have to dress the part. And yes, we have snow too. In that setting, anything on the Christmas decoration theme seems to sell quite well. Swedish santas (Tomte), felted Christmas tree baubles and angels. I sold out on felted soaps too (suitable gifts for female relatives you don't know what to give?) and sold a couple of wrist warmers. One thing that didn't sell was felted dryer balls. I guess that concept hasn't reached us yet...? I thought environmentally conscious customers might go for that (reduce drying time, save energy, less need for softeners...), but it seems they don't use tumble dryers at all... Of course. Only sold one felted handbag (to a visiting relative). They get a lot of interest, but perhaps too pricey for most customers. Sold a couple of felted seat pads with loose locks, which people seem too appreciate just because they are a bit different from the regular felted seat pads that many sell. My conclusions are that it's good to have something that's an eye catcher (something different, preferably something that people want to come close to and look at or touch), some items that are reasonably cheap (quick to make) so you don't scare off customers with only high prices, and some things that are more time consuming to make (and have a higher price) so that you might actually make some money. ;-)
And just because it sold last year does not mean it will sell this year or next. The exception to that is felted soap. People keep buying them , old customers and new. I need to make a couple of strange hats to replace my Viking hats. To many people have seen them. I did sell several of them but now I think to many have seen them so they are not so interesting.
These wrist warmers attracted a lot of people. Locks on anything often do. People just have to look a little closer and touch them, or even try them on. Nobody bought them, most decided they were too unpractical or "too pretty" to wear, but they worked well as "eye catchers" and I did sell a couple of wrist warmers without locks. :-)