Daily Wire Tip: Which Wire Pieces Should I Take to a Show?

By on October 16, 2009
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip


How do you decide which one-of-a-kind items to put for sale on the internet and which ones to take to a show? I`m afraid if I take something to a show that`s already on the internet, I might end up selling it twice but only have 1 item.


Many artists in all mediums face this same challenge. I know that when I have to make this type of decision I usually take all of my designer and one-of-a-kind pieces to the show! At a show, these pieces are the ones that catch people`s attention and draw them to look closer at the rest of my work. Although these `heroes` may not sell, I would rather have them appear in my `weekend gallery` where they help to sell less-expensive items as well as bring more custom orders to my work bench.

To avoid possible conflict, one suggestion is that you simply remove the price from the website. This action would cause an interested party to contact you before being able to purchase the item and if the original sells while at your show, you can explain to the new customer that although the original has recently found a home, you would be pleased to replicate the design in their choice of materials, thus making two sales from one design. As in all decisions, the final choice is yours.

Answer contributed by Dale `Cougar` Armstrong

Have a question? Submit your question here!


  1. avatar

    Joni Stinson

    February 23, 2012 at 6:50 am

    I’m not sure that all selling venues allow posting an item without a price. But all that I sell on have a “deactivate” feature. I simply deactivate one of a kind pieces prior to a show. When I return, if the item did not sell, I re-activate it. This works for me.

  2. avatar


    February 23, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Removing a piece from a website might be easy, but often not. When your pieces are featured in several places, doesn’t that make an awful lot of extra work the day before a show?

    • avatar


      February 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      For some folks, it would Paul. What solution do you use or how do you manage a situation like the one in question?

  3. avatar

    Jane Elizabeth Duke

    February 23, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Great idea Dale! I have been pondering how to handle showing my top pieces on more than one site..not showing the price is a great solution. I still am working on coming up with the tables etc. to get back into the ‘shows’ but I am now full steam ahead in the area of showing photos of my work on line. Thank you sooo much for your continued ideas on ways to handle seemingly difficult selling situations!

  4. avatar


    February 23, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I have an Etsy store,..and to my knowledge it will not allow you to list an item,..or remove the item’s price from the listing. It requires you to put something in the price box before it will list at all. What Etsy does have is an ” deactivate ” choice setting,..where all you have to do is go in to where your items are listed,..there is a white box next to each listing. You can click on that box, and then at the top of the page you can click on the “deactivate” option. There is no cost to reactivate it,..unless your allotted time is up on the listing. In case you decide to take all your items with you to a show,…you can always leave a cool message on your banner or shop information that tells everyone who comes to your store that you are busy at a show,..but will be back later that day, but you are leaving them with a “free shipping code ” or for a “10% off code ” they can use for later that day when you have reactivated your items…to thank them for their patience.
    What I have found works best for me though,…is I have a laptop that I bring with me with mobile service. And I have never had any issue yet to this day that I can’t get service wherever I am located. I use my laptop for CC swipes,…and I usually have a window that is open to my Etsy shop. If I do sell an item at the show,..I can within seconds access that item in my Etsy shop and deactivate it,for later use,..or delete it. Problem solved for me!

    • avatar


      February 23, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Excellent solution for an Etsy site – thanks so much Cindy!

  5. avatar


    February 23, 2012 at 8:38 am

    This is so true. Many of us practice this same tactic for pieces. It is a decision that you must make before heading to a show. The internet has opened up a whole new venue for those of us creating jewelry in wire or any other medium. The more exposure you can give your pieces, the more the increase in your chances of selling to a completely new customer.

    Scrimshaw Mary

  6. avatar

    Stephanie Garland

    February 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Is it worth doing two pieces at one time when you are creating? I know this belies the ‘one-of-a-kind’ theme but it would be a different stone, different wire? You already have the muscle memory in place since you just did one. I know it smacks of production, but . . . . ?

  7. avatar


    February 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    ArtFire has vacation mode, as some other sellers do. It is designed for these times when you know you cannot respond to an order for a few days and don’t want to leave people hanging. I just put my shop in vacation mode for the day, and a note on my announcement saying when I’ll be back.

    • avatar


      February 24, 2012 at 6:43 am

      Excellent tip, Donna! Thanks :)

  8. avatar


    February 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Well that is a great ? However,I just encountered this today: I had a pair of earrings for sale on etsy and somebody purchased them yesterday. When I do a show, I write down what was sold so when I get home I can deactivate them, well I never sold them (5 finger discount) and I don’t have any more materials to make another pair! Oh well. So I offered a similar pair with a discount% or a full refund.

    • avatar


      February 24, 2012 at 6:42 am

      Bummer Brenna! But thanks for sharing your experience and how you chose to handle it.

  9. avatar


    March 20, 2014 at 7:18 am

    When I have a LOT of things on-line that I want to take to shows I put a disclaimer in every listing that the items may be sold locally and that I will happily make a similar piece, etc, etc.
    Getting ready for a show is stressful enough without having to go into my on-line sales venues and put “holds” on all those beauties!
    The disclaimer covers the lot.