Tips for Your Holiday Sale

Holiday sale season is just around the corner! Holiday sales are a great way to bring Fair Trade gift options to your community, raise money, and share your group’s social justice mission. Start planning your sale today with these tried-and-true ideas from experienced fair traders.

Dress up your table! Use a colorful tablecloth to make it festive and eye-catching. Organize products neatly and use vertical display racks to save space. Use our table signs, olive oil gift tags and brochures to share information and draw people in.

Offer free samples! Everybody loves the chance to try something delicious, and odds are good that they’ll want to buy more once they have a taste! Break chocolate bars into pieces and arrange them on a decorative plate. (Don’t forget tongs!). Brew batches of coffee or hot cocoa and offer samples in small paper cups. The aroma alone will draw people to your table.

Team up with others! Incorporate Equal Exchange products into a larger alternative gift market with other fairly traded items, like artisan crafts from SERRV and Ten Thousand Villages, symbolic gifts from Heifer International, or handmade products from artists in your community. Keep prices close to wholesale or mark them up to earn money for your church or social justice committee.

Share the mission! You know that Fair Trade is important for our global community, and now is a great time to tell your own community why it matters. The meaning behind the products you sell will really set your holiday sale apart from the rest – so don’t be afraid to talk about it! Our talking points and brochures make it easy.

Promote your sale! Announce your sale early and often. Let people know that they can do all of their gift shopping in one place and feel good about their choices. Spread the word in your congregation by making announcements during services, put up a sale poster in a visible area and use our customizable bulletin inserts. Promote to your broader community with announcements in newsletters, email lists and on your web site or social media pages, community bulletin boards and local news.

Try this example wording: “Give gifts that give more! Join us for our Holiday Sale [insert date, time and location] Give fairly traded, organic gifts this holiday season. Equal Exchange products are sourced from small-scale coffee, tea, cocoa and olive oil farmer co-operatives worldwide and profits from our sale go towards [insert your group, committee or reason for the sale here]. Through Fair Trade, farmers are better able to support their families, protect the environment and strengthen their communities.

Set the right prices! You can raise funds for special congregation projects, trips or activities by marking up your products 25% to 40% of your cost. Round up to the nearest dollar to help cover your costs and make giving change easier. Remember to tell folks what you’re raising money for — they’ll love being able to gift shop and help your cause! You can also make gifts more accessible by selling them close to wholesale cost. Sell multiple items at slightly reduced prices (one chocolate bar for $3, two for $5) to help encourage more sales. An assortment of chocolate bars tied with a ribbon makes a beautiful, decadent but affordable gift!

For more selling tips, check out our general, comprehensive how-to guide. 

Download the PDF of our 2017 Fall Toolkit  for more ideas, recipes, stories and resources. (link to PDF).

Enjoy the spirit of the season and thank you for supporting small farmers!

About The Author

Bethany Karbowski

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