I was reading another bead artists post about how summer sales were going and thought of talking about how the farmer's markets do good for us.
We are currently doing four farmer's markets in closeby towns (same four as last year) and we are a guest in a further town twice for the season. The sign up price was really affordable, between $50-100 for either may-oct or june-oct depending on the market location and they are all weekly rain or shine. The sales were a little slow at the beginning of this year but they have picked up quite a bit. We mostly sell beads and pendants on handdyed silk cords and solid copper chains. We have earrings and rings available but they are slower selling items, we don't have an earring display which would probably help. Soon we will be adding sterling silver chains as an option for necklaces. The sales for each market can range from $0-$275. Somedays it will seem like the sales won't be great because of weather but one or two sales can boost the numbers significantly.
A few people also want beads/pendants that we don't have so sometimes that gives us ideas for new styles or just fun projects. When we sold on eBay there were a lot of requests for different beads but since we no longer sell on eBay we haven't gotten much requests for something different, usually now it's something similar to what we already have which isn't a bad thing but nice to get new ideas :)
There are often owner's of stores that come to a market and invite us to a consignment shop/gallery. Sometimes it isn't what we are making at the time, last year someone wanted ornaments in their shop towards the end of the market season. Often it is a store that we don't know about or been to but many others have heard about it or been there.
This year with us moving the studio we are creating a mailing list that we have at our booth for people interested in classes. There is a lot of interest and this way we are advertising to four local towns for free. Even if they aren't interested in the classes they can be informed when the gallery/retail section is open so when the markets close they can still see our work offline.
Our online sales are still going as well, last year we stopped listing on Etsy while we did the markets.
I think I covered most of the info about the markets :) If you got any questions let us know!