Summer fair prices: how much to charge
What you charge can affect profit, footfall and inclusivity.
There's a lot to consider, so here are some tips on how to price
various elements at your fair.
Is the focus of the event on bringing people together or making
money? If it's about reaching out to hard-to-engage parents and
celebrating the school, charge less for activities and have plenty
of low-outlay stalls to promote inclusivity. If the stall is part
of a fundraising drive, consider charging more, but ensure that the
cost is justified and have a variety of stalls so there's something
How much does it cost to run? If it's a tin can alley, cans can
be donated and bean bags borrowed, so the only cost is prizes. If
it's a tombola with higher-value prizes it makes sense to price
according to the value of the items. Refreshments stall prices
should be dictated by the cost of the item on sale. Try not to
skimp on things like burgers for the sake of profit - it's better
to offer good quality and charge a little more than put visitors
off with a cheap product.
Not everything has to be a set price - some stalls will have a
price list that covers a range of items. When deciding on prices,
consider the size, quality and appeal of each product. For example,
the costs on your cake stall should depend on provenance - are they
shop-bought, homemade by pupils or parents, or donated by a
professional? A child's biscuits might be 20p, but a fancy
decorated cupcake could be £1.50. Similarly, face-painting costs
depend on the skill of the painter and the complexity of the
When deciding on pricing, be practical. It's easier to pay 20p
or 50p rather than 30p or 60p as it only requires one coin. Try to
limit the number of different prices at the event - for example,
charge 50p per go or three for £1 for all games stalls. This makes
it easier for volunteers, and parents know how much money to send
the children off with.
When setting a price, try to avoid anything involving 5ps as
they're small and fiddly for volunteers and nearly always require
Kids and adults
Bear in mind that there will always be more children than adults
at school fairs, so it's wise to keep children's stalls cheaper as
otherwise it quickly adds up for the parents. You can then charge
more for food and drink for the adults.
Write it down
Include prices on a stall guide that can be laminated and given
to the stall runners to prevent any confusion, especially if
volunteers swap midway through the event.
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