How to Prevent Shoplifting at
Your Jewelry Booth

copyright by Rena Klingenberg

If you sell your handcrafted jewelry at shows, fairs, or festivals, it may be a target for thieves. You should know how prevent shoplifters from stealing your jewelry right out of your booth.

I don’t mean to imply that shoplifting is rampant at every show, or that you can’t trust your customers. But it’s an unfortunate fact that jewelry is an increasingly frequent target for theft. It’s attractive, relatively small, easy to slip away with, and has a high perceived value.

After an onyx and opalite bracelet was shoplifted from my booth, I decided to learn how I could prevent my jewelry from "evaporating" at shows.

I discovered that you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a victim of shoplifting in your jewelry booth - simply by being aware of how jewelry thieves operate, and learning a few simple prevention measures.

Tactics of Experienced Jewelry Shoplifters

Awareness of how thieves operate can help you keep your jewelry safe. Here are common shoplifting ploys used by thieves at art and craft shows:

1) Some thieves work in pairs. One thief poses as an interested customer, distracting you by pretending they want to purchase jewelry, while the other thief unobtrusively slips some jewelry into a pocket, tote bag, shopping bag, or purse.

2) A shoplifter working alone pretends to browse your displays, and the moment you're distracted, he or she easily brushes jewelry that's displayed near the table-edge right into an open bag, purse, or baggy pocket that's just below the table level.

3) A thief sets a personal item (such as a purse, shopping bag, or jacket) on your jewelry table while pretending to shop. When the thief picks up her personal item, she neatly lifts some of your jewelry along with it.

4) Experienced jewelry thieves know the most vulnerable times for an artist at a show, and wait for an opportune moment to take advantage of your situation during these critical times:

- While you're setting up and taking down your booth, especially if you’re dealing with a tent or anything else that requires a significant amount of time and attention away from your jewelry.

- When your booth is crowded.


- While you're loading and unloading your vehicle.

- When you take a bathroom break.

Awareness is your best defense against shoplifters. Once you have an understanding of how these thieves operate, you can determine the most vulnerable areas of your booth and how to safeguard them. With a bit of reorganizing, you can easily set up a profitable jewelry booth that discourages shoplifting.


Learn 8 effective ways to protect your jewelry booth from shoplifting in Rena Klingenberg’s ebook, Ultimate Guide to Your Profitable Jewelry Booth. You’ll also learn every success secret and strategy Rena has discovered for selling handcrafted jewelry at shows.




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