You love crafting, and you want to sell crafts online to make some extra money, right?
It's totally possible! In fact, before I became a blogger, I used to sell crafts online! It was a very fun and rewarding business. And it was one way that we paid off over $100K in debt!
However, in order to successfully sell crafts online, there are some important “dos” and “don'ts” that no one will tell you about.
I'm sharing the inside scoop here on selling crafts online, including:
- Where to sell crafts online
- The simple truth that will make or break your online sales
- What you need to begin selling crafts online
- 5 questions to answer before you sell online
- 10 top-secret tips for selling crafts online
I'm excited to help you get started so that you can successfully sell crafts online too and make some extra money online.
What Are the Best Places to Sell Crafts Online?
There are traditional online craft sales venues such as Etsy and eBay, but depending on your product, you may also consider niched locations like Zibbet, Handmade Artists, Uncommon Goods, Aftcra, or Hyena Cart.
Attention: This Simple Truth Will Make or Break Your Online Craft Sales
Once upon a time (before I entered the blogging world) I owned a small online business where I designed custom home decor and sold it on my Etsy shop (and in person).
It was a great creative outlet for me as a mom of lots of little ones. And yes, I helped support my family doing it.
One of my biggest challenges in selling crafts online, however, was taking quality photos!
Have you ever tried to get just the right lighting on something?! Even if you can eliminate everything in the background, there's always some weird shadow somewhere. Ugh!
How do the “professionals” do it? They have a well-paid photographers, fancy cameras and the perfect studio lights–three things completely out of reach for 99% of those of us “regular folk” who want to sell crafts online for a little extra income.
However, your customers will expect professional, well-lit photography online because, let's face it–this photo is the only image they have of your beautiful item!
That's why if you're selling anything online, you need something like this selfie ring for lighting up your products well.
So now you know the importance–and the secret!–to creating killer photos of your items.
Next, let's talk about 5 critical questions that will make or break your success as an online marketer.
5 Questions to Answer Before You Sell Crafts Online
1) What will you sell?
Is there a market for this item? Do your research for what types of crafts people want to buy online.
Consider working backwards: Start by identifying a need in the marketplace (Google keyword searches are great for this–this is the service I swear by!) and then think about how you could meet that need.
2) If the item currently exists, how many other people are also selling that item?
What can you offer that will make your item stand out from the rest?
For example, when I sold crafts online, I created unique, personalized art pieces that were tailored for each customer. At that time, there weren't any other companies providing this unique service.
I found that people appreciated having a one-of-a-kind art piece in their home that was not only beautiful but affordable.
3) How much are people paying for that item?
How much will it cost to make your product and to sell your craft online?
Based on your materials cost to make the products, could you charge a competitive price to sell it online? What are others charging for this same item, and can you sell your product for a similar price point?
FYI: If you're looking to cut costs, here are a few place that offer bulk craft supplies online:
4) Where will you market it online?
We mentioned this above, but will you sell your crafts online via a third party such as Etsy? Perhaps you'll choose to host your own online story on Shopify.
Or maybe it makes sense for you to create an entire lifestyle brand around your designs (in which case a blog would be a great place to sell crafts online).
5) Can you display it well?
This is the game-changer for anything sold–online or in person. You may have a beautiful product, but if you can't capture the essence of the product in a great photo, then people will never understand how great your craft really is!
I mentioned before that my biggest problem (and one of the reasons why I had to quit my online craft/home decor business) was because I had a hard time getting the product images right.
Do what you can to put the item in natural lighting without any shadows. There are also great cheap camera lighting solutions like this that make it easy to shoot great pictures even with a camera phone.
But what about the how? How do you actually sell crafts online?
If you're going to start an online business selling crafts, you want to do it right.
10 Top-Secret Marketing Tips for Selling Crafts Online
1) Create something you love making.
You're going to be making this product a lot… and over and over. Choose an item that not only is fairly simple to make, but one that isn't a drudgery. I can't stress this enough! Love what you make or don't make it!
2) If creating a physical product, consider shipping size and mailing costs.
This can be a huge obstacle to business! For my craft business, my most well-loved items were huge large framed pieces which sold well at in-person events but not so well online for one reason–shipping costs were ridiculous! Always consider the shipping factor when selling online.
3) Be willing to serve your customers' needs.
Your customers are the lifeblood of your organization. Treat them well and they'll treat you well. Enough said.
4) Be willing to change with the market demands.
That amazing handmade product you're selling today may not be hot two months from now. Stay abreast of the latest trends in your niche and be willing to change things up if needed.
5) Invest in quality photography.
There's nothing, nothing, nothing like the power of a good photo. Think about it: This is the only time that a customer will be able to see what your product looks like before they (potentially) choose to have it in their home!
Photos allow the customer to make an immediate emotional connection (good or bad) with your work.
What are some great photo tips? The photo must first of all have great lighting so as to create an accurate representation of the product's colors and unique attributes. You've done all this work in creating your one-of-a-kind product, and a clean, high quality, well-lit image will give your work the best chance at selling.
6) Write comprehensive product descriptions that use hot key words.
Words are powerful! Use bullet points to not only convey the essential elements of your product (size, color, options, use), but consider what benefits the product gives. How does this product solve a big need that your customer has? Include hot SEO keywords in your descriptions to further drive traffic.
7) Consider soft-selling avenues such as blogging.
You are an expert in making your product, and people love to hear insider tips or even more info about the artist itself (depending on the product). Starting a blog with the direct purpose of giving advice on a topic related to your product helps establish you as a expert and gives you another way to draw your customer in.
8) Don't be afraid to invest in your business.
Every business requires essential tools (such as this standing selfie light for great photos and videos, or a jewelry making tools if you're making necklaces, for example).
Consider these as important elements of your business plan. It's like that old adage: Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
9) At the same time, watch your expenses (especially at first).
It's tempting at first to buy absolutely everything that might make creating your product easier.
But, using that example of homemade aprons, do you really need that high-end sewing machine just yet, or can you get by on your faithful Singer model that's been working for years?
10) Believe in your talent and go for it!
God has gifted each of us with incredible talents and has given us a unique purpose! You have something amazing that you can share with the world! Believe in that gift and pursue your dream!
Great Marketing Resources for Selling Crafts Online
Google Keyword Search service (great for assessing online competition for your item): Jaaxy
Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income (fantastic online marketing advice that I trust)
Here's a link to some great materials to create an at home lighting studio (a must for getting great photos)
How to Get Discount Craft Supplies for Your Online Craft Business
Check out these great online discount craft suppliers:
Good ol' Amazon (you can often find the best prices here!)
Recommended Books on Selling Crafts Online
Here are some fantastic books I'd highly recommend on where to sell crafts online and how to sell crafts online.
Starting an Etsy Business For Dummies15 Handpicked Unique Suppliers for Handmade Businesses 2015 – 2016: An Exclusive Guide To Fuel Etsy Selling Success and the Handmade Entrepreneur (Etsy Book,Etsy Excellence: The Simple Guide to Creating a Thriving Etsy BusinessEtsy-preneurship: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Handmade Hobby into a Thriving BusinessEtsy Empire: Proven Tactics for Your Etsy Business Success, Including Etsy SEO, Etsy Shop Building, Social Media for Etsy and Etsy Pricing Tips The Handmade Entrepreneur—How to Sell on Etsy, or Anywhere Else: Easy Steps for Building a Business Around Your CraftsThe Everything Guide to Selling Arts & Crafts Online: How to sell on Etsy, eBay, your storefront, and everywhere else onlineThe Handmade Marketplace, 2nd Edition: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and OnlineHow to Sell Your Crafts Online: A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Sales on Etsy and Beyond
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