Selling Your Crafts Online
Online venues such as Etsy.com are great places to open an online shop and offer your handmade items for little cost and with minimal set up. All you need are text descriptions and pictures to get started. The hard part is getting your items noticed in the sea of millions of other handmade products. Here are a few tips that might help:
Offer a variety of items for sale across different price ranges. This gives people a selection to choose from and allows them to choose something that fits their budget. But it also allows them to see the breadth of your creativity.
Try to specialize in something no one else does. This can hard, especially when you’re working in a popular craft such as jewelry-making or crochet, but if you can make a unique product that no other artist has, you stand a better chance of attracting customers.
When setting prices, try to earn back the cost of your materials before you try to earn an hourly wage. Depending on how long an item takes to make, you may never get paid for the time put into it. So it’s important that the crafts you want to sell are something you love doing. Something you would do even if you never sold them. The general guideline for pricing handmade items is three times the costs of your materials, but some artists go with five times the cost (if materials aren’t expensive) or they might set a flat fee they want to earn from the item and add on material costs to that. Check how items similar to yours are priced to stay competitive, but be cautious about lowering prices so much that your earnings dwindle to zero.
If you offer free shipping, which can attract customers wary of price gouging in the area, be sure to figure in your shipping expenses (including packaging) when you price an item so you don’t end up losing money on the shipping costs. This is especially important if you plan to shipping internationally where the postage costs vary from country to country.
If your sales venue allows it, consider coupons or sales codes that give customers a discount. Shoppers love that feeling of getting something for less.
Get the word out about your store. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook can be very helpful in this area. Makes contacts and enlist the help of friends to “talk up” your products.
Most importantly, strive for a high standard of customer service. Friendly communications and prompt shipping go a long way to attracting return customers and happy customers often spread the word about your products to their friends.