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How To Make Money With Crafts

Updated on April 30, 2018
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

Can You Make Your Crafts Profitable?

There is an opportunity for you to turn your skill and talents into profit and money both online and offline. You can make money with crafts that you create in your home or studio. You can make a part time or full time income if you approach your skills and use them to your best advantage.

Do you have a special craft that you think could be a profitable part time or full time business? Are you looking to make some extra money while being at home with your family?

The internet is alive with people who have done just that and have been very successful. You can develop your business as time goes along or dig into it full time. The most important thing is that once you make the decision to take the plunge, that you take steps to make yourself profitable.Till you mentally turn the corner from hobby to business, you will not succeed.
If you are serious about making money, you must treat your craft as a business, not a hobby

Start by getting free resources before you start creating your business. The Small Business Administration is a good place to start. Taking charge of your business before getting started will make you more successful

The Difference Between A Hobby Business And A Craft Business

Do you make crafts for family members and friends? Have you sold a few items and have considered doing business in your craft? There is a huge difference between someone who is dabbling in crafts and someone who is looking to make real money at crafts, either part time or full time. There are considerations in time and money to be made. Having said that, the internet is ripe with opportunity for crafters to turn thier passions into profits. With as little as one or two items, you can start making money with your crafts. The web is full of opportunity, if you work at it. The decision to at least try is up to you.

Hobby Business Checklist

(click column header to sort results)
Products/ Crafts  
Business Needs  
Legal Considerations  
What will you make?
Where will you get the money for your business?
Do you need a local or state busineess license?
How much inventory will you need?
How much money do you need to start your business?
How will you collect state sales tax? Get a state sales tax certificate
What supplies fo you need to make the products?
How will you be doing business-sole proprietor or otherwise?
Register your business name unless you are using your own name
Where will you get the supplies?
What will be the name of your business?
Pay quarterly estimated income tax if you expect to make $1000 or more /year
How much time does it take to make the product ?
Where will you be doing business?
Speak to an attorney if you have any questions
What will you charge for the product?
Set up a serarate checking account
Get an emplyee identification number if not using your own name for the business
Where will you sell the product?
Make or get business cards
Speak to an accountant or a CPA to make sure all your legal obligations are met
How much will you charge for the product?
Will you accept credit cards?
Speak to your insurance agent to find out how to cover your business supplies and inventory

Step One-Define Your Business

A business plan is neccessary for any business, so before you get out there, define what it is your business is about. What is your product? Who will you sell it to? How much time a day and how many days a week will you devote to your business? How much money do you have to devote to your business ? What are the goals for your business and when do you want to meet these goals? These are all things that you must do before you take on the world

Craft Sellers Tips And Ideas

  • Be prepared for seasonal rushes ! Set a calendar and your goals so that you have inventory for the seasonal times of selling. Fall through Christmas would be a huge selling time. People are looking for special gifts for the holidays. But don't discount Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween, Fourth of July. Watch for specifics on local events and set your calendar and goals accordingly
  • Did you know that pricing your crafts under a dollar point will actually sell more products? For example, if you sell items at $9.99 rather than selling them at $10, you will actually sell more!

Step Two -Define Your Products

Ready to focus on your craft product? Make a list of the product or products you are going to sell. Define the cost of the materials you will need for each project and double it for your price point. Look on the internet at comparable projects and determine if your price is fair and reasonable. While you are looking at comparable projects, also consider quality. Does your project meet the quality of comparable projects. Search on Google. Just search for the specific item that you are planning to market.

Decide how much of each craft that you need to create your inventory. Then list the materials and the amount of materials you need for each item. List what materials that you already have. Then search for the best prices that you can get on the rest. Remember the goal is to keep your cost low without sacrificing quality ! Type in your search engine for "best prices for......" and you will generally get some good listings.

Naming/ Branding Your Business

Outside of deciding what crafts you are going to market, it's important to consider under what name you will operate. You can use your own name or create a name. If you have your own website or blog, consider using the same name for your business. Creating a name for your business, is the first step from moving yourself from a hobby to a real business person.

Step Three-Where's The Cash Coming From?

Ok, it’s time to talk cash ! Every business no matter how large or small needs some money to get started. How much money you will need depends on your goals and business plan. If you are planning to market anywhere on the internet, you need inventory before you market. In other words, you have to have product to sell, so once you determine how much per unit each project will cost, you will determine how many units you want to make to get started. But once you start rolling, while you can expect some profit to turn back into your business, you will need some seed money to keep going. How far and how fast your business moves, not only depends on the product and your marketing, but also the availability of what you have to offer. So as you can see, you will need to determine how much money you will need and where it will come from.

Create A Separate Checking Account

Another important step to take is to have a separate checking account for your business transactions. Separating your home checking is vital to your overall business transactions. It makes your accounting easier and will help you file your income taxes

Step Four- Decide Where You Will Sell

The next step you need to consider is where you will sell your products. There are three basic platforms to consider:

1. Online Selling Sites -This is where you create crafts and sell them on selling websites.

2. On And Off Line Selling As a Consultant- Many companies allow you to sell their craft products on and offline. As a consultant you will be demonstrating projects and techniques that you create

3. Selling At Fairs And Events-These are events where you have a table or a booth where your products are sold.

4, Selling To Consignment and Gift Shops- There are a number of consignment and gift shops that enjoy selling homemade goods

Selling Crafts Online

  • Etsy is one of the most famous online locations to sell homemade goods. So with that reputation, you have to know that there will be some reasonable traffic. Etsy charges you no membership or monthly fees. They charge .20 cents to list one item for four months or until it sells, and once your item sells, Etsy takes a 3.5 percent fee from the sale price .They also charge a 3% plus $0.25 transaction fee. If your item does not sell in four months, it will no longer be listed for sale unless you choose to relist it for another .20 cents.You must have a valid credit card to sign up as a seller so that they can bill you once a month for whatever listing fees and transaction fees you have accumulated.Want more information on Etsy? Click here.
  • Art Fire is another popular marketplace for home made goods. Their is a lot of traffic at this site Their features include no contracts and no ads on your pages. They also claim to be mobile phone friendly.Their platform supports a monthly rate on three levels Standard Shop is $4.95/ month plus $0.23 per listing up to 250 active listings. There is a 9% valuation fee. Popular Shop is $20/month and no separate listings fee. Up to 1000 listings. There is a 3% final valuation fee.Featured Shop is $40/month. 2500 active listings. There is a 3% active listing fee.Get more information on Art Fire here
  • Shop Homemade Though they might not get as much traffic as the more established sites, this marketplace is free to use. So this might be a good place for newbies to get their feet wet.They don't charge you any listing fees or monthly store fees, so this would be a very risk-free way to start selling your crafts and/or vintage items.You can sign up and create a store and start uploading photos and creating listings right away. All payments you receive for items sold go to your Paypal account Learn more about Shop Homemade here.
  • GLC Craft Mall allows you to open up your own arts and crafts store within their site. If you would like to open up a craft store at GLC Craft Mall, you must have a Paypal account so that you can receive payments when your items sellThere are three levels of stores Basic Store - List up to 100 items for a flat rate of $3.50 per monthSemi-Pro Store - List up to 250 items for a flat rate of $6.95 per month Pro Store. List Unlimited items in your store for a Flat Rate of $12.00 per month Want More Information...Click here.
  • Handmade By Amazon. Amazon jumps in on everything, and now they're trying to compete with Etsy as well. Their new site for crafters and DIYers, Handmade, will allow you to sell your wares through their platform.You can only sell by application. So be prepared for the process.15% referral fee includes payment processing, marketing, discounted shipping, fraud protection and we’ve waived our monthly fee! .Check out more here
  • I Craft is a platform that caters to handmade goods only. Here is a large marketplace of handmade goods. All goods must be handmade-no vintage or previously used items. No re-sellers- all goods must be handmade by you. There is a $25 registration fee. There are no re listing fees. They have a referral program No additional fees for listing an item in more than one product category

    • $5/month- 1-50 items
    • $10/month-1-100 items
    • $15/month-unlimited items

    Get More information here

Most companies will use Paypal. It is free to join. There are some fees however when you use the account.

Being A Demonstrator On and Offline

While their are fewer companies than there was 10 years ago, there are still crafters making very good incomes from being consultants for companies like Close To My Heart and Stamping Up.

You might think that in order to be successful you are just showing products or kits, but the most successful people spend a lot of time crafting with the company products, making videos and tutorials to reach their goals.

You might have to make an initial outlay for a company kit. Mostly the kits have some craft material in them to get you started. You may have a lot of tools that you need in your stash, But beyond the kit, you will probably want to purchase additional materials to showcase the company products.

Where Can You Sell Offline?

You can also decide to sell your crafts offline. There are a variety of venues that you can use. Selling at these venues will require product inventory, so you will need to take time to craft ahead of these events.

  1. Flea Markets You will have to rent a booth and have display materials. You will need money for your rent and a substancial inventory. This may be for you if you want to sell your crafts on weekends. You will need a way to process credit cards and a way to collect taxes in your state if they are applicable
  2. Craft Fairs and Bazzars These are special events that draw large crowds. Generally you rent your table. Usually these are special events that are publicized and get good traffic
  3. Local Boutiques Beauty and Nail Salons Try to get some items in any one of these. Include some business cards and you will have some extra income
  4. Do A Home Show Invite some of your friends over for coffee and show your products

Remember that if you are thinking about selling online, you will have to think about packaging and mailing costs too !


Step Five-You Need To Understand How To Price Your Items

There is a lot of thought that goes into pricing your items. There are also a number of formulas and ideas on how to price. What you might think your item is worth may not be what the market will bear. First, do your research. Look for like items and see what the going price for the same and similar product might be.

Then figure out what your price point is. Again, if you are selling online, you need to add shipping and handling as well as applicable taxes in your state or country.

Learn more about how to price your crafts

The most successful sellers offline are able to accept credit card payments. There are a number of options, so decide which one is right for you.

Step Six-Have The Appropriate Business Licenses and Laws Covered

Even if you are simply making crafts in your home, you need to understand the laws in your state and municipality or city regarding doing business. It's important to start off on the right foot. Ignorance is not bliss. The very last thing that you need to do is to create a problem for yourself or your family. You need to understand the laws for taxes-income and sales taxes. How you need to set up a business, and how you will keep your books. You also need to understand the difference between a hobby and a business by federal and state laws. Want to learn more about the laws in your state?

Marketing Your Crafts

You will need to decide how, when, where and how you will market your craft business. If you are working with an online sellers platform, they will often work with you because they have an interest in getting traffic to their site.

For those working off and online, part of your business time will be spent marketing. You need to create a following so that you get repeat business.

Your Business Workspace

Before you get started, you need to have a defined workspace where you are able to craft your wares. Setting this space up in a unique area, will set your business to be very workable. You will need to define that space for your business after you have determined how much space you will need for your supplies and inventory

Final Craft Business Thought

It sounds like a lot to do before you can get started in your craft business, but in order to do it successfully, you need to do it right. It is a decision that only you can decide for yourself. If the time is right to take a full time or part time stab at your own business, then get started on the right foot. Do your homework ! Get your plan ! Learn more about your craft ! There is money to be made ! Good luck !

© 2015 Linda F Correa

Have You Started A Craft Business?

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    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      3 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      I agree that testing the waters is a good way to go. Taking it one step at a time makes the process simpler. Checking out the market to see what's selling and trending is important. Pinterest is a good source of information

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 years ago from USA

      I have done this and have found that some products almost sell themselves while other good products you can almost not give away. Definitely go in small to test it out.

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