- Arts and Design
Tips on How to Sell Crafts Online
So You Want To Sell Crafts Online
In order to sell crafts online you need 2 things; crafts to sell and somewhere online to sell them.
Sounds obvious doesn’t it, yet many still wake up one morning, need extra cash, and think ‘I know, I’ll make stuff and sell it online’ without having done either thing before.
Not surprisingly most of these ventures fail – but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact so long as you follow a few relatively simple guidelines you should be able to build a successful online craft business.
There are however 2 very important things to realise before you start:
1. It doesn’t happen overnight
2. It takes a lot of hard work
Sell Crafts Online vs Selling at Craft Fairs
To sell crafts online is very different to selling at craft fairs. It’s a bit like the difference between browsing through a magazine for ideas, and searching on Google for something specific (and it’s a difference you need to understand if you want to make a go of selling crafts online).
At a craft fair or show people will browse, they’ll look, and then look again. You have the chance to interact, to explain your products, to build a rapport with a potential customer ~ things that you don’t get the chance to do online.
When selling over the internet your products must first be able to be found, then they must be well described and supported by good quality pictures. Your t&c’s need to be clearly laid out on the site you are using for things such as refunds ~ many people will not buy a product that they like if the website is not professional.
The following video gives some good tips on selling crafts online.
Are There Easy Crafts to Sell Online
It’s important to realise that ‘easy’ is a relative term here as very few things are truly easy to sell online ~ especially when you are just starting out. However there are things you can do to make your chosen craft easier to sell online.
The easiest products, crafts or otherwise, to sell online are those that are in high demand from customers, but with low competition from suppliers – unfortunately these are also few and far between so the first thing you need to do is research your market and spend a bit of time thinking creatively.
One of the most popular and most competitive handmade crafts is jewellery, so we’ll take that as an example. It’s popular because it’s relatively easy to get started in, but that also makes it very competitive. This doesn’t mean it’s an area you shouldn’t look at but does mean you need to be very targeted – selling bracelets and necklaces won’t cut it as you will be lost in a sea of other jewelry makers.
Jewelry making has many different facets and areas of specialisation i.e. chain maille, silver work, seed beads, glass beads etc – so the first thing would be to pick and area and style to concentrate on – better to be an expert in one area that an also-ran in several. For our example let’s assume we are going to specialise in seed bead jewellery – this means that immediately our competition has dropped from all jewelry makers to just those doing seed beads (if you’re not familiar with seed beads they are very small, sometimes only 1mm or so in size).
To lessen the pool even further we are going to specialise in creating statement pieces in specific color palettes i.e. using the fashion colour palette of the season i.e. blue.
The idea is that we are then not targeting the people who are searching for ‘necklace’ online, or even ‘blue necklace’ but those who are searching for ‘blue seed bead necklace’. Yes there will be fewer people searching on that term, but they are also searching in a much smaller pool of competition, of which you are part.
The train of thought above i.e. specialisation, or finding a niche, can be applied to any craft, then once you are established in that area you can expand into others.
Where to Sell Crafts - Online Selling Sites
Using online selling sites can be a great way to start with selling crafts online - and they are especially good if you don't want to immediately go down the route of building your own website.
The biggest and best known is no doubt eBay, though for handmade craft items a site geared specifically towards this may be a better option.
Sites which specialise in handmade items include:
Selling Cratfs Online - How to Get Them Found
There is no point selling things online if no-one can find them when searching online. In fact you could have the best products in the world, ones that would just fly off the shelves at a craft fair, but they’ll do nothing online if you don’t have them optimised for the search engines.
In simple terms search engine optimisation is a way of telling the search engines i.e. Google that your products are there and what they are so that when someone comes along and searches for ‘blue seed bead necklace’ Google knows to return your items in the search results.
Good optimisation is often the difference between success and failure when it comes to selling online, especially if you are using your own website. If you are using one of the big boys such as eBay or Etsy then it can be a bit easier as some of the work is done for you, though you still need to make sure you enter the correct tags and descriptions for your products.
This article is not going to address the finer points of SEO but you can find further information in this Beginners Guide to the World of Search Engine Optimisation.
Initial Steps to Follow to Start Selling Crafts Online
The above can be set out in a set of logical steps:
1. Come up with ideas for crafts to sell and identify the craft you wish to make and sell online
2. Become an expert in that craft
3. Research your market to find a niche within that craft you can specialise in
4. Identify where online you are going to sell i.e. eBay, Etsy or your own website
5. Learn about SEO and all its related areas such as Keywords (the words people search on)
6. List your items on your site
8. Watch and analyse your searches and sale results using tools such as Google Analytics – and importantly learn from them.
9. Repeat what works and abandon what doesn’t.
10. Don’t expect to get rich quick ~ even if you have all your ducks in order it can take months for a new website or product to take hold.
Remember, to sell crafts online takes perseverance and a lot of hard work, but it's perfectly possible to achieve, and you can do it.
Tell People About Your Experiences
If you're trying to sell crafts online then I'm sure there are plenty of things you've learnt along the way - things that other people can benefit from knowing - and knowledge that could also earn you some money.
How? By writing about your experiences here on Hubpages. Hubpages is a free to join article site which gives you the chance to pass on your knowledge and earn money at the same time.
If you want to know more simply sign up and join Hubpages - did I mention it was free ...
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