Where to sell your beadwork
Oh, what to do with all those beaded projects...
Okay, so you’ve gone all gung-ho on beadwork, and now you’re sitting with 19 bracelets, 6 necklaces, and some earrings. You have already given your family more jewelry than they know what to do with. What’s next?
Where to start?
Watch for local arts and crafts shows and church bazaars, especially a few months prior to the winter holidays. Swap meets are a good outlet if you’re in an area which offers them. Many times you can rent a space for just a little money and set up shop there. Consider getting together with friends or family who also have creations to sell and splitting the cost of the rental space (this makes sale days a lot less boring, too.). Be prepared to take orders as well, if this interests you; someone may really like a bracelet you’ve made, but it’s too big and they need a smaller size. If you plan ahead, you will be prepared to let this customer know how you can get them a bracelet that will work for them, and won’t be caught off guard or flustered that you don’t have what they want. Be sure to find out if you need any licenses or permits before you begin selling locally.
If you’re ready to delve into creating an online presence, consider an avenue such as Etsy, which allows you to set up your own “shop”, hosted on their site. On Etsy, you pay a very nominal fee to list an item for sale for several months at a time, you set your own sales and shipping prices, and your items become available in the search engine of the entire site. People arrive at my Etsy shop via “regular” search engines, or by Etsy searches for bracelets, beadweaving, etc. There is no maintenance fee or membership fee , and it’s a great feeling the first time someone “favorites” one of your items or your shop!
Artfire is another online venue for sales. You can try it for free for a month, then pay a reasonable monthly fee thereafter. You don't pay anything to list your items, nor do you pay a commission on sales. The staff at Artfire will optimize your items for the search engines, so you don't have to. Another great place to sell your handmade projects!
Set up a shop on Zibbet. Zibbet offers free and premium options for sellers. The free shop is fully functional, and the premium shop has a monthly maintenance fee which allows extra functionality and choices for the seller's shop. There is no charge to list or sell on Zibbet.
The CraftStar is an up-and-coming online venue that is much smaller and more intimate than Etsy at this time. Like Etsy, The CraftStar also features handmade and vintage items. I wholeheartedly recommend you check out this great site and help their community grow!
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is always the best advertisement. Consider making up or purchasing business cards with your contact information for family and friends to hand out to people who comment on their jewelry. Always send a business card with any items you sell. Moo.com makes amazing business cards. Both Zibbet and Etsy offer links for free business cards (pay shipping only) via Moo.com. Cards are extremely heavy-duty and printed on paper from sustainable forests, which is a plus. You may choose from their designs or upload your own images (up to 50 images for a 50 card order!).
There are so many places to sell your beaded pieces; it’s just a matter of finding the right fit for you. Don’t become discouraged if one avenue doesn’t pan out for you, there is another sales method around the corner.