Your guide to selling crafts online: What to sell, where to sell it, and how to sell it. Keep reading to start making money selling crafts online right away.
You are Reading Chapter 6 of our DIY Crafts Guide: How to Sell What You Make.
Selling Crafts Online
If you are you going to take yourself seriously as a professional crafter, I highly recommend making a website. A website creates an outlet for others to contact you, to learn about you/your craft, it could even allow others to buy products directly from your page… and it's essentially FREE!
That just scratches the surface of why you should have your own website. Now let's go into details.
Pros to selling your products online:
Opening up your business to the world wide web allows people to find out about your business from all over. This also gives you the opportunity to grow your business and make it a potential well-known brand.
Having a website where you can direct people to also helps answer questions and solve problems. Your social media accounts will all point back to your website, your business cards will point back to your website. Website is home base for all sales, and directs people to buy buy buy!
New Dedicated Customers
Once you put your products you have for sale online, you will automatically attract new sells. More importantly, this means you will gain new customers. If the customer is happy once, they are more likely to come back and purchase a second time. Maybe they want a second item, or maybe they want something similar because they are part of your target audience and interested in buying all the other products that you make too.
Are you catching on? This is why defining your niche audience is so important.
The Benefit of the Online Marketplace
As I said before. Once you're online, your audience is now expansive. But most importantly, people can find you. You now have a web address you can send people to when they ask what it is you do. Your site does not need to change much from there. Make sure you provide enough information so people can buy your product. Even if you are selling it on Etsy. Make sure you provide a link to the etsy store. Never miss an opportunity to direct somewhere to your product. Ever.
One of the pros of the online marketplace is overall visibility. Get some good photos of the product up, along with some good descriptions. More on how to achieve great photos is coming in a later chapter!
To increase your website visibility on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, you can take help from this SEO company which has helped many companies to increase their business visibility online.
Cheaper start-up costs
The online marketplace is amazing because it allows you to obtain sales without ever leaving your house.
Plus you could have your very own beautiful home office decorated exactly how you want! (SCORE!!!)
On the contrary, people buying the product love the same reason – they don't have to leave their home! This reason is also known as CONVENIENCE.
Really, the only reason I like buying things in person is to feel it, to try it on, or to smell it. If your product happens to be an item that people will want to handle, then you should still consider having a website. People can still make themselves familiar with your items from local boutiques or craft fairs. If they walked away from the boutique with a business card, then they'll be able to find you online and make their purchase later.
Starting your own brick and mortar store can be fun, but that's a whole other world of selling. Right now we're just talking about how to sell your crafts for profit in an easy and efficient way.
When you have an online store versus having a brick and mortar store, changes are much easier to make. With an online store, it's just a few clicks, and you have a completely different new
Cons of an online store
With every pro, there is usually a con. So, here are some drawbacks you will face with an online store. Take them with a grain of salt, there are cons to everything. I still highly recommend the online way. Maybe not a full fledged store, but you should still have some kind of page that displays your product.
With online marketplaces usually come online marketplace fees. In order to keep your profit margins, you must price your products properly. Most marketplaces don't have high percentage fees, but it certainly will cut into your profits, so you must be aware of that. Every avenue you sell through will take a small percentage. For example, Etsy takes 3.5% of sales. However, you get to charge full retail value when you sell something yourself. Versus at a boutique where you charge wholesale price and the store gets to do their 50% markup.
With a bigger marketplace comes bigger competition. You are now competing with everyone else online… or are you? There may be a product just like yours or even better than yours. So what are you going to do? Why are people going to buy yours over the competition? Maybe yours is a little cheaper, maybe yours comes with a fun additional item (think, a set of stickers, a free download, anything!) Find a way to stand out from the market and make your items the most desirable of all. Sometimes the biggest difference is that you might be better at marketing than the other brand. So even though you're selling the same thing, people see yours first. This is how you dominate the online marketplace.
Sometimes when businesses are doing well, others catch on and start selling the same thing. Always be aware of your competition and look for new products in the marketplace. Don't get tunnel vision, look at the big picture and stay positive. If you provide a good quality product with a human touch, there will be people that want to buy it.
More Business = More Work
When you put your products online, you could also get more business and more sales. This is supposed to be a good thing, but when you have more sales, that means you have to create more products to sell, and process more orders to ship! This creates more work for you. If you don't want to do this business full-time, then this may not be the best selling avenue for you.
You could always limit the number of products you sell, and allow people to sign up for the waiting list. That way you can continue to sell, but keep a schedule.
You could also raise the price if you are finding that your item is in high demand. That way you can still earn money, but your audience will narrow down. You will sell less but still get more in return.
Working from home
Selling your products online usually means selling your products out of your home. At least during the beginning phases. This can be a good thing for many people as they don't have to rent out an area for which they need to work. But, this also leaves room for you to become a workaholic. Be mindful of where you do your work in your home, it is best to still approach work as work. Make sure that you have a designated spot and time each day to work so that the rest of your home can be just that: a home. Of course, working while you watch TV and multi-tasking is a benefit of crafting and working from home too. Do what works best with you, your schedule, and your lifestyle.
Getting the Word Out
When you have an online store, you must do online marketing. Online marketing can bring with it a major learning curve if you are not acquainted with the internet and how online businesses work. This doesn't have to be a con, but for a lot of people it is. But, once you learn how to market your business properly there shouldn't be a problem.
Wondering what to sell? Check out these 25 Easy Crafts to Make and Sell