Starting a Craft Business – Selling Your Product

Homepreneurs recently discussed creating a home business from Arts and Crafts.  We believe this market is growing, cost-effective, and a business option for many.  Arts and Crafts can be done part-time, full-time, by the employed, retired or semi-retired.  Linda Strickland – recently featured as a Homepreneurs success story – supplements her income with her photography business.

Linda is a typical artist/crafter.  She enjoys her photography hobby and is able to turn it into a money-making side business.  Linda uses craft shows, a website, and Flickr to sell her product.

In part three of our craft business series, we’ll take a look at various ways of selling and marketing your craft or art product.

The first – and traditional way – is to set up a booth at a local arts and crafts show and bring a selection of products to sell.  If a two day weekend show, see what sells well, get customer feedback, and bring more of the same product for the second day.  Also be prepared to offer deals on multiple purchases or have a closeout sale for those items that aren’t selling.  Just don’t change prices during a show; many customers attend the same shows and you don’t want them waiting for a price break.

Offering deals

-        Be consistent with your offers.  The local craft show market is small and many of the same customers will attend multiple local shows and return next year.  They won’t be happy if the price changes each time they stop by your booth.

-        Multiple item purchase discount.  Consistency is important here too.  If you give one person a free 3×5 picture when a 16×20 is purchased, do the same for all buyers.  People will talk and ruin your reputation.

-        Closeout or limited quantity offers.  Discontinuing a product line and offering a discount is fine.  But don’t bring back the product after it is gone, no matter how well it does.  Ditto for limited quantity issues.  If you are only offering 50 prints, have them numbered (1 of 50, 23 of 50, etc) and once sold out, be done with the product.

Alternatives to Craft Shows

-        Etsy.  Etsy is a venue, not a retailer; Etsy’s role is to connect the buyer and the seller.  Etsy charges $.20 per item listed and transaction fee of 3.5% when the item is sold.

-        eBay.  eBay charges two fees, an insertion (listing) fee and a value (sales) fee.  A complete fee table is found here for eBay.  Tips for setting up an eBay page are found here.

-        Facebook.  Facebook is more than simple a social media site.  It has evolved into a major sales and marketing channel.  At 800 million active users, Facebook should be embraced as a real sales tool.  Hints on how to set up a Facebook  page are written up here.

-        Personal websites.  Linda has a website – naturerestoresme.com – and sells directly from her site in addition to craft shows.  Advantages to a website include: a much larger selection, a broader audience, and 24×7 access.  Sell while you sleep.

Other craft and art websites are available – covered in this article – as well as Craigslist, local resale shops, and local garage or neighborhood sales.  You may be able to sell a product in quantity to small or large retail chains too.  This often requires knowing the buyer and the markets targeted.  If Costco or Sam’s club knocks on your door, be prepared to produce large quantities and deal on price.

By Dion D Shaw

Dion D Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs

Homepreneurs.  New Day.  New Opportunity.

Disclaimer

Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed.  Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions.  Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.

© Homepreneurs 2010 – 2012

One Response to Starting a Craft Business – Selling Your Product

  1. knitting says:

    knitting…

    [...]Starting a Craft Business – Selling Your Product « Homepreneurs's Blog[...]…

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