Friday, September 2, 2011

Selling Your Crafts Online: 10 Tips for Business

Today's blog post is for the sellers out there who want to earn some extra cash selling handmade goods online. It is a list of a few easy tips to improve your chances of making a sale. Most of them apply to offline sales as well.

1) Sell something original like this mixed-media piece from Smyrna artist dandedesign:

In the crafts world, you will find a lot of competition selling the same thing that you might be making. Whether is is lavender soap, knit hats, or cupcake toppers, you will have more success if your product is different. Shake things up a bit by adding one-of-a-kind designs to your offerings that only you make. If you paint, getting your prints on T-shirts and pendants could give you an edge over other sellers offering pieces designed from mass produced parts. Reuse and recycle found objects to truly make your pieces unique.

2) When You Find Your Best Design, Offer It In Various Colors, Styles, and Sizes:

For all that is said about originality and making your own unique and original designs, when you happen to hit a grand slam, don't stop there. Look at these cute leg warmers. This seller has many styles and colors of these handmade leg warmers in stock. Reproduce your most popular items in different version. If you make clothing or jewelry, consider adding plus-size options. You can also make seasonal versions of the same product to match the weather.

3) Offer Similar Items At Different Price Points: 

Sure, your piece made with pure metals and authentic gemstones look gorgeous and is worth every penny, but not all shoppers can afford that. Try making a few high-end luxury items to draw shoppers in and get the oooohs and ahhhhs, but offer a lower price alternative, perhaps a necklace made with glass beads instead of gemstones or a scarf knit with acrylic rather than a premium wool yarn.

4) Promote Your Newest Products: 

So, you have some amazing new items, but no one knows about them or how great they are. How do you get people interested? If you sell on etsy, join a team and add your items to the daily promotion threads; all teams should have one. Post some pictures of your new items on a crafts discussion board. There is also Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more. Just make sure that you don't bombard your customers with constant ads or promotions to buy your products, or it will seem spammy. Keep it fun. Consider sending out samples of new products to existing customers, if you sell something like soap or handmade chocolates. If you make jewelry or clothing, wear it!

This necklace is available here:

5) Carry Business Cards Everywhere:

Once you start talking about your crafts, you'll be surprised how many people really are interested! Imagine that you are wearing your new crochet hat and meeting some friends for a few drinks. Inevitably, you will hear someone say, "I love your hat!". That is your cue to tell them that you made it. If the person seems interested, offer them a business card. Try to get high quality business cards with an interesting design. 

Moo business cards and stickers are a bit of an investment, but everyone loves them and they are so nice that people can't bear to throw them away. Having a great card makes a good first impression and implies your items are high quality. These cards are printed on ultra-thick cardstock and can be personalized with your images. Look here to buy Moo cards:

Other alternatives are to design your own or hire a graphic designer to help you get just the right look. Include your card with sold orders, have a stack handy for people to pick up if you are selling at a local craft fair, and post them on community bulletin boards.

6) Packaging Matters:

This morning, I made and listed this new soap for sale online and I made sure to mention and include a picture of how it would be packaged. This is very important to consumers, especially for edible goods or products that go on the skin. They need to be labeled so that a full ingredient list is visible. If you sell jewelry, pottery, apparel, or other goods, you should mention how it is packaged to prevent breakage and if it will arrive ready for gift giving.

You can find this soap and more here, in my shop, Mylana:

7) A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words:

Cliche, I know it, but there is a lot of truth in that saying. Susan Christensen, local Tennessee photographer has some stunning images for sale in her shop, like these feathers, but you don't need to be a professional to improve the quality of your online photos. Only use clear images on plain backgrounds to make your items "pop". Take your product photos outside or in a lightbox. Try using images taken at interesting angles and include close-ups and images of the entire object. Consider showing the back side of paintings or the underside of a vase.  Consider changing your online photos to match the current seasons or holidays.

Read more about Susan and her photography here:

8) Don't Forget The Men!!!!!

Crafts and shopping, too often we think of this as being a "woman's market", but there are plenty of male craftsmen and consumers. For example, Draper, the creative mind behind SouthPawArt, has outstanding leather designs for men, women, and unisex products. He has hand tooled leather featuring gears, skulls, and wildlife for the traditional "manly man" alongside tulips and finely detailed roses for the ladies. Check out this Hendersonville artisan's shop here for more handmade leather and chain mail:

If you can offer a product tailored to the male market, do so and you will increase your sales. Consider using a male model for your handmade apparel using unisex images that might appeal to both men and women. Beer, bicycles, skulls, and the outdoors are all hot now.

9) Have Seasonal Sales and Promotions:

Having a slow month? Try offering a sale coupon code or free shipping. Make sure you are not losing money though

10) Reward Your Loyal Customers

Offer samples, discount codes, or an occasional free gift to your returning customers.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful site and huge information. The information present here is helpful for the readers I'll come back to this blog for sure!
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