Want to sell crafts?

Copyright National Lilac Publishing, LLC

Making crafts to sell is a wonderful group activity with friends or family, or even just solo. You may sell crafts faster and in higher numbers using the unique tips below from Amy Rose. She’ll cover selling crafts from home via online sources, as well as other less usual ways to get your craft home business up and running.

If you need to choose crafts to sell:

The trick is to look for crafts you can sell that appeal to society’s current trends and what real people really want to buy, and attach a "story" or "region" to them. Trends include "artisan, cultural tradition, locally made, regional brands, crafts with the artists’ personal touch," and so on.

Crafts for groups to make might mean each person contributes something individually, such as a basket weaver, artisan food producer, and potter who create beautiful food gift baskets together, with a few easier but quality crafts such as a hand-made seasonal ornament contributed by older or younger people.

Set up a web outlet to sell crafts

If you already have an outlet for selling your crafts – the place people can go to in order to purchase something -- such as a website, or a successful booth at craft fairs, you can probably skip this step.

But even if you sell your crafts at physical locations, set up at least a one-page description website that really markets the benefits your crafts offer potential customers, with beautiful photos, where your items can be purchased, and perhaps a history of the craft and your credentials.

If starting from scratch, you may want to sign up with Etsy.com or one of their competitors, at least at first. Without the time and expense of purchasing, setting up and monitoring your own elaborate independent craft website, you can set up a free Etsy account and sell crafts online for a reasonable commission with an Etsy marketplace page where people the world over succeed at selling crafts online. Admittedly since the first writing of this article, Etsy has become almost too large, with competing craftspeople's information easily available to those who go to your page. An alternative may be to look into some of the free blogging and free webhosting products that make the creation of your own page pretty easy. Eventually they want you to pay for more of their web services, so their free pages are limited in what you're allowed to do at no cost. But they've served numerous home businesses well.

How to reach thousands of potential customers for free

To sell crafts, people need to find you. There are millions of websites online, so you have to get yourself known. One way is to teach a one-time simple craft workshop related to the craft you're selling. Contact the Parks & Recreation department of the largest city closest to you (or just your own city) and offer to teach a craft workshop.

How does that help you sell crafts? You'll put your Etsy or own url in the description of your class, and without paying a dime, the Parks & Recreation will send out a description of you, your craft, and your website to every citizen in the city. It doesn't matter if only six people sign up for your class and you only make a one-time whopping $65 from your workshop, you've now jumpstarted your ability to sell crafts online for free, and even got paid $65 to do it.

Now reach thousands more for free

Especially when selling crafts from home, set up a free Craigslist account and put in a free ad for your craft, again listing your website. Whether you end up selling your crafts through Craigslist or not, hundreds or thousands more targeted potential customers will see your website listed for free. Craigslist doesn't allow you to continue to sell the same type of item continually without paying a fee, but you can put up items periodically. As word-of-mouth from this and your initial workshop spread, you may find yourself able to sell crafts from home merely from a growing number of followers who love your work.

Sell crafts by giving one away

Offer one of your crafts as a prize. You'll get enormous amounts of free promotion for your handmade craft if a charity, fundraiser, business, church or school uses it as a raffle prize. Selling crafts means as many people as possible need to find out about it, and this is an excellent way to get started and to periodically keep your business in the public eye. Be sure your prize handicraft has a very visible tag with contact information for future orders from people who saw it on display, and that the prize is described with your business name so people who don't win the prize can easily find you online or in the phone book.

Sell crafts to CEOs

These people don't spend a lot of time cruising the internet for interesting handicrafts to buy, but they do have top dollars and like to buy unusual handmade items. Follow one woman's method for selling crafts to CEOs -- her handmade food baskets. She made a beautiful model of her best work, grabbed a stack of business cards, then rode the elevator up and down at a busy business skyscraper as though delivering the basket to a lucky recipient.

Many people saw her work first hand and asked for her business card. Those were her first customers who then generated even more word-of-mouth promotion. Selling crafts means thinking out of the box!

Consider selling crafts to mothers

If you're a mompreneur interested in selling crafts online to other mothers, there are supportive, low-cost marketing sites just for you. WorkItMom.com and MompreneurClub.com are examples. Along with selling crafts here, you can read articles and participate in forums with others who also sell crafts online to moms.

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