How to make money selling the stuff you make
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
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I make birdhouses and my wife crafts jewelry. We'd like to sell some of our crafting to make a few extra dollars. Can anyone give us advice on how to sell crafts? Online? Local stores? Fairs? Something else entirely?
Look into Local Sales
There are many craft fairs you can go to where you pay a set fee to rent a table and you can exhibit your goods and sell them. They are often held at schools or community centers on the weekends. You can actually call a local school and ask them if they know when the next one will be held there. Then while you are at one, ask one of the other vendors if they know when others will be held in the area. Also, when the weather is nice, you can rent a table at your local flea market or tag sale. There are usually a very high number of people that frequent these places on the weekends. You can also visit an antique store and pick up one of the free antique news magazines. These often have ads in them for craft fairs, flea markets, etc. Don't forget your local consignment shops!
Sell on Etsy
There is an awesome website that thousands of crafters use to sell their wares. It is called Etsy. Just go to Etsy.com and sign up. You can take PayPal and credit cards. The listing fees are very small, and they have many things to read on how to promote your business. I love it! My website is Etsy.com/shop/fancifulfrillies if you want to see an example. I make hair bows.
A Fun, Free Way to Sell Crafts
A fun and free way to sell your crafts is through Storenvy.com. It's totally free to list items! It only takes minutes to set up, and there are no difficult online forms to fill out. When you sell your item, the money is all yours! Just take a picture of your craft, list, and wait for the sale.
Selling Crafts Is Easy!
Selling crafts to make extra money is pretty easy to do. I've been selling my crafts on and off for the past 10 years in various ways. I started out by adding them to my yard sales and then I had sales specifically advertised as Craft Sales at my home. You can advertise free on Craigslist and pretty inexpensively in local papers. You can also put up flyers on bulletin boards at local businesses, the library, and community centers. Make sure you have signs advertising your sale and giving directions to your home. Place them at intersections and along the road near your home. Be sure to remove immediately after the sale is over.
You may also have access to small charity craft shows that take place at churches or schools. These shows tend to have a very low booth rent and don't usually require you to have a business license. If you make more than a certain amount of money per year, you may be required to get a business license and pay taxes on your sales. Every state is different, so it's important to check the requirements in your state.
With the holidays coming up, you could also host a party for selling your crafts. Invite friends, family and co-workers. Be up front about why you are having the party and provide refreshments as a thank you for them coming and play a few games to make it fun.
If you are really serious, you can sell on Etsy.com and Zibbet.com, although you never know when you might get a sale. These websites offer low-cost ways to sell your items to people specifically looking for handmade items. The drawback is you will have to pack and ship your items, which sometimes can be a hassle.
Reach Out to Friends and Family
Our city has a Garden and Arts Center that is run and maintained by the city. Every fall, it has an Arts and Crafts Fair, where local artists and crafters can rent a space for $15 to showcase and sell their wares. Also, reach out to friends, family, church members, neighbors, etc. to sell your items. My daughter did bead crafting while in high school. I substituted at a different school and showcased her crafts to the teachers at my school. They ordered several pieces and she ended up earning approximately $500 in a couple of weeks during Christmas break!
Set Up Group Page on Facebook
It's easy to set up a "group page" on Facebook. Take photos of your items, post them, price them, send to friends, and ask them to share the page. Also join online garage sale groups on Facebook for another way to reach people.
Learn your craft your way at Craftsy.com
Baby Steps to Selling Crafts
Before diving in whole hog, you want to do some test marketing first of what you produce. You can get a listing of small local craft fairs in your area by checking online and take a small booth to see if there is any interest or demand for your products. Make sure to take notes on comments by people visiting your booth.
If you don't want to spend any money that way, then two free ways to market your products will be to take samples by consignment stores and see what they think they could sell them for, so you can determine if the profit is enough, or take advantage of eBay's free 50 auctions each month.
On eBay, it is important to post great pictures, have a very accurate and quality description, and ship quickly, so you develop a good rating. Take baby steps, and you may be able to develop your crafting business into something that provides a good additional income.
Create Multiple Income Streams
My mother and I have been doing this for nine years. We sell at a local farmers' market. We do quite well and have a following. We also rent a booth at a local antique store, and we do a Christmas Bazaar each year. We do well each year. This way, you have multiple income streams. I am planning on expanding to an online store. We have also done eBay. Etsy would also be another great avenue to look at.
Several Options for Selling Crafts
I sell on Etsy.com. As a fair warning, you shouldn't do this if you don't want to work as hard or harder on your online sales as you do at your crafts. eBay and Amazon are also options, and there are quite a few more places out there.
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