Selling your Crafts in an Online Store: What Matters

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Where to sell your handmade items is always a big decision. Learn more from Maria Nerius about setting up an online store, which has many advantages including control of your inventory, no worries about weather, and the ability to change out your goods easily. You’ll need to do your homework and explore all your options.

Selling your crafts online

One market widely used by those selling their handmade crafts is to have an online store. There are many websites that offer this service and some of the most popular include e-Bay, Esty, Lilly’s Craft Store Mall, and Artfire. Every online store service has different rules, set-ups, fees, and commissions. It’s best to really do your research before investing your time, energy, and money.

Some use a flat rate and you’ll be expected to pay a monthly rent. Others want a commission from every sale you make. And others use a combination of monthly fee and commission. You’ll have to carefully study what is expected of you. Visit the sites. Check out the quality and diversity of items sold on the sites. You want a clean looking site that has an easy search engine for potential buyers. You also want a site that markets and has develop a reputation for things uniquely handmade.

The best advice I can give when selling online is have great photos of your work. The photo of an item is all the consumer has to consider a purchase. Make sure you have good light for the photographs and that you get close-up to show off the details and quality of the item. Browse the shops of other sellers and note any detail that makes the item pop in the photograph. Use this insight to photograph your own work. Learn more about photographing your work by reading  Get that Product to Smile – How to Take Great Pictures of Your Crafts.

Check out the prices of your competitor’s goods. Yes, everyone selling similar items as yours is the competition and you need to provide something ‘extra’ to close the sale. It might be a lower price, better detail, or a gift card with each purchase. Your online store is just like any other retail store! You need to update, change out your merchandise, and keep your customers coming back!

Interested in learning more about running your craft business? Make sure you’re subscribed to our free weekly newsletter Creative Income. Sign up today!

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  1. wade kitchen says

    i don’t know what the-URL is? See’ I have a lot of learning to do!!! However’ I’ve been wanting to have my own website for several years now’ because what little I’ve been anle to learn about-one important thing is to have your own website. It’s the idea concerning selling your crfts and people ca see the items without leaving home’ and do all the ordering there. and, even pay for it all in one place! It really makes me excited just thinking about it all!!!! I know that I need to do lots more research concerning all this, but my dream is to develope my very own online buisness. Do you know the best magazine I should buy that would help me learn the most about this kind of buissness, and all the steps needed to become sucessful? I knit, chrochet, make blankets, beaded jewelry, most any thing, I know how to do it!! Well, before I’ve told you my entire life story, I’ll get off the computer. Please, if you have any tips that would help me, please share them. Again, thanks for the insight and I look forward to getting an email. Have a great day—-wade kitchen—

    • maggie says

      Hi Wade! There’s actually quite a bit that goes into starting your own website. Luckily there are tons of resources online to help you figure out just what you need! I would suggest doing a quick google search for “starting a website” and reading up on it a little bit. Then definitely talk to or look into hiring someone to help run it for you. If you want to set up an online shop properly and ensure that you get exposure, this would be the best way. Of course you can always set up and shop, which does a lot of the heavy lifting for you. I hope that helps!

  2. says

    I want to add that I agree with the last bit of advice above. I started with my own Etsy shop. They do all the “virtual paperwork” and I can concentrate on learning how to make better photographs, and work on my inventory. It can take a LOT of time running the website on top of all that. Plus, Etsy gives you a downloadable spreadsheet of all the sales information you need at tax time. I also opened a store on ArtFire and TheAmericanMom, and want to look into the Lilly site mentioned above, it is new to me.

    I say all this, not to recommend any particular online venue as “the best one” , but just to say that using their already-set-up store where all I have to do is list my items, has been a learning process that has given me the confidence to now be thinking of actually having my own website and becoming “independent”.

    Good luck!

    • maggie says

      Thanks for the tip Jeanene! I agree, websites really are hard work. Especially if you’re a doing-it-all kind of business woman.

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