Sourcing materials and packaging supplies can be frustrating for handmade business owners.
While it’s certainly easy to go to a big box store to purchase these items, it’s often not the most cost-effective or time-saving way to go about things. The following tips can streamline the process so you can get on with making your incredible products!
The most popular place to buy almost anything now is by shopping online. The Internet is amazing because you can instantly search for materials as well as comparison shop for the best prices. I also recommended signing up for the email mailing lists for the websites you like to purchase from- this way you’ll know if they are having a sale or sending out coupons!
Another place to buy unique supplies is the Etsy online marketplace. I use a particular style of clasp for wristlet pouches I make and one Etsy supply shop is the only place I’ve been able to find them (and I’ve looked everywhere!). Many supply shops on the site have excellent prices and selection, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re shopping for materials.
Trade or wholesale shows are another great way to source supplies. Many shows will require you to register beforehand or sign in when you arrive, and you may even need to have business tax ID info to attend. One advantage of these events is being able to see the products in person, so you will get a better idea of the sizes, colors, etc. that are available. Keep in mind that it can take a while to see everything at this kind of show, so make sure to grab business cards or catalogs so you can contact suppliers later if you don’t make it back to their booth.
Browsing the old-school paper catalog is another method to purchase supplies. Many companies send out catalogs when you’ve ordered from their website, and they’re a handy way to shop for products when you’re not online. I like to look in catalogs and then call the company directly to order, as well as tear out pages so I have the item numbers handy for the future.
Who hasn’t bought a material that they didn’t wind up using? Those impulsive craft purchases can really add up financially (as well as take up lots of storage space), so many people sell their extra supplies. Buying from other artists is a great way to get materials often at discounted rates. Just make sure the transaction is handled like every other supply sale and most importantly, keep receipts and records of your purchase.
Where else do you find great supplies for your crafty company?
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