How To Sell Your Crafts by Leanne McAlpine

Hello again everyone, I hope you are all well?
Today I’m going to share with you some ideas for selling your crafts.
Have you ever thought about your selling your crafts? If you’ve ever tried, you will know how difficult it actually is. There are some different options open to you and I’m going to go through some of the pros and cons as I see them and also give you an insight into my struggles as a seller.
There may be different reasons why you want to sell your crafts. It maybe that you just want to sell what you’ve made because of the space your makes are taking up. Alternatively, it maybe that you want to set up a business and have additional income. Whatever the reason, there are things you need to consider.

Selling at a Craft Fair

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If you are thinking of selling at a craft fair. there are few things for you to think about.
Insurance
Believe it or not, to sell your items at a craft fair you need insurance! There are several different providers out there which you can find on Google. You can get insurance for round about £50 a year.
Some fairs will not let you have a stall unless you can prove you have insurance. The insurance is to protect you as well as your customers.
Setting your stall
It is normal for you to have to pay for a stall at a craft fair and prices can vary considerably depending on the size of the fair. This cost will usually include a table for you to present your goods on, however you are responsible for the decoration of that table.
You will need to provide your own table cover and signage. You will also need to provide your own display stands.
Stock
This for me is one of the main issues regarding craft fairs, you need to have all your stock ready to sell on the day. So you need plenty of storage space to stock pile your products before the show and more importantly you need the time before hand to make sure you have plenty stock. Then if you don’t make many sales, where do you keep your stock after the fair?
Pricing

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People these days seem to want things as cheap as possible and a lot of people do not understand the amount of time it may have taken you to produce your items. It is more than acceptable to charge for your time, but be aware that if your prices are too high, you are less likely to have as many sales. Ultimately people want value for money. I am a member of several online groups and a lot of people in these groups are reporting not making many sales. It seems they get plenty customers looking at their stalls but not parting with their cash. Just be aware that a craft fair could leave you out of pocket once you factor in the cost of your stall.

Selling Online

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Selling platforms
There are several different platforms you can use to set up your online store. I’m only going to talk about the most popular but I am aware there are other platforms out there.
Before you start your online business, do your research but do it wisely and make sure you look at a variety of information sources to get a balanced view. It doesn’t matter what selling platform you look at, there will be plenty of negative reviews to read…you can’t please everyone!
I sell online and the main reason I do this is because I make to order. I don’t need loads of storage space for made items as once they are made they are posted out. However, make sure you consider the cost of packaging when listing your items. You can usually charge postage depending on order size and /or the destination to ship to. The more countries you ship to, the more likely you are to get sales.
Things to consider

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Before setting up your business, what sort of budget do you have? Are you gradually building your stocks up yourself as you need to? Or do you have a start-up budget so that you have all your supplies at hand? A lot of people gradually build their business from scratch with a very small budget unless they have been lucky enough to get a business loan.

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Within your budget, one the most important things to think about is branding. Branding is really important and gives your business that professional look. Of course you will have already chosen the name for your business at this point so that you can go ahead with your branding design. There are plenty of places online where you can purchase branding and it can be fairly inexpensive. Or you could design your own using programs such as Canva. When designing your brand you need to consider what image you want to portray to your customers. You also want your brand to be easy to remember. Within your branding package consider your logo, business cards, blog header etc.
When selling online you also need good photographs, after all this is the only way the customer will see your product. Your photos need to be clear and not fussy. Make sure the background does not distract from your item. Use photo editing software to enhance your photos. I use my iPhone and use Polar to edit my images.
Once you have got this far, the next step is choosing the right platform for you.

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When I first thought about selling my products, I opened an online store using shopify and closed it a week later as I did not understand how to set it up or the pricing framework. My intention was to sell via Facebook but then as Facebook were changing their algorithm, it became apparent how difficult this would be. Now that’s just my opinion and there are plenty of stores out there that use shopify successfully…but this is why it is important to read up on your chosen platform before using it.

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Etsy is probably one of the most well-known selling platforms for hand crafted items. With Etsy you are only able to sell handmade or vintage items.
It is really easy to set up your store and it is free. However you pay a minimal fee to list each item, although this listing lasts for 3 months. When you make a sale, Etsy take a % of your sale in commission.
I use Etsy and find it very easy to use and there is also an app to use as a seller which keeps you informed of any sales.
As Etsy has approx. 10 million sellers it can be quite difficult to get noticed, don’t expect to open a shop and get a sale straight away. You need to do a lot of promoting and making sure your listing is search engine optimised (SEO, look online for more info regarding this).
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nuMonday is a new online selling platform for handmade items. It differs from Etsy in that it is free to list and instead you pay a monthly membership fee, also they do not take any commission from you when you have a sale.
As like Etsy you need good clear photographs, good listings and you need to put the work in to be found. This is a new selling platform and is not as well-known however many sellers are having success using it.
So this is an overview of how you can sell your crafts. You could of course set up your own independent online shop via your own website… it depends what you’re able to manage.
Me, I have an Etsy store which has been open 6 months, in which time I have made 2 sales. I have also recently opened a nuMonday store and I am yet to make a sale via this.
Neither of my shops are perfect and I still have a lot to learn and I am aware of changes I need to make, but if you’re like me and also have a full time job, finding the time to do all of this can be fairly limited.
All in all, if you’re looking to sell your crafts, do your research. What would work best for you? Consider where you would get your supplies from and work out what your niche is. Once you know who you are selling to, this makes it easier to target your potential customers.
Be patient but be prepared to put in some work…even Richard Branson had to start somewhere!
Good luck and I hope you have found some of this information useful.
Until next time.
Leanne x

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