I am sure you must have tried selling handmade products at least once in your lifetime.
If there are more than a few instances, then I know for sure that you did start a handmade business in your life.
I do not know what you create and how well you run your handmade label. Without knowing the numbers I respect you for taking the action to bring out your creativity. Irrespective of whether you are a hobbyist or run a side-hustle or a full-fledged business. As long as doing your own handmade business, you got all my love and respect.
Now I know that you can guess that I too am a creative person. I would do anything to bring in oodles of opportunities to make new stuff or learn new skills.
Indulging in arts and crafts is fun. But the love for spending all your time in creativity may get limited. The limitations could be a day job, family time, or household chores.
But what if I told you that you do not have to compromise between your hobbies and day job? What if you could make your creative pursuits a full-time job?
But for that to happen you will have to understand how to operate a business venture. If you envision yourself selling handmade products for a living. Then, you got to read further.
How to Sell Crafts for the First Time
1. Friends and Family
The first buyers of my handmade creations were people whom I knew. Since I tried selling handmade notebooks and cards when I was in 7th grade. So, my buyers were my friends and family.
As far as I recollect, I made some diaries that were as per zodiac signs.
Since my target market was people whom I knew. So, it was easy for me to customize my creations.
It must have been about 25 years ago when I made my first sale with handmade products. I am hopeful that you can also replicate my strategy to get your first sales.
Create your first product and pitch it to people whom you know. This strategy never goes out of trend. But do insist on getting paid. There is no point in creating and giving away your creations for free.
2. Craft Fairs
Craft fairs are the obvious transition from selling to people whom you know.
These days there are a lot of options to exhibit products at various crafts stores. Some of them are even free craft fairs to join.
The craft stores give access to a large audience in local geography. That means displaying at a craft fair is a sure means to increase your sales.
The audience that visits a fair is an engaged one that is looking out to make a purchase.
Also, the craft organizers take care of the operations. So, as a handmade seller, you do not have to worry much. If you concentrate on crafts that make the most money. Then, you can get the most out of craft fairs.
After displaying at your local craft fairs. You can move on to the ones outside your area to cover a wider base.
Craft fairs are beneficial to get your craft out to an audience in a particular geography. Since the fairs happen at a physical location. Therefore, the impact that they create is within a locational boundary.
That means to capture another set of audience, you need a different craft fair. If you have an experience of displaying at craft fairs. Then, you know how taxing that can become. Plus, the cost of logistics adds to the overwhelm.
That is why selling crafts online is an obvious transition from a physical craft fair.
Etsy is a popular online marketplace to sell your handmade crafts. It works much like a local craft fair. Though the difference is that the buyers and sellers do not meet in person. Nor do the buyers get to touch and feel your products before making a purchase.
The buyers rather arrive at your Etsy store looking for a handmade product. Your product pictures and description make a major influence on their buying decisions.
Once they make a purchase, then you ship them your products.
It is a breeze to create products at your home. Then, sell them to buyers all over the World.
4. Amazon Handmade
Etsy brought a revolution in promoting a handmade lifestyle. A few years ago, Amazon also entered the same category as Amazon Handmade.
Though both the platforms are for handmade items. But both of them differ in their offerings.
Etsy has existed for more than a decade, while Amazon Handmade is a few years old. In the recent past, Etsy brought in various changes in its policies that have made the Sellers wary.
That is why most of the Sellers now consider Amazon Handmade as an alternative to Etsy.
There are a handful of advantages of displaying on Amazon Handmade. Of them, the best one is that you can use FBA to deliver your fast-moving generic products. Their plain and simple Amazon Handmade fees does not hurt either. Amazon Handmade charges no listing fee. Rather, there is a flat 15% referral fee when you make a sale.
5. Your Own Store(s)
As a Handmade seller, you can sell on Amazon and Etsy to widen your base beyond the local craft fairs. Though both of them come with their pros and cons.
The fact is that although both these online marketplaces cater to handmade marketplaces. They are in essence online craft fairs managed by third-party platforms.
That means they create the rules and they control the flow of the audience coming to your store.
Why would you want to run your handmade business at the whims and fancies of someone else?
If you have years of experience running your Etsy store. Then, you would know how online marketplaces come up with changes in their policies. At times, many Etsy shops get shut for non-compliance with their changed policies too.
Another issue with third party e-commerce stores is the loss of potential customers. Many times customers view your Etsy store through a google search. But then, they land to your competitors because the search leads them to others in your Category as well.
The above 2 reasons emphasize the importance of running your handmade store.
If you have the experience of all the above 4 stages of running a handmade business. Then, your standalone store is the next progression.
An online craft blog is a must for every handmade artist. Though going ahead with a physical store is a subjective decision. A brick-and-mortar store is not mandatory if you sell digital products like art prints. But if you have large products like bar furniture and handmade houses. Then, a physical store will help in sales conversions.
Selling handmade products as a thriving business is not easy. You can sell one or two products as a hobby artist. But if you wish to thrive as an artist-entrepreneur. Then, you will have to change your strategy.
It could be that you do not know at what stage you are in your handmade business journey. You could be selling crafts from home. But you can always transition selling crafts from home to the entire world. You can even try selling crafts of other artists and charging a commission on it.
There are a few stages until you become an established solo artist-entrepreneur. This article will help you know which junction are you in your path to becoming a thriving artist.
Once you know which part you belong to. You can then grow from there to reach the next stage. Though no matter where you are right now. You must know that there is always a scope to betterment.
Header Image Source: Pixabay