By Guest Blogger Bethan Davies from The Craft Star
The Internet has opened up a world of new possibilities for crafters to market their goods. In order to get top dollar for your handmade crafts, there are several steps you should take to find the perfect selling venue and prepare your items for sale.
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Selecting the Right Marketplace
Several alternatives exist when it comes to online selling. The most popular selling venues are auction websites, internet storefront sites and personally-created websites. Online auction sites like eBay put your items in front of millions of potential buyers, but the site is already crowded with thousands of handmade items, making it hard for the items of an individual seller to stand out. Many sellers find that sites such as etsy, which allow a crafter to set up a customized storefront, work well for their particular items. The third option, creating an individual website, requires additional effort on the part of the seller but permits a personalized approach to selling.
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Prices and Profitability
The next step to selling online is making sure that the goods you offer will be profitable. The total cost of materials, transportation and time spent crafting the items must be considered as well as any fees associated with the particular selling venue. A comparison of similar items offered by other sellers online is a great way to tell if the prices you must charge in order to make a profit are competitive. It is also helpful to watch these similar items to see if they actually sell within a reasonable time.
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Preparing accurate, detailed descriptions of items is critical to helping them sell. For example, listings should never be simply worded as “red sweater, size medium,” but should instead include selling points that are unique to your item along with the actual measurements of the item in both English and metric units. High-quality pictures accompanying each description also help catch the eye of potential buyers and can sometimes be all the sales pitch you need.
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Knowing exactly how many items you need to make to meet demand can be tricky. If an item turns out to be extremely popular, demand can quickly outstrip your ability to supply the item. On the other hand, some items turn out to be unpopular, and you don’t want to be left with a large quantity of unsold inventory. As with price comparisons, demand for your items can be gauged by looking at similar items currently selling online. If you are marketing an item that has additional features or that is completely unique, however, you may be on your own when determining the demand. In that case it is best to adopt a watch and wait attitude by producing items only as quickly as they are sold. A seller must also consider whether to accept pre-orders or only sell inventory as it is produced. Some sales may be missed by adopting this policy, but doing so can keep an individual crafter from getting swamped with backorders or left with unsold inventory.
About the Author:
+ Bethan Davies is the owner of The CraftStar an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of handmade crafts to come together. Start shopping online today for handmade gifts and vintage items.