Thinking about starting my first shop...... advice, veterans??
So, I need to raise a lot of money for something, and I thought it would be a great idea to open a shop to sell my crafts (I've been wanting to do this for a while, anyway) to raise money. I'd probably use a site similar to Etsy, but that doesn't take a cut of the pay, and I don't have to pay to post. I know there are some good ones out there, but I can't remember the names. Does anyone here have any suggestions?
Also, what is the general success rate of "normal" people like us who try to sell their crafts online? I know one of my friends tried, and didn't get very far at all, which is insane, because she is RIDICULOUSLY talented. What are some tips and tricks to get started, get a lot of business, and keep that business?
I already thought of including a personal note whenever I ship something out.
What does everyone think?
Sorry I'm not a veteran and don't sell any of my things but a personal note would make me buy again as long as no problems with item and postage etc. I really like that idea!
thanks! ill be happy with replies from anyone.
Well, if you want to try some sites that don't charge a fee for listing, ecrater, dawanda and artfire are a few right off the top my head. A personal note is a good idea. I usually include a free small gift (of my choice) with my orders that is usually something similar to what the customer bought. Like if they bought a bracelet then I would send some type of jewelry or accessory like a beaded pin or key chain. It's always nice to get something extra unexpectedly. Also good to send a business card of your shop for your customer to keep your shop info handy and possibly share it with others. Of course to keep your customers coming back to your shop is make sure that your crafts are of good quality and durability, they most likely will refer others if they feel they got a good product. To get customers of course is an entirely different story, you have to pretty much watch or look at good sellers and what they're selling. Not to copy what someone else is making but you want to make stuff that people are interested in buying, so you pretty much gotta find your market for what's selling.
The disadvantage to running these shops is that you have to advertise it yourself. Using business cards, flyers, posters, small free give-aways etc.
The actual shop needs to be as professional as possible i.e. a nice banner and appropriate to represent what your selling and that goes for the name too. Include your shop policies such as your shipping charge, the kind of payment you accept and how long they have to make sure the item is paid for before it's shipped and any other guidelines you think of. You can look at some other shops to get some ideas. And most important, make sure your items are photographed well, presentation is key. Good quality photos will sell your product and with this, it's best to take pictures of your items with a light background.
As far as doing well with sells, that can't be determined, but I know from experience and others it can take up to a month or so to make a sale. Just because you make some really cool stuff, not everybody likes the same things or in the market to buy certain crafts. Don't let this discourage you though, you may never know until you try. Even though it's really not all that expensive to list on etsy and other sites that charge, you won't get anything back if your item doesn't sell, so on etsy you will have to pay to list it again (20 cents per item) and then there's a 3.5% commission for each sale. Ecrater.com is a totally free site and doesn't require someone to become a member to buy from you, but this site also is not strictly for handmade crafts. You can sell ANYTHING there. Dawanda.com was supposed to start charging over a year ago, they haven't started that yet unless they've changed that, but from what I remember I'm thinking they will be charging about the same as etsy but won't charge to relist your items. I have a shop there with a few items left because I moved everything else to my ecrater shop because of the upcoming charges they plan to put in place. Don't know much about artfire but I think you can only list so many items before you have to pay for a different membership to be able list more.
Hope that helps and good luck if you decide to open a shop!
i also am wanting to open a shop some people use myspace to sell stuff some people will post there stuff hey i made this its in my shop i think making things affordable is a good way to get people to buy . people gotta know its there to buy so i would say post everywhere you can post myspace facebook twitter all those thats what im gonna try
Yeah those are good, even on your blog(s) and you can do promotions like a grand opening sale or sales for holidays and occasions like Father's Day, which is the next holiday coming up. (too late for Mother's day), 4th of July, etc. All this ties in with the advertising, you gotta get your products noticed and let ppl know where they are to get it.
not a note about your shop because I am clueless but I would be interested in buying some of your charms if that would help. I love the ones on you've shared. Message me.
I've been selling my crafts for about ten years now, and the best sales are made at craft fairs and shows, where people can see and handle everything. Then I have also sold quite a lot on ebay, but now the charges there have become quite high. I've been selling on etsy for a few months, but only sold 6 items....all of them to USA buyers, and also on Folksy, sold 3 items in 3 months!
I know a lot of people from the craft fairs who make beautiful hand crafted items and sell hardly any, I don't know if it's due to the recession or not, but I have noticed that since all these pound shops opened, the general public expect to buy things for next to nothing ( apart from the few people who do appreciate hand made and all the time and effort that goes into it.)
The key to selling is to know your market and give them what they want...but then you have often to compromise and make things to suit the buyers. This is probably why I don't sell too much just now, as I prefer to make things for my own enjoyment!
So from my own experience....
Ebay:- lots of views. sold lots of "niche market" items (i.e.Goth, emo etc) but fees high and customers expect things to be cheap
Etsy:- quite a lot of views, I believe customers want high quality rather than low prices, but mainly USA buyers, and with high postage costs, and the exchange rate it's harder to make sales.
Folksy:_- quite a lot of views, but I think that's mainly from other folksy members! Hardly anyone knows about it yet, too.
Dawanda :- been a waste of time for me, although it is free to list. Hardly any views, and no sales yet.
Local craft fairs:- best for sales, but need to cater to the market and area
Also, a friend of mine has just opened a little craft shop, and she's let me have a shelf of my items in the shop...so far I've sold three things
However, this is just my experience here in Scotland, I expect it will be quite different in other countries.
I use Etsy, and do quite well
i love ^ 110% free of charge, no listing fee, setting up shop fee, commission fee, nothing! and its very eco friendly! if you'd like to elect to pay a small fee for a few of your products, you can choose to save some of the rainforest with that small fee. otherwise its 100% free of charge.
i had a shop there shortly, but then my identity with paypal was stolen, and because of that mess, i can't use paypal any more which is their only accepted method of payment. :/ BUT if you can use paypal, go for it, i loved the site and have failed to set up shop anywhere else because i can't find a free shop i like as much.
I have a shop on Etsy and have made over 250 sales in less than 2 years. The fees can be outrageous if you're a manic lister like me (e.g. 200 + items), but it's not too bad if you only list a few things and see where your shop is headed first. Many of my buyers are from outside the U.S. I only have 12 items in my shop right now as I'm opening a new shop on Etsy for plushies soon. We'll see how that goes . . . I believe Etsy is far more well known than any of the other handmade marketplaces, so it's best to start out there. My success, I believe, was to intense online advertising on CO+K, Twitter, Facebook, and my blog. I also held a lot of blog giveaways and had them advertised for free on Etsy Giveaways. It would also be a good idea to open an account on deviantART.com as you can do a lot of networking there and get the word out about your shop. Networking is key. I've made close contacts with the owners of two popular zombie themed sites (some of my products are zombie themed) and all I have to do is shoot them an e-mail and ask them to do a post on an item or my shop. So which ever site you choose, network, network, network!!!
Hi Rachie....I don't sell my stuff on line but the best advice someone gave me is to know your target buyers even if that means using different oulets for different products. I'm in contact with a local shop that sells alternative clothing and has just been bought by a couple who want to extend the range. They are interested in my corsets as they priced them up elsewhwere and they are way out of the price range because of middle men. I can make them made to measure, cheaper and still make a profit. Make sure you fully cost your time as this is an area that usually gets missed. Good luck
Hey, thanks everyone!!! Sorry I didn't get back to this sooner.
Krafty Kokatie, were you talking to me or someone else? If it were me, well, I'm terribly flattered. ;) Reply back here or message me to lmk, ok?
Thanks again, everyone!!! :-D
Not to dig this out of the grave, but it was going to be either here or another new thread:
How do you all typically price what you make? i mean, its one thing to say 1 jump ring =x amount of money, but what about things like glue, paint, etc?
Also, how much do you typically charge per hour for "labor"?
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