So, you are a crafter?
You were able to create something homemade and wonderful, congrats! Now what? How and where do you sell your craft items? There are a few different options such as: online whether through Facebook, Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, eBay, or an online store they are all great option. However, how do you begin to get traffic to your store? Word of mouth is great but unless you get an endorsement it only goes so far and can take a long time. Craft shows and festivals can help to bring new customers if you choose the right venues. Farmer’s Markets are another good choice but once again you need to pick the correct locations.
With all the online methods there are charges and fees for each one. Watching for hidden costs is key! Some charge per item plus a separate fee for excepting PayPal and/or credit cards. Then you get charged by PayPal and the credit card machine company on top of that. Want to run your own website and store? Well, break out the pocketbook because this is going to hurt a bit. The annual cost of a website, hosting company, and a domain is just the beginning. There will be added charges for excepting PayPal and credit cards too. Want real-time shipping to make life easier? That is going to be another cost! Let us not even mention a professional email address or promotions to be added, ummmm more charges!
Craft Shows and festivals can help make you some quick revenue in a short amount of time if you pick the right events. If the event is easy to get into and has a cheap entrance fee of let’s say twenty-five dollars, sales will be low to medium most often. The shows that require all vendors to have handmade items typically have a larger return on investment. The older the shows like the 55thannual festival will do better than the 3rdannual craft show.
Farmer’s Markets vary in the quality of products, leaving the crowd to vary as well. Big markets in big cities that choose handmade or hand-grown vendors only, do better than the ones that have twenty people selling manufactured yoga pants. Make sure to check out the markets before you commit to spending every Saturday of the summer selling there. Small markets with very selective committees can also do quite well.
When it comes right down to it, talk to other vendors, they will steer you towards the right events. Research each venue to make sure it is worth your time and money. Make sure when selling online you have enough profit margin to handle all the fees associated with an online store. While all these can be great options, not all are right for every crafter. Good Luck and happy selling!