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Selling Handcrafts

There are several ways in which you can sell your hand made items.

    • through local retail outlets
    • craft fairs around your region
    • your own craft shop
    • online market places
    • online via your own website
    • through word of mouth custom

You can, of course, mix and match any of the foregoing ways of reaching the consumer. Let’s go through the steps you must take before actually reaching your customers.

I will assume that you are prepared to produce the very best work to offer for sale. Not only must it be stitch perfect, it must be spotlessly clean and smelling only of the materials used. This means that it must not come into contact with pets, children, cigarette smoke or dribbles of coffee. Be professional. Making items for sale is a job.

What is it you are making? Now don’t say “Anything and everything anyone wants”. Choose a line of products that you are particularly good at and love doing and stick with it. If what you choose to make can be produced in a variety of sizes, colours and designs, so much the better. Become known for your particular product. After all Clarks make beautiful shoes but you don’t expect to go into one of their shops for a hat, do you?

Now let’s look at each sales place in a little more detail:

Local Retail Outlets

There are shops which will take your wares and sell them for you. They may buy them outright or they may offer you a deal which means that they take a commission on each item sold and give you the balance of the money. It is a matter of going in and negotiating with them.

Craft Fairs

At these events you rent a table and then it is up to you how you present your wares. Get some nice covering and some boxes. Practice setting up at home so that you know what you are aiming for when the day comes.

Place your boxes, open side down on the table towards what will be the back when a prospective buyer is looking at it. These boxes will give height to your arrangement. Then cover with your cloth or sheet. Place your items in a pleasant display. Make some neat labels to stand where necessary.

Craft Shop

This can be expensive and also tying. In some villages and small towns these days there are places given over to individual craft outlets. They are usually quite small units within buildings such as old barns and stables around a courtyard. The units are lock ups in which the crafts people work as well as sell.

Online Market Places

I guess everyone has heard of ebay but it is not the only online market place. There are many others which you will find if you go looking. For example:

            • etsy.com
            • adflyer.co.uk
            • folksy.com
            • misi.co.uk
            • en.dawanda.com
            • wowthankyou.co.uk
            • coriandr.com
            • artfire.com
            • zibbet.com
            • notmassproduced.com

 

Own Website

Having your own website allows you to present your products the way you want. You can list absolutely everything you have in stock. However, you then have to make sure that people find you so you will need to list in online directories and also offline locally. This can take a while to have any effect.

The trick is to combine your own website with everything else that you do, such as online market place and craft fairs. Make sure that you always have business cards to hand out which will direct people to your website. Always mention your website in profiles online and you will get a good mix.

Word of Mouth

This is, of course, the best way to build up customers. This has got to be the oldest form of marketing in the world. If you make something for a customer and they like it, they will talk to their friends and family about it – and you. Hopefully more sales will come because of this. It has a ripple effect over time. It can, though, take quite a while to get going so use other ways and hope that this will kick in from any customers you gain elsewhere.

I’ve set out here a few ways that you can go about selling your products but I’m sure there are other ways. Let us know any ways where you have had some success.

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