1. Decide where you want to sell
Of course, the first step when starting to sell your crafts is to decide where you want to sell them. Most people immediately think of Etsy and, although Etsy can be a wonderful place to sell, it isn’t the only option. If you’re planning to sell online, consider checking out some of the smaller sites, including Artfire, DaWanda and Storenvy, all of which are artisan marketplaces where you can sell everything from homemade jewelry and soaps to craft supplies, vintage items and more. Each of these sites has their own unique feel so it’s best to explore each one before making a decision. If you plan to sell at craft shows but you’re unsure of where to start, check out FairsandFestivals.net, which features a huge listing of craft shows, art fairs and more. Here, you can search by location or browse by the type of event you’re interested in. You’ll even find descriptions and a list of the types of vendors each show welcomes.
2. Price everything
After talking to other sellers as well as shoppers, I learned that one of the biggest deterrents when it comes to scoring sales is having items that are not clearly priced. Although many shoppers will ask about prices when they see unmarked items, just as many—if not more, won’t. Even if you put up one large sign with a price listing on it, don’t assume that’s enough. Craft shows are often crowded and people move quickly, which means one sign can easily be overlooked.
3. Don’t forget the basics
No matter where you decide to sell, you’re going to need supplies. Despite the fact that this is one of the most basic preparations when it comes to selling your crafts, it’s also one of the most overlooked! In fact, it wasn’t until I sold my first item online that I asked myself "how the heck am I supposed to package this thing?!" I had to run out to Staples and purchase items at the last minute, which cost me way more than I had anticipated. Before you start selling, take some time to decide how you want to wrap and package your items. My favorite sites for purchasing packaging items in bulk are ULine and Nashville Wraps, where I often score shopping bags for as low as 12 cents each and tissue paper for as little as $14 for 960 sheets. Other sites to check include EsupplyStore and, of course, Amazon. Be sure to grab what items you can during those hot back-to-school sales, as well. I usually manage to score pens, paper and tape for as low as a penny between the months of July and September. Once you’ve decided what supplies you need, do a test run to ensure your items fit in the packages and to find out exactly how much postage will cost if you’re selling online.
4. Presentation is key
Whether you’re selling online or at a show, presentation really is key to successful selling. If you’re selling online, your photographs are your presentation, and the perfect photo can make all the difference. After all, your shoppers can’t touch and feel your items so they have to rely on the pictures that you take to see all of the details. Instead of rushing to get your items listed and snapping a quick photo with your phone, take some time playing around with different backgrounds and displays, as well as lighting and positions. If you’re selling at local fairs, your presentation lies in your booth design, which should be constantly evolving from show to show. If you’re completely clueless as to how you want to set up your booth, check out Pinterest for examples or head out to a local craft show this weekend and get ideas from other vendors’ booths.
5. Don’t forget social media
These days every brand has an online presence and so should you! You want to be able to provide a place to touch base with your customers to alert them to new products, as well as specials or promotions that you are running. This can be through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or through an email-subscriber list. Selling at a show? Be sure to include these addresses on your signage and business cards. Perhaps even consider adding a QR code to your flyers that will direct people to your Facebook page or other site. But no matter which platform you choose to use, be active on your social networks and interact with your shoppers. After all, what good is social media if you’re not going to be social?
6. Put on a show
If you’re planning to sell at local shows, consider bringing along your crafting supplies and work on demand. Although this won’t work for everyone, depending on your craft, shoppers love to see crafters do their stuff. At several of the craft shows I’ve attended, I’ve seen vendors creating items right at their table, and they drew in some pretty big crowds and got people talking. Not only will this bring shoppers over to check out you and your booth, but you may even get a few custom orders while you’re at it! In addition to creating and selling at local craft fairs, consider setting up shop at farmer’s markets in your area as well as flea markets, swap meets and school fetes. Many mother’s clubs and churches also put on small sales to help raise funds, which can be a great place to test out your selling skills without having to shell out money for booth fees!