For years selling crafts online has been difficult, confusing, and unprofitable. While there was not lack places to sell crafts such as eBay or Craigslist; the average internet shopper had no appreciation for handmade quality and took no satisfaction in supporting independent crafters.
Times have changed and so have the opportunities for selling crafts online. It has never been easier to reach a global audience that appreciates the quality and time invested in making a product by hand. If you’d like to start selling your crafts online, all you need are the 5 Beginner Steps to start.
Step 1) Have a Product
This is the most important step that is mostly overlooked. It’s hard to list items that you can’t take photos of, and you cannot sell products you don’t have. The most successful sellers in any marketplace have over 50 items listed. Your goal should be to have 40+ products finished and ready to photograph and list.
Step 2) Sign Up
Sign up for an account on your venue of choice. There are several good options for artisans looking to sell their work online.
You will also need to set up a merchant account with a payment processor accepted by the marketplace you’re selling at. Most online marketplaces use PayPal which is also the more trusted payment option for buyers. Set up and verify a PayPal account so that your shoppers can pay you for your work.
Step 3) Set up Shop
Buyers like to see sellers who’ve taken the time to customize their storefront. Upload a unique Banner and Avatar and, if the marketplace you’re selling on has other options, customize your layout and colors. Here is how you get set up on Etsy.
Step 4) List Products
Listing products well is an art form in and of itself. For this guide, however, I will simply say that there is more to a listing than a photo and a price. Take the time to write good titles and descriptions, take good photographs, and list your items in the proper categories.
Step 5) Tell People
The difference between failing in online craft sales and succeeding at online craft sales is a promotion. Highly successful sellers know how to bring buyers into their shops by tastefully promoting their work elsewhere. Twitter, Blogs, Youtube, Facebook, Flickr, and other social media sites can all be leveraged into traffic and buyers for your store.
These are the initial steps to take when you’re ready to start selling your handmade crafts in online marketplaces. There are many other skills and techniques to master when it comes to being successful online. Some skills must be learned through experience, but many can be learned though the helpful advice from other crafters or through the guides and materials provided by many of today’s online craft marketplaces.