Many people enjoy making crafts as a hobby, but some enterprising individuals have found that they can make money from this hobby by selling their products online. Unlike craft fairs which require lengthy set up, booth fees, and countless hours staffing a booth, crafters can now sell their masterpieces online with little to no additional upfront investment.
Choosing the Craft
Since trends in what shoppers are looking for are constantly evolving, the best choice is to select a craft that you personally enjoy making. Once a skill has been honed to the extent required to sell the products, it may be helpful to make minor alterations to your crafts. For example, if polka dots are currently popular, add polka-dot purses to your offering, while still maintaining other purse styles.
Utilizing Online Auction Sites
The most popular auction site is not likely to be the most lucrative site to sell crafts on, as it is generally used to buy and sell as inexpensively as possible. Rather, look for auction websites that specialize in handmade arts and crafts. Online craft marketplaces have become increasingly popular for individuals looking for one-of-a-kind items and gifts.
Developing Your Own Website
Many serious crafters establish their own website. Though the ideal would be a comprehensive website with information on products with the ability to purchase on the site, this can take some time to design. At the bare minimum, a blog is desired, discussing the crafts with external links to buy them.
Promoting Your Item
If selling on an auction website, one of the easiest methods of promotion is to create an online store through the hosting company. With a catchy store name and an attractive store home page, customers will find items more easily and be more likely to purchase more than one item at a time. Though opening up a virtual store does require a bit more investment, many crafters have found success in doing just this.
As with any other money-making venture, the investment of time and material for each product will need to be determined. One easy way to calculate the time spent making each item is to time yourself on making five or ten, and take the average of the times. Though initially material may need to be purchased from local stores as you are tweaking the product, buying the material from a wholesaler saves a significant amount of money in the long run.
Online auction sites often have wholesale material lots available for purchase, although it may actually be cheaper to look into businesses that specialize in wholesale craft items. Some of these sellers may require a federal tax ID number, which is easily obtained from the IRS as an individual that is self-employed.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to sell a craft online is to ensure that it is something you love to make. With a bit of careful planning, almost anyone can make a living doing what love: crafting!