Thinking About Selling Handcrafted Online?

So you’re thinking about selling your handcrafted jewelry and crafts online? There are a million and one places to sell online today, that makes selling handicrafts accessible and affordable, so why not, right? If others can sell online I can, too. If I can sell my handmade jewelry and crafts at the local fair and to my friends, they should sell well online, shouldn’t they? Maybe. Maybe not. Have you got what it takes? Are you willing to put forth the effort required?

The sheer number of crafters, jewelry designers, and artists that are trying to break ground on starting a new online business today is mind boggling and every market is oversaturated. We are in a very low economic climate with few buyers and many sellers. If you’ve gotten the idea you can try and make a few extra bucks (maybe more!) selling a handmade craft online (or elsewhere), think how many others have the same thought, because they do. People everywhere are trying sell whatever they can and grab those few customers that are spending. It’s tough, it’s tough selling at crafts shows and it’s tougher selling online. Too many sellers, not enough shoppers. What that means to us sellers is we need to take this seriously.

We need to treat starting up a handmade business like a real business beginning with selecting what product to sell and picking a great business name right down to the packaging we ship it out to the customer in. That means maybe you need to spend some time on product development and create a unique product in order to make your online shop the ‘go to’ place for something special. You need to be focused on an awesome product and know your target market. You need to be prepared to take some risks and bank on your hard work when the time comes. I don’t think there are many who are successful at selling anything, anywhere who didn’t take some risks and who didn’t put in way more hours than they ever counted on doing marketing, photography, and writing content.

It takes all these things to sell well online, it is far from fun and games and if you’re raising a houseful of kids while working a full time job and only planning on putting an hour or two into this per week, don’t be disappointed when the people don’t come. There are those that seem to be able to do everything in very little time and those that don’t really seem to want to do any of it. If you want to be successful at selling online and you’re starting out right now, in the middle of this horrible economy, like I did, it’s going to take everything you’re got, and then some, to rise above the rest, to catch the eye of the savvy shopper.

If I haven’t already scared you off, it can be done! This is the intro for a series of blog posts I’m planning to help teach others how to sell their crafts online. Some are already written so I’ll have to make a list to put them all in order as they get finished =) But I want to help others like me get a grip on what needs to be done to help them sell their crafts online. It’s not as simple as taking a basic craft that you like to make and setting it in an online shop and expecting people to come, because that’s a bit of a fantasy and not likely to happen. It takes work, a lot of it, it takes planning and learning a lot of stuff you never really thought you’d have to. You have to be a copy writer, photographer, marketer, shipper, and so many other things to make this work, but if you’ve got the guts you can do it!