Advice for selling handmade crafts online

You’re crafty, and you know it. So clap your hands.

Now, let the rest of the world know it by selling your handmade goods online. Crafters who are making good money doing this have a few things in common. Good pictures, good descriptions, and good reputations.

Good Photos – This is a challenging one for many. You don’t NEED to invest in thousands of dollars worth of photo equipment to take nice photographs of your projects. A nice point & shoot camera can certainly get the job done if you take your time.
Some things to keep in mind:

  • Place your product on a plain colored background. A white bed sheet over your kitchen table will work.
  • Use natural light instead of flash. Most cameras built in flash is too powerful for closeup shots. Open your curtains and let the sunlight provide the lighting.
  • Use a tripod. You need your photos to be in focus and as sharp as possible. A tripod eliminates camera shake and helps your shots remain in focus.
  • Take several different angles. Help convince the buyer that he or she is making the right decision.

Good Description– buyers aren’t expecting a newspaper length article here, but typically a simple sentence just doesn’t cut it. Describe your product and how you made it. Use plenty of adjectives to make your potential buyers feel warm and fuzzy. If your photos and words connect with the emotions of the viewers, your products will sell fast. Use complete sentences and proper grammar. If writing isn’t your thing, ask someone for help.

Reputation– Online craft marketplaces like Etsy and Crobbies both have buyer and seller reputations. If its your first time selling something, that big fat ZERO next to your name might scare away people. To counteract this, go buy some cheap crafts from others first to build a reputation. Even a single digit number like a 1 or 2 looks better than 0.

Simple Marketing – There are several marketing methods that you can use to put yourself and your products in front of potential buyers Here are a few:

Social media marketing is really simple. Get yourself a twitter account, find and follow other crafters, join in conversations. Don’t just tweet your links though, go out and connect with people.
Advertise – Google adwords is pretty cheap and effective. Facebook ads are incredibly targeted and affordable. But I’ve had the best luck using the ‘featured’ ads on Etsy, Crobbies, and even eBay.
Your own website – Having your own website is far more professional than always referencing your facebook or etsy profile URL. Plus setting it up is actually fairly easy. Your domain will cost you $7.49 from after a GoDaddy Coupon. Hosting is less than $100/year from companies like Host Gator. Install WordPress to use as the CMS, or even build a site using the hosts simple site builder. Even if your website is a simple “About Me” page with links to your etsy profile, it’s still an online presence.

Final Advice – Learn as you go. Follow up with your buyers to make sure they’re satisfied. Make sure they leave feedback and help you build your reputation.Don’t get discouraged if items remain unsold for long periods of time. It doesn’t mean that no one wants it – it simply means you haven’t put it in front of the right market yet. Most importantly, stay inspired – your creativity is what got you here in the first place.


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