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You too can be successful selling crafts in an online shop. On Easy, you can sell handmade crafts, vintage items, and craft supplies. There are other sites such as iCraft, Folksy, eBay, Artfire, Craigslist, and eCrater where you could also sell your handmade treasures.
In this article, we'll be talking about selling in an online shop. Getting started is easy; being successful takes a little more work. To be a successful seller, you have to learn where to focus your time and energy, since just opening a shop and listing the products doesn't guarantee sales. In addition to crafting your products, you'll need to work on marketing your crafts and promoting your store. Etsy has great tutorials and forums where you can learn and seek help from other sellers about marketing and promotion. You can also find great ebooks and Amazon books with helpful tips and information from successful sellers, I've bought a few of the "dummies" book series which have been a big help. And below you'll find tips that helped me sell crafts online.
10 Tips for Selling Crafts in an Online Shop
1. Find Your Niche
Make your craft product unique and original. It needs to be something you love talking about because you will need to do a lot of talking and promoting to be successful, and something you enjoy making. This might take a little trial and error. Try selling a few different crafts at first, see what catches on, see what you like making the most, see what sells and what doesn't sell. Ask a few friends or neighbors their opinions on the items you are selling. Don't get discouraged, this process might take a little time and effort, but stick with it so you will have the best chance of being successful!
2. Utilize Social Networks
Sign up for accounts with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can link these social network sites to your shop. In addition, you should start a blog, as well as join Pinterest and HubPages. You may also want create a YouTube account where you can post craft-making tutorials. Your goal is to connect and promote. The more visitors you attract to your shop the more chances you will have of getting a buyer!
3. Keep Listing New Products
It's a good idea to list a new item or two daily, especially in the beginning, or at least every couple days to keep your store fresh and shoppers coming back for more. You don't want them coming back and finding the same old stuff! This will also help in getting your shop rotated in the line of newly listed products which gives you the opportunity of attracting new visitors to your shop.
The qualities necessary to make money while selling crafts online are passion, creativity, and persistence! The opportunity to make a part-time or even full-time income on Etsy is real; there are many, many stay-at-home moms who are successfully making money and working from home selling their handmade crafts! Personally, I've purchased handmade items from a variety of Etsy stores and I always take notice of the number of sales the person has had, and sometimes they are in the thousands.
4. Take Great Pictures of Your Products
Taking really good photos is of utmost importance! Be sure they are clear, attention-getting photos because this is the first thing the visitors to your shop will notice. Be sure to Include more than one photo for each listing and make sure the colors and size of your sale items are easily identified. You don't want your customer to be disappointed once they receive the item because it doesn't look like the picture in your store. You could use your iPhone, smart phone, or digital camera to take pictures.
5. Write Great Descriptions & Tag It
There is no such thing as too much information here; more is better, provided it's the right information you are providing. Your customer is buying without being able to see or touch the item. Close your eyes and picture what you are selling, describe it in writing as though you were telling someone over the phone about it. Be specific and use words that the buyer would type into their search engine if they were looking to purchase your handmade product. Be concise and not too flowery. Include the size, the color, and the material. Don't use things like beautiful, breathtaking, wow, or great. Avoid using a variety of fonts and font colors, search engines don't like them.
6. Renew Your Listings
You can renew active and expired listings. The cost is $.20 to renew and you will receive a new listing date and expiration date (four months later). Renewing moves your product to the Just Listed page, giving you more exposure. There are programs that will do this automatically for you.
7. Encourage Bigger Sales
Encourage shoppers to buy more than one item. For example, instead of listing one of my crafts for $5.00 each, I'd create a bundled listing that is 4 for $18.99. You could also offer free shipping on the second (or more) or a percent off additional crafts purchased today. The shopper is already at your store, give them reasons to stay and browse and add more to their shopping cart. Your goal is to increase your "per sale" dollar amount.
8. Price it Right
Remember to include all of your incidental costs such as shipping, mailing supplies, production supplies, taxes, etc., when calculating prices.
9. Keep Shipping Costs Down
Offer to combine products for reduced shipping rates, buy supplies in bulk, use the free supplies offered by the post office, pay for postage online, use flat rates whenever possible, add the cost of shipping supplies to your shipping price. Use the United States Post Office online calculator for calculating exact shipping costs. I use a digital scale to calculate accurate weights and stopping costs.
10. Add a Mailing List to Your Shop
Through your mailing list, you'll be able to promote your products to potential customers and current customers that choose to sign up for your mailing list. This is great for running sales or offering discounts and coupons and for keeping customers and visitors up to date on your shop, you could even create a monthly newsletter. As an incentive to get your visitors to sign up for your mailing list, you could offer them a 10% discount on their first order. Mail Chimp is one of the services Etsy uses to create a mailing list and help you build your subscriber list. This a great tool to have in your online selling tool belt to help you increase sales and create repeat customers.
Etsy Selling Rules
Once you sign up for your shop you will want to review the seller's handbook to be sure that you aren't breaking any rules. Here are just a few rules to keep in mind:
- Everything in the handmade category must be made or made and designed by you, the shop owner/seller.
- If you are a designer and you are using someone else to make your items you must follow the manufacturing policy and disclose information about your production partner in the listings in your shop.
The End Result
Yes, you can be successful and make money with an online shop; be sure to follow the ten tips above, spend time building your brand, provide great customer service, have fun with it, and keep on crafting...that's what it's all about!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2012 MomsTreasureChest
Stephanie Bradberry from New Jersey on January 31, 2015:
Etsy has been helpful to my business at certain times. However, I find that more and more people are finding Etsy a hard sell in certain categories. I am not sure the reason for it. What I really like about Etsy is the ability to become part of a Team and promote one another, the ability to create custom orders and how shipping labels are included.
Hooks and Needles on January 31, 2015:
I sold patterns at one time. Then I got more into writing instead. I might return there again later. Thanks for a nice complete useful hub.
Fire8storm on January 31, 2015:
Really useful Hub and great timing. I have been looking into Etsy just this last week with the idea of selling my artwork, so this has come at the perfect time, thank you! Voted up!
Pollyanna Jones from United Kingdom on January 31, 2015:
This is a great guide! Thank you, I've been toying with the idea for a while now to use Etsy. I already have an account, but have not yet taken the plunge to sell on there as I was not so confident. This really does help. I do thoroughly agree, the photographs are so important to make your items look their best.
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on January 31, 2015:
Interesting, I began opening a shop on Etsy and then decided to let it lie dormant for the moment. I thought it might be better to concentrate on my own site and the little shop I have started there. Making any money with one's crafts must be one of the most difficult ways of earning a living!
Thanks for sharing this.
Audrey Howitt from California on January 31, 2015:
Very useful hub! Thank you!!
MomsTreasureChest (author) on January 31, 2015:
Thanks OldRoses! Good luck with your shop when you decide to open one!
Caren White on January 31, 2015:
Great hub! A lot of useful information here. I've been toying with the idea of opening an Etsy shop and doing a lot of research on what it takes to be successful. Thanks for the great tips. Voted up and shared.
lhchan on April 17, 2013:
Very useful hub. Thanks for sharing.
adity5 from Incredible India !! on April 04, 2013:
Very helpful hub :) Thanks for sharing !!
Tirralan Watkins from Los Angeles, CA on April 04, 2013:
momstreasurechest, I never heard of Etsy, but this is something I need to pass along to my cousin who makes beautiful crafts. Thank you for sharing!
Sasha Kim on April 04, 2013:
I just opened an Etsy shop and this hub is especially helpful ^_^ Thank you!! Voting a whole bunch and sharing! I notice you didn't mention a shop name, do you have one yourself?? Mine is MamaKimsCrafts ^_^
beingwell from Bangkok on April 04, 2013:
Hi momstreasurechest!! I have an etsy account; but haven't started to work with them yet. Thanks for this inspiring up. Voted up, joined the poll and shared.
Stacie L on November 06, 2012:
I have been a member since 2008, offering crafts,paintings, vintage and supplies. Crafts are a tough way to earn a living but there are some very successful etsyers.
Matt from Ontario, Canada on October 29, 2012:
I looked into this once because, though this may surprise many who know me, I really enjoy cross stitching. However, cross stitching is so time consuming I realized I would have to sell even the smallest finished work for around $50 just to make up for my time...too expensive for a frog on a button lol.
diyomarpandan on September 17, 2012:
This is a great article. I am doing beadwork to sell at Etsy, so this was very helpful. Thanks!
Sherri Tuck from Virginia on September 17, 2012:
I have a shop on Etsy. It is a great platform to reach potential customers. It takes quite a bit of effort but I have found the experience enjoyable.
carol stanley from Arizona on September 17, 2012:
I have several friends who are involved in crafts and go to shows etc. I will share this with my craft loving friends. Great and complete hub. Voting up and sharing.
Shasta Matova from USA on September 05, 2012:
These are great ideas on how to run a successful etsy shop. I have often thought about starting one, but wasn't sure if it would be worth it for me.
summerberrie on August 26, 2012:
Nice and useful hub!
Colleen Lyon from Kansas City, Missouri on August 13, 2012:
Very helpful hub. I have an item listed on esty, and I would love to make it more successful. I make hand poured custom soy candles, and custom primitive signs. It is a little hard for me to work esty, because most of my stuff is made to order. I am linked on facebook, twitter, and hub pages, so I will start using those more. I will also try some of your tips. Take care, C.
MomsTreasureChest (author) on August 11, 2012:
Thanks Jez. Don't quit on the social network aspect, it definitely increases your hubs exposure, compare the stats on hubs you have and have not promoted through an outside source. I can see by your hubs and profile you are really active, that's great. Mailchim p is an outside source to consider for the mailing list. I've used them on other sites and has a good experience. Good luck with
all your efforts!
Jessica from Dallas, TX on August 11, 2012:
Great list, thank you for sharing! The part I have the most trouble with is knowing where to focus my time and energy. It takes a LOT of time to promote through all the social networks (plus blogging) and I often wonder if it's all really worth it! It doesn't seem to be...so I must be doing something wrong, lol! I would love to start a YouTube channel but I hesitate due to the amount of time it would take away from everything else. There just aren't enough hours in a day (sigh)!
One question; when you say add a mailing list to your shop do you mean actually on Etsy? Is there a way to do that through Etsy or do you mean just including the link in your shop announcement? Thanks!