L.M. Reid is an Irish writer who has published many DIY articles online. Learn how to make the numerous crafts she creates from home.
Use Market Research to Create a Successful Craft Business
You can learn how to make crafts quite easily. Selling them is another skill you should learn in order to have a successful craft business. This article explains the importance of display and the pricing of your products. Market research is also very important to get right.
Craft Display Ideas
These are two very important aspects of your small craft business that you should study very carefully. Customers will not buy your crafts if they can not see them properly. A well prepared and thought out display will get you those sales.
Once you have made your homemade craft as professional and as appealing as possible then you must make the price of the item attractive too. They may love what you are selling but the price is wrong. It is better to sell ten items for $3.95 than one or two items for $5.
Selling Your Crafts at Shows
You are also competing with other stall holders who have either the same or different crafts as you. They are all selling crafts and the customers only have a limited amount of money to spend on that given day and on these type of products.
How to Sell Crafts Online
This has now become quite easy to set up. But there are some crafts that you can not sell this way. Here is a list of the advantages and disadvantages
- Global customers: You can sell your crafts to anyone in the world online.
- Your own online store: You can display your crafts with well-taken photos.
- Easy Payments: You get paid by credit card or Paypal online instantly.
- There are certain crafts you cannot sell online. If your crafts are heavy or need very careful handling then the shipping expenses will rule them out as being able to sell them online. Therefore you will have lost your global customer base.
- How do you display your crafts on your site? You need a very good camera and be able to take professional photos so that you can attract paying customers
- You have to have knowledge of the internet. There are still many people who do not have the experience to operate an online store
Where to Sell Crafts Online
There are many websites that allow you to join them where you can set up an online store. It is free to join but you pay a percentage of your sales and in some cases, you also have to pay handling and operating costs too.
I would recommend Etsy.com as the best website to set up your own crafts store. It is the best known and has a good reputation. You only have to join and then follow their easy step by step instructions to set up your store.
Another way is to create a Facebook Business page. This is also free. The beauty of this is that you can advertise your crafts globally and arrange for shipping and payment privately. There is no charge to yo, unlike Etsy.
If like myself you have crafts that can not be shipped globally then this is the ideal way to sell your crafts online. I make Ladybug stones that sell very well at craft shows but are way too heavy for me to sell online because of the shipping costs involved.
I can, however, sell them online through my Facebook Business Page because I have them on my business page that is local. When my customers buy items here I make arrangements for them to collect them from a designated pickup point within a mile of where I live. I sell my ladybugs, paintings and other garden crafts this way.
Display Ideas for Your Crafts
This is so important to get right. You could have the best crafts for sale at a show but unless you display them properly you will be left bringing them home with you at the end of the show.
Do not be tempted to display all your crafts by bunching them up if you have a small stall. I know they are expensive to rent but do get one the size you require so you can display your goods properly. If you are stuck with a smaller one then you can still make do.
How to Display your Crafts on a Table
Put the same items together for the best visual impact. If you are selling cards, dolls, knitting etc keep them together. This helps to draw the customers eye to them immediately.
If the stall is too small them display what you can of each item and then put the rest in separate boxes or drawers. We were selling knitted hats and did not have the room. So we displayed the best of each size and when customers came to look at them we told them we had more and gave them the box to look at them too. This worked out very well.
Best Placement of Goods
if you have a craft that your customers would need to look at to decide which one to pick then place them properly. The greeting cards I sell requires customers to stand at the box and flick through them before they choose the ones to buy.
If I had these boxes in the middle of the stall then these customers would be in the way of others who want to have a look at all the other crafts. So put crafts like that at the edge of the tables so that the customers are leaving the main body of your stall free so others can see and buy too. I also put the cards in two boxes so that I can have two different customers looking at the same time.
Pricing Your Goods
I believe that if you do not display the prices of your goods then you will lose some customers. I do not ask for a price of an item because it annoys me that they have not been priced. I walk away from any stall that does not display their prices.
Market Research Is Essential for Success
This is an essential part of setting up your craft business. I explain ways to do this so that you give yourself the best chance of making money.
- How to cut down on expenses for the rent of a pitch at a craft show
- The importance of networking with other stall holders
Before you decide to make any craft with the idea of selling them do your market research. In order to make money, you need to see what crafts are popular and how much they are selling for. Go to the shows and fairs and into gift shops and look carefully at each item, study the quality, style, and price
But something that is often overlooked when researching how much you could charge for your own craft is this. A gift shop on the high street can charge and sell a handmade greeting card for a much higher price than could be received for the same item at a craft fair.
No Return Customers
The high street store pays expensive overheads for a good reason. Their customers are able to come into the shop to look around and decide either there and then to buy or come back another day. They know the item and the shop will be there when they decide or can afford to buy. The number of new customers and returning buyers are huge.
The price of renting a table or pitch at a craft fair can be expensive. How to pay less for a table or pitch at a craft show. Rent a table with another person. This works well if you have a family member or friend who also wants to sell their crafts too. You can share the price of the table and the responsibility.
You will need to have bathroom breaks, get something to eat and smoke breaks if a smoker. You can relax knowing that someone you trust is watching your stock and selling them when you are away from the table.
But the most important advantage of sharing is that you can both go around to the other stall holders and network. For your earlier market research, you should have been to a few fairs as a customer but this is no different. I have found in any of the places I have attended as a seller that the other stall holders are open and honest with me about how they are doing.
They also give me the inside knowledge about which shows are the best. Talk to them and look at what they are selling. Look at their prices. We always know when another stall holder comes to the table by instinct and then introduce ourselves. In this country, it is an unwritten tradition to give a discount to a fellow stall holder if they buy one of the items. When they come to your stall ask them quietly what they think of your stock and the prices you are charging.
Cutting Your Costs
Selling crafts for other people for a percentage of the sale. This is another option to offset some of the rent for your table. I find it works best with close friends or family. I am lucky that most of mine love to make things.
Craft Items That I sell
- Painting on canvas
- Painting on rocks and stones
- Ornaments made from clay
- Dolls clothes
- Fabric Christmas decorations
- And many more that I can sell this way.
I do the rounds of the crafts fairs with my sister so I have all the advantages as stated above. We also sell a few crafts for my other sister and mother.
Crafts to Make and Sell
Market research and networking is an important part of your craft business. There are many crafts that you can create and sell on a part-time basis that will give you a small income. If you have a specific craft you enjoy why not see if you could sell it.
You could do this either on your own or with a group of family and friends who are also creative. But remember to do your market research too as this can make or break your new enterprise.
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.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on August 30, 2016:
Hello Robie glad to be of some help. Yes, I found that the correct displays do sell more crafts
Robie Benve from Ohio on August 04, 2016:
Great info! I found your hub looking for info about displaying handmade brooches at an art fair, you have some great tips here. Thanks:
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on April 09, 2014:
Good luck dearabbysmom with the craft fairs. Yes I notice that when I do the fairs too. Hand knitted or crochet hats always sell well.
dearabbysmom from Indiana on April 02, 2014:
Years ago I sold my soaps at craft fairs but haven't done that for awhile. I just turned in registrations for 3 festivals this summer, so thank you for the refresher course! Everywhere I've gone the crocheted hats have gone like crazy...I'm sure your table does well!
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on March 10, 2013:
The white coat for the barbie doll does look great on her. Thank you Guest for taking the time to leave a comment
carol7777 I have been selling crafts at fairs for a while now so have learnt all the best ideas. Thanks for the comment, votes and pin
Guest on February 27, 2013:
You are amazing at crafting!!! I really love that white coat for the Barbie!!Great job! :D
Guest on February 27, 2013:
I love to crochet!!!!:)
carol stanley from Arizona on December 24, 2012:
You have some beautiful crafts here. Your ideas for selling and marketing products at craft fairs is excellent. Knowing what is popular and what price point is so important. Thanks for sharing this. Voting up and pinning.