Guest Author - Carla McCune-Cano
So you have crocheted your heart out. Your fingers are worked to the bones. Now what do you do with your favorite shawls, washcloths, afghans, etc. that you just had to make but have no home? Many have turned to selling these little treasure to finance the next “just gotta” project. There are many different avenues to selling your handcrafted projects.
Bazaars, flea markets, and craft shows are a great place to showcase your goodies. There are many items that can be made for bazaars and craft shows. Novelty items, afghans, bath items, kitchen items, children’s items, they all do well in these avenues. Craft shows, flea markets, and oftentimes bazaars have fees to rent your selling space. Oftentimes craft shows are juried and you will have to send pictures or examples of your work in to be considered for the show.
These types of selling avenues have a bit of start up costs involved. You will have to buy or build tables. Have tablecloths, pegs, showcases, and other types of props for your displays. You also have to pay for the cost of the space up front. Many times you might have to pay a second person to come along and help out as well so that your booth is always tended to. Business cards, brochures, and other selling aides may also be needed. The good thing about these avenues is that you get to “know” your customers. You get immediate feedback much of the time. Even when someone doesn’t buy from you, you can get feedback as to why. For example, if they are really interested in a piece but it may cost more than they are willing to spend, or they would have liked it in a different color, many times they comment on things like that.
Another avenue is the Internet. There are all kinds of ways to sell on the Internet. Ebay, Etsy, and others exist to sell your products online. There are many such places to sell online however, these two seem to be the forerunners. I have used both ebay and etsy to sell items I have made. Ebay and Etsy are both user friendly. They are easy to set up as both a buyer and a seller. Ebay’s fees are a bit harder to figure out and are a little bit higher than etsy’s but you can sell just about anything on ebay. Etsy was made for the handcrafter. Everything on etsy must be handcrafted or tools and supplies for crafters. It is a wonderful world for those of us that enjoy our hobby and want to turn it into a small business. Both of these sites have seller agreements and are up front as to what can be sold in your “shops”. As far as start up costs of these two avenues, it is minimal. Below are links to both ebay’s and etsy’s site for you to check out for yourself.
Yet another Internet option is to build your own website. To start your own website there are many different sites that will help you with everything from choosing domain names to selecting web hosts to easy to use design programs. There is also, oftentimes, start up costs to starting your own website. Often people feel it is easier to hire someone to help design web pages than to do it themselves. The best web hosts and domain names cost money, however not as much as they use to. If you are serious about selling this is an option worth looking into. It is one that I would research a bit more after trying out the other options and establish yourself a bit, because of the start up costs.
So if you have crocheted items piling up around you and think you would like to try your hand at making a little more cash, give it a go. It is a lot of fun and well, we all could use a bit more room for a few more projects.