Make Money Selling Your Crafts

Make more money with your crafts by effectively marketing yourself and your products.

It can be difficult to make money selling crafts. For every person you meet who is selling their craft and making a respectable profit, there are at least ten others who are either losing money, or grossing less than the minimum wage per hour. For some, it is a matter of skill. For many more, however, it is a matter of marketing and finding the right market to sell the product. You can be the best craftsperson in the world, but without marketing and promoting skills, your product will be doomed to sell at a lower price that you deserve.

First of all, do a cost analysis of your product. Factor in the cost of your materials, the time and expense you went to obtaining the materials, the time you spent making your item and the time and expense you have put into marketing and selling your product. It can be tricky to keep track of all of the things that you are spending money on, so be sure to keep good records. Don't forget about the entry fee for craft show you entered, in addition to the booth fee. What about shopping bags that you give to customers with your product? The devil is in the details. Small expenses can add up quickly, diminishing or even eliminating your profit.

After you have done your cost analysis, decide if you are making the hourly wage that you want. If not, then you need to raise the price of your product. Will the market you sell in support the price? If not, then you need to target a more affluent market, find a way to cut expenses or develop a more profitable product.

Selling your item for what it is worth and selling enough of your product are two major concerns for the craftsperson. It is worth putting some time into marketing your product so that you can earn the price you deserve. As far as marketing goes, it is absolutely amazing what good design can accomplish. Make sure your hangtags, labels, etc. are professionally done. You can produce this effect yourself on some good publishing software, such as Quark, or perhaps Microsoft Publisher. Next time you are in a pricey store, take a look at items in your category and pay attention to how they are presented. Do the fonts on the labels create an elegant image? What do the hangtags say? Do they present a minimalist one-of-a-kind image, or do they have intricate instructions and a history of the item on them? Whatever the case, you may want to consider adopting the techniques that the craftspeople selling their items at high-end stores have done, even if your product is not particularly high end. After all, a label can make the difference between hand lotion being priced at one dollar or twenty.

A website can also make a difference in how you are perceived as a craftsperson. You may even wish to call yourself an "artisan" and have photos of your work on your site. Needless to say, your site should be well done, and reflect the creativity of your craft. Of course, you can always use a website to sell your work as well. This works if you are selling costly items or a large quantity of items. Otherwise, the price you may need to pay for search-engine optimization simply may not be worth it. Regardless, keep a supply of business cards with your web address and phone number on hand. You never know who you may meet who will have an interest in buying or reselling your product.

If you have found through your cost analysis that you need to cut expenses, consider buying supplies through bulk suppliers. Many of these suppliers can be found through a simple Internet search. Some are willing to send you samples before you place a large order. In order to gain wholesale prices, you will usually need to be registered as a business, and have an EIN. When selling crafts, you need to report your income, just as you would with any other business. Be sure to keep track of all receipts that document your expenses. You don't want to accidentally report income that you never made!

One of the most popular ways to make money selling crafts is through craft shows. Before you sign up to participate in one, and possibly pay a pricey booth fee, you must investigate the competition. If you make jewelry, how many other jewelry venders will there be? You want your product to stand out, rather than blend into the crowd. Also, be sure to find out from the organizer how much foot traffic is expected for the show, and if possible, the economic demographics of potential customers. This will give you an idea if the show will support your prices and type of work. Also, when doing craft shows, remember that the most profitable time to do a show is in the months leading up to Christmas. Shows early in the year are rarely very profitable.

An alternative to craft shows is selling directly, or on commission, to local stores. Standard mark-up for stores is usually 100 percent; so if you want fifty dollars for your product, ask yourself if the store sells similar items for one hundred dollars. Needless to say, you want to find a store that is a good match for your product. Such a store will sell complimentary items, and not have too many similar items.

You can also sell your product directly. Selling on the Internet has already been mentioned as one option, but another option is looking at your extended network of family and friends. A great way to sell with little to no overhead is by offering a friend a free product in exchange for selling several more of your items at her workplace. Many of your friends and family members will be eager to help you succeed, and you can gain quite a lot of business this way. Depending on the nature of your product, word of mouth may also help you to get future sales.

Experiment with the different possibilities, and be sure to always present yourself and your work in a professional manner. Many craftspeople make good livings out of doing what they love, and you can too. It is a matter of finding your exact niche, and making the most of it.

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