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How to create a business website for selling crafts

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How to create a business website for selling crafts
July 10, 2019 Carefree Crafting 2 comments

The key steps for learning how to start a craft business are:

  • 01 | Define your craft business idea
  • 02 | Understand the skills required
  • 03 | Research your competition
  • 04 | Define your target market and customers
  • 05 | Develop your brand and business name
  • 06 | Build a website or store
  • 07 | Evaluate essential costs and fees
  • 08 | Develop your marketing strategy

What is a craft business?

Austerity chic: thanks to the current economic dip, crafting really is ‘in'. Think crochet, soap, cross-stitch, jewellery-making, and wooden toys. Or pottery, glassblowing and tapestry. For hobby suppliers, it's big business, and growing exponentially. According to figures released by speciality craft and hobby store HobbyCraft in December '09, cake baking alone was up 85% year-on-year while knitting sales were up close to 28%.

And this trend shows no signs of waning. In July 2011, HobbyCraft reported an 18% jump in pre-tax profits, year-on-year, driven by the growing popularity of crafts. Sewing and knitting groups such as Stitch London are popping up all over the country. Homebaked is fast becoming the only way to go: so why not go for a piece of the cake?

If you are one of the recession's newly converted crafters, or even if your mother or grandmother taught you to crochet, knit, sew, bake and rag rug long ago, you could well have found yourself thinking: there's more to my craft skills than those throw cushions I zipped up for the lounge. And you're right. The skills you take for granted could well become a promising venture.

Many crafters take time to come round to this way of thinking. Crafting ambitions can be unfairly dismissed, as Amanda Ryan of craft gifts shop Maisielu.com explains: “I never thought of using these skills as my source of income because throughout my academic years ‘helpful' careers advisers told me I needed a proper job in an office with computers and business profiles!”

But when you think of it, this home-based, low investment business has much to recommend it: self sustaining organic growth is not to be sniffed at. Meanwhile, the growing number of online marketplaces, such as Notonthehighstreet.com and Folksy, are offering crafters more cost-effective routes to market than ever before.

So whether you're a dab hand at felting, a knitting fanatic, or a screenprint superstar, keep on reading to see if it's for you.

Who is starting a craft business suited to?

Crafts businesses and mums… the cliché holds true to a certain extent. Start-ups in this area are often powered by mothers who want to stay at home to be a full-time parent to their children. Joanne Dewberry, of party bags and toys craft company Charliemoos.co.uk, explains: “A lot of craft business owners are mums who suddenly have more time on their hands and start crafting for a hobby. Then they end up with loads of finished products and the best thing to do with them is sell them!”

Of course, you don't need to be a mother to go in to the area. Don't worry if you've not gone to art school, and don't be overly concerned if you have no professional training in your craft either. You don't necessarily need this to start up a business. Many successful businesses are powered by the enthusiasm of talented amateurs. “One of the factors that held me back from starting my own craft business was the belief that I didn't have the correct background,” Amanda Ryan of Maisielu.com admits. “Most of the craft orientated businesses that I liked and researched had been started by people who had completed degrees and had suitable contacts in this market…”

But if you research the various structures  a business can take, you will find a ‘new wave' of craft businesses taking off. There has been a surge in numbers using on-line market places specialising tin the hand crafted area; such as Etsy (take a look at our dedicated guide on how to start an Etsy shop), Misi and Folksy. “Looking at the array of people from amazingly different backgrounds on these sites helped me understand that to set up a craft business all you have to know is your craft,” Amanda explains. “Everything thing else can be researched, and gained through experience and the helpful knowledge of others.”

Joanne agrees: “I have totally self taught to sew. My first sewing machine was a child's tiny £10 sewing machine which my hubby bought me for Christmas! I know what I like and I just find out how to do it.” Even though she had no ‘craft' background, Joanne had the wherewithal to make things work. Before she had her children and set up her own business, she worked as a nursery manager. She believes this, and a number of relevant courses, has afforded her all the background business knowledge required, and now mentors through the Prince's Trust.

Fiona Morris of Samigail's Handmade Personalised Gifts had a similar experience. Not only did she lack a craft background, but she was unsure how she could make a viable business out of any craft in her repertoire. “Even when I was a solicitor, I always enjoyed lots of different types of arts and crafts,” she says. “But at the time I couldn't think of any class that I did that really would be commercially viable.” Then she found pyrography. “I just taught myself that, and then a friend of mine said they would work as a gift for her children's teacher at Christmas. In that way I realised I had a commercially viable product!”

So as long as you enjoy the hobby, and you have the requisite equipment, then that's all you need to set up a craft business. Don't let any perceived cliquishness turn you off.

Getting your business started

When you are setting up your craft business, the most important choice is, of course, the craft you choose. There are many popular crafts areas, and it's a competitive area. So it's extremely important to differentiate your offering.

“In terms of crafts, there's a lot of people who make handmade cards,” Fiona Morris of Samigail's Handmade Personalised Gifts notes. “I know when I go to a craft fair or a school fair, there are a lot of stalls with handmade cards, and a lot of stalls for jewellery. If you want to go into business in craft, you would be wise to think about an area that isn't already saturated in the craft market.” Find a unique selling point, like Fiona has. She says she always knew she wanted to personalise items for people, and make something very special and particular to them.

It's imperative to research your product well, too. When determining which craft to go into, Fiona searched on Google for the products she had in mind, looking for what was already out there and how hers might be different. It's a good idea to look for the products that actually sell. “Ebay is very good for checking up on products that sell well,” Fiona advises. She suggests you might check for prices too, “obviously bearing in mind that your product might be different, so it might have a slightly different price. But for a general guideline for what sells at what price, it works!”

You need to know your market, also. If you're producing wedding jewellery costing hundreds, for instance, you should not aim to sell at a school fair, or a Sunday hall market! There are other reasons to do careful product research, though. “It can prevent copying others' designs,” according to Amanda Ryan of Maisielu.com: “You may not do it on purpose but with certain jewellery suppliers selling to lots of makers you can end up with very similar products.”

It's not a good idea to rule out all copying, however. Once you have decided on your craft, you'd be well advised to seek the advice of fellow crafters online. It's easy to source very specific advice, according to Fiona. “A lot of people use online forums, in particular, mum's forums. Some of them have a separate section for business. And the crafting forums give great advice.”

Crafting forums will be full of people who have gone through similar experiences to you in setting up their own businesses, and can give you avenues to finding out things like public liability and insurance specific to crafters. “You can Google a lot of things,” says Fiona, “but finding craft insurance was one of the things I struggled with. Searching the specific craft forum really just solved that very quickly.”

Amanda Ryan of Maisielu.com agrees: “The greatest thing for someone setting up a craft business is website forums: the sales sites all have them for sellers to discuss business together.” Importantly, forums are also often frequented by customers who are hoping to seek out artisans for commissions. “The sites I used most was Crafteroo, a forum for crafts people most of whom run their own businesses,” Amanda advises, “and UKHandmade, an online magazine for craftspeople.”

If you're starting your craft business from home, check out the insurance you might need as a home-based business owner here.

What does it cost to launch a craft business?

If you need to invest substantially in anything for your start-up, it will likely be in equipment for your chosen craft, and perhaps a website to sell your produce. If you're a beginner it's not advisable to go for new top of the range equipment. Not just in case your things don't take off, but because it's possible to find good equipment second hand. “You can try looking in your local charity shops,” Joanne Dewberry of Charliemoos.co.uk suggests. “You'll find lots of people buy all the equipment, give up or never use it. It's a great way to get started.”

Crafting does not usually require a great deal of investment to start off with. Often, you'll already have most of the initial stock and equipment from practising your hobby. This was the case for Amanda Ryan of Maisielu.com: “I was lucky that my business was a hobby first so I already had a lot of supplies and equipment,” she says.” I think a lot of craft businesses evolve this way giving the owner a good start up stock.”

Business grew in an organic manner, and very intentionally so, for Fiona Morris of Samigail's Handmade Personalised Gifts, too: “I was very aware that I was going to start the business on a very tight budget. Except for the initial expenditure in a basic pyrography iron and some wood blanks at every stage of growth the business has paid for itself.”

Organic growth is certainly something to aim for, but at the very early stages, investment needs will vary according to your craft, your equipment and the kind of stock you need to order in. Like any business, it is advisable to have a buffer in place.

Selling your craft products

In terms of bringing your crafted items to market, there are many ways and means. Fiona recommends starting off at school fairs, and church fetes as well. It's a good way of spreading word-of-mouth. Someone may buy something from you directly, and perhaps go on to seek out your site.

Of course the site of sale will depend on what your product is. It may need a street presence, or sell better in an established local shop. It may be more suited to craft fairs at seasonal times. If you've done the correct research you'll know. But mistakes can be costly, so be fastidious.

“I chose to sell through Misi and Folksy first,” says Amanda Ryan of Maisielu.com. Both of these are British run craft selling websites. There are others like Notonthehigstreet and Etsy too. “These fitted my needs,” Amanda explains. “With minimal set up costs, you can set up a store within their site, list your products and off you go! You get support from their forums, an online presence, get to test your products on a target audience and all for a very cheap fee and commission rate.”

These kinds of sites are excellent. But do not take it for granted that they are for you as they're not suited to every craft business. With Maisielu.com, the products are small, so it was not cost effective for Amanda to open a high street store with huge overheads. Your business, should it be a pottery or a wicker workshop, for instance, could benefit from a studio shop, or artisan workspace.

Many crafters set up their own website. It is possible to build your own site at home for free, as Amanda ultimately did. “I felt the major break through for my craft working as a business was when I launched my own website. Selling through my own space rather than sales sites, I don't have to pay fees to others.” Even if you are quite technophobic, the process is not extraordinarily difficult. “I used create.net,” Amanda says, “a website template company. They were on hand if I ever had questions and made it a joyful project.”

Fiona also built her first site, but she was not entirely happy with the result. “You can do things very cheaply,” she explains. “I started with a free website and really that is something I regret. I wish I had gone for website hosting that I have now, straight away. I wish I had not bothered with the free website!” It's worth considering all of the services you'll need a website to offer your customers: it may be worth investing in a site to ensure usability etc.

If it is going to form a central facet of your business, and you want to encourage repeat custom, it is important to have a good quality site. Have a mailing list and a newsletter too. Look into Twitter feeds and set up a Facebook account – this can link to your online store. Make sure your site boasts a range of features including customer and or/community forums, news updates and images, as well as your basic online ‘shop'.

And if you are getting a site built, or hosted, do watch how much you pay. “My hosting costs about £60 a year,” says Fiona. “But there are a lot more expensive ones out there.” If you are on a budget, watch details such as this.

Depending on how you choose to sell, there can be sellers' fees, commission taken, insurance, and fete table costs. There can be studio rents, utilities, and so on. You also have to consider Paypal fees, accountant fees and tax, too. Like any business, once you look into it, there is a great deal to arrange. “But none of these should put you off your business idea,” Amanda advises. “These things just need to be researched and managed.”

Similarly, there is much to consider in terms of pricing your product. With a craft business, you must take into the equation not only the cost of materials but also how much time you have put into a product. And weigh up your target market. High end clients will expect to pay a premium for handmade products.  “Don't pitch yourself too low,” Joanne Dewberry of Charliemoos.co.uk warns. “When the work starts flying in and you're up making at all hours and the cash tin is empty you'll struggle to raise them up higher.” So make sure you get your pricing right.

To do this, research is the key. You have to decide where you want your products to be stocked and what price ranges are the norm for your business. Galleries can take up to 50% in commission and the best craft fair table costs can be high. “So think outside the box,” Amanda advises. “Do open house events where your living room is your studio and invite friends and family round for the afternoon. Or hire a small venue for the evening for your own gallery evening, and send pieces to local magazines with covering letters for fashion shoots.”

The possibilities are endless. In your business set up as well as your craft, it pays to be creative.

Tips and useful contacts

Top tips

Value your customers

“Try to value your customers,” advises Fiona Morris. “Word of mouth has gone a long, long way for me. Value the quality of product, but also value your customers. And that way you'll get more customers coming back.”

Seek out positive advice

“Surround yourself with people that have positive attitudes and will give you constructive advice,” Amanda Ryan suggests. “I find the worst aspect of a craft business is the negative comments people can make. Some people don't understand how much time and resources can go into a hand crafted product. They think it should be the same price as a mass marketed item!”

Join online craft forums

“There's a huge amount of support that's on there from genuinely very kind people,” Fiona advises. “They are in the same boat as you.”

Price carefully

“Don't forget to cost for your time,” warns Joanne Dewberry. “Or you'll find you've worked all hours and have made no money. Buy in bulk and steer clear of shops such as HobbyCraft where you will pay high street prices and thus have no room for profit!”   Phone your local tax office “I know a lot of people are scared of the tax office. But it's really a wonderful resource,” Fiona says. “They genuinely want to help you. They send you out quite a lot of things just so you don't get lost with you tax and your National Insurance….”

Useful contacts:

UK Handmade http://ukhandmade.co.uk/magazine/

Etsy http://www.etsy.com/

Misi http://www.misi.co.uk/

Folksy www.folksy.com

CraftJuice www.craftjuice.com

Mumsclub.co.uk

Mumsnet.com

Craft Business online magazine http://craftbusiness.com/site/

Create.net www.create.net

Hobbycraft http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/Home.aspx

Stitch London http://www.stitchldn.com/

Burda Style http://www.burdastyle.com/blog/how-to-find-a-local-sewing-group

There is so, so much that goes into having a successful online craft business.

 

Truly, the path is long, and can be hard, and has so very many steps.

However, I’ve been in the handmade business for a long time now, and over the last few years I’ve built up my business to the point where I am now earning MORE than I did in my last professional job.

Some days, I can’t quite believe that I’ve reached this point. A few years back, it seemed like a pretty unattainable dream.

But here we are. I am lucky enough to be making a living making beautiful things – doing something I love.

I don’t say this to brag or toot my own horn, I say it to give you hope.

Not a false hope. Not a hollow – you will succeed if you just do what you love.

No.

But if you’ve dreamed of doing what I do – making a living from selling your craft, I’m here to tell you that it IS possible. No, it’s not easy. No, it’s not a quick process. But it can be done. I, and many other artisans, are living proof.

Today, I thought I would dig deep into those years (and YEARS) of trial and error to share with you 10 things that I believe are absolutely crucial to the success or failure of your online handmade business.

But… before we dive into these 10 steps – don’t miss out on even more FREE content (including my Etsy Quick-Start Guide).

 

1. Create something people actually want to buy

This is number 1. I’ve written about this before – the uncomfortable fact is that when you make the transition from making things simply for your own joy and satisfaction to making things to sell, you need to change your mindset.

This can be HARD. Of course you love what you make – that’s why you make it.

But is there a market for it? And is the market willing to pay what they need to in order for you to build a profitable business?

Before you dive into setting up an online shop and learning everything there is to learn about selling your work, you need to seriously consider this question.

 

2. Work on it every day – but be patient

One of my most favourite mantras when it comes to business is this:

Remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Whenever sales are slow, or I’m not getting as many comments/likes/tweets etc etc as I’d like, I remember this.

Businesses do not grow overnight.

They take YEARS to become truly successful.

Are you in this for the long term? Because if you’re doing this to try and turn a quick profit, just stop now.

If you’re not sure that you want to be doing what you’re doing in 5 years time – don’t try to turn it into a full-time business.

You need to be dedicated and patient.

If you’re both of these things, and you take steps every day to grow your business, success WILL eventually come your way.

 

3. Be friendly but professional

Part – an important part, I believe – of having a handmade business is being open and friendly with your customers.

They are buying from you because they prefer to buy unique things, direct from the person who made them.

Don’t make it difficult for them to get to know you (i.e. have a good About page with photos of you and your work, and the story of how you came to be making what you make) BUT at the same time, remember that your customers are not your buddy.

By all means be friendly and lighthearted with them, but remember to treat them with professionalism and respect.

Use salutations when you write to them. Always respond to questions promptly and in detail.

Don’t get het up with a customer who is making unreasonable demands – just respond calmly and professionally with reference to your strict and reasonable policies (you have those, right?).

NEVER NEVER NEVER complain about a customer in a public forum. Just don’t. Ever.

No matter how unreasonable they may be, or how mad they have made you, they, and every other customer you have, deserves respect, and to know you won’t air their issues in public.

Balancing this line between being friendly and being professional is crucial for the success of your business.

 

4. Have beautiful photos

This. Is. Key.

When you sell online, your photos will make or break your business.

The photo is the first thing that captures the eye, and usually the largest part of the decision-making process when all is said and done. I even know people (and am totally guilty of doing this myself at times) who barely even READ the description, but just buy pretty much immediately based on the photo of an item.

Take the time to get good photos.

What makes a good photo?

  • Natural or filtered white light (not flash)
  • Consistent, simple, yet iconic backgrounds – nothing too ‘busy’ that might detract from your item
  • Clear, crisp shots in perfect focus
  • Interesting and intriguing angles – so long as you show us the full item, to scale, in one of the supporting shots, the first shot can be more of an enticer

 

5. Make reproducible items

You can only get so far making OOAK (one-of-a-kind) items when you’re selling online. I wrote more about this here recently, so I won’t go into detail.

Suffice it to say, once your business starts growing, the time it takes to photograph/describe/title/edit etc etc every new product will be time you will not have.

 

6. Believe in yourself and your work – fiercely – but be open to change

If you don’t believe in yourself – and your product – you will never succeed.

It takes so much time and dedication to really make a go of selling your craft online, that if you don’t make something you absolutely love – and are convinced that others will love, too – you will run out of steam, get disheartened, and give up.

Put your soul and passion into what you make. Love it fiercely.

BUT. Be open to change. If you’ve been working and working and working… and STILL aren’t gaining any traction after weeks/months/years… something might need to change.

It might be what you make. It might be something about what you make. It might just be your photos or price point.

Love what you do… but be open to the fact that in order to succeed, you might need to make a change.

This is not a bad thing. Don’t be discouraged if you do need to make a change. We all know the story of Edison and the lightbulb, right?

 

7. Get a Mailing List

Email is still the most direct and effective way to connect with your customers.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you can blog, facebook, tweet, instagram your heart out… but people can still ignore – or just miss! – all of this.

Once your customer or prospective customer has taken the step to trust you with their email, they have given you permission to contact them directly.

These are your best prospects for making a sale – the people who love what you do already! You don’t need to convince them that what you make is awesome, because you already have.

Treat them with respect, give them value in the emails you send, and stay in touch with them on a regular basis. They will reward you by becoming loyal customers.

 

8. Price for Profit

This is one of THE most common problems in the handmade community.

Most of us start off selling our work from a hobby perspective. We have no idea what price we should be selling our work for, so we tend to drastically underprice it. We know how to make it, so we tend to underestimate the skill that has gone into the process.

DO NOT TRY TO COMPETE ON PRICE.

There will ALWAYS be someone selling something similar to what you make for much less than you. Even other talented crafters and artisans.

You need to do the hard work to figure out what price you need to sell your goods for to make a decent living, and that’s the price you need to sell it for.

This is hard. It can be confronting. It will probably take you out of your comfort zone.

But if you’re serious about making a living from your craft, it’s something you need to do.

If you need help figuring out just how to do this, go read this article.

 

9. Get your Own Website/Blog

You’re a professional – so you need to LOOK like a professional.

You’re selling online, so your online presence needs to be professional and welcoming.

At the very, VERY least, invest in a $12 domain name, and re-direct it to your online store.

That way, on your business cards, your email signature, your social media accounts, and everywhere else you list your website, you can use mybusiness.com rather than mybusiness.etsy.com or madeit.com.au/mybusiness.

Such a small change can make a BIG difference to the impression people have of your business.

You should aim to have your own, stand-alone and self-hosted website as soon as you can make it happen – preferably with a blog included – but having your own domain is a fantastic start.

And yes, you should be blogging. It’s the best way to craft a story about you and your work. Don’t freak out or get overwhelmed if you don’t know what to blog about, just start. In fact, here are some ideas to get you rolling.

 

10. Learn, Learn, Learn

In business, there is no such thing as DONE.

There is always more to do.

New things to try.

Mistakes to be made.

Unexpected journeys.

Things to learn.

 

When you’re in business, you need to be constantly learning, experimenting, and taking leaps into the unknown.

If you don’t try, sure, you can’t fail.

And if you do try, you will fail. Over and over again. But each time, you learn something more. You might take a step back, but you’ll take two steps forward.

It’s a fascinating, thrilling, exhausting, invigorating, and life-changing journey. And if you set your mind on succeeding, are smart about what you do and how you do it, and get help when you need it, your chances are success are pretty darn high.

I did it. You can, too.

 

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It's easier than you might think to start your own handmade crafts business. Below, you'll find some of the best websites to sell crafts, as well as.

Arts and crafts lovers, this post is for you!

If you’re looking to turn your hobby into a business, you can make money when you sell homemade items online.

People love unique, handmade crafts and products!

All over the internet, crafters are setting up their own online shops to sell their handmade items, and they’re making good money doing so.

Let’s learn how to turn your love for crafts into a money-making business!

How to Sell Crafts Online for Free

Can you really sell crafts online for free?

Yes! There are plenty of websites that will let you open up your own virtual shop to sell your handmade goodies, and they won’t cost you a dime to start.

Although not all are free, others can still be well worth the small fees you’ll pay.

Etsy, for example, does have selling and listing fees, but they’re pretty small, it’s free to open a shop.

The fees don’t deter thousands of crafters from setting up shops and making huge profits on their handmade items!

Below are some of the most popular places to sell homemade items online, and many won’t take any money to start selling.

Places to Sell Handmade Crafts Online

These craft selling websites are the perfect places to go to sell your handmade items online.

Absolute Arts

Absolute Arts is an online marketplace for artists to sell their unique masterpieces, including paintings and sculptures.

You can sign up as an artist to promote and sell your products.

List up to 20 works of art for free, or you can choose from one of the other subscriptions to list more artwork, have less commission taken from your sales, and access to other features.

The best part is that Absolute Arts can also take care of some of the marketing for you!

Aftcra

Aftcra is a site that encourages crafters in the USA to sell their goods.

The site is all about handmade stuff from the United States, including kids and baby products, paper goods, clothing, and home décor.

There are no listing fees to list products on Aftcra, but there are transaction fees.

Transaction fees are 7% whenever your products sell, and your products must have a $10 minimum price to be eligible for listing on the site.

Artfire

Artfire is an online marketplace to sell craft supplies, vintage items, and handmade goods. Artfire does charge a small monthly fee to run your shop, and you’ll be charged listing fees that get smaller as you list more items.

Customers can pay you with PayPal, Amazon Payments, or ProPay.

Articents

Handmade and vintage items are welcome on Articents.

The site isn’t anything spectacular to look at, but it features some interesting items, like tie-dye shirts, handmade jewelry, and wedding décor.

A basic account gives you free listings and a shop without ads, but a $5 monthly subscription will give you access to a personalized storefront and other helpful features to control your shop and sales.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is an online store creation platform that walks you through the process of creating your digital store and maintaining it to keep your customers happy.

When you set yourself up with a BigCommerce account, you’ll get a website to feature your products and can start selling your crafts through Facebook, Amazon, and other online marketplaces.

BigCommerce helps business owners in just about any industry, so crafting isn’t left out of the picture.

You can start with BigCommerce for $29.95 per month (but this decreases if you decide to pay annually), and you can start to also get marketing services for the next plan, which is $79.95 per month.

Bonanza

Bonanza is an online marketplace similar to eBay or Amazon that lets you sell just about anything, including crafts. Plus, you can sync your listings with the other places you sell to keep track of inventory.

No set up or listing fees are associated with your webstore on Bonanza!

Craftsy

Craftsy is a great place to learn different crafts, but you can also sell your unique sewing patterns for free, with no listing fees or commissions taken!

Cratejoy

Cratejoy offers a really exciting way for crafters to get their products in the hands of people all over the world.

The company is a subscription box company.

You can get started creating your own subscription box featuring your handmade goodies, or even tutorials on how to create your crafts with materials included.

Cratejoy supplies you with tools and resources needed to create your box, and you’ll have access to free listings, Cratejoy customers, and payments via Stripe and PayPal.

Dawanda

Dawanda is a marketplace for all things unique, including handmade items. It’s free to open a Dawanda shop, but there are some listing fees. The website is open worldwide, so make sure you select the right currency when you list.

DeviantArt

For those interested in digital arts, DeviantArt is the place to go.

No, you won’t be selling handmade jewelry and clothing here, but you can sell just about anything you make with your hands using a computer.

DeviantArt provides the platform for you to list your products, but it won’t help you with marketing.

Still, you’ll have access to the many people who browse DeviantArt for unique digital art and you’ll earn royalties for everything you sell.

Withdraw money easily with PayPal.

eBay

You can sell just about everything on eBay, the online auction website. There are no fees to list certain things, depending on promotions and the type of items, but usually listing fees apply. There are also fees based upon the final sale price.

Learn about some other lesser-known sites like eBay that you also may be able to sell your crafts on.

eCrater

eCrater lets you set up your webstore for free, but there is a 2.9% selling fee. You can import any eBay items you may be selling to help keep track of your inventory.

Etsy

Etsy is probably the most well-known craft selling website, and for good reason. The website makes it easy to set up your own shop for free, and crafters are making excellent money selling their one-of-a-kind items.

Etsy charges a transaction fee of 3.5% per sale, but it offers tons of free tools and support guides to make your sales go as smoothly as possible.

You can get paid in a number of ways, including Google Pay and PayPal.

Read about Mandy Ford, who created a booming online business selling her handmade crafts on Etsy.

Facebook Marketplace

The Facebook Marketplace is super helpful for people who want to sell stuff locally but don’t really know where to find buyers.

It seems like almost everyone uses Facebook nowadays, so it’s easier than ever to find a home for your crafts.

You can use the Facebook website or app to enter the marketplace and add items for sale.

Put up some pictures, a description, and your price and wait for others to message you.

You also have the option to share your listings with your Facebook friends by posting it to your wall or share them in local buying and selling groups for more people to see them.

Folksy

Folksy is for British crafters to sell their handmade clothing, art, and other goods. You can choose to pay-as-you-go or purchase an annual membership, which will save you money in listing fees if you sell a lot of items.

GLC Craft Mall

If you’re looking to sell your crafts on a craft mall online, GLC Craft Mall is the place for you. The website offers many item categories for a lot of variety.

You’ll pay a monthly fee for a shop, with plans starting as low as $3.50 to list up to 100 items, with no other fees involved. You can also try each of the plans for free for 30 days!

Handmade Artists’ Shop

Handmade Artists’ Shop is all about supporting handmade creations and their creators. You can sell everything from jewelry to woodworking items.

Plans start at $5 per month to maintain your shop, and you won’t have any listing fees or commissions.

Handmade at Amazon

People already make a lot of money selling manufactured products on Amazon, but Amazon is also reaching out to crafters with Handmade at Amazon.

This sub-site of Amazon lets you sell any of your handmade items in a number of categories. The fees are higher than other places (15%), but you also have the opportunity to earn more from Amazon affiliate links.

Hyena Cart

Hyena Cart focuses on handmade and eco-friendly items. You can have an individual store or join up with other sellers for even more exposure.

The setup fee is normally $10, but the website sometimes offers a Penny Promotion, where this fee becomes a penny! After that, you’ll pay $5 per month, with no listing fees or commissions.

You can even pause your fee being charged if you need to take a break for a month, and your selling activity will resume once you resume your billing.

iCraft

iCraft is a marketplace that focuses mainly on jewelry, accessories, and knitted products. You can get unlimited product listings for $5 per month, with no additional fees or commissions.

The website also sometimes has promotions, like 10% off if you purchase annually, rather than monthly.

Made It Myself

You can open up shop at Made It Myself for free! You’ll be subject to some listing fees and commissions, though.

Meylah

Meylah is an eCommerce platform that you can use to sell your crafts online. You can make extra money through Meylah with customer subscriptions and advertisements on your shop page.

Misi

If you live in the UK, you can sell on Misi’s marketplace, which features a variety of handmade categories.

It’s free to set up your shop, but there will be small listing and commission fees involved.

Shop Handmade

If you’re looking for fully free and functional, Shop Handmade is the place for you. This crafting marketplace allows you to open a shop, and sell, for free.

The website automatically promotes your products in their categories when you list them. You can even sell your gently used craft supplies. You’ll get paid immediately with PayPal when a transaction happens.

Society6

Society6 is a place for artists to sell their works. You can upload your art designs for people to purchase on products, like mugs and t-shirts, which you’ll receive royalties from, rather than the full product purchase.

Society6 handles the packaging and shipping. For each transaction, there’s a 30-day grace period, and you’ll get paid on the 1st of the following month. For example, if you sell something on June 13th, the grace period will end on July 13th, and you’ll get paid August 1st with PayPal.

SpoonFlower

Creative designers can make their own designs on SpoonFlower to place on fabric, throw pillows, wallpaper, and more. You’ll just be designing, and SpoonFlower takes care of the physical product. You can also create sewing patterns to sell.

When you start, you’ll automatically earn 10% of sales, with potential to increase your earnings by becoming a power seller. You’ll get paid bi-weekly as long as you earn $10.

Zibbit

Crafters can sell fine art, craft supplies, vintage items, photography products, and more on Zibbit.

Plans start at $4 per month, and include zero listing fees or commissions, and your own selling website with a custom domain.

Other Ways to Make Money Online from Crafting

If you’re looking for a few other options for making money online from your crafting hobby, here’s what to do:

Blog About Crafting

Craft blogging is huge right now, since blogs are the perfect place to post crafting tutorials. But how do you make money?

Through advertisements on your blog or placing affiliate links to crafting products that you recommend! Sign up for Amazon Associates to make commission on your favorite Amazon products.

You can also sign up for blog networks and apply for sponsored posts. Many brands seek out crafters who can do creative things with their products to make them even more appealing to potential customers.

Here are some more ways to make money blogging!

Create Crafting eBooks

You can sell your own eBooks on your blog or on Amazon. Create tutorials for your favorite crafts, or put your favorite sewing patterns into a digital book to sell.

You can even pull in more customers by writing about your eBooks on your blog or social media accounts and creating affiliate links for them!

Promote Your Crafts on Pinterest

If you do have eBooks, a crafting blog, or even your own Etsy shop, you should sign up for a Pinterest account, if you don’t have one already.

Pinterest is huge for crafts, and crafters can make a lot of money by driving traffic to their blog or shop through Pinterest.

Check out these tips to drive traffic with Pinterest!

You Can Make This

You Can Make This is a website you can use to make money from being crafty, but it works a little differently than marketplaces.

Instead, you’ll write tutorials explaining how to make fun crafts, and you’ll earn money from your expertise. If your tutorial is accepted, it will be listed on the website for others to download. You’ll earn 50% of any sales of your tutorial downloads.

If you know of more websites to use to sell crafts, let us know in a comment!

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25 Places to Sell Handmade Crafts Online

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The business of making and selling handcrafted products has become extremely popular over the last few years. With the growth of the craft industry, especially on the online handmade marketplaces like Etsy, you could say that after decades of being seen as tacky or inferior, handmade has, at last, come into its own.

But how do you start your own craft business? Starting your own business can be one of the most exciting things you ever do. But it can also be terrifying. Being self-employed is no easy feat and it’s certainly not for everyone. There’s a reason people say, “Don’t quit your day job.” The key to being successful with your craft business is to think and plan ahead. As with any task or goal, a well-researched plan of action will get you off to a good start.

Here are some basic tips on how to start a craft business from the ground up.

1. Choose a product line. 

One of the first things you should do when starting a new craft business is to decide what it is you want to make and sell. Many new craft sellers make the mistake of trying to start with too many ideas. The best way to build a business is to begin with one or two good ideas and then expand from there in time.

To help you decide what products you will sell first, think about your specific skills. What crafts are you best at? For instance, if you are an expert at quilting, but you also dabble in knitting or needle felting, start with quilted items. You want to put your best foot forward, so you should make your first available merchandise of the very best quality that you can produce. This will help your business to start off with a great public image, which will in time build your reputation. You can always add new product lines once you have been established for a while.

2. Choose a business name. 

Your business name is generally the first thing that potential customers will see. It identifies you as a merchant, gives customers an idea of what you sell and gives a little insight into your personality. You should think very carefully about your business name because you want it to make an impact.

A lot of new business owners like to use their own name in their business name–such as Katie’s Cute Quilts. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this idea, ‘Katie’ is a wasted word. Why? Because no one knows or cares, who Katie is. Potential customers are not going to be searching for a business based on a first name. They are going to be looking for things like specific products, locations, crafting techniques, etc. ‘Cute’ is a wasted word as well, because the term is fairly subjective. What one person thinks is cute, another might just as easily think of as tacky.

Try to incorporate specific, descriptive words into your business name. This way, you will draw more traffic to your Web site or more customers to your craft table. Think about the impact of a business name like Greenville Country Quilts. This business name tells customers specifically where the company is located, what products they make, and the style of the products. It’s much more precise than Katie’s Cute Quilts.

3. Choose a selling venue.

Where and how you choose to sell your handmade products is also a major decision to make for any new craft business owner. Many people choose to sell exclusively online, while others prefer to sell at craft fairs and other events. You may also be interested in getting your products into local shops on consignment. There are many different ways of selling your craft items. So, how do you decide which method of selling is best for you?

Research is key to choosing the right selling venue. If you’re interested in selling online, look at several different online craft marketplaces or social media platforms and find out what makes each one unique. If you can, talk to other sellers on those sites to get an idea of how happy they are with their experience. You can also look at reviews of these Web sites around the Internet. Or you could join a crafting forum to talk to other crafters around the world about how and where they sell online.

If you want to sell at craft fairs, the best place to start looking for events is by searching online. However, don’t forget to look into local events that may not be advertised on the Internet. You can often find out about local fairs by checking newspapers, reading announcement boards at libraries, or simply asking around. A lot of fellow crafters are happy to share their experiences with various craft fairs.

Getting your handmade goods into local shops can seem intimidating. But it’s really not that difficult a process once you know where to start. Gather some good photographs of your work and create a portfolio, or pack some samples of your work neatly in a presentation case or box. Take your work or photos to any local shops you’re interested in and ask them if they take consignment. Many shop owners will happily look at your products and give you a form to fill out so that you can get started selling with them. If your products are good, there’s no reason to be timid about asking.

Keep in mind that in addition to knowing where you are going to sell, you will need to also look at collecting sales tax if you are selling in a state that charges it.  Sales tax tends to vary depending on where products are being sold, such as when selling at a craft fair or craft show.

4. Decide on a business structure. 

The final step, and probably the most important, is to get your business structure in order. Some countries require you to register as self-employed before you begin selling, while others will allow you to simply file your self-employment tax return at the end of your first year of business.

You may also want to look into separating your business and personal assets in the unlikely but possible event that you could be sued.  I’m a big fan of having an LLC since it’s easier to run than a Corporation.   This site has a lot of info on when and why you would choose to form an LLC.

It’s vital that you follow the tax laws of your state and country if you want to run a successful craft business that will grow and thrive for years to come. There’s no excuse for not filing your taxes, no matter how much of a pain you may find it to be. It’s always better to have your paperwork in order.

In conclusion, the Internet has made it easy for almost anyone to start a craft business. In fact, in today’s economy, many people are choosing self-employment as a more certain way of earning money. If you love crafting and you’re good at it, you’re in the perfect position to start your own business. Just remember to start with a good, solid plan.

5. Make sure your business is properly registered. 

Every state and community has different rules and regulations for starting a business.  Many owners set-up as home-based craft businesses to keep overhead low, so be sure to check at the local level to see if there if a home-based business needs to get a business license.

A nice resource with the steps to start a business in each state is located at StartingYourBusiness.com.  In addition to the guide, they have advisors that let entrepreneurs ask questions to help them start their business.

You're now able to build a business selling your crafts from home. Founded in , the U.S based website Etsy is by far the largest and.

27 Places to Sell Handmade Crafts Online (Some Are FREE!)

Steps

1

Using an Existing Website

  1. 1

    Search on-line for sales sites. There are many websites that will allow you to create a profile and begin selling your crafts. Many of these sites are free to use and easy to sign up with. Because there are so many sites like this, you will need to do a search and narrow down your choices. Try looking online for a site that you think would be a good fit for your crafts.[1][2]
    • Etsy is one of the largest sites that allows people to create a store and start selling their crafts.
    • Amazon is developing its own store for people to sell their handmade crafts through.
    • Zibbet, Handmade Artists and UncommonGoods are some additional sites that you might want to sell your crafts through.
  2. 2

    Find a site that is a good fit for your crafts. Not all websites will be a good fit for your crafts. Some sites will cater to any style or type of craft while others will only allow very specific types of crafts. You'll want to make sure that your crafts will be a good fit for whichever site you are considering.[3]
    • Certain sites will only allow for handmade items to be sold.
    • Some sites may require that you create your own crafts, forbidding resales.
    • You may need to be approved by some sites before you can begin selling your crafts.
  3. 3

    Research how a craft site will pay or bill you. Each site that allows you to open up a virtual craft shop will have different practices when it comes to billing and payouts. You'll want to carefully examine the site to make sure it's a good fit with your financial and business goals. Take a look at some of these common methods craft sites use to bill and pay you: [4]
    • Some sites are totally free, allowing you to list a few items and keep all profits for no cost. Generally, you can pay a monthly subscription fee to post more items and expand your store.
    • Other sites will allow you to post any number of items for sale. However, when you make a sale, these sites will take a percentage of your profit.
    • Instead of allowing a direct payment, some sites will auction off your items.
  4. 4

    Create an account. After you've found a site that you want to work with, you'll need to set up your account. Each site will have it's own specific way of opening up your store's profile. However, there is some basic information that you will want to have ready when opening up your shop. Take a look at some of the information you'll want to have ready when opening up your shop:
    • You'll need to have the name of your shop ready.
    • You will likely need to enter in a brief description of your shop and what it sells.
    • To sign up for payments and sales, you'll likely need to enter in your billing information.
    • Many sites will require you to have a valid bank or credit card to register.
    • You may need to enter in personal information, such as your telephone number, name and address.
  5. 5

    Upload your crafts. Once your shop's profile is established, you can begin listing the items that you want to sell. You'll be able to make a detailed listing for each item you want to sell, allowing customers to get a good idea of what they might be buying. Keep some of these points in mind when listing an item on your site:[5]
    • You'll want to have a few high-quality photos of your item.
    • You will need a description of the item. Keep your description short, concise and in a tone that you think your audience will like.
    • For example, if you are selling an oven mitt, you might say something like "Handmade oven mitt. One size fits all. Keeps your hands safe. Stylish design. Ships immediately."
    • It can be a good idea to write the description in a way that is informative and engaging.
    • Make sure you know the price that you want to sell your item for.
  6. 6

    Start selling your crafts. Now that your store is open and you've got some items up for sale, you can begin selling them. Customers will be able to view your website and order whatever it is they might like. You will then need to fulfill this order, packaging and shipping it to your customer in a timely fashion. Keep an eye on your sales, fulfill orders and promote your site to help it grow into a successful online craft shop.
    • Working quickly to fulfill and ship an order will result in good customer feedback.
    • Highly reviewed sites will generally attract more business than those without or with low reviews.
    • Try to identify which items are selling the most and when they are selling. Knowing which items are popular can help you focus your efforts and build your business.

2

Creating Your Own Website

  1. 1

    Find a way to build your website. Before you start making your website, you'll want to consider exactly how it will be made. There are two main options that you can choose from when building a website: have a professional build it for you or build it yourself. Consider which option would be a good fit for your website before moving forward.[6][7]
    • Building your own website will allow for full customization.
    • You can build your website from scratch or use software to help you create it.
    • There are many content management systems that you can use to make creating your site easy.
    • Hiring a professional can result in an excellent site for your crafts. However, many professional website development services will be costly.
  2. 2

    Come up with a style for your site. It's a good idea to have an overall vision for your website before you begin building it. You will want your site to represent your crafts and your business, conveying an image that fits the items you're selling. You can use your ideas to build your own site or convey them to a designer to have it built for you.[8][9]
    • For example, if you sell handmade axes to campers, you may want to have an outdoor theme for your site.
    • You might consider a natural look, featuring forests and woodlands, if you are selling rustic pieces of furniture.
  3. 3

    Make your site easy to use. Beyond having a stylish site, you'll want to make sure your customers can easily navigate it. If your customer can't find where to buy an item or how to buy it, your craft site won't do as well as it could. Make sure your site has a clean design that allows your customers to easily find what they are looking for.
    • It's a good idea to favor usability over presentation when designing your website.
    • Buying something from your store should only take a few clicks.
    • Your crafts should be showcased in easy to see areas of your site.
    • The focus of your site will be to sell crafts, not to talk about your business. Avoid putting up information that isn't necessary or won't help sell your crafts.
  4. 4

    Create and launch your site. Once you have a vision for your site and you've got a way to create it, it's time to start building. Exactly how you create your website will depend on the methods you are using to build it. After the website is complete and functional, you can launch it live on the internet and officially open for business.[10]
    • You can purchase a domain name for your site to be located at.
    • You can purchase server space to host your website on.
    • You might want to use a content management service to help you easily create a website.
    • Services like Wordpress will allow you to create a basic website for free.
    • Make sure your website is up and running before announcing it to customers.
  5. 5

    Stay active on your site. Creating and running your own craft selling website will require your attention. You will want to be creating new content, promoting your site and offering new incentives to bring people onto your site. Keep working and improving your site to engage your customers and help bring in new ones.[11]
    • Opening a blog section on your website can give readers something extra to look forward to.
    • You might consider frequently offering sales and promotions to entice customers to make a purchase.
    • Always keep an eye out for technical troubles. You'll need to be ready to fix any errors or problems that might arise on your site.
    • Don't stop promoting your website.
    • Think of future additions that you might want to add to your site. Maybe you could put in a virtual gallery of your crafts or your workshop. Perhaps you could add a review page that highlights feedback from satisfied customers.
  6. 6

    Sell your crafts and collect your payments. Having your site up and running will allow customers to browse and purchase the crafts that you have posted. As the orders come in, you'll need to fulfill them by packing and shipping the item out to the customer. Payments made by customers will be directly transferred to your account, through the shopping service your site uses.

  7. 7

    Ship your crafts out to your customers. Once you've successfully made a sale, you'll need to ship that item to your customer. There are many options open to you when sending items to your customers. However, you'll want to carefully consider which service you work with and make sure they meet your needs and are cost effective.[12]
    • You might work with services like the USPS, UPS, FedEx or DSL.
    • Make sure the service you use is conveniently located and allows you to quickly send your packages out to customers.
    • Consider the cost of shipping that your customer will pay. Low cost or free shipping have both been shown to boost sales.
    • Think about your return policies and what you want to charge for those.
    • You should know how much you want to charge for handling fees to cover the cost of shipping materials and time spent packing the item up.

3

Promoting Your Site

  1. 1

    Create social media accounts for your site. Social media is a powerful and cost effective option when trying to reach potential customers. Social media can also help you inform existing customers about new crafts, specials and deals you want to offer. Try opening up some accounts with various social media platforms to help get your site seen by more people.
    • Facebook and Twitter are two of the major social media platforms used by craft vendors.
    • Have easy to find links to your store page posted on your social media profiles.
    • Many social media platforms allow you to promote your content for a reasonable fee, allowing your page to reach more people.
    • Any update to your social media account will automatically be visible to everyone that follows the account.
  2. 2

    Hold giveaway events. Launching your store and opening social media accounts are good first steps. However, you'll still need to drive traffic to your sites. One way to bring more people to your site is to hold a giveaway promotional event. Try using some of these basic styles of giveaway events to promote your site and your crafts:[13]
    • You might have people comment, like or post on your Facebook page and select a winner at random.
    • You could host a photo competition in which the photo with the most likes will win the prize.
    • You can hold a quiz or pose a question to your followers. The first person to answer correctly would win the prize.
    • Make sure you follow the rules of whichever social media platform you are using for your giveaway.
  3. 3

    Optimize your web page for search engines. If you have created your own website to sell your crafts from, you'll want to optimize it for search engines. Optimizing your page will allow search engines and potential clients to more easily find your page. Keep some of these tips in mind when optimizing your page for search engines:[14]
    • You'll want to make sure your photos are tagged to help people find your site.
    • Try to include good keywords in your website. These should be simple words that directly identify the type of craft you make. For example, the tags “metal, smithy”, would be good for someone who has a blacksmith crafting shop.
    • Include keywords near the top of your home page. Many search engines will look at the first few words on a site and having defining keywords there can help make your site stand out.
  4. 4

    Utilize analytics to improve your sales. If you are running your own website, you'll want to check out your analytics. Analytic services will provide valuable information that can help you identify the people who are most likely to visit your shop. Use your web site's built in analytics or sign on with an third party service to learn who's visiting your site, when they visit and how you can better appeal to them.[15]
    • You can learn where most of your traffic is coming from using analytics.
    • You'll be able to learn what people are looking at on your site and for how long they did so.
    • You can discover which pages and products are the most viewed.
    • Analytics can help you customize your site to meet the unique interests of those who most often visit.
  5. 5

    Maintain your site's image. Whenever you are promoting the site you sell your crafts, you'll want to consider the tone and image you use. Your promotions should convey important information, giving your customers a sense of who you are and what you're offering. Consider some of these key points when promoting your craft site:[16]
    • You should allow your own personality to show through in your promotions.
    • Make sure you highlight the crafts you are selling.
    • Always include an easy way for customers to access your site.
    • Make sure the tone of your promotion is in line with your shop's image.
    • For example, if you are selling crafts to kids or younger people, you might want to use a lighthearted and fun tone.
    • If you are selling something like handcrafted knives, you'll want to use a more serious tone that will likely appeal to your adult customers.

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how to create a business website for selling crafts

on how to set up a craft business at home and looks at managing home working, how to approach To turn a hobby to a business, selling your products is key. Maria Juelisch advises selecting the sites you use carefully.

how to create a business website for selling crafts
Written by Zolokora
2 Comments
  • Visar

    VisarJuly 15, 2019 4:58 PM

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  • Kilrajas

    KilrajasJuly 13, 2019 4:35 AM

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