Should You Sell Your Craft Online?
In today’s episode, I’m going to take you through a workshop that will help you decide whether you should sell your craft online.
You might find that you prefer to sell via wholesale or consignment in shops, or at markets – or maybe you can do a mixture of all three.
I love selling online; it suits me and my lifestyle.
Why? Well, amongst other things, I like to have my weekends off – and I especially love the idea of making money in my sleep!
No matter what, you need to have a website and a couple of social media channels but that doesn’t mean you have to sell your products online if that isn’t a good fit for you and your particular product.
Listen in and think about each of the points below to see whether selling online is a good fit for your business.
- It will take you longer to make money.
- Is your item easily shipped?
- Are you happy to sell internationally?
- Is your work easily reproducible?
- Do you value face-to-face interaction over online interaction?
- Do you have the products to do markets?
- Do you like having your weekends free?
- Are you willing to invest the time to take and edit stellar photos?
- Do you enjoy the process of selling and marketing?
- Are you happy to make less money selling to shops?
- Do you have the time or the skills to set up an online shop?
In the podcast, I take you through each of these points in detail, in order to help you consider the pros and cons of each question.
Quotes and Highlights from this Episode:
- If you decide to focus on selling online, it will take you longer to make money; unless you have a lot of money upfront to get your shop running with lots of advertising and marketing.
- Online is more about the long game.
- “Once you’re established and you have traffic going to your site, you’ll make money in your sleep.”
- Consignment and wholesale will make you larger chunks of money but more sporadically.
- If you make small items, selling online can be easy since shipping can be reasonably low.
- If you make large or heavy items then shipping might put off some customers.
- If you sell online, you’ll make more sales if you’re happy to sell your things online.
- “80-85% of my sales are International”.
- It can be really exciting to sell to people overseas.
- Don’t be worried about losing items in the mail.
- “I sell thousands of parcels overseas every year and I have about four go missing. I write these off as expenses and send a replacement.”
- Don’t be concerned about language, use Google Translate and use a disclaimer that you’ve used that service so the customer.
- If you’re going to have a successful online business, you really have to have some items which are reproducible.
- You need to do so much for one listing (photography, description, loading onto the site etc) that it makes more sense to sell the same design over and over again.
- “All I have to do when an item is sold, is make the item and send it. Each item is as close to the prototype as I can make it – and though it might be the ‘same’ as another product I’ve made, it’s still handmade with love.”
- You don’t have to give OOAK products all together, you just need to have a reproducible range too.
- Then you can put your high end creations online when you have the time and passion to create them and not feel like it becomes a chore.
- You can interact on your own terms and in your own time.
- “I don’t even have a phone line, I do all my business via email.”
- If you love face-to-face and you get energy from interactions with other people then selling online might not be the best thing for you.
- “I don’t have any stock. I make a design, I photograph it and then more often than not, I keep it myself or I give it to Nick.”
- Wearing your own jewellery is a great way to market your goods.
- Markets don’t make much ‘time sense’ if you don’t have a lot of products lying around.
- If you can make a lot of product quickly, markets might work for you.
- If you don’t want to work on the weekends then markets probably aren’t for you.
- “Most often I can make more online in my day at the markets than at the market itself.”
- When you sell online, you’re not actually selling the product, you’re selling the photo of the product.
- If you’re not willing to learn how to take amazing photos, it’s not worth starting.
- If your photos aren’t stellar yet, as long as you’re willing to work on them, don’t let that stop you.
- It might take you a week, a month or a few years but it’s worthwhile trying.
- “I’m not a trained photographer but I’ve worked it out myself so you can do it too.”
- C&T GUIDE: Product Photography by Jeffrey Opp
- There’s no way around it, you’re now a salesperson and a marketer.
- Do you enjoy telling your story? Because that’s marketing!
- If you can change your mindset and think about marketing as telling your story rather than selling your product then it will be a much more authentic experience.
- When you’re selling online, you need to enjoy that process and you need to work out how to enjoy it.
- When you sell at a market or online, you get the whole price.
- Through a shop, you will be getting around 50% of your retail price in your pocket.
- Consignment is a bit ‘iffy’ sometimes since you get your money only after the product sells in the shop rather than upfront.
- If you’re not already making a profit on your product above the wholesale price, don’t start selling to shops yet.
- No matter what avenue you choose, it’s going to be a lot of hard work.
- Time is part of the expense of your business.
- Out of the options of Markets, Wholesaling to Shops or Online Selling: which one makes you feel a flutter of excitement?
- Pick one to focus on and make it your priority.
- It doesn’t mean you can’t dabble in the other options, you should just focus your attention on one route to start with.
- “You’ll probably find it’s easier than you thought it was to get started.”
- Nobody can tell you which way to go but there are lots of folks who help you with the ‘how’.
- C&T COURSE: Set Up Shop with Jess Van Den
- C&T COURSE: Wholesale Know How with Melanie Augustin