How To Sell Handmade Craft Items Online Book by Richard Walker
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I started with the idea that I would create something, make it myself, then start selling my creations around the world. I couldn’t find the information I need to answer my questions so I just got started and learned the HARD WAY. I had the misconception that I could make some nice things, show some good photos of what I could do, then people would let me know what they wanted me to build. Wrong! I found out real fast that nobody was even looking at my items and when they started to, they didn’t have ideas for custom projects, they just wanted to purchase something that I designed.
I got inspired, found my unique personal style, and learned how to come up with a lot of great designs that people would be interested in. I then made a lot of different items in a lot of variations and offered them up for sale.
I searched around and had to experiment with a lot of different ways to sell, online marketplaces, cl ifieds, and my own website. Some places worked better than others and I spent (and wasted) a lot of time trying them all.
My photos were no good so I had to stop and learn how to photograph my items correctly, and then research how to set up the photography area, and then figure out what camera to get. Taking the pictures ended up not being difficult but learning how to do it took a long time.
The photos were getting better and I had finally found a place to sell online. Orders started coming in and I was ecstatic over my first $12 sale.
I had seen what others were charging for shipping so I set similar prices. That’s what you have to do right? You can’t have higher shipping prices than everyone else right? I bought a box, some bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and wrapped my item up and went to ship it at the local shipping store. Not only did I spend more on the shipping materials than I charged the customer for shipping, but the shipping quote was also $5 more than I had figured. Actually I didn’t figure it, I just did what everyone else was doing and lost money on that sale.
I had to stop what I was doing and really learn how to ship to get these costs down. It took a lot of trial and error, and some expensive lessons, but I was finally able to charge reasonable flat shipping rates and actually break even.
I created more designs, figured out how to sell internationally, and was doing well and staying busy.
How do you keep building up momentum and then all of a sudden start losing views? Items that recently sold well, weren’t even getting looked at. How does that happen?
It wasn’t the items, they were exactly the same. It was the way I was marketing. I was relying on others to bring customers to me. They stopped doing a good job and I had a major problem.
I spent weeks researching ways to do my own marketing. I tried a lot of advertising that did not work but cost a fortune.
Eventually sales started coming back. This time though, I was in control. I was not paying commissions on sales and I could track the results of my efforts to make sure each type of advertising was working. I also took time to figure out ways to make my items more quickly, with higher quality, while paying much less for materials and while saving a ton on shipping.
Absolutely! I am glad I stuck it out. I am now able to make and sell items that I am truly p ionate about and I get to work with some great customers that really enjoy their purchases. There is an enormous sense of satisfaction that comes with doing what you enjoy every day and receiving positive feedback. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
I will say that the process took more effort and time than I had imagined at the start, but that is because I did not know the process and could not find the answers I needed without a lot of experimentation.
But that is what this book is for and I would not have been able to write it had I not learned so much along the way.
The book goes step by step from not having an idea to ultimately expanding your business. Everything is in a natural order. With each chapter I outline all the options available, from the easiest and cheapest, to the best. If there are free ways to do things, I list them. There is no need to spend more… Read more…