Options for Crafters
Did you know that there are dozens of ways to sell your crafts online without having to make your own website?
They all charge fees.
Those fees pay for their marketing, website design and upkeep which in turn provides crafters with a large marketplace to sell their items.
You can sell your crafts online without a website and still reap all of the benefits of being on a large, well-known website. It also means that you won’t have to settle for yard sale prices for your handmade items.
Crafters have a wide variety of options beyond E-bay to sell their crafts online. The methods vary as do the prices and fees.
Craft Malls and Consignments
Just like their brick and mortar counterparts, online craft malls and consignments give each crafter a bit of shelf space to display their hand-crafted items for sale.
As a rule the crafter is responsible for writing a short biography of themselves, photographing the item for sale and writing a description. The online craft mall or consignment then adds that information to their site and the item is available for sale.
Pricing and fees can vary greatly. Keep in mind the site that seems a bargain may have too few visitors coming to make many sales. Conversely, the one with higher prices could just be greedy.
The best way to research online craft malls and consignments is to visit craft forums and learn from the experiences of other crafters.
Also, keep in mind the best online craft mall or consignment shop for jewelry may be the absolute worst place to sell paintings.
This option is a great way to try out selling your crafts on the Internet. The investment is relatively low and it can also serve to test market a product before you make 5 dozen pins that no one wants.
Setting Up Your Own Store
Some websites allow crafters to set up their own online stores to sell their crafts on the Internet. Those website owners supply the general marketing and maintain the website.
Customize Your Store
This option requires more effort on the part of the crafter as they are going to essentially create a mini-website. Similar to how MySpace has a general format that members can customize; crafters are given a basic layout that they can customize to showcase their items.
Setting up your own store to sell your crafts online is easier than making your own website. The shopping cart and ordering systems are fully maintained by the website owner and once your store is set up, you can focus on creating.
Before you Make Your Own
Stores can be good practice for setting up your own site. You can begin to learn about webpage construction, begin to start branding your company, and you can begin to identify which of your items sell better on the Internet.
Does it sell?
If you are thinking about selling crafts on the Internet, online craft malls, consignments and shops are a perfect way to conduct test marketing.
Some artisans are so highly successful that they enter into exclusive arrangements with the online craft malls and only market their items there.
Juried for Quality
Some of the better craft malls and consignments are “juried” and do not accept everyone. This is good for you as a crafter. It ensures that all artisans selling on the site uphold a high level of workmanship and it will allow each crafter to sell their items at higher prices.
If you do set up a shop on one of these sites, make sure you understand Canonicalization and how it can negatively impact your marketing strategy. Read Promoting Your Etsy Shop to learn more about Canonicalization and promoting web shops.
So, if you want to sell crafts on the Internet, but aren’t sure you are ready for your own site, look into online craft malls, consignments and shops as a great way to test market your crafts and learn about selling crafts.