Want To Sell Your Crafts?
Ask These Questions First.

What to consider before you sell your crafts - a great article from guest author Louise Longworth.

There comes a point in most crafters' lives when they either have to start selling their crafts or stop making them. There are only so many scarves that you can fit in your own wardrobe or give away to friends... Not to mention that the extra money can help fund a potentially expensive hobby!

Whether you decide to sell your crafts for these reasons, or because you want to create a home based craft business for yourself, there are some things you need to consider before jumping in:

  1. Will your crafts sell? - just because you love crocheting tea cosies by the shedload, doesn't necessarily mean anyone else is going to want to buy them! Find out whether there is a market for your items by researching local craft fairs, farmer's markets or craft malls. Online research is also useful. It's also important that your crafts are well made out of quality materials - customers are less forgiving than friends and relatives.
  2. How will you sell them? - there are many different ways to sell your crafts: at craft fairs, local markets, craft home parties, online or through retail stores. Find out as much as you can about the outlets that appeal to you most, and decide which is best suited to your crafts and your personality. Also take into account what kind of advertising or promotion is required by you for each type of outlet.
  3. Legal requirements - find out what is required of you in terms of business licences, permits and insurances. It's worth sorting all this out beforehand, to avoid any problems later.
  4. Pricing your crafts - it's important to establish whether or not you can make a profit if you sell your crafts. Work out how much it costs you to make each one (taking into consideration cost of supplies, hourly labour cost, overheads and profit margin) then look at market prices for crafts similar to yours. Are they more or less in line? You don't want to work yourself to death for the sake of a few extra cents.
  5. How serious do you want to be about this? - there's a huge difference between wanting to sell your crafts for fun and selling them in order to create a profitable business. There are pros and cons to both approaches: selling for fun doesn't bring in much money, but means you can enjoy crafting without worrying too much about the business side of things; selling for profit can create a real income for you, but carries more responsibility and pressure with it, as well as the danger of losing the enjoyment factor. Decide what is important to you and choose your path accordingly.
  6. Will you need financing - if you are already involved in crafting, you can probably start selling your crafts on a shoestring budget. Think twice about borrowing money before you've started making any, as it can really add unnecessary pressure to your business. You may need to invest in extra supplies to increase your inventory, and you'll need to buy some business stationery, but it's best to start slowly and build your business up gradually. Once the money starts coming in you can think about how to grow it further.

Take some time to think about each of these factors. If you do, you'll be in a good position to come up with a business plan (even if it's just an informal one for you to refer to yourself), and that means you have a much higher chance of selling your crafts successfully.

Louise Longworth is a work at home mother who sells her handmade jewellery at home parties, and has published a website to help other crafters do the same. To read more about how to sell your crafts at home parties and other useful craft business information, visit her site at http://www.craft-selling-parties.com

Find out more about selling at craft fairs.
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