Are you proficient in making your own items? Are you looking for ways to make extra cash or possibly start up your own business? Selling your own products online may be the way to go. Demand for handmade products has slowly grown over the past few years and there is a fair amount of money to be made nowadays. The key is knowing where to peddle your wares.
Advantages of handmade products
There are a lot of advantages of setting up your own handmade crafts business online, some of these are:
- You’re usually passionate about the handmade product, making it enjoyable to craft.
- You work when you want, where you want.
- The products can be more personal for the customers.
- You’re completely in control of your stock and business.
- You can develop a local, loyal custom base.
- Will be more profitable as you keep a higher percentage of sales.
Disadvantages of handmade products
This obviously comes with some disadvantages and challenges. Some of these include:
- Can be very time-consuming.
- You’ll have more responsibilities.
- May be required to charge sales tax.
- Can be challenging to find the perfect niche that you’d enjoy.
- You may get bored of creating the same design over and over again.
- There’s only so many you can make, meaning there’s only so many you can sell.
Types of handmade products to sell
You can design anything in your imagination of course, but you need to make sure that it would sell. There’s no point designing something that can’t sell. Some of the most popular hand made products people design are:
- Clothing: Custom T-shirts are the most popular
- Jewelry: Personalised jewelry works the best
- Paintings: Some paintings can be worth millions.
- Sportswear: Football, boxing, rugby, basketball kits, etc.
- House accessories: Curtains, rugs, kitchen accessories
- Phone cases: Personalised phone cases work well
There are of course many more potential items you could craft, but these are some of the most popular. The key here is to be unique. Anyone could learn how to knit some clothing, but it’s when you become unique you’ll stand out from the crowd. Most markets you enter will be a very competitive marketplace, so if you want to become self-employed and break out of the rat race, you need to offer something that the others don’t.
Where To Sell Your Goods Online
There are a few great sites that are dedicated to the selling of handmade items. These sites have fees attached to them as well as taking a percentage cut of the earnings. But since they provide the platform and advertising for you it’s more than worth it. Sites that you can use include:
Selling your handmade goods on these external websites as well as your own website is a great way to cash in those extra sales. Signing up to these sites entails very little extra cost and only a slight bit of marketing. I have actually before solved the Etsy search algorithm and could rank a single product for any keyword in just 3 hours. I would fill up the whole of the search pages with products fulfilling the highest search volume and cash up. Unfortunately, Etsy caught onto this and banned me, I now can’t even buy a scarf off the website if I wanted to.
Etsy is one of the better-known and more commonly used platforms to sell on. The community on Etsy is pretty large so there are plenty of paying customers ready to buy. While there are a lot of customers there is also a lot of competition. But if you know how to market yourself and optimize your SEO you can get a substantial leg up over your competition. Etsy supports an incredibly large number of categories including vintage items. It has an incredibly friendly user interface which can be a big help for less experienced users.
- Large customer base: Etsy has over 40 million users. This means that there are plenty of people interested in a wide variety of niches available.
- Easy to set up: Creating an Etsy store is very straightforward which is great news for people that aren’t very tech-savvy.
- Supportive of new stores: Etsy has a variety of algorithms in place that are in place to support new stores. This will help improve your visibility.
- Competition: As well as there is a lot of buyers there are also a lot of sellers. This can make establishing a foothold for your business quite challenging.
- Fees: Etsy has a number of fees that you are responsible for paying for, adding new listings, PayPal transactions, and a percentage of profits are all taken from you.
- Etsy has the final say: You are wholly subject to Etsy’s terms and conditions and can be shut down without warning if you aren’t careful.
This is a much smaller store, but which means there is significantly less competition. They support a wide variety of products including niche items like chainmaille items and mosaics. They also support various products that other stores like Etsy don’t. This includes edible items and pet accessories.
- The variety of supported categories: Almost everything from pet accessories, to glass items, pottery, and mosaics are on the site.
- Community: Handmadeartists were initially made as a small community and have since ballooned into quite a large platform. The sense of community has survived the transition and the platform is quite a friendly place.
- Only accept PayPal: The fact that all payments have to be carried out through PayPal can present a number of problems. This can drive customers away from the platform and reduce your potential customer base. Additionally, you will be forced to pay all PayPal-associated fees.
- Size: Although this site has grown considerably over the past couple of years it is still relatively small compared to similar sites.
Learn how to make money on Amazon, Amazon is one of the biggest websites on the internet nowadays. They sell millions of products every year and have everything you could ever want. As well as selling a wide assortment of their own items they also work as a platform for other people to sell their own products on. A couple of years ago they opened a section called ‘Handmade at Amazon’ that specifically focuses on the sale of handmade goods. Since they are such a large and highly trusted company selling through them may be good for your business.
- Large platform: Everyone knows who Amazon is. The amount of people who use Amazon every day is enormous, this means that you have a potentially enormous customer base. There are also a lot of people who use Amazon either exclusively or almost exclusively. Having those people available to see your products will be a big boon.
- Ease of shipping: You can do all of the necessary shipping through the site as well as buying and printing labels through them. This can make managing deliveries significantly less of a hassle. You can also utilize Amazon Prime shipping to get more customers.
- Relatively low competition: The amount of people using Handmade at Amazon is a fraction of the number of Etsy users. When people search the handmade section, they have a better chance of being seen on Amazon.
- High fees: While Etsy charges £0.20 for each individual listing and takes 3.5% of each sale, Amazon takes 12% of each sale. This makes Amazon considerably more expensive to use. However, listings never expire so you don’t have to worry about renewal fees at least.
- High expectations from customers: Amazon’s customer base is used to fast delivery and low prices. These standards are hard to meet with handmade. This might cause some customers to avoid this facet of Amazon.
- Delay on changes: Any changes that are made to your store can take up to 15 minutes to take effect. This won’t matter in a lot of cases, but it should still be kept in mind.
Making money on eBay is very competitive these days. eBay is a colossal online platform. With over 100 million online buyers the site is one of the most important and famous on the internet. Anything you could ever think of can is purchased and sold on eBay. eBay can be a great place to sell all of your handmade goods.
- Easy to use: Signing up to eBay and selling your stuff only takes a couple of steps. In addition, eBay also has a seller’s guide in order to help you sell your wares.
- Large platform: Just like Amazon, eBay sells millions of items every single year and has a customer base that is incredibly loyal.
- Shipping: eBay offers secure shipping. They make sure that your products are delivered safely to your customers.
- Bidding wars: Profits from eBay can be unpredictable and erratic due to the nature of the platform being based on bidding. Sometimes you’ll have a large-scale bidding war and make a ton of money off one sale, others you’ll get 1 or 2 bids and make barely anything. This can make eBay somewhat unreliable.
- Competition: eBay is an incredibly large platform with an ever-growing number of sellers. This results in there being a lot of competition. With so much competition around it is a very real possibility that someone will undercut you.
- Fees: eBay charges you not only to use their platform but also takes a cut of all of your sales. These can do substantial damage to your profit margins and lower the viability of your business.
Bonanza is a rapidly growing platform for selling handmade items. Over 40,000 people use Bonanza to sell all of their various goods. Bonanza simplifies and streamlines the process of setting up and running an online store. This frees up your time to focus on the truly important aspects of running your store.
- Low fees: Bonanza doesn’t have a lot of the fees that other online sellers have. They only take a small percentage of what each user makes on a sale. This means better profit margins and a more viable business.
- Well-advertised: All listings are automatically sent to Google shopping and Bing shopping. This allows your products to be seen and purchased by a much wider audience.
- Easy to use: The interface is easy to understand and straightforward. This lets you focus on all of the details that actually matter.
- Limited customization: You don’t have a lot of options available to you when it comes to placing your items in the store. This makes it hard to stand out from the competition on the platform.
- Fees can be confusing: While the base fees are really low, there are a number of tiers that you can opt into. The higher tiers open your product to additional channels, but Bonanza takes a higher percentage of sales as a commission.
- Bonanza has the final say over your store: At the end of the day, you are renting space from Bonanza and are subject to their terms and conditions. If you violate those terms and services, you might be kicked out without prior warning.