Many of us have crafts or hobbies that we commonly give as gifts. Often Family and friends encourage us to sell or crafts too but how do you know if your product could last in the retail market? First, don’t go out and spend a lot of money to plunge into your business full time. A very large percentage of businesses fail in the first year and you don’t want to be one of them. Start by testing your product on others that are not related to you. How can you sell your crafts without owning a store?
1) Virtual craft malls are readily available on the internet and are a very reasonable way to put your crafts in front of the world. Most malls will charge a very small set up fee to create a customized page with pictures of your crafts. Some of these services are based on a percentage of your sales or a monthly service fee.
2) Consigment stores are another way to sell your crafts without your own store. Normal buisness practice could include a 6 – 1 year booth contract with a monthly fee regardless of your monthly sales amount. Others will charge no monthly fee but will take 20 – 60% of your sales amount instead.
3) Try placing a well written classified ad in newspapers or bulletin boards. These are inexpensive and available both online through various internet sites and offline too.
4) Set up a small craft booth at a local fair. craft fairs will run anwhere from $20 to over a thousand dollars for a 10×10 space. Fairs provide a wonderful opportunity to get to know your buyers and learn what they really are looking for. Initial set up can be as simple as a couple of covered tables and a borrowed canopy tent for weather protection. Step back and watch other booths and see what is selling the best. Compare your prices to your competitors.
5) Direct mail can test the waters in specific locations but could quickly become expensive. You may want to consider pre-printed postcards as a more economical route to full size flyers or door hangers.
6) Approach retail stores about carrying your products. Choose local stores that are independantly owned and operated, these smaller store generally won’t require you to provide UPC codes insurance on your product as franchises will. Quite often chain stores will be locked into purchasing contracts but independant stores will be interested in gifts that are not readily available. Offer them discounts for lots of 12 or more and have your product packaged to sell.
7) Advertising on the internet or off can be expensive. Try donating a craft item for web site contests or newspapers in exchange for advertising space or write a article for newsletters and advertise your craft in the author by-line. Choose publications that have a readership that reaches your purchasing target audience.
Don’t expect your craft or hobby buisness to boom overnight. Effective marketing is both a challenging and rewarding activity and any success you have will take a well-implemented marketing plan plus time.Don’t expect your craft