Crafting As A Business
Do you make handmade goods? Is it just a hobby. Have you every thought about selling you beautiful items? Don’t just craft it; sell it. Money can be made by selling your crafts. Some even turn their hobby into a full-time business. This doesn’t happen overnight though. It takes work and knowing where you can sell your items is the first step to bring in some money.
This blog will provide you with the basics of the most popular avenues to sell handmade goods. In later posts, I will break each down into doable steps and share some awesome courses you can access to learn more.
How To Start
This is not an all-inclusive list of avenues to selling; just recommendations. To find out what ways are best for you, I suggest that you do some extensive research. Look at the fees that are collected from each site, what percentage the site takes from sells and what is your start-up budget.
Some of the selling options I will talk about in detail. Not ever option will be right for you and/or your business.
It is simple to do and a great way to highlight your crafts and let your friends know what you have for sale. A technique that my husband suggested was to place my “currently for sale” items in a photo gallery. Brilliant. People like to shop and having several photos of your sale items in a photo collage is a great way for shoppers to feel like they are “shopping”. Here is an example of one of my Facebook photo collages.
Notice that I have several wreaths in this photo. I numbered each photo and listed the price. You can use PicMonkey, Canva or PicCollage to make your collage. I use PicMonkey. I post this pic on FB with the following comment. “Currently for sale. Will deliver if local. Comment ‘sold’ and the number of the wreath you are wanting to purchase.” Simple as that. Once someone comments “sold”, I ask them to private message me their email address and I invoice them through PayPal. Once payment has been received I will schedule delivery or ship the item if needed.
Etsy is an extremely popular way to sell handmade items on-line. There are thousands of sellers, but don’t let that hold you back. Here is the description of fees directly from Etsy.
- Affordable, transparent, and secure
- No monthly fees
- Secure transactions
- Automatic deposits
- Seller protection
- Listing fee: $0.20. Listings are active for four months or until they sell. Once purchased, there is a small commission fee and a standard payment processing fee.
- 3.5 % TRANSACTION FEE
- 3 % + $0.25 PAYMENT PROCESSING
Amazon Handmade is a fairly new avenue for handmade items. This was Amazon’s way to compete with Etsy. I personally do not sell on Amazon Handmade. The fees are high and the fee schedule is too confusing for me. Below is the fee schedule directly from Amazon Handmade.
Handmade at Amazon Fee Schedule
Registering for Handmade at Amazon comes with a free Professional selling plan. If you currently have, or previously had, a Professional selling plan, you may still be eligible for the free Professional selling plan if you are a Professional seller who sells primarily in Handmade and does not sell more than 40 non-handmade items in categories other than Handmade on Amazon in a given month on your Handmade account. If you currently have an Individual selling plan, you must upgrade to a Professional selling plan first before continuing with your Handmade at Amazon registration. Selling more than 40 non-handmade items in different categories on your Handmade account will result in you being subject to the monthly fee of $39.99, as outlined in the seller agreement. The current $39.99 monthly Professional selling plan subscription fee is waived through December 31, 2017 for Handmade at Amazon artisans.¹ If you are an existing seller with Amazon, with an Individual selling plan, you will need to upgrade to a Professional selling plan and apply to join Handmade at Amazon before registering.
Sellers pay a referral fee on each item sold. Items in several categories have a per-item minimum referral fee as listed below. Amazon deducts the greater of the applicable referral fee percentage or applicable per-item minimum referral fee calculated on the total sales price (the total amount paid by the buyer including the item price and any shipping or gift wrap charges), excluding any taxes collected through Amazon tax calculation services.
Table 1. Referral Fees (starting August 1, 2016)2
1 Only Handmade at Amazon artisans are eligible for this subscription fee waiver. If you are a Handmade at Amazon artisan and you sell more than 40 items in categories on Amazon other than Handmade at Amazon categories in a month, you will no longer be eligible for the subscription fee waiver, and you will be charged the monthly Professional selling plan subscription fee thereafter. Amazon fees are subject to applicable taxes and are not included in fee previews. To determine which taxes may apply to your Selling on Amazon account, please consult with your tax professional. To learn more, see Tax Policies.
2 Sellers pay a referral fee on each item sold. Starting August 1, 2016, the Handmade at Amazon standard category referral fee of 15% or the applicable minimum referral fee of $1.00 will apply to all Handmade at Amazon category transactions. Before August 1, 2016, the current Handmade at Amazon promotional category referral fee of 12% or the applicable minimum referral fee of $.50 will apply to all Handmade at Amazon category transactions.
3 Home includes the following: Kitchen & Dining, Patio, Lawn & Garden, Art, Bath, Bedding, Furniture, Home Décor, Lighting, Storage & Organization, Party Supplies, and Stationery.
See what I mean about CONFUSING?!
Shopify is you very own shop. Imagine a brick and mortar store but on-line. This is an expensive way to start out and I would not recommend it being you first choice when beginning to sell on-line. Below is the fee structure directly from Shopify.
- Basic Shopify
- $29.00 monthly fee
- Credit card transactions: 2.9% + $0.30 online or 2.7% + $0.00 in-person
- Transactions fees: 0% using Shopify payments or 2% using external sources like PayPal
- $79.00 monthly fee
- Credit card transactions: 2.6% + $0.30 online or 2.5% + $0.00 in person
- Transaction fees: 0% using Shopify payments or 1% using external sources
- Advanced Shopify
- $299 monthly fee
- Credit card transactions: 2.4% + $0.30 online or 2.4% + $0.00 in person
- Transaction fees: 0% using Shopify payments or .5% using external sources
Very expensive in my book.
Did you know that you could sell on Pinterest? You sure can. Pinterest is an amazing way to get your items noticed and sold. There is a science to doing this. A science that is difficult to explain in this blog. I will be writing about selling on Pinterest in a later blog so that we can dig in and really learn the ins and outs of Buyable Pins. In the meantime, the information from Pinterest is below.
Buyable Pins let people buy your products without ever leaving Pinterest. Learn more about how they work for Pinners. Learn more about how they work for Pinners.
Blue means you can buy
When you spot a Pin with a blue price, you’ll know it’s buyable. People can find your buyable Pins all over Pinterest—in search results, in related Pins and on your business profile.
A shopping bag you can take anywhere
More and more people are using Pinterest on their mobile devices. Buyable Pins work seamlessly across mobile and the web, so you can close the sale right when someone has the impulse to buy.
A new way to reach shoppers and make sales—for free!
Buyable Pins still let you control the shopping experience—Pinterest doesn’t take a cut from your sales and you still get to handle shipping and customer service the way you always have. That’s why we’re only working with merchants who care about providing Pinners with the best possible experience.
How do I get started
Right now, we’re working with a few major brands and 5 commerce platforms. Here’s how you can get involved:
- BigCommerce: Visit BigCommerce’s Pinterest page for more details
- Demandware: Visit Demandware’s Pinterest page or contact your customer success manager
- Magento: Visit Magento’s Pinterest page for more details
- Shopify: Visit Shopify’s Pinterest page to activate Buyable Pins in just a few clicks
If you use one of the five platforms listed above, you have access to Buyable Pins now! If you’re on a different or custom platform, please sign-up on our waitlist and we’ll notify you of future integration opportunities.
Shew! That was a lot of info. I wanted to give you a brief overview of the most popular avenues to sell your handmade items. It is important for you to research further before making a decision. Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts that will break each selling site in easier to digest, bite-sized pieces.
Now go out and be crafty, crafty, crafty.