A while ago I had this idea of putting together a ‘How to sell handmade goods’ guide.
A big portion of our VIP group members would like to start selling but not sure where to start.
I’m sure you too also know someone that is very good at making something, but doesn’t know where and how to start selling them.
The more I researched, the more I realised that it is such a HUGE topic. It will never happen if I tried to make it ‘complete’. Plus, I have not sold many handmade goods myself!
I have decided to change this to a discussion - you can join in the discussion in our facebook group. @Sun Kiss Melbourne VIP Group
First topic – research the market
Personally, I think this should be the first step of starting a business of any sorts.
Social medias and online platforms.
- Search for the items that you are thinking of selling.
- Compared as objectively as you can for craftsmanship, creativity, quality and prices etc.
- Pay attention to the number of sales and reviews.
- Try to figure out why some are doing better than the others.
- Is it because they have been around for longer with a bigger customer base? – check the number of shop followers, social media followers, years of since they have been on the platform.
- Is it marketing on social media? You can see if their posts are sponsored when they pop up on your feed. If you search an item on Etsy, you will see first pages are usually sponsored
- Perhaps presentation? In ecommerce, photos are almost everything. I suck at this.
- Maybe even it is the way they describe their products. True not many people will read the full description. BUT google does! Search engine does! They rely on texts to find your products.
Physical platforms - makers markets, pop up shops, shows, festivals, gift shops
- Great excuse to get out and about. Check out all the local places.
- Pay attention to the population going to the markets, age groups, gender etc.
- Check out who is selling what. The setup, the prices, the range etc.
- Talk to the makers. Makers adore makers. They are usually lovely and helpful. The chance is they will be happy to share their experience. Remember though that is their experience, doesn't mean yours will be the same! I would not have started this shop if I had listened to my friends and families. They don't always know what you are cable of!
You can’t figure out everything just by watching and looking at what other people are doing. However, I think by now you would have had a much better idea than before.
I rather enjoy this step. For me, this is also why I gave up the idea of sewing to sell. Because I know I’m a slow sewer. I’m not as creative as I thought I was compared to other wonder sewers out there. I don’t like to make the same pattern more than a couple of times. Which means the cost of buying patterns would be high and speed of me completing a bag is slooow. Glad I was honest with myself!
Love to hear your thoughts and experiences wherever you are at in this adventure. Again you can join in the discussion at our facebook group.
Lili the pretend expert xx