When learning how to start selling crafts online there are quite a few options and ways to begin. You may choose to start your own website and market it to potential customers or you may choose to sell on marketplace sites like Etsy or Amazon.
Either way selling arts and crafts online isn’t something that happens overnight. You’ll want to make a plan and spend some time and effort to make it happen. Like any other business, selling art online will require commitment and dedication — if you have that then you can do it!
Read on for the information you’ll really want to know to start selling your art online…
Learning From Other Artists Selling Online
Finding other artists selling online can be a huge help. There are some folks out there selling online who are pretty competitive so it often makes sense to try finding a mentor who sells something completely different than what you do. That way you can collaborate together without being in direct competition with each other. Learning about how to start selling crafts online from others who do so successfully can give you a huge boost.
Making And Selling Popular Products
There are those who will tell you that any art or craft you make will sell since it will be unique and special. The reality is, that’s not true.
No matter what kind of artist or crafter you are, people won’t buy things they don’t want or need. Figuring out what products are in-demand and creating art products or craft products to meet that demand will give you a much higher chance to success.
We’ve all seen sellers at shows who make something wacky or weird and they just don’t get customers. Artists selling online aren’t just making creative products, they’re building a business too and that can’t be overlooked.
Selling Arts And Crafts On Your Own Website
Selling art or handmade craft products on your own website requires an actual website and a means for customers to choose products and buy them. While you may create a website from scratch with a quality web hosting account for many artists it’s much easier and more reliable to use a hosted ecommerce platform.
If that sounds complicated don’t worry, it’s not! In fact, the whole idea is to have someone else minding your shopping site for you — and doing so 24/7! — while you can concentrate on making and marketing your art products.
Simple site builer platforms like Weebly provides an easy interface to create your pages and give you a built-in shopping cart.
More robust platforms like Shopify provide a serious website with a built-in shopping cart system that is always there for you. Shopify allows you to build a complete site with your own domain name — yourshopname.com — for a low monthly price and I recommend them as an online selling solution.
You’ll usually need to add a blog as well which will help you bring traffic and customers to your website. Running your own self-hosted WordPress blog — blog.yourshopname.com — alongside your shop site will give you the ability to write content that can be found by Google and get customers coming in.
In fact, the only real disadvantage to selling on your own website is you have to do all of the marketing for the website yourself. Just putting up a website and hoping customers will stop by won’t actually work. You need to put in some time and effort getting your own shop website found.
Because of that, many artists selling online opt to use a third-party marketplace site like Etsy or Amazon…
Selling Arts And Crafts On Etsy, Amazon Or Other Marketplace Websites
Instead of selling directly on your own website you may opt to sell on a third-party marketplace site like Etsy or Amazon.
The disadvantage is you don’t have full control over the site or the sales process. That’s particularly true on Amazon, as they have strict rules and limitations when it comes to things like contacting customers directly. Third party marketplace sites also take fees and a percentage of your sales, so you need to factor that in to your prices. On Etsy you’ll end up paying about 10% (Etsy fees and payment fees) and on Amazon you’ll pay 15% or more.
The advantage — and this is huge — is traffic and buyer intent. People shopping on marketplace sites like Etsy and Amazon are already there to buy. And the number of shoppers on those sites is simply astronomical. Shoppers on those sites also have a higher level of trust buying there versus buying from a small website they’ve never heard or before.
Again, your products will need to be things that people are interested in and looking for, otherwise you won’t make sales.
Shipping, Returns, Customer Service
When you learn how to start selling crafts online — regardless of how or where you do it — you’ll need to ship your products to customers in a timely and professional manner. That means you’ll want to have shipping supplies like boxes and bubble wrap on hand before you get started.
You’ll want to factor the cost of shipping supplies and the cost of shipping itself into your product prices.
Figure out shipping methods and costs before you start selling online! That way you won’t be surprised by shipping costing more than you expect.
USPS (the Post Office) offers two shipping products that are very helpful for online sellers: First Class Package service for packages up to 16 ounces with a cost of $3 to $5 and Priority Mail Flat Rates service with fast delivery for packages up to 70 pounds with a cost starting at around $6. If you use Priority Mail Flat Rate Package Service be sure to use the boxes or envelopes they provide — if you use your own then the prices are higher.
Returns will be a fact of life. Make sure you have your return policies spelled out and always handle returns and complaints graciously and professionally.
Overview Of How To Start Selling Crafts Online
That’s some of the most important information we can provide to help you sell arts and crafts online. The main things are to plan ahead and understand the options up-front as you learn how to start selling crafts online. Create in-demand products and know ahead of time how to ship them. Have a reliable selling site on Shopify or sell your products on marketplace sites like Etsy or Amazon. Those are some of the things that will get you started on becoming a successful online arts and crafts seller.