It is very interesting to see trends in society behaviour change. Over the last couple of years it appears that people have been reverting back to how things were done in the past. For example, growing your own vegetables is popular once again, as is adopting old craft and design techniques. I know that here in Ireland handmade gifts and products are more popular than ever before. In this technological world it is great to see such a huge demand for handmade and natural products. This is a good thing and we have the advantage of using modern knowledge and technology to compliment these old fashioned methods and techniques.
Designers, artists, jewellery makers and crafts people of all types create wonderful products but how and where do they sell these products? Below are a few ideas of where to sell your products.
Market Place Websites
Nowadays there are loads of handmade market place websites that offer great facilities for crafts people to sell their products, for a small commission of course. There are so many sites offering this service it can be hard to decide where to start. There is obviously ebay, but this is not specific to designers etc. Amongst my favourite are Etsy and The Design Basket. They are easy to use and provide you with a platform to showcase yourself and your products.
Your Own Blog Or Website
Selling products through your own blog can be very successful; however you do need to have a great blog with a large number of followers to make this work. Setting up a blog tomorrow and expecting to make sales immediately is not realistic.
In an ideal situation you would have your own dedicated website to sell your products. This can be expensive, not only to get built and maintain but also to optimize, through search engine optimization, so that potential customers can find you. This is an option that should be considered and it can work very well if there is a large existing client base or if you are in the process of building a good client base.
Local Market & Craft Fairs
This is a great place to begin selling. It will give you a real feel of how the general public respond to your products and also a way to make a name for yourself. Be sure to select a market that suits your goods, this is very important and will be vital in your ability to make sales. Choose a fair where the other vendors’ products are of similar quality and price to your own. For example, there is no point selling funky jewellery at a market that is attended by pensioners or selling $200 bracelets at a fair where the average product costs $5.
In local Stores
This is a great way for your product to be seen regularly by shoppers. It is also a good way of selling large quantities to one person/business in one go, instead of just one item at a time. However, the downside to this is that a lot of stores buying products wholesale will expect at least 50% of the retail price. Is this an option for you taking into consideration your costs to make each unit?
This is a slightly different method of selling your product in shops. You display your product in a particular store and when one is sold, you get your cut and the shop gets theirs. Their cut will generally be a lower percentage, about 20%-40%, than selling into a shop wholesale as mentioned above. The downside of this option is that you have to provide your product upfront without receiving payment until units are sold.
If you are a jewellery or clothes designer or an artist or crafts person why not try to develop your business through one of the methods I have suggested. It will take a bit of effort and time but it can make all the difference.