By Kimi Clark
One of the most popular ways to work-at-home today is to create your own products, but choosing the best places to sell your handmade goods can be a bit of a challenge. After all, there are so many options, how does one choose?
There's nothing quite as satisfying as creating something yourself. Many people who create handmade items do it initially because they love it, but soon find it to be a viable business option as well.
From sewing and crocheting to painting and jewelry making, there are so many unique products out there today; there's never been a better time to go into business for yourself. Particularly with the ability to market your business and sell online.
I hope to help you with this dilemma of where to sell your handmade goods. Some of these places you've likely heard of and some might be new to you. Either way, I hope this will help make your decision about where to sell your wares a bit easier.
In this day and age, selling online is where it's at. You can reach a huge audience, and there are so many sites that it's mind boggling! Many of these sites have their own communities where the business owners shop from and help promote each other.
Here are some of the best places to sell your homemade goods online.
Etsy – One of the most popular, Etsy has helped many hobbyists turn into full-fledged business owners. Although Etsy does charge a listing fee ($0.20) and a 3.5% transaction fee and a payment processing fee (3% + $0.25), it's still one of the largest – if not the largest site to sell your handmade goods. You'll receive lots of traffic since there are already millions of shoppers on the site (24 million last year, to be exact!)
Shopify – You can try Shopify free for 14 days, no credit card required. They have e-commerce software that allows you to manage pretty much your entire business on one platform. From customizing an online store to managing inventory and tracking sales, you can do it all with Shopify. It's a great option for small businesses (although it can handle large ones as well) because of its remarkable features and ease of setup.
Zibbet – With Zibbet, you can not only create your own store but also join their Global Marketplace. Their marketplace has more than 50,000 shop owners and gains you exposure to millions of shoppers all over the world. Some of the features Zibbet offers are no listing or selling fees, easy to set up and search engine optimization. If you're already an Etsy seller, Zibbet will copy and paste all your items over for you, which I thought was neat as it will save a lot of time.
Storenvy – Over 52,000 brands use Storenvy, and the platform prides itself on working with Indie and emerging brands. The site easy to use, and allows you to set up a store in 5 minutes. It's free to create a custom store, and you keep 100% of your sales (minus a small transaction fee). If you want to join the Storenvy Marketplace, it will cost you only 10% of your sales. This is a good option for beginners who can't spend a lot of money on listing fees right out of the gate.
Big Commerce – You can get started selling your handmade goods right away with a free 15-day trial. But unlike some of the sites above, Big Commerce does charge a monthly fee that ranges from $29.95 and up depending on what you need for your business. One neat thing about Big Commerce is that it's you can also sell on eBay, Amazon, and Facebook through their platform.
Craft fairs are a really fun way to sell your products. You get to meet people in person and show off your goods personally, which really has an advantage, especially if your product is one that might benefit from a demonstration. People do love to be hands-on and touch items as well before they buy (I know I do!).
Holidays are the most popular time to find craft fairs, but if you do a thorough search, you might be surprised to see that they are offered all year long. Many cities have festivals and fairs in the summertime where small business owners can rent a booth and sell their wares. And depending on your type of product, there are many specialty fairs throughout the country, featuring everything from art and sculptures to clothing and sewn products. If you do your research, I'm sure you'll find fairs in your area.
If you make clothing, jewelry, handbags and the like, you might think about incorporating trunk shows into your selling routine. Sometimes called Home parties, they were made famous by direct sales companies like Tupperware, Avon, and Stella and Dot. But the trunk shows of today are so much more than just selling products. They allow people to come together, socialize and have a good time while browsing your products. Some small business owners even bring wine and snacks for their customers to trunk shows, and encourage customers to try on clothing and jewelry before they buy.
Brick and Mortar Boutiques/Rented Space
Getting your handmade products into brick and mortar boutiques might be easier than you think. Look carefully at the shops you frequent, because they all get their goods from somewhere. You'll have better luck with smaller local boutiques than big name stores. Some boutiques will sell your items for free, then take a commission once they sell, while others charge a monthly fee for the space you use. I know in the town I live in, we have several shops that rent space to small business owners on a month to month basis, and a couple of them are comprised entirely of leased spaces. It's definitely worth asking around to see what's available in your area.
Local Markets/ Saturday Market
Last but not least, the good old Saturday/Local Market does really well for some folks. It's a popular place for artists, jewelry makers, food vendors and more to sell their wares. A cool thing about local markets is the support system. Many towns are very pro buying local and encourage citizens to shop locally whenever possible. I sold at our local Saturday Market one year and had many great memories from that time. It not only helped me spread my wings business-wise, but I made new friends, some of which I still have to this day.
Well, there you have it! I hope this list of places to sell your handmade goods will be a help to you. Have any other ideas to add? Feel free to leave them in the comments below.
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Kimi Clark is a career stay at home mom turned writer and blogger for hire with a passion for business. She specializes in posts about writing, blogging and entrepreneurship, as well as all things parenting and motherhood. Owner & Founder of The Mom Shopping Network, she helps moms find great tips, amazing products, money saving deals, fun entertainment and what's trendy and hip for moms, dads, and kids! A devoted wife and mother of four, she loves the beach and NEEDS her early morning coffee.
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