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Cash in on Crafts
If you're in business selling a product then you would expect it to be useful to succeed.
That's usually true - but there is one line where the most successful products are usually completely useless. And all the more successful for it!
The business is crafts - handicrafts or whatever. Everyone will have bought 'crafts' at some time. They are usually quality, hand made products - often based on the past in some way. Usually made from natural items - and intended for decoration, gifts, souvenirs
However, although most crafts are made to look like individual, 'antique' like goods they are
usually nothing of the sort. A considerable industry has grown up to produce crafts on a huge basis - such is the vast demand.
You too can exploit this business. Craft making usually doesn't need sophisticated equipment or skills - indeed, hand made things are an advantage. You can produce them individually as and when you need the money!
A further advantage is that no sophisticated sales network is needed to sell your products.
They often sell on impulse, because of their sheer attractiveness! Prices are not always high - but profits can be hundreds of percent. Everyone or Almost Everyone buys crafts!
If you don't feel offering a 'useful' product or service is interesting enough for you then
try crafts. The successful products that have no good use whatsoever!
When entering the crafts business it is important to realize, and abide by, the unique profit potential built into crafts.
Quite simply, most crafts are made from ultra cheap parts. In some cases you can get these free! Many crafts are often made from rubbish. This makes your products very, very low in production cost - there are no expensive machines or overheads either.
But - do remember to temper this with the fact that most crafts are hand made in low volumes. This means increased labor costs. However, as many crafts can be made by home workers your costs are again reduced.
Couple low production cost with very high selling prices. Crafts are usually sold in an exclusive way - such as for holiday souvenirs etc. People are prepared to pay far inflated prices over what they would normally consider reasonable - and buy readily. A truly ideal combination!
Research tells shows craft products can be produced for less than $1 and sell it for $3.99 or more !
What Makes A Successful Craft?
The crafts business is not a chance to sell anything in the form of a craft! Successful
items must have certain characteristics that make them attractive to customers, and hence
benefit from the price advantages.
When and incorporate these advantages:
- Attractiveness. Must look 'nice'!
- Curiosity. Ideal crafts are often a conversation piece.- Hand made. No mass production techniques.
- Natural ingredients. Wherever possible, no plastics etc!
- Compact sized. Crafts are rarely large items as they must be suited to impulse sale.
- Original. Should be unique for each customer, even if in a small way.
- Standard/Recognizable. Must be obviously a craft or curio, and obviously for display purposes.
- Price - Not high, not too low. Probably about $7 - $50 is an optimum.
You may be able to think of many more points. Just remember that crafts are usually bought
because they are 'interesting' or 'nice'. Let that be a guide to what customers want.
How To Make Crafts
If you are going to deal in crafts it is probably best to actually have them made specially for you. This way you can ensure they meet the necessary criteria, and benefit from the enormous mark ups! One viable alternative is to import them from low wage countries.
Most crafts don't need specialized skills or equipment. The production processes necessary can often be picked up from crafts books at the local library. Crafts don't have to be consistent in quality!
You may decide to produce them yourself - and most can be made safely at home in a garage
or garden shed. Employ members of your family for a successful 'cottage industry'!
Do remember though that self production limits your output. So, a lucrative alternative is to use home workers to do all the work for you. They can work at home, thus cutting costs to the bone.
You just deliver/collect crafts and tell them what to do. Pay could be by commission, and even as little as 10% might be adequate.
At all times produce crafts efficiently at absolute minimum cost. Prices may be high but efficient production makes your profits sky high!
How To Sell
Selling is actually the easy part with crafts. Because, they literally sell themselves! Everyone likes to buy little 'odds and ends'! And, retailers know the inherent attraction and profitability of
craft products. You only need to build a handful of sales contacts for a regular income.
Look mainly to sell crafts in country, coastal, resort and 'tourist' areas. Though, crafts sell well in all places nowadays.
One excellent way of selling is on your own stall - either at a crafts fair or perhaps a road or market pitches where allowed. You may sell only a few pieces, but margins are high.
One lucrative possibility is to sell direct to crafts and other shops - means a regular income. For big business you could sell to wholesalers who sell to such shops. Maybe even start your own craft shop!
If you want the ideal home business, consider that some craft products are ideal for selling - even in appropriate newspapers and magazines. An interesting alternative is to export your products. Quality crafts will sell well in Many countries all over the World.
The potential for selling your crafts is truly enormous. But, part of the fun is seeking out your own lucrative demand. People want crafts - it's up to you to just find them!
Up until now the term 'crafts' has been used very generally. But, it can be used to cover thousands of attractive, interesting products. Anything with a certain novelty or curiosity value might be a 'craft'. Keep an open mind.
Following, you will find a list of proven crafts. And, There's no reason why you can't copy the general ideas. Also - it is quite up to you whether you produce just one line, or many for much more money!
- Candles. One of the all time successes! Scented and decorated candles sell fast at high prices. Candles can be produced at home with basic safety precautions - consult a specialist supplier.
This can be a great craft line,though note food regulations. 'Old fashioned' sweets are one possibility!
These are a larger, but high potential line. Cotton prints and 'hand knits' are the major areas to explore. Study designs very carefully - could lead to something big!
- Shells & Rocks.
Articles made with or decorated with sea shells are popular. Otherwise consider polished stones and semi-previous minerals. Some of these items can be carefully prepared and turned
into quite valuable jewellery.
Many things you might term 'junk' can be turned into unique, interesting crafts. One possibility heard of concerned the sale of pieces of wood from an old church attractively polished and
shaped into a crucifix.
One of the most interesting craft lines, and could turn into a considerable business! Some investment would be needed in equipment though.
- Wickerwork. Anything woven is attractive making a pleasant alternative to plastics. Possibilities range from baskets to place mats!
- Scented items.
Lavender products have always been a big seller.There is also the chance to produce natural cosmetics (check for safety).
Original framed photos or sketches/watercolors, even oil paintings make good craft lines. If you are not talented it is amazing how many good amateurs there are. lining up crafts for manufacture/selling, try
Anything that looks like an antique can sell fast. For example brass work, jewel, small wooden items are good. Don't sell as genuine antiques though.
Really, this is just a selection of craft lines you could succeed with. There are so many and you only need one to start.
A Final Note
You are sure to agree that most of the craft products considered are completely useless. And, it is that which makes them successful. People don't buy crafts for their functional use - they buy them to look nice - to enjoy. it's a basic human need and one reason why crafts can succeed.
Sheer proof that not all business successes have to be up to The minute!
Stephen Ayojide Buremoh (author) from West Africa on August 06, 2015:
You are Welcome suziecat7, Thank you for reading, I appreciate it.
suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on October 25, 2011:
This is a very comprehensive Hub. Crafts can be big business. Thanks for the great Hub and I'm a fan.