Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.
Can You Make Your Crafts Profitable?
There is an opportunity for you to turn your skill and talents into profit and money both online and offline. You can make money with crafts that you create in your home or studio. You can make a part time or full time income if you approach your skills and use them to your best advantage.
Do you have a special craft that you think could be a profitable part time or full time business? Are you looking to make some extra money while being at home with your family?
The internet is alive with people who have done just that and have been very successful. You can develop your business as time goes along or dig into it full time. The most important thing is that once you make the decision to take the plunge, that you take steps to make yourself profitable.Till you mentally turn the corner from hobby to business, you will not succeed.
If you are serious about making money, you must treat your craft as a business, not a hobby
Start by getting free resources before you start creating your business. The Small Business Administration is a good place to start. Taking charge of your business before getting started will make you more successful
The Difference Between A Hobby Business And A Craft Business
Do you make crafts for family members and friends? Have you sold a few items and have considered doing business in your craft? There is a huge difference between someone who is dabbling in crafts and someone who is looking to make real money at crafts, either part time or full time. There are considerations in time and money to be made. Having said that, the internet is ripe with opportunity for crafters to turn thier passions into profits. With as little as one or two items, you can start making money with your crafts. The web is full of opportunity, if you work at it. The decision to at least try is up to you.
Hobby Business Checklist
|Products/ Crafts||Business Needs||Legal Considerations|
What will you make?
Where will you get the money for your business?
Do you need a local or state busineess license?
How much inventory will you need?
How much money do you need to start your business?
How will you collect state sales tax? Get a state sales tax certificate
What supplies fo you need to make the products?
How will you be doing business-sole proprietor or otherwise?
Register your business name unless you are using your own name
Where will you get the supplies?
What will be the name of your business?
Pay quarterly estimated income tax if you expect to make $1000 or more /year
How much time does it take to make the product ?
Where will you be doing business?
Speak to an attorney if you have any questions
What will you charge for the product?
Set up a serarate checking account
Get an emplyee identification number if not using your own name for the business
Where will you sell the product?
Make or get business cards
Speak to an accountant or a CPA to make sure all your legal obligations are met
How much will you charge for the product?
Will you accept credit cards?
Speak to your insurance agent to find out how to cover your business supplies and inventory
Step One-Define Your Business
A business plan is neccessary for any business, so before you get out there, define what it is your business is about. What is your product? Who will you sell it to? How much time a day and how many days a week will you devote to your business? How much money do you have to devote to your business ? What are the goals for your business and when do you want to meet these goals? These are all things that you must do before you take on the world
Step Two -Define Your Products
So the question is what are you going to sell? If you have a specific talent for something then you already know what you want to market. If not, then you need to research different types of crafts to see what will sell and what may not. You need to know if there is a market for your product.
Check put places like Etsy and Ebay to see what people are buying and how much they are willing to pay for an item. Go to craft shows and see what kinds of crafts people are selling.
You may be thinking about doing selling as a demonstrator or a consultant with a specific company. Really look at the product line and decide if you think you can sell the craft products and if they are reasonably priced.
Ready to focus on your craft product? Make a list of the product or products you are going to sell. Define the cost of the materials you will need for each project and double it for your price point. Look on the internet at comparable projects and determine if your price is fair and reasonable. While you are looking at comparable projects, also consider quality. Does your project meet the quality of comparable projects. Search on Google. Just search for the specific item that you are planning to market.
Decide how much of each craft that you need to create your inventory. Then list the materials and the amount of materials you need for each item. List what materials that you already have. Then search for the best prices that you can get on the rest. Remember the goal is to keep your cost low without sacrificing quality ! Type in your search engine for "best prices for......" and you will generally get some good listings.
Step Three-Where's The Cash Coming From?
Ok, it’s time to talk cash ! Every business no matter how large or small needs some money to get started. How much money you will need depends on your goals and business plan. If you are planning to market anywhere on the internet, you need inventory before you market. In other words, you have to have product to sell, so once you determine how much per unit each project will cost, you will determine how many units you want to make to get started. But once you start rolling, while you can expect some profit to turn back into your business, you will need some seed money to keep going. How far and how fast your business moves, not only depends on the product and your marketing, but also the availability of what you have to offer. So as you can see, you will need to determine how much money you will need and where it will come from.
Step Four- Decide Where You Will Sell
The next step you need to consider is where you will sell your products. There are three basic platforms to consider:
1. Online Selling Sites -This is where you create crafts and sell them on selling websites.
2. On And Off Line Selling As a Consultant- Many companies allow you to sell their craft products on and offline. As a consultant you will be demonstrating projects and techniques that you create
3. Selling At Fairs And Events-These are events where you have a table or a booth where your products are sold.
4, Selling To Consignment and Gift Shops- There are a number of consignment and gift shops that enjoy selling homemade goods
Step Five-You Need To Understand How To Price Your Items
There is a lot of thought that goes into pricing your items. There are also a number of formulas and ideas on how to price. What you might think your item is worth may not be what the market will bear. First, do your research. Look for like items and see what the going price for the same and similar product might be.
Then figure out what your price point is. Again, if you are selling online, you need to add shipping and handling as well as applicable taxes in your state or country.
Step Six-Have The Appropriate Business Licenses and Laws Covered
Even if you are simply making crafts in your home, you need to understand the laws in your state and municipality or city regarding doing business. It's important to start off on the right foot. Ignorance is not bliss. The very last thing that you need to do is to create a problem for yourself or your family. You need to understand the laws for taxes-income and sales taxes. How you need to set up a business, and how you will keep your books. You also need to understand the difference between a hobby and a business by federal and state laws. Want to learn more about the laws in your state?
Craft Sellers Tips And Ideas
- Be prepared for seasonal rushes ! Set a calendar and your goals so that you have inventory for the seasonal times of selling. Fall through Christmas would be a huge selling time. People are looking for special gifts for the holidays. But don't discount Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween, Fourth of July. Watch for specifics on local events and set your calendar and goals accordingly
- Did you know that pricing your crafts under a dollar point will actually sell more products? For example, if you sell items at $9.99 rather than selling them at $10, you will actually sell more!
Focusing On Quality
The reality of the craft business is that people do not want to pay good money for junk! Most people love homemade crafts that are made well.
So you really need to think and focus on quality. Does the craft that you want to sell meet the standards of other products that are being sold?
If you think that your craft would not meet high quality standards, it is time to take a step back and grow in your craft before you spend time and money spinning your wheels. Grow in your craft skills and the rewards will be great !
Really look at your craft and decide for yourself if it is ready to go on the market.
More Ideas On what Crafts Will Sell
- 25 Crafts to Make and Sell for Profit - Small Business Trends
Making crafts is a great creative outlet, but if you decide to monetize your creation what should you make? Here are 25 crafts to make and sell for profit.
What Crafts Sell Online?
Online Selling- Getting It Together
Online sales have created more opportunities than ever for crafters to market their products. There are opportunities across the internet that you just have to approach in an orderly and business-like manner to find the right place to market your crafts.
The advantage of selling online is that your store is open 7 days a week for 24 hours a day. That means you have the opportunity to sell at any time. This is a big advantage over limited sales at shows and events where you are limited to the time of the event.
Your options are either to go with a marketing opportunity like Etsy, eBay, or even Amazon to set up your own online shop. Most of these locations have profitable traffic where you can set up your business. Even Facebook now has a business portal where you can set up a shop and market your wares.
You can also set up a website with your own shop on the internet. In these cases, you need to have a website that allows you to sell products. If you are considering a website, you need to look at several and consider the advantages of each. You will be paying a fee for your website, so you want to be able to create a site that is user-friendly to your shoppers and to yourself. Some websites are more difficult to manage, so consider your knowledge in creating website pages before you sign up for a particular website.
The basic place to start with online sales is to understand what all the options are, what costs you will incur and what is offered in each area of sales.
More consideration should be given to website security. Since you will be dealing with credit and debit cards, it is important that you do understand the security issues of the site you are planning to use,
Selling Crafts Online
- Etsy is one of the most famous online locations to sell homemade goods. So with that reputation, you have to know that there will be some reasonable traffic. Etsy charges you no membership or monthly fees. They charge .20 cents to list one item for four months or until it sells, and once your item sells, Etsy takes a 3.5 percent fee from the sale price .They also charge a 3% plus $0.25 transaction fee. If your item does not sell in four months, it will no longer be listed for sale unless you choose to relist it for another .20 cents.You must have a valid credit card to sign up as a seller so that they can bill you once a month for whatever listing fees and transaction fees you have accumulated.Want more information on Etsy? Click here.
- Art Fire is another popular marketplace for home made goods. Their is a lot of traffic at this site Their features include no contracts and no ads on your pages. They also claim to be mobile phone friendly.Their platform supports a monthly rate on three levels Standard Shop is $4.95/ month plus $0.23 per listing up to 250 active listings. There is a 9% valuation fee. Popular Shop is $20/month and no separate listings fee. Up to 1000 listings. There is a 3% final valuation fee.Featured Shop is $40/month. 2500 active listings. There is a 3% active listing fee.Get more information on Art Fire here
- Shop Homemade Though they might not get as much traffic as the more established sites, this marketplace is free to use. So this might be a good place for newbies to get their feet wet.They don't charge you any listing fees or monthly store fees, so this would be a very risk-free way to start selling your crafts and/or vintage items.You can sign up and create a store and start uploading photos and creating listings right away. All payments you receive for items sold go to your Paypal account Learn more about Shop Homemade here.
- GLC Craft Mall allows you to open up your own arts and crafts store within their site. If you would like to open up a craft store at GLC Craft Mall, you must have a Paypal account so that you can receive payments when your items sellThere are three levels of stores Basic Store - List up to 100 items for a flat rate of $3.50 per monthSemi-Pro Store - List up to 250 items for a flat rate of $6.95 per month Pro Store. List Unlimited items in your store for a Flat Rate of $12.00 per month Want More Information...Click here.
- Handmade By Amazon. Amazon jumps in on everything, and now they're trying to compete with Etsy as well. Their new site for crafters and DIYers, Handmade, will allow you to sell your wares through their platform.You can only sell by application. So be prepared for the process.15% referral fee includes payment processing, marketing, discounted shipping, fraud protection and we’ve waived our monthly fee! .Check out more here
I Craft is a platform that caters to handmade goods only. Here is a large marketplace of handmade goods. All goods must be handmade-no vintage or previously used items. No re-sellers- all goods must be handmade by you. There is a $25 registration fee. There are no re listing fees. They have a referral program No additional fees for listing an item in more than one product category
- $5/month- 1-50 items
- $10/month-1-100 items
- $15/month-unlimited items
Online Selling Tips
With just a few changes in your online selling, you can become more profitable. Sometimes making just a few small changes will reap larger rewards. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Take great photos. This one tip has to be a prime consideration for your online business. Shoppers are used to seeing great photos of items online. So your products need to be shown in the best way possible for you to create sales. The most important thing is that you need good lighting. You do not need an expensive camera, but you may want to consider investing in a photo box if you are selling a lot of items online.
- Be truthful about the product. Call it exactly what it is. That way you will minimize returns.
- Be realistic about pricing. Find other compatible products and price your items according to their actual value.
- Consider selling products in bundles. Generally, bundles do better than individual items.
- Remember to add postage to the cost of your items. Invest in a mailing scale so that you know the weight of the item. Calculate carefully the price to ship the item. Be fair about the cost of shipping and handling. People will move away from items if they feel the cost to ship is inflated.
- Sell on the season. Right after Halloween people start thinking about the winter holidays, so plan your sales accordingly. Have a sales plan for each season and the inventory that you need,
More Online Selling Tips
- Photography Tips for Selling Handmade Crafts Online
Nothing will sell items faster than big, beautiful photographs adequately displaying them. Here are my TOP photography tips for selling items online.
Being A Demonstrator On and Offline
While their are fewer companies than there was 10 years ago, there are still crafters making very good incomes from being consultants for companies like Close To My Heart and Stamping Up.
You might think that in order to be successful you are just showing products or kits, but the most successful people spend a lot of time crafting with the company products, making videos and tutorials to reach their goals.
You might have to make an initial outlay for a company kit. Mostly the kits have some craft material in them to get you started. You may have a lot of tools that you need in your stash, But beyond the kit, you will probably want to purchase additional materials to showcase the company products.
Where Can You Sell Offline?
You can also decide to sell your crafts offline. There are a variety of venues that you can use. Selling at these venues will require product inventory, so you will need to take time to craft ahead of these events.
- Flea Markets You will have to rent a booth and have display materials. You will need money for your rent and a substancial inventory. This may be for you if you want to sell your crafts on weekends. You will need a way to process credit cards and a way to collect taxes in your state if they are applicable
- Craft Fairs and Bazzars These are special events that draw large crowds. Generally you rent your table. Usually these are special events that are publicized and get good traffic
- Local Boutiques Beauty and Nail Salons Try to get some items in any one of these. Include some business cards and you will have some extra income
- Do A Home Show Invite some of your friends over for coffee and show your products
Remember that if you are thinking about selling online, you will have to think about packaging and mailing costs too !
Tips For Craft Booths
Do you want to have a successful craft booth at your next event? There are several ways that you can leverage your display to be more profitable. Try to use several of these tips and ideas to see if they make a difference for you.
- Plan ahead. Make sure that you plan every detail in advance rather than floundering the day of the event. Make a list of everything you need so that you have exactly all the tools and supplies are there for your use.
- Have a variety of price points in your inventory. Try to include some lower-priced items as well as some higher-priced ones. People love to get little treasurers to take home.
- Make sure that all of the items in your display are clearly marked. That will save you some time answering questions about pricing. Make your price tags in advance and place them on the items. Have a list of the items in your inventory and your prices so that you can refer to them if needed.
- Have additional stock to add to your display as the day wears on. Have some extra stock under your display. That way your display will always look fresh and new. You will draw more people to your display than those whose displays don't look full as the day goes on.
- Go seasonal. People are drawn to displays that have seasonal items. People are drawn to items that are built around a holiday. So make sure to include some seasonal items on your display.
- Use your most popular items in a prominent part of your display. If you have items that have a history of selling well, make sure to feature them as a draw to your display. You will get more traffic. And people will spend more time at your display.
- Use the vertical space in your display. Build up vertically to add more space to your display. If your area opens up to another booth, hang a white sheet between you and the other display. You want your shoppers to look at the things in your display rather than looking through your display to the next one. Be creative with your vertical display. Use all kinds of tools to build up your display.
- Have a theme for your display. It makes the display looks easy to theme for more organized. Of course, it is easy to theme for a holiday. Create a theme to build around your display.
- Have a credit card reader. Many of your shoppers will not be carrying cash. Having a credit card reader means more and bigger sales. Well worth the effort and cost. Paypal Here that has a little device I plug into your iPad or iPhone.The device is free and all I pay is a small percentage of each sale to Paypal.
- If you do take credit cards, make sure to have a prominent sign that gives that information to your shoppers. Again that will result will reap you larger and more sales.
- Arrive at the site early so that you have adequate time to set up your display, The most around of traffic is in the earlier hours, so you will want to have adequate time to get it all together. That way you will have time to spend with your shoppers,
- Make sure that you have plenty of business cards available. Shoppers may often make decisions when they get home that they want a special item. You may get extra sales with these cards. Then make sure to ask all of the visitors to your booth, "Did you get one of our cards?"
- Have clear plastic bags to place your merchandise into. That way as they are traveling through the event, others will see the items from your booth. You may also want to include a sticker on the packaging with your information, Remember to include a business card with your packaging.
- Have a clipboard with a signup sheet. That way you will build an email list. This is a valuable tool. You can send emails to the people on your list for event, promotions, and other information.
- Make sure you have enough cash with you. $1, $5, $10 and $20 dollar bills. You may find it easiest to wear your cash on a body in a comfy little bag that has compartments for easy access.
- Have a calculator available for multiple purchases.
- Hid all your storage pieces and other things that you are not using under your tables, That way when you are ready to pack up you can pull them all out.
Tips For Creating A Craft Booth Or Table
- ten tips for craft fair booth design - Dear Handmade Life
ten tips for craft fair booth design
- 16 DIY Craft Booth Ideas - Creative Income
Large resource of ideas and information to create a booth that will attract buyers
All About Craft Fairs
Marketing Your Crafts
You will need to decide how, when, where and how you will market your craft business. If you are working with an online sellers platform, they will often work with you because they have an interest in getting traffic to their site.
For those working off and online, part of your business time will be spent marketing. You need to create a following so that you get repeat business.
Marketing Resources For Crafters
- Ways to Promote Your DIY Craft Business
Whether you have a craft business to bring side cash, or you need to pull in a full-time income, there are several ways to promote your craft business to get more sales. Here are a few marketing strategies to get you started.
- Ways To Market Your Craft Business
Hooray! So you've come to the crafty side and started your very own hand crafts emporium - congrats and long may it continue! I've run a few businesses in my time (and a craft business since 2003). My craft business is truly my baby. It's the best jo
Blogging And Affiliate Marketing
Another way to make money with crafts is to create a craft blog and affiliate market. You will share information, tutorials and ideas on the craft of your choice. Then you add ads and links to companies that you affiliate with. The more good content that you have, the more someone will probably click on the companies that you support. When someone does a sale from your link, you receive a commission for the sale.
There are affiliate marketing companies that you can apply your website to affiliate with them after you build enough information and content on your website.
You can sell your own crafts or have a website store in addition to affiliate marketing.
You can also create a website store where you sell craft products.
Creating a blog with creative and good content is the key to this kind of opportunity. You need to have some knowledge on the craft that you are going to write about.
The main cost will be the cost of the website and the cost of your website name. The cost of your website is dependent on the amount of space ( pages) ans services that you need. The only other cost is the time that you are going need to spend on your blog.
Tips For Creating A Craft Blog
- How to Start a Blog in 2018 - Easy Guide to Create a Blog for Beginners - The Blog Starter
Start a blog today in 3 easy steps. My easy guide is designed just for beginners and includes pictures, video, and personal assistance from me.
- How To Start A Craft Blog In 2017 - A Step-By-Step Tutorial
If you have a passion for a specific craft why not share it with the world and start a craft blog? Inspire people with your unique voice, here is how.
- 10 Tips for Creating a Successful Craft Blog - Creative Income
Tips for creating a craft blog
- Product Photography Tips | Handmadeology
Ideas to create the perfect photos for your craft blog
Final Craft Business Thought
It sounds like a lot to do before you can get started in your craft business, but in order to do it successfully, you need to do it right. It is a decision that only you can decide for yourself. If the time is right to take a full time or part time stab at your own business, then get started on the right foot. Do your homework ! Get your plan ! Learn more about your craft ! There is money to be made ! Good luck !
© 2015 Linda F Correa
Have You Started A Craft Business?
Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on June 15, 2015:
I agree that testing the waters is a good way to go. Taking it one step at a time makes the process simpler. Checking out the market to see what's selling and trending is important. Pinterest is a good source of information
FlourishAnyway from USA on June 14, 2015:
I have done this and have found that some products almost sell themselves while other good products you can almost not give away. Definitely go in small to test it out.