Money sucker or money maker? Find the hidden cash in your crafts with our guide.
Pursuing a craft hobby can suck up all the spare cash you have. Why not turn the tables on it and let your craft make you some money instead? Here’s how to turn your craft into serious cash, and some websites and apps to help you do it.
It’s impossible to go shopping without bringing home some new goodies for your craft stash. You’re creative and your brain is alert for ideas, right? So let’s take that creative brain and uncover your inner budding entrepreneur. Get excited! We’re about to turn your knowledge and expertise into profits.
How are you going to sell your products?
Of course, the answer is online so you can sell products even while you sleep. It’s like putting your sales on autopilot.
There are lots of sites to choose from: Etsy, MadeIt, eBay, Fiverr, CafePress, RedBubble and 500px.com. Initially, your choice will be influenced by the type of craft you are selling. I mean, you won’t sell designer notebooks on a photography site! But it goes deeper than that.
You need answers to these key questions:
- What are the costs to me for each sale? How much commission do they take?
- Are there conditions or costs associated with opening or closing your account?
- Does the site deal in your kind of products?
- How well known is the site? Will it bring in enough buyers?
- Will the right people (people who’d love my craft) shop there?
- Does the site look inviting and is it easy to find the items you are looking for?
- Does the site suit my “brand”?
Yes, even if you don’t realise it, you are building a brand with your craft side project! Getting it right is going to be the difference between making money and wasting your time.
How will you package what you’re offering?
There’s packaging for presentation, and there’s packaging to encourage more sales. You need to work on both. The product has to look sensational when your customer gets it. She’ll do your marketing for you when she raves your product and presentation to her friends.
Now to sales. When you’re putting your store together, don’t just think about selling one item. Think about how one sale might lead to another and another. For example, if I buy your silver collar, I will then want pendants to hang from it. Or if I buy your designer notebook, I’ll need your matching pens.
Try to present your products so you naturally lead the buyers on to the next. That’s really neat packaging!
How to sell
You can’t touch the item when you sell online, so your text and images have to do the work for you. You’ll need fantastic photos and a great description of the product. But you know; that’s not what really sells it. People buy when they like you – when they connect.
You need to put some emotion into your text and the best way to do that is to tell the readers a story. Tell them what inspired the piece or what it means to you. Make yourself real and human. Here’s a classic example of what I am talking about: A mum listed an opened packet of Pokemon cards (valued at around $10) on eBay. They sold for over $140! Read her listing and you’ll see why it worked.
People get caught up in the story and want to be part of it. It’s your job to make that happen, so when they hold your item, they will remember you.
The effect of pricing
If you’re selling an expensive product, like handmade jewellery, you won’t find buyers on Fiverr. Fiverr will make your brand look cheap. But list it on a site like Etsy and you can name your price – and it will still sell. Etsy is a “quality” site so put a quality price on your item. Don’t be afraid of a big number. The higher the perceived value, the more money people will pay for your item. Remember that.
Money doesn’t come before you do what you love — it comes as a result of it. Your weekend hobby could be the start of a profitable new business. I’ll bet that next time you look into your craft cupboard, you’ll spot some serious cash looking back at you.