There is a growing trend to make and try selling craft and other homemade goods including baked goods, at the local market.
You can even try selling non-perishable crafts online!
It can be a fun and social way of making a little extra
money, but it does require time and good planning to pull it off successfully.
What craft should you make?
The perfect craft for you to try your hand at making and selling depends on a number of things – your skills
and abilities, the market you’re trying to sell to and the cost of making the item (and more importantly, the ability
to make money from the sale!).
Here are some tips to help you find your perfect craft:
Hopefully from the above 3 investigations, you can identify a craft you
can do AND one that has appeal with buyers.
- Look around –
what’s selling at your local market, what’s popular at the best market in town, what’s selling on eBay (check
number of bids and prices). Get some ideas of what seems to work in the real market place.
- What is your strongest
skill when it comes to making craft? You may really enjoy baking, but if the end result isn’t palatable then you’re
going to struggle to make sales! So determine what you are REALLY good at.
- What are you passionate about – the
opposite of the above, there’s no point choosing a craft to sell if you just have no interest in making it! Pick a craft
that you are good at and passionate about.
But it takes more than just making more of the same craft – even
if you are really good at it.
Craft that sells well is:
Here are some ideas for successful craft.
- Professional in its presentation – the craft
item needs to look like it’s been made by a professional (even if you’re not) so that the buyer is proud to put
the item on display or use it. Items that look like they’ve been thrown together in your sleep just won’t sell.
useful and durable – popular and useful items that look like they are going to last without falling apart are always
- Unique – something that sets your craft apart from everyone else’s. Perhaps it’s in the
way you present your home baked cookies (in a ‘designed by you’ paper bag or box) or a stuffed toy with a twist,
it NEEDS to be a unique design. Google your craft for ideas.
- Well targeted – for example, if your market is
in an area with lots of dogs, then selling well made and presented dog and pet related products is probably going to be successful.
well – not too cheap (to be nasty) and not too expensive.
Make a PLAN before you make your craft
To be successful at selling craft, your products
need to be priced well, easy to make and therefore cost and time effective. And you need to have a strategy for making your
craft, promoting it and selling it. And the best way to work that out is to prepare a PLAN for your craft selling activities.
Your plan should consider:
What you need to get started… To get started you will
need a ready supply of craft making materials – which means you’ll probably need to outlay some cash to build
up a decent stockpile of resources. Try to minimise costs though, by buying in bulk and using recycled materials where possible.
And then it’s just a matter of getting started!
Set regular craft making sessions to build up a stock
for sale – you don’t go to the markets with only one ragdoll! So get cracking and make a stockpile of items to
sell. As soon as you have enough items to stock a market stall, then it’s time to sell.
Finally, make sure
you have boxes and bags to transport and package your products. And have a plan for getting your product to market –
can you carry them, or will you need a car trailer? And make sure your items are protected from damage during transport.
What your craft costs to make and how much to sell it for. Homemade goods and craft cost money to
make (in the form of ingredients and materials, as well as simple things like electricity and market stall hire), but more
importantly they take a lot of your time – which also has a value.
So, add up the cost of all the ingredients
and materials you use to make your goods – this is the break-even cost of the item, and you need to be able to sell
it for more than this amount to make a profit.
By comparing your goods with other you will be able to get a feel
for how much you can charge for your goods – is this more than your break-even cost? What profit will you make? Is this
acceptable given how much time you’ve invested in making the goods?
If this all sounds reasonable, then
great! But more often than not, you’ll find that selling crafts and homemade goods is more about covering the costs
of a favourite hobby than making serious money.
Promoting and selling your craft. Like all good
businesses, you will need to market and promote your products. To do this you need to consider:
Promote your craft by making posters to hang and cards to hand out if this is allowed in the market. Tell people
what you are doing and ask your friends and family to let others know that you have craft items available for sale.
- Where are you going
to sell your craft?
- How are you going to display your items and what display materials do you need to take with you?
often are you going to sell items – are you going to be a weekly market regular, or just a once a month appearance?
Develop a sales pitch. You know your product well – so be prepared to describe it. Write down words
that you think best describe each of your craft items so that you can practice these in advance. Use a dictionary if you cannot
find words that create a visually appealing image in the buyer's mind. Choose words relating to color, shape, texture
and ease-of-use or ability to make the owner of the item feel happy.