Last week we gave you lots of craft ideas that you could use to help you fund-raise for your service dog. However, making beautiful handmade items is no good if you can’t sell them! Here are some ideas of places to sell your crafts.
Places to sell handmade crafts: Friends, family, neighbors & colleagues
The first place to start is to show your items to people you know. Explain that you have made the items to help you fundraise to get your service dog. Do not “force” them into buying from you, but gently ask if they would be interested in purchasing something. Family and friends are also great for getting feedback on your work. Ask them if there is anything they would change or do differently – just be prepared to take any “constructive criticism” without being offended or getting upset.
Craft fairs/local events
If there are any craft fairs in your local area, this is a good place to sell your items. Try to make it obvious on your stall that you are selling for a “good cause” rather than as a business. A well placed large poster explaining your cause helps to gain interest from people walking by, which can make them stop and look at what you are selling. Try to get a conversation going with people that look interested and briefly tell them your story – play to their emotions to encourage them to buy!
Local shops may be willing to sell your handmade products on their counter if you ask them nicely and explain your cause. This is more likely to be suitable for smaller craft items such as handmade cards or bath/beauty products.
Selling crafts on Facebook
Upload some photos to your personal Facebook account and comment on each one with the price. All those Facebook “friends” that you went to school with and haven’t seen in years are potential customers! You could also try joining local “for sale” groups on Facebook and posting there. For example, if you are selling handmade items for weddings, there is probably a “weddings in <your area>” group that is full of people in your target market.
Selling handmade crafts with eBay
Chances are that you’ve already got an eBay account. eBay can be a good way to market your handmade crafts to the masses. If you’ve got a product that really stands out from the competition, make sure you shout about it on one of the busiest online selling platforms there is! One thing to bear in mind with eBay is the fees that you have to pay – both to eBay itself and to PayPal when you receive payment. Make sure that once all these have been paid, you are still making a profit on your items, even if they sell at the lowest price you list them for. Don’t forget to take the raw material cost into consideration too.
Online selling with Etsy
An alternative to eBay is Etsy. It allows you to create your own online shop to sell your handmade products. Etsy is a marketplace dedicated to handmade crafts. Try searching for similar items to what you are selling, so that you know what price range your items should be in. Similarly to eBay, you should check out the fees that Etsy charges before creating your account. You can share the link to your Etsy shop on social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook to help bring extra visitors.
Top tips for selling handmade crafts online
In order to be successful selling your crafts online, make sure you follow these tips:
- Take a great photo. The photograph is the top thing people look at when deciding whether or not to purchase your item, so it needs to look good! Blurry, ‘too dark’, or ‘too bright’ photographs may put off potential buyers, as they won’t show off the quality and details of your item. Try to take photographs outside or in natural light without using the flash.
- Describe your item fully. The more information people have, the more likely they are to purchase. For example, if you have made a card, make sure you state the size of it, whether it comes with an envelope or not (really, it should!) and if you have added a message to the inside. If your product contains ingredients, such as a bath bomb or cookies, list all the ingredients you used so that people with allergies can see if the item is suitable for them or not.
- Calculate your postage costs carefully. Take into account the cost of the envelope/box and any packaging material you use. If you offer postage discounts if people buy more than one item from you, make sure you mention that in the description.
Thanks for reading!
We hope that you have enjoyed reading our series on how to fund-raise for your service dog. If you have any other ideas that we haven’t covered, please let us know so that we can share these with our readers. We’d love to see some photos of your fundraising efforts, whether that’s a garage sale at your house or your very own Etsy shop. Tell us your stories by posting on our Facebook page.
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