From Pastime To Paycheck A Guide To Selling Your Crafts

Many crafters dream of making their hobby into a part- or even full-time business. After all, who doesn’t want to make money doing something that they love? Do-it-yourself crafting can be a fun way to make some extra income, or even serve as a sustainable small business. However, selling arts and crafts is often more work than crafters think.
There are two main ways to sell crafts: in-person (such as at an art fair or at a local shop) or online.

Selling Your Arts and Crafts Online

To sell your handmade crafts over the Internet, you can use existing, user-powered online marketplaces, or you can create a website of your own.
Managing your own website has many advantages. If you have your own site, avoid listing and sales fees from a third-party site that hosts your shop. You’ll also have complete creative control over the marketing, branding and packaging of your product.
If you’re starting your own website, think of it as a conventional business. As with a business, launching a successful website involves a great deal of work, research and general commitment. Keep your site competitive by:

  • Keeping your finances organized: Tracking your expenses and sales can help you determine whether you’re generating a profit, and what portions of the business are the most lucrative.
  • Researching the competition: Many other websites out there may be selling the same things you are. Do your research to make sure your item and shipping costs are competitive, and that your site stands out from the crowd.
  • Understanding search engine optimization (SEO): The use of highly-searched keywords and the design and layout of your site will help search engines recognize it. Reading up on SEO or taking a class at a local college can help you stay competitive.
  • Understanding tax laws: Research–and comply with–laws for selling online and selling to people in various states. Fill out and send in any forms required to sell your products online in your state.

Selling Your Handmade Crafts on Existing Websites

If you don’t have the time or resources to design your own site, consider selling in an online marketplace. This may take some of the net sales out of your pocket, but it’s often the most practical way to ease into selling crafts. ??Some popular online marketplaces include:

  • ArtFire.com: A popular craft-sales website, ArtFire