[SOLD!] Where to Sell Handmade Goods

Category: Shopping

Handmade OOAK (One Of A Kind) goods are all the rage these days. If you make anything all by yourself, whether it’s a potholder, baby clothes, or an intricately carved pool cue, someone out there wants to buy it. But finding that buyer can be difficult, and closing a deal successfully is hard work. Read on to learn about the best places to sell your hand-crafted items…

Places to Sell Your Stuff

There are many sites that help artisans sell their makings and manage their businesses. Which one to use, or whether to use multiple sites, depends on your business skills and temperament. Here are a few of the most popular sites among makers of handmade items, and some tips on their strengths and weaknesses.

eBay seems to be an obvious choice. But eBay’s fees and policies applicable to sellers heavily favor high-volume resellers of manufactured goods. Sure, there are “handmade” subcategories for jewelry, clothing, musical instruments, and other classes of goods, but the vast majority of eBay shoppers don’t care if a thing is handmade or not. Originally a pure auction site, eBay now pushes fixed-price listings.

eBay gives you a worldwide marketplace, but it's one of the pricier ways to sell online. You pay a listing fee whether your item sells or not, plus a percentage of the selling price. Every eBay listing must offer Paypal as a payment option (although other options can be included), and Paypal takes a cut of whatever money you receive through it.

Selling your handmade goods

Craigslist charges nothing, but has some important limitations. It's basically free classified advertising in dozens of local markets. Craigslist is great if you want fast cash; just advertise, meet with a responding buyer, hand over the goods and pocket the money. But be careful! Always meet in a public place, like a police station parking lot. Don't accept checks from strangers. I would encourage you to read Scammed on Craigslist! before you engage in this marketplace.

Etsy is the leading marketplace for makers and buyers of handmade goods. In fact, you are not permitted to list an item for sale in Etsy’s “handmade” category - by far the most populated with items - unless you made it with your own hands or directly employ the person who did. This strict “purity” of the handmade/artisanal ideal draws ardent fans for whom price is a secondary consideration. Etsy’s fees recognize that a) most artisans don’t have much money, and b) it can take a while to sell a unique, artisanal item. Only $0.20 buys you a listing for four months.

Etsy takes 3.5% of each sale price, excluding shipping charges and any sales taxes charged. In contrast, eBay’s listing and sale (final value) fees can be 8 to 12% of an item’s price. Creating a listing is easy and straightforward. Etsy hosts many help files, seminars, and other educational opportunities for non-professional sellers. (One friend of mine sells handmade jewelry on Etsy, and he's having a "TWO THIRDS OFF" sale right now...)

Other Marketplaces For Your Goods

Bonanza has a more costly and complex fee structure than Etsy. However, various special offers for sellers run frequently. For example, if you registered for a free Bonanza account during May, 2016, absolutely no fees will be charged on sales that result from traffic you drive to your Bonanza store from your own blog or other site until 2018.

Facebook Sale Groups are popular and effective marketplaces for handmade goods such as jewelry, clothing, and collectibles. You can search for Sale Groups that match your wares. You can also start a Sales Group of your own. Just follow the procedure for starting a general discussion group, then enable its sales features. Facebook also offers Stores, where the focus is on selling multiple items of your own rather than providing a marketplace to members of your special interest group.

You Design It, They Make it

If you've come up with a blockbuster idea for a graphic design, there are sites that will help you sell it on shirts, hats, coffee cups, calendars, mouse pads and other items. CafePress, Zazzle, VistaPrint are a few examples. Upload your design, pick the product(s) on which it will appear, and set your price. You can set up your own online shop within these sites, and list multiple items for sale. When an item is purchased, the company produces it on demand and then ships it directly to the customer. They deduct the wholesale cost of your shirt, mug, etc., and send you the balance.

The beauty of this type of online store is that you don't have to manufacture the items, or even ship them. You also avoid the hassle of collecting payment, which would involve getting a merchant account to accept credit cards. Merchant accounts can be expensive, requiring you to pay both upfront and monthly service fees.

There are many places to sell all kinds of goods online. These are some of the most highly rated sites in the “Sellers Choice 2016” survey conducted by EcommerceBytes.com, one of the leading online publications for online sellers.

Do you sell anything online? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "[SOLD!] Where to Sell Handmade Goods"

Posted by:

Ph070
28 May 2016

Amazon also has a Handmade online marketplace where members can apply to sell their homemade items - Amazon Handmade


Posted by:

Lucy
28 May 2016

For anyone interested in eBay selling there have been changes to the info Bob gives.

It is free to list up to 100 items or up to $5,000.00 per month, whichever comes first. No listing fees, or fees for adding up to 12 pictures.

Then you pay 10% to eBay after your sale, zero if it doesn't sell.

So no fees if it doesn't sell.


Posted by:

Bruce Fraser
30 May 2016

What about Kijiji? Maybe it's not a big deal in the USA, but here in Canada it's huge.


Posted by:

Granville Alley
31 May 2016

Taking Credit Cards today is much easier, less hassle and far less expensive than it was in the past due to Square and it's copy-cats (including Intuit, PayPal and many others). Square, I believe still offers a free Mobile Phone Credit Card Swipe device and charge a rather nominal fee (particularly as compared wit traditional credit card processors.

They will also virtually instantly set you up assuming you have a valid Bank Account at no charge and they have no monthly minimums of monthly maintenance fee. PayPal itself is also relatively low priced for processing fees and also requires no monthly maintenance fee.

They like eBay are unfortunately very "Buyer" oriented and are quick to let fraudsters file bogus claims and offer little recourse to legitimate sellers who are dealing with bogus purchasers. Like eBay their reputation based policing is very much one sided towards purchasers and is biased against and fairly unfriendly to sellers in many ways.

Many legitimate sellers will not sell to anyone who does not have a substantial number of successful transactions and a history of good feedback.


Posted by:

Granville Alley
31 May 2016

The they I am referring to above is PayPal which until very recently was a part of eBay and is still substantially owned by eBay although now supposedly unrelated and separately managed.


Posted by:

Granville Alley
31 May 2016

Also if you have clever T-Shirt Designs tee spring.com will help you or your organization raise money selling your own designs and will also offer and promote the more clever (and/or better selling) designs through their own marketing. Some really clever t-shirts have sold literally thousands of copies through their fulfillment.

My experience has been they use high quality t-shirts as a base and that they are very good at producing fairly complicated graphics.


Posted by:

Pat C.
07 Jun 2016

I had good experience with folks on Esty.


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