I know several people that make and sell crafts. They hand make everything from crotched coozies to hanging candleholders to greeting cards. All of them experience the sheer enjoyment of creating their crafts. For some of them the selling is secondary, while for others it is a fun way to make some side cash.
If you enjoy crafting and are thinking about selling online I have rounded up and previewed a few web sites for you. Before going to the sites for your own review make sure to visit Barbara Brabec’s Blog and her website to learn everything you don’t already know about crafting and marketing from “America’s Home Business Maven.” If there is a list of the most experienced, most knowledgeable experts on home based businesses and the craft industries she would be at the top of it.
Art Fire – A basic membership offers no listing or commission fees and a maximum of 10 items in your shop at a time. The “Verified” membership is $12 per month and one of the benefits is you can offer unlimited items for sale. They say they offer multiple marketing campaigns, including “viral, social, traditional, and non-traditional efforts.” There is a section that offers supplies for sale, as well as an Artfire Trends category, where I learned what Steampunk is.
Craft Boom – This is the craft section of sparkplugging.com. They offer good, basic advice and help on marketing an art & craft business online.
Craftster – A self described “online community where people share hip, off-beat, crafty diy (do it yourself) projects.” Users can post new projects and comments.
This is a fun site to click around on. You should not only find some inspiration, but have a few chuckles as well.
Etsy – Create an account and you can sell handmade goods, crafting supplies and vintage items from your shop. There is a 20 cent fee to list an item for four months, and a 3.5% transaction fee. They offer a forum section and real-time chat workshops, as well as a comprehensive, in-depth blog.
Free Craft Fair – They have sections offering craft business resources and planning, how to posts and a free link directory. While you are there make sure to check out the “Sell Your Crafts” page for a good list of resources.
Handmade Catalog – To sell on this site you will need to register with them and choose from their membership plans, starting at $4.95 per month. They offer forum, events and tips pages, as well as a blog and a newsletter.
Ponoko – Ponoko offers design software for you to create items that they then make and ship for you. They can do the same with a hand drawn design you photograph and upload, as well as offering designers that bid on design requests you post. You can sell both the items you designed and the plans for building them. While not a traditional “craft” site, this one offers a different take on designing and selling items.
Shop Handmade – There are no listing or monthly charges, and you can list as many items as you want to. The 25 cent per item listing fee is paid by one of their sponsors. You can choose to pay them a commission if you want, and there is also an optional per item donation to save the rainforest.
Silkfair – Creating a store on Silkfair will allow you to create your own forum and blog, as well as give you the option of creating videos of your items. Signing up and listing is free, with a sales fee of 3% of the item sold.