If you’re thinking about selling your crafts online there are several things you need to decide before you can actually start taking people’s money! The advice you get can be quite confusing and sometimes over-complicated so let’s look at the basic decisions you should make before you can start selling your crafts on the internet.
Firstly you need to set some objectives, some targets. You need to define where you want your craft business to take you because this will have an effect on some of your choices. These are great for selling a few bits and pieces. If you usually sell to friends and family, maybe at craft shows occasionally, then they can be a good option because most of the work is done for you.
However, if you’re aiming for your crafts to provide you with an income you can live on, or you have even bigger ambitions (and why not) then selling your crafts online through these methods can become expensive. In craft forums all the time about people who are starting their own websites because their eBay fees are fifty or sixty dollars a month. When you consider that you can have professional web hosting for around $5 a month it’s not surprising that people change.
Making that change however can be inconvenient. For a start you have to get your customers to find you somewhere else. It’s all very well emailing them and telling them about your own site but some of them will still forget. You will inevitably lose some customers.
Far better to make the decision in the first place. If you have the intention of eventually making a comfortable living from your craft you should have your own craft website from the start. It has a much more professional appearance and it will work out cheaper in the long run. You also control everything yourself, which is something you don’t do if you put your crafts on someone else’s site. Of course selling your crafts online from your own site means you have other decisions to make early on. Who to use as web host, how to build your website and which payment processor to use.
Craft forums are a good place to ask these sort of questions because members will often have gone through these things themselves. A quick search will give you a number of forums to look at and they’re a very useful place to find all kinds of crafting advice online.