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Made in Britain

December 3, 2018

How to sell your handmade products online

By: Luke

Dashes Graphic

Over the past couple of years, the handmade goods industry has grown from a tiny niche to a bustling community of crafters, makers and designers. From super-cute designs for children to innovative products for your pets, it’s now easier than ever to shop small.

With so much inspiration out there, it’s tempting to go for it yourself. But how do you get started? And more importantly, how can you give yourself the best chance of success? Our friendly team has worked with hundreds of designers over the years, so we’ve put together these simple tips to help you give it a whirl.

Establish your product range

Setting up your own handmade business is an awesome way to make a little extra dosh, explore your passion or build an entire brand. And with campaigns such as the Just a Card initiative blazing the trail for independents, there’s never been a better time to start selling your stuff online.

If you want to make money from the things you make, we recommend starting small. Stick with one or two signature products, then expand as your fan base grows.

Our customer Marjorie Minnie built a following from contemporary baby blankets and has now branched out to cuddly toys. We also like the way that Made Weave Love became known for her statement wall hangings and now offers key chains and budget options.

Make time for the boring bits

Working for yourself isn’t all waking up at 3pm and having Skype meetings in your favourite pyjamas (okay, that bit is pretty great). There’s the dreaded paperwork to tackle too.

You might need to take a look at gov.uk to find out if you need to register as self-employed. If you do, that means looking after your own taxes and expenses. You’ll also be responsible of each area of the business – marketing, customer service, shipping and production. Phew.

We’ve also heard that with all the parcels you’ll have to send out, you will get to know your local post office employees very well.

The trick here is to not get overwhelmed and take pleasure from your self-employment. Apps like Asana are ace for keeping on top of to-do lists, while an inspirational planner (we like these by Hello Day) will keep you feelin’ the good vibes.

Create original, effective branding

We’re a company that makes branding. Of course we’re going to tell you that your products need branding. But the reality is, a unique logo and colour palette is said to increase brand recognition by a whopping 80%.

Remember, branding isn’t just an effective way to help your brand stand out at that craft fair or market. It’s often a legal requirement. Care labels for example, are part of the EU textile labelling regulations set out by the government. But how exactly do you make sure you have everything you need to sell your items?

We understand how overwhelming it can be when you can’t work out the difference between taffeta and satin. Or when the care symbols for laundering and dry cleaning feel like another language. As well as handy guides, we provide advice to help you get it right first time – so you can get back to the exciting bits. Although, seeing your logo for the first time is pretty exciting…

Choose where to sell your products

Etsy to eBay, Depop to Shopify – you won’t be short of options when it comes to places that want to help you offload your creations. But which is best?

Because everyone’s different, there’s no simple answer. All we can advise is do your research. When choosing the best platform for your products, you might want to think about these areas:

  • how the platform charges you – is it a monthly cost or do they make a percentage from each item sold?
  • the appearance of the platform – can you add your logo and upload photos easily?
  • the support you get from the platform – what happens if the site goes down? Do they have a podcast or newsletter to keep you inspired and up to date?
  • how easy the platform is to use – can your customers navigate your online store? Can they send you a message if something’s not quite right?

It’s also worth reaching out to other business owners for recommendations. Bear in mind that not everyone’s up for sharing secrets, but more often than not you’ll find they’re happy to have a natter and answer your questions.

Sharing your success stories

We’re all about spreading good news – if you’ve set up your own brand we’d love to shout about it on our social channels. Tweet us, tag us or pop us a message so we can celebrate your success with you.

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