Whether you have a dedicated crafts room, a small crafts box, a bunch of scraps laying in a pile, or just an idea in your head, you could make money selling handmade crafts online. There’s a market for all sorts of crafts – jewelry, knit scarfs, prints, etc.
Aside from actually making something, to get started you’ll need to choose where to sell your goods. Choose an eye-catching name that describes what you sell and consider one of the five sites below. On each, you can create a shop where visitors can browse all the items your selling and learn a little about you.
While you can set up shops on multiple sites, listing items on each site, tracking the stock, and removing sold items can be time consuming. It may be best to stick to just one or two sites and focus your energy and time on creating new things and optimizing your shop and listings.
Etsy – One of the most well-known online marketplaces for homemade crafts, you can quickly and easily set up a shop on Etsy. There’s even a helpful Seller Handbook with tips and tricks for sellers. Making and listing a product is just the start, to maximize your potential you’ll need to pay attention to the pictures, the descriptions and keywords you use, pricing, and shipping. Here’s a helpful guide to optimizing your Etsy shop, and 35 apps and resources you can use to start and grow your shop.
There’s no fee to get started on Etsy, but you have to pay 20 cents each time you list an item (listings expire after four months), plus 3.5 percent of the selling price. You’ll also need to pay for shipping and can pay to promote your products when people search the site.
Artfire – Artfire has over 10,000 online “shops” and over 7 million shoppers each year. You can create a shop for free, but you’ll be limited to listing 24 items and pay 9 percent commission on your sales.
You can pay $20 or $60 a month to list additional items, pay 3 percent commission, get featured listing placement, and remove third-party ads from your shop.
Aftcra – Aftcra only allows US-based sellers that offer handmade crafts or goods, repurposed items, and prints. You can create an online shop and list items for free. Aftcra takes a 7-percent cut of each sale, and you may need to pay an additional PayPal processing fee.
Amazon Handmade – You’ll need to apply and get accepted to Amazon Handmade, a special subsection of the site for unique or handcrafted goods. If you’re accepted, you’ll be able to set up a shop and list your products. There’s a 12-percent fee on sales (a 50-cent minimum on each item sold). Through August 1, 2016, there’s no monthly fee to have a shop, but after that, you’ll need to pay $39.99 each month.
Shop Handmade – Create a shop and list handmade goods for free and there’s no commission on sales – the site makes money from donations. One unique offering is the reSupplies category, which allows you to buy or sell used crafting supplies and materials.
Create Your Own Site
Rather than opening a shop on an established marketplace site, you could try to stand out from the crowd with a site of your own. Etsy actually has a service called Pattern that lets you transport your Etsy listings and details to your own domain. There’s a $15 per month fee to maintain the Pattern site, plus a 3.5-percent commission on each sale.
Consider The Added Work
There’s more to selling crafts online then simply making something interesting and uploading a picture from your phone. To make your listings pop, you’ll want to take high-quality photos, tag and write compelling descriptions for each listing, share your work on social media, and choose a price.
When you do sell something, you still need to package it and then ship it. Consider all the work, plus the marketplace’s commission, when setting your prices.
Already have a shop that you’re trying to grow? Leave a link in the comments below along with a helpful tip for others.