Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere to share the ups and downs of starting a craft business, with plenty of tips, mishaps and the odd glass of wine!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

How to Choose Where to Sell Online

What are my Options?

When I first started thinking about opening up Grace's Favours I wasn't sure where would be best to sell my products... initially I wasn't even sure if I should be thinking about online, craft fairs, in bricks & mortar shops or a combination of all of the above.

The first items I made & sold - a felt alphabet

Should I sell everywhere I can?

A lot of people suggested I sell on eBay, but that was never something I liked the idea of as to me eBay is about people wanting to buy stuff cheaply and quickly... neither of which was something I aspired to. I didn't want my items to be cheap enough to appeal to just anybody and the turnaround time & personalised nature meant making them to order as opposed to having a large stockpile was more likely to work for me.

Personalised stockings were my biggest seller in the run up to Christmas 2011

I found Etsy pretty quickly and decided immediately it was the venue I wanted to start out on, so I set up my shop. Although not terribly well known in this country, it was so big already in America, Australia and in other parts of Europe that I realised it wouldn't be long till it was as big here.

I then dithered about with applying to Not On The High Street (NOTHS), but I decided against as the joining fee is seriously high for a small business and I didn't think my photos were strong enough at the time (March 2012)

One of the early Campervan's I made & photographed
Then I came across a wonderful website called Swanky Maison which is a bit like NOTHS but not as large and with a much more realistic joining fee and commission structure, so I applied & was successful in joining this lovely site - here's my shop front:

My lovely Swanky Maison shop
A few months later I was approached by a new site that was opening up - Mady by Mums with Love and they were specifically interested in my Felt Baby Shoes:


And in the last week I have joined another new site, dedicated to upmarket children's items, who were also interested in my baby shoes, so I have now joined the lovely site Loubilou with more Felt Baby Shoes:


What are Bricks & Mortar Shops?

Bricks and mortar shops are your good, old fashioned real life shops. I have supplied two in the past year - one local to me, where I took in a sample of flower brooches and asked if they'd like to sell them (very nerve wracking experience!) and they said yes, which was lovely, but they didn't sell very fast - my local town isn't an area of much affluence and as a lot of my items are decorative, it's not the best area for my products.

I have also sent a large wholesale order to a shop in Scarborough, who found me through Etsy, they wanted a mountain of teddies and Campervans and these are selling quite well:



How about Craft Fairs?

I did try a couple of craft fairs during 2012 but it was the smaller and cheaper items that sold best, which aren't necessarily much quicker or easier to make than the bigger & more expensive items I sell, so I decided that craft fairs were probably not going to generate me enough money to make them worthwhile given the amount of work they are to get the stock levels up.

A Christmas Market I did, with my friend Pam trying to hide behind the fake fireplace!

Where to find Grace's Favours:

So you can currently find me at the following places, but be warned - this is an ever changing list!!

My Website - www.gracesfavours.co.uk
Etsy - www.gracesfavours.etsy.com
Swanky Maison - www.swankymaison.com/graces-favours
Made by Mums with Love - www.madebymumswithlove.com/seller-profile?vendor_id=100
Loubilou - http://www.loubilou.com/store/graces-favours
Facebook - www.facebook.com/gracesfavours
Brit Chic (Red Bus Only) - http://britchicuk.co.uk/red-london-bus-cuddly-toy.html

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