Thursday, October 11, 2007

Some Resources to Start Us Off...

I'll start with a list of independent retail websites that might be handy, particularly for creators of handmade items (clothes, jewellery, art, photography, furniture, etc) who are looking for a variety of outlets to showcase their products. These are namely handmade-only sites that allow you to sell direct to the public rather than going through a consignment store (a different situation altogether):

These each work slightly differently in terms of billing, but the premise of each is the same - you set up your own shop, list your items, set your prices, upload your images, maintain the store, write your own store policies, receive payment (generally through Paypal) ship the items, etc. The advertising and promotions are left up to you, unless you're fortunate enough to be a featured seller one day. (Not something I would recommend holding your breath for though, as there are over 80,000 stores on alone). Typically the site will charge a listing fee, and sometimes they will subtract a percentage of the sale price once a sale is made.

There are many other avenues through which to sell your work, but these are often a good starting point, particularly to give you some idea of the demand for your products and the public reaction to them. Be warned though - they are hard work. Sales generally don't just happen. It's a matter of having very good product photos and descriptions, listing regularly, participating in the online community, promoting yourself both on and offline and having a product that people want. For particularly helpful advice on selling online, check out
Etsy's Forums.

If you come across any similar sites that would be suitable to add to this list, feel free to let me know - co-operation is where it's at.

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