The idea of making your own crafts to sell online is often a dream come true for many makers. Seeing your store grow with handcrafted items and watching the sakes come in can be a perfect way for some to make money online. But many online craft sellers might be wondering, is it for me? How, where, when, and why!
So in our helpful article, we will take you through some of the main points to consider, should you dropship other handmade items, along with pros and cons for being online craft sellers.
First, let’s get underway with the quick answer before we answer in a little more detail.
Selling craft online can be a great way to get creative, set your own hours, and provide eco-friendly products. However, it can be costly in terms of time and materials and there are limits to dropshipping on some handmade platforms. For dropshipping, try print-on-demand items or craft supplies.
Now, let’s start by looking at the advantages.
Advantages of online craft selling
With just a Wi-Fi connection and an entrepreneurial dream, it’s never been easier to sell crafts online.
Building a business from home alongside attending craft fairs can be a perfect way to not only double but even triple your income stream! With the online craft market worth over $16 billion and growing fast, there’s never been a better time to sell handmade crafts online.
An online audience for your jewelry, custom prints, and craft supplies is likely to reach a huge audience. Advertising on social media and making sure you have a well-designed online presence will help your crafts to be seen.
With genuine handcrafted items and some funds put aside for online marketing, there are many pros of selling craft online, just to name a few:
- A handmade business is relatively low-cost to start
- You get to be creative
- You can set your own hours
- You’re your own boss and can run your business how you see fit
- No need to pay out money to attend craft fairs where the footfall might be slow
- No need to set up markets in all kinds of weather without a guaranteed outcome.
Disadvantages of online craft selling
Ok so with some positives outlined for online craft sellers, what about the cons of selling handmade items?
Same legal requirements
So although selling online does remove some of the traditional needs of selling such as physically being in front of customers, it’s worth understanding there will be the same legal requirements.
It’s important to understand you still need to file tax returns, keep records and register your business legally depending on the specific laws in your country.
It’s unlikely you will need a license if you are selling craft items but check first to find out. If you intend to sell items such as soaps and handmade skincare which use essential oils you might need to comply with your own country’s regulations. So check first before starting out.
It stands to reason that if you are not only selling items but also crafting them yourself, it could take up an enormous amount of your time physically creating products.
In the event your online sales skills start to bear fruit with many orders, you might have to think carefully about how scalable your online craft venture is.
As a general guide, marketing your business will be the biggest slice of your time and this can mean you might be working around the clock to create and deliver orders
Lower profit margins
As a small business owner creating online craft products your costs for creating those goods Ike are significantly higher than bigger organizations who have the benefit or large order quantities and the reduced rates that come along with that.
When you are starting out creating handmade items it’s likely that you will not be able to buy your materials at wholesale prices, which results in less profit per item for your business.
This of course means your production line needs to be as efficient as possible so you can make up for the shortfall in cheaper materials.
Online craft selling is usually a one-person operation
Often if you are an online craft seller most of the daily operations will be down to you entirely.
This means not only are you the creator, but you will also be in control of:
- Building a website/store
- Inventory and orders
So bear in mind not only does selling crafts online require you to be skilled in the production of your crafts, but you will also need certain skills in marketing and selling.
Ok so although there will always be pros and cons to any kind of selling, let’s find out which are the best marketplaces for online craft sellers.
Which are the best marketplaces for online craft sellers?
Etsy is one of the original handmade platforms and according to recent studies, has grossed over 10 billion dollars in sales during 2020.
It’s worth knowing that over 90% of its users sell in the ‘handmade’ segment rather than vintage or craft supplies.
Amazon handmade is a relative newcomer when compared with Etsy. Also according to many users, it can be very difficult to get accepted as they require pictures of your workspace and hand-making process along with other requirements that some sellers felt were intimidating and off-putting.
Here are a few more to investigate and discover if they might be right for you.
Additionally, you can also set up your own webshop on Shopify
Can I dropship craft products if I don’t make them myself?
In general, most handmade craft platforms limit the kind of products you can dropship as they mostly need to be shown to be handmade by the seller.
Selling craft supplies is one way to edge into the handmade craft market. This is a far less time-consuming way to be an online craft seller.
Another way to have a link to creative interests is by using print-on-demand services that some of the best dropshipping agents offer. This means you get to be creative while the manufacturing of the product is taken care of.
Let’s see how some of the other platforms look at drop shipping handmade craft items.
Although society 6 doesn’t support dropshipping handmade items made by others, they do have a print-on-demand offering which means they do offer a marketplace for dropshipping items you have designed yourself.
Shopify could be a good use of selling your own handmade items, alongside selling print on demand and other drop shipped items that support your business, such as craft supplies.
Having your own web store alongside using a handmade platform means you can benefit from dropshipping products by using experienced reliable dropshipping agents alongside selling crafts you have made yourself on some of the other platforms such as Etsy and Amazon handmade.
Let’s find out Etsy’s policies for dropshipping handmade items.
Dropshipping handmade craft items with Etsy
Reselling (such as dropshipping) is only allowable in the vintage and craft supplies categories. In its simplest sense, reselling is a product that you didn’t design or make yourself.
If you decide to resell vintage items, they must be labeled as such and be at least 20 years old.
However, you can dropship craft supplies and sell them from different suppliers. As a dropshipping model, this might not work as well as you would like, as it must be clear where you bought the supplies from.
Etsy also requires you to add in the materials your products are made from for environmental reasons. This might be for instance that the product was made using recycled materials or otherwise recyclable.
Ok so if after reading our helpful article you have decided that becoming an online craft seller is for you, let’s finish off by looking at some of the different types of products you might choose to sell.
What kind of handmade craft niches are there?
So there are many types of handmade craft niches Some that you will need to make yourself to sell on certain platforms, but others such as print on demand and craft supplies, are suitable for dropshipping.
Remember there are no limits to what you can sell:
- Personalized Jewelry
- Handmade jewelry
- Knitted products
- Paintings and artwork
- Print on demand items
- Craft supplies
Dropshipping craft supplies
Dropshipping craft suppliers could be a good choice if you have limited craft skills but still have passion for the niche. Selling craft supplies and DIY kits could be quite lucrative, and it’s popular among all ages. Just to name a few popular items fall under craft supplies category:
- Sewing kits
- Needlepoint Kits
- Diamond painting kits
- Scraping books
- Jewelry making kits
- And so many more!
And to finish on…
So there it is! Everything you need to find out whether online craft selling is for you!
Don’t forget your products need to be of a high enough quality to sell, make sure you follow the legal requirements and if you are selling toys for children, then they need extra forms of testing, depending on the country you live in.
Make sure you also think about a unique selling point for your items and what will make your handmade item stand out.