Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies
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If you want to sell your arts and crafts as a micro-entrepreneur, you should check out Etsy. Etsy prides itself on being a robust marketplace for handmade goods and the crafter’s best path to global buyers. If you have handmade goods as a micro-entrepreneur, then Etsy is a good place to find your buyers.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/portishead1]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/portishead1

Create a business listing on Etsy

Whether you are buying or selling (or both), you need to register on Etsy (the account is free). When you put in your location, the site figures out what currency you’ll be using (Etsy is truly international).

Take some time and research the types of crafts being sold on Etsy. Pay special attention to the types of crafts that are in your niche or area of expertise to see how other crafters list them, how much they charge, and how they market their items.

When you create your listing on Etsy, make sure you post great pictures of your crafts. To do so, here are some great sites that offer guidance on how to take photos of crafts for Etsy (as well as eBay and other selling venues):

Sell your arts and crafts on Etsy

When you choose to sell on Etsy, you have three basic categories that your items might fall into:

  • Handmade goods: This is the main category and consists of quality handmade crafts.

  • Vintage goods: Goods in this category don’t have to be handmade, but they should be at least 20 years old.

  • Craft supplies: Goods in this category are supplies that go into creating quality handmade crafts.

You don’t have to pay any membership or maintenance fee on Etsy, but you do have to pay listing fees (similar to eBay). To list an item (which can last up to four months), you pay 20 cents. When it sells, you pay 3.5% of the sale price. If your item doesn’t sell after four months, there is an option for auto-renewal.

When you’re setting up shop on Etsy, you’re literally creating an online shop, so you want it to be attractive where you can showcase your wares (upload sharp digital photos) and provide full details to your visitors regarding product details, your policies, and so forth. (Etsy has templates for much of this.)

Don’t think you’ll get rich by offering a few items; remember that your site on Etsy will be similar to a crafts boutique, so have a nice array of offerings to entice buyers.

Identify other online arts and craft selling venues

Etsy is a great place for you to market your micro-entrepreneurial arts and crafts, but it’s not the only online outlet you can use. Feast your eyes on a list worthy of any arts and crafts marketer:

Tons of arts and crafts items are sold regularly through eBay and other auction sites. In addition, many people sell their wares through their own sites and blogs. If you want to go that route, many places on the Internet can help you set up a relatively inexpensive store site. A good example is Webstore.

If you want to boost your product sales, don’t just list them and wait for results. Do some active marketing, too. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Search for art categories in the free classified ad sites, such as craigslist and Backpage.com.

  • Set up a Google alert with keywords like “craft” or other brief description of your item. When new pages with your keywords are set up on the Internet, you can go there and check for any new marketing opportunities for you.

  • Find blogs and forums on arts and crafts and participate on them. You can create opportunities to link back to your craft page where you sell your item.

Keep in mind that the sales of products may be subject to sales tax. Although you, the business owner, don’t pay the sales tax, you may be obligated to collect it from the customer and subsequently submit it to the appropriate sales tax authority. The sales tax is considered a state and local tax issue. Check with your tax professional for specifics, depending on where you live.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Paul Mladjenovic is a certified financial planner, micro-entrepreneur, and home business educator with more than 25 years' experience writing and teaching about financial and business start-up topics. He owns RavingCapitalist.com and is also the author of Stock Investing For Dummies.

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