Have you considered generating extra income by selling your craft makes? If not you might want to think about it. It’s not as hard as you might expect and you can make a little extra cash to fund your sewing or knitting hobby.
This article aims to give you some ideas of where you can sell your lovely products mainly looking at Folksy & Etsy.
Selling your home made crafts has never been easier now that there are several online platforms with huge audiences who love to buy the sorts of things that you make. Of course the traditional craft fairs and markets remain popular with many of our customers and they are also a lovely place to sell your products however once you have packed up and gone home you will not be selling any more products until your next fair.
With the online market places your goods are for sale 24 hours a day and you have a much larger audience, often an international audience.
The two main online market places for hand made goods are Folksy and Etsy, both of which are well established and well known for their large variety of lovely hand made goods.
Both of these online market places provide an ‘easy to use’ templated system for selling your products and with a small amount of effort you can be up and selling in a matter of days
Etsy is an American company which was set up in 2005. It is probably the biggest and most well know hand made market place, selling vintage items, hand made items and craft supplies. Etsy hit sales of £7.8 Billion in 2020, with the number of active customers reaching 81 million!!
The fees for Etsy ( from 11th April 2022) are :-
£0.15 listing fee ( billed as $0.20 ) for each item which lasts for 4 months
5% transaction fee
4% + £0.20 processing fee
They offer an off site advertising service ( using google & social media networks ) of 15% which is optional until you sell over $10,000 worth of products over the last 365 days in which case the fees are 12% and the advertising is compulsory though you only pay a fee if you make a sale from the advertising. It’s probably unlikely that you are going to sell over £10,000 worth of products so don’t worry too much about the advertising being compulsory.
If you are looking for a company closer to home, Folksy is a UK business based in Sheffield.
It was set up in 2008 by James Boardwell, a digital designer who recognised the need for a UK based platform for handmade products.
Folksy had around 10 million pounds in sales in 2021 mainly from uk buyers, 85% of customers are based in the Uk, 4% in mainland Europe, 6% in the US and 2% in Canada and Australia
Folksy say that “We are team of people who believe in handmade, not a corporate giant with thousands of shareholders to please. There are six of us at Folksy – three of us are artists, designers and makers, so we understand what it takes to sell online.”
They are also very much a company who try to engage their community on social media and through newsletters. Their current newsletter has over 70,000 subscribers and they also have a private facebook group just for sellers where you can engage with other like minded sellers, pick up tips and get up to date news directly from Folksy.
They also offer a free online selling course for all new Folksy shops and all new folksy shop owners get access to their free Make It Sell ecourse
If you want to get started from free they offer you 3 free listings on the Etsy basic plan ( see below for more info about their plans ) so that you can learn the ropes and get selling as quickly as possible
If you already sell on Etsy and want to sell on Folksy they have a feature which allows you to automatically import all your products from Etsy too.
Folksy have 2 plans, the basic and the folksy plus plan
The Folksy plus plan costs £5 per month and you get unlimited free listings, 10 images per listing and you pay 6% commission plus vat on each sale.
The Basic plan doesn’t have a monthly fee but you pay £0.15 plus vat per item listed and 6% commission plus vat.
If you are thinking about selling on either of these market places I suggest you have a look round both websites and see if you prefer one or the other.
To get going you will need a camera and a computer and that is about it really, however here are some things to consider:-
- Depending on what you are selling you need to consider what packaging you will send your products in. Do you need boxes or bags? Will you need protective packaging if you are selling breakable items?
- Make sure to check how much it is going to cost to send your items by post. If you are going to use ROYAL MAIL you can check the cost of the postage on their price checker HERE. There are also lots of other companies with whom you can send your parcels and you can get comparisons in prices from companies like PARCEL MONKEY. and PARCELS TO GO Some companies will pick up parcels from your own home too!
- Make sure to keep a record of any expenses and profits that you make, even if it is a small part time business you may be liable to pay tax on any profits that you make.
Heather and Donna from our team currently sell on Etsy and Lucy has previously sold her products on Etsy very successfully so if you need any advice or further information you can get in touch and they would be more than happy to share their experiences.
If in doubt give it a try, there is no obligation and you can stop selling at any time if you don’t like it. Often though once you are set up it can be a really enjoyable way to make a bit of extra money whilst continuing to enjoy your hobby.