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Getting started???

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  • Getting started???

    I'm trying to work out the best way to start selling my handmade cards and beaded jewellery. At the moment I am considering setting up a website but have no idea where to start. Have any of you got any good tips - how do you get people to find your websites and do you get many sales from people you don't already know?
    I've seen 'Craftmarkets' website but not sure how good this is? Any experience?
    I'm also thinking of trying my luck at fairs - any helpful hints on where to find out about them (particularly in the Milton Keynes area)?
    Look forward to hearing your views
    E x

  • #2
    your question is huge and difficult to answer.

    the whole area of setting up a website and attracting customers is challenging to say the least. if by chance you crack it instantly many people will pay you very well for your knowledge.

    perhaps look at local opportunities for marketing to start off with, assuming there is one, perhaps the local fairs. test out the water as such see how potential customers respond to what you are doing.


    • #3
      It really is so difficult to know where to start but, also, to give advice on where to start! I was in a similar position (as I'm sure many other people have been too) and I suppose I was searching for answers, when there really aren't any definitive solutions. I started selling at craft fairs and through a craft shop. I found the fairs through searching online and soon found out that you do need to be quite choosy but there are usually loads of other crafters who are happy to give advice about the 'good' and 'bad' fairs. Plus, you need to decide what your criteria are & question the organisers.

      After a while I set up a website and opened an eBay store. I used Mr Site as it's cheap and I've been happy with it but I know some people don't share my opinion. With my eBay store, I always send out blurb, with all my orders, about my site in order to redirect repeat customers. eBay is expensive but I do make a profit on it, however, my products are different to your in that I sell jewellery making items and I suppose I'm much more likely to get repeat custom than someone selling a finished product.

      For me, the whole process was fairly organic, I kind of stumbled into it and did what 'felt right'. Although I researched various options there were no sure fire, clear cut solutions, so I had to go with gut instinct much of the time.

      At the end of the day, if you try something and it doesn't work out, use the experience you've gained and move onto something else. I always try to ensure that I don't invest too heavily at first.

      Best of luck!

      "One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star."


      • #4
        I agree it has to be a slow and steady start up, you can't get everything in place at once. I was not even sure if people would want to pay for my cards when a friend suggested I do it (always having done it for friends and family), so I started with a few cards in a shoe box and took them into my old office and they sold. It started from there really and it is quite good to get out into your local community and area and build up a reputation there - craft fairs etc etc if they are available. Friends and neighbours were my start up point and they are still my best customers and I built on that and word of mouth. I have a web site, but that is really only something to direct people to and I do not sell direct from that, although do get some orders through there.

        I would advise a step at a time before spending too much money on any one thing and test the water first. Good luck.