Ads

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Pros and cons of selling items online?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Pros and cons of selling items online?

    Can anyone give me some advice on the above? I currently only sell locally at craft fairs or word of mouth. But I'm wondering whether to venture into online selling. Any pointers and help appreciate, especially the legal side of it all!

    Edited to add: I already have a website/FB page that I use for marketing purposes, just don't sell via that medium yet.

    Many thanks

    Liz
    Last edited by bigbirdlittlebird; 14-01-2013, 10:17 AM.
    Liz aka bigbirdlittlebird

    http://www.facebook.com/BigLittleBird
    https://twitter.com/little_bigbird
    http://www.bigbirdlittlebird.co.uk

  • #2
    First of all I'd recommend reading through the Distance Selling regs http://www.oft.gov.uk/business-advic...fairly/dshome/ this will help you with all the legal bits of selling online. Am assuming you're already registered with HMRC as you're selling face to face so that's already done.
    then you need to decide whether you're going to start a website of your own or just try out a Facebook page or even use a platform like Folksy, Etsy or WOW Thank you.
    pros of platforms are that they can advertise well and can have a good search engine presence. Cons are that you can get lost in similar products and not get seen.
    Facebook pages in my opinion are good tools to drive traffic to a website, and although people do do well on pages,unless you pay for promoted posts not all our likers see all your posts.
    websites are great in that you don't pay fees every time you sell something and that you have control on what your site looks like. The downside is that you have to do all our own advertising and its easy to get lost in all the ecommerce sites out there.
    hope this helps a little xx
    Sarah x

    ~ The Lilac Dragonfly- Handmade Jewellery ~

    ~ Facebook Page ~




    Comment


    • #3
      Hiya - that's a pretty good summary above to be honest. I would agree that if you sell through a platform like Folksy or Etsy you pay out more (you'll have to adjust your costings accordingly if you don't want to lose out) as you give them a small percentage of what you earn, PLUS you pay your percentage via Paypal. If you sell through your own site then you cut that extra 3% out as you don't pay a fee to anyone to sell or list, just a fee to Paypal. But as Loody said, those sites get a lot of traffic, and it's dedicated traffic and people go there to look to buy. I get more people looking at my Etsy shop than I do my website.

      Even if you have an Etsy/Folksy whatever shop you still need to promote it. When you do your face to face sales always have cards to give out that have your website/shop on them as well as a phone number. It's all about promote promote promote and to be honest it's hard work until you find your customers.

      However, if you use a free or a reasonably priced site and can use a PC then I think it's worth having an online presence in this day and age. Hopefully it'll only cost you time....

      Oh, make sure to get good at taking photographs, they are imperative

      Good luck and let us have a look if you decide to have a go. Oh yes, and read those distance selling regs.
      Custom tribal belly dance costumes & accessories

      Unique jewellery for those who love to turn heads

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks guys. I already have a FB page and a website just to promote what I do locally. I just don't sell via that medium, only face to face so far. And yep, am registered with HMRC, pay my NICs, CE tested my toys after visiting with Trading Standards, insurance in place etc. It's just to me the whole online selling is a big step to take and I'm only really asking as I've been asked if I sell online and so far I've shied away from all that.

        Edited to add: thanks for the link - will be reading up! x
        Last edited by bigbirdlittlebird; 13-01-2013, 12:36 PM.
        Liz aka bigbirdlittlebird

        http://www.facebook.com/BigLittleBird
        https://twitter.com/little_bigbird
        http://www.bigbirdlittlebird.co.uk

        Comment


        • #5
          Create.net have a great package for £4.99 a month, it's very easy to use and setup. I've got my website with them, and a whole bunch of other people I know, they have as well.

          Comment


          • #6
            But you already have a website in your signature ? I'm missing something ?
            Passionate about all things handmade...

            Proud owner of WowThankYou - stylish and affordable way of selling your crafts and makes


            Friendly advice and coaching for small businesses

            Cocoa & Heart Website

            Comment


            • #7
              When you sell online the biggest headache by far is the shipping.

              Comment


              • #8
                All great info so far.

                If you're being asked if you sell online then it really is worth taking the plunge - think of all those indecisive people (like me) at craft fairs who tend to see something they like, take a business card and then order later that week when they've decided what colour to go for or who it would make an ideal gift for.

                If you're worried about the enormity of having a website then it really is worth taking a look at Etsy or Folksy, you can have a 'shop' on there so can put your etsy/folksy web address on business cards.
                Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cocoa & Heart View Post
                  But you already have a website in your signature ? I'm missing something ?
                  I use the website (and FB page) for marketing only, not selling. Just wanted to know the pros and cons if I were to venture into selling via my website/facebook etc.
                  Liz aka bigbirdlittlebird

                  http://www.facebook.com/BigLittleBird
                  https://twitter.com/little_bigbird
                  http://www.bigbirdlittlebird.co.uk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bigbirdlittlebird View Post
                    I use the website (and FB page) for marketing only, not selling. Just wanted to know the pros and cons if I were to venture into selling via my website/facebook etc.

                    O.K. then you are halfway there ! If you are giving people contact details for your website & facebook and all they can do is just look, then adding a shop is the next logical step. Many people need more time to think about their purchases, so they might see your work at the fair but not buy at the time. They might remember few weeks later, when they need a gift !

                    People like easy access, so the easier you make it for them the better. I guess they can still contact you and arrange a toy made or delivered, but you are asking them to do extra work. If they can just buy the toy they want at 2 am in the morning when they are browsing the internet, they will probably do that then bother to contact you in the 'normall working hours'.

                    It also depends on who your target audience is. Do they use internet for shopping ? If yes, then you need to be there as well. If your target customer doesn't use internet much, then it's not that important.
                    Passionate about all things handmade...

                    Proud owner of WowThankYou - stylish and affordable way of selling your crafts and makes


                    Friendly advice and coaching for small businesses

                    Cocoa & Heart Website

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks, I'm just wary having wrestled with the CE marking and Trading Standards, then HMRC stuff (long story but they gave me incorrect advice at the beginning), and now I'm wondering if I want to add another layer of legal things to understand and adhere to on DSR. I like to be "forewarned is forearmed" and anticipate any issues first.
                      Liz aka bigbirdlittlebird

                      http://www.facebook.com/BigLittleBird
                      https://twitter.com/little_bigbird
                      http://www.bigbirdlittlebird.co.uk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the links. I also recently opened a website/blog/etsy shop/facebook page/twitter account in the hope of selling my stuff online. I am a total beginner though, and have very few products so far and haven't had the time to do proper marketing. I must say I have had absolutely no sales through my website (which is no surprise, I haven't really advertised) and only a couple through etsy.

                        Even though you end up paying fees both to esty and paypal thus making your margins smaller, I find that having a shop in a site like etsy is a good idea. Even though you might get lost amongst the thousands of others offering similar products, you also having a bigger chance of being seen there that amongst the chaos of the worldwideweb. If you network and join groups then you better your chances of getting noticed. Also I can't help but feel that many potential customers might consider a big well known site like etsy a safer place to buy from that a little website.
                        www.inkdoodles.com
                        www.etsy.com/shop/inkdoodles

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bigbirdlittlebird View Post
                          Thanks, I'm just wary having wrestled with the CE marking and Trading Standards, then HMRC stuff (long story but they gave me incorrect advice at the beginning), and now I'm wondering if I want to add another layer of legal things to understand and adhere to on DSR. I like to be "forewarned is forearmed" and anticipate any issues first.
                          To be honest you can't anticipate everything and sometimes you just have to get on with it and see what happens. Just be aware that selling online means lots of work......you have to lead people to see what you're making and entice them to buy. And yes, even huge organisations like HMRC get things wrong because the person answering the phone may or may not have experience in the query you have for them.
                          Custom tribal belly dance costumes & accessories

                          Unique jewellery for those who love to turn heads

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X