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The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Selling Your Arts and Crafts

Maybe you read my blog last week and remember me talking about ways you can spend the tax rebate that’s coming your way very soon. I suggested one way to use the money was to start your own mini business. Perhaps you could start a business while you’re still working at your day job? Or maybe you already have a small business but are looking for ways to grow it. One thing you might like to try is making your own arts and crafts and selling them.

Starting Out
You can make the most profit if you buy items at wholesale prices and to do that you’ll need a business ID number. They’re fairly easy to obtain, and even if you change your mind about starting a business, it doesn’t usually cost a penny.

Start with Friends and Family
An easy way to make your first sale and obtain your first set of customers is to let your family, friends and co-workers know you’re in business. If you’re trying to sell something that’s wearable, like a sweater or jewelry, why not wear them to work and see if you get any comments. You might even ask if you can put photos of your crafts on the notice board and take orders from there. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to turn strangers into customers. Best of all, it’s like getting free advertising.

Craft Consignment Shops
They work just like clothing consignment shops. You take your items along to the store for them to check out. If they agree to stock them, they sell them for you and then take their commission. And some clothing consignment stores will also take jewelry and purses on consignment, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Read the Fine Print
If you’re selling to consignment stores or even on line, there will probably be a contract for you to fill in and sign. Read it carefully and don’t be in any rush to sign it. Even ask if you can take it home. Read how long they will offer your items for sale, will they reduce the price after a month or so? When do you have to collect unsold pieces, and most importantly how do they pay you? When your account reaches a certain amount? I know many companies are getting picky about writing checks until accounts reach $25. And do they actually pay you in money? Yes, this might seem a strange thing to say, but I had one friend who makes jewelry and she took some pieces along to a clothes consignment shop and didn’t read the fine print on the agreement. She sold lots of stuff, but when she went to collect her money, she was told their policy was to just give in store credit. She ended up with a few nice dresses, but the whole point of her taking them to the store was for her to earn some extra income, not add to her wardrobe. So read that small print and ask about anything you don’t understand. Even check if there’s a competition clause, meaning will you be allowed to sell your items at another store in your immediate area. Some consignment stores won’t allow you to do that, so it pays to ask.

Places to Sell Your Goods
Arts and crafts shows are some of the best places to sell arts and crafts and here’s a site you can use to find one in your area.
www.artandcraftshow.net
The Internet has opened up a brand new market for crafters. I surfed the Web and found a whole bunch of places you can sell just about anything, from sweaters to candles. Check them out and definitely check out their terms of use, payment etc.
www.craftassoc.com check out this site before you visit the other sites, it has some great information and links.
www.cafepress.com
www.etsy.com
www.artsefest.com
www.homegrownmarket.com
www.lillysplace.net
www.craftmall.com
www.handmadecatalog.com
www.aokcorral.com

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