For some people who do embroidery, one of the prime venues for selling what they make can be craft fairs or trade shows. Such events can be a great option for sales, but they also take a lot of work. There may be a booth or a table to set up. All the stock needs to be transported. Depending on the set-up, you might be on your feet for hours and hours. And then, when the event is over, all the merchandise that didn’t sell has to be repacked, the set-up has to pulled down and loaded up, and it all has to go back to your workspace, to be unpacked, sorted and stored. That can be a lot of work, and it’s not necessarily work that everyone wants to do or can do. If that’s your situation, here are some ideas for places you can sell that might suit you better.
Etsy – Most people who embroider and familiar with Etsy. If, by some chance you aren’t, Etsy is a marketplace that specializes in vintage and handmade items. It’s a place where a lot of designers, artisans and creators sell. For some, it can be a very fertile platform for sales. Just be aware that Etsy does have fees and rules and that it may not suit everyone. Still, it does have the advantage of a dedicated customer base, and a platform that is known and trusted. Just do your research before deciding if this platform is right for you. Make sure you fully understand all the fees and requirements.
Facebook/Instagram Shops – If you are on social media, specifically Facebook or Instagram, having a shop on your profile or page might be a good option for you. This option is designed to take advantage of traffic you already have on your pages and profiles and allow your customers to buy right on Facebook or Instagram. Keep in mind to utilize this option you will have to add all your products to your desired platform which could be a time consuming process. Your business will also need to be eligible to set up a shop.
Create Your Own Site – There are a variety of software packages and sites that can help you create your own online store. Shopify, WooCommerce, and Ecwid to name just a few. The advantage to having your own site is that it’s all under your control. The disadvantage is that it’s all under your control. You have to figure out how to set up payment options. You have to add necessary information and products. You have to figure out where and how to host the site. There is more control over having a site that is yours that you host, but there are also more issues that need to be handled. If you’re not tech savvy or interested in having to deal with the details of setting up a site, this most likely will not be the option for you.
Amazon Handmade – Created as an alternative to Etsy, Amazon Handmade isn’t as well known, but it could be an option for your business. Amazon Handmade is for artisans and has an application process to sell on their platform. They require you have a professional selling account which comes with a fee, and they take 15% of every sale you make. If that doesn’t sound like a great deal, it might not be, except for the fact that selling on this platform does give you access to Amazon’s audience and marketing budget. Read all the fine print, but this might be a good option for some businesses.
Have a Brick and Mortar – Another option for selling product might be to set up a storefront or to work out of your home. The advantage of a storefront is that you might be able to connect and network with other merchants in your town and you will be in a set place to which people can bring the work they want done. A disadvantage is that stores need to be set up and maintained, you will either need to rent or buy space and you need to be there during set hours. Some business owners get around this by working from their homes, but that may entail letting people into your home and sometimes makes work far too easy to access. There are trade offs with either option.
The thing to remember about selling is there’s always a way to do it if you look hard enough. The Internet has made it easier to reach more people than ever before, so it’s just a matter of doing your research, finding the option you think will work best for you and getting started.