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Thread: For those who sell their work....

  1. #1
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    For those who sell their work....

    ...I've decided that I'm going to open an online shop on Artfire. So I'm following there start up tutorial and working on getting sixty items for sale. The long term plan is to go to craft fairs as well.

    I know there are other sellers and was wondering if you guys would share any suggestions or tips or just experiences you've had and learned from.

    If this is in the wrong forum feel free to move.

  2. #2
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I hate to just "view" and move on, but I know nothing about this. I hope you get some suggestions soon. Good luck with your new adventure!

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I do not sell on line . But I do sell at a few shows per year. I learned to pick my shows very carefully, do not shy away from juried shows, they typically have a very good following of buyers ( thats why they can be selective). Most of the best fall shows have their applications out in Jan and Feb .. so do not wait to get your applications.

  4. #4
    Jim
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    Super Member Jim's Avatar
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    do a search for this topic here on the board...you'll get lots of information...this question has been asked before...lots of ideas have been exchanged from a vast group of experienced crafters
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort :lol:

  5. #5
    Super Member Mary O's Avatar
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    I started with craft shows this year.No one is buying just looking.Items under $10.00 went fast.The holiday shows do the best because they are looking for Christmas gifts.....Etsy and E-bay....Nothing went..... I.had quilted items.Quality work.....
    Mary

  6. #6
    Senior Member ashlett's Avatar
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    I take private commisions under my terms. I use our own web-site and am able to pick and choose what I take on as I like to have time to make Linus quilts.

  7. #7
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    Well I may be the wrong person to ask but I am wondering why not Etsy? I have heard of Etsy (for years) and am a member. I have just barely heard of Artfire. But like I say I may be the wrong person to ask, I don't get around much.

    I do know I see Etsy mentioned a LOT in home decor magazines. I joined several years ago and was not impressed. I started again this year and am doing better. I joined a lot of circles, and favorited a lot of items, that seems to work for some reason but I don't know why.
    A few times people put one of my items in a Treasury and then it sells.

    I used to do craft fairs many years ago, they were hit or miss. Both kinds, the small cheapo $25 for a table, and the large, juried, $150 for a booth. Like Mary O said, small items do better than large. But have your best items there, large or small, and cards with your info for people to take. Good luck.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    do a search for this topic here on the board...you'll get lots of information...this question has been asked before...lots of ideas have been exchanged from a vast group of experienced crafters
    Thanks I'll do that for sure. I just didn't have time to search last night.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts View Post
    Well I may be the wrong person to ask but I am wondering why not Etsy? I have heard of Etsy (for years) and am a member. I have just barely heard of Artfire. But like I say I may be the wrong person to ask, I don't get around much.

    I do know I see Etsy mentioned a LOT in home decor magazines. I joined several years ago and was not impressed. I started again this year and am doing better. I joined a lot of circles, and favorited a lot of items, that seems to work for some reason but I don't know why.
    A few times people put one of my items in a Treasury and then it sells.

    I used to do craft fairs many years ago, they were hit or miss. Both kinds, the small cheapo $25 for a table, and the large, juried, $150 for a booth. Like Mary O said, small items do better than large. But have your best items there, large or small, and cards with your info for people to take. Good luck.
    I mostly decided with Artfire because it just one monthly fee. They don't take your items off after 4 months and don't charge any extra fees except the monthly payment. They also have a set up where I can create a page on Facebook and sell through there.

  10. #10
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I want to thank you, LyraJean. Your questions and comments about Artfire made me take a second look at that site as an option to opening an Etsy shop. The grumbling that has been going on about changes at Etsy, the constant need to relist items to stay on top of the search lists, and several other factors were giving me second thoughts about that venue even before I saw your post, but now I'm going to investigate Artfire further as a definite possibility. So, thank you.
    Last edited by ghostrider; 12-09-2011 at 11:19 AM. Reason: typo
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  11. #11
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    Zibbet is another option-you can list up to 50 items for free-just pay paypal fees.Etsy changed their system and you no longer need to renew all the time to be found in searches.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

  12. #12
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    Ghostrider and Lyrajean, those are the same reasons I've listed on artfire instead of etsy. There is another site, www.ecrater.com but I don't know much about it. I can't say that I've had tons of success but I haven't really promoted my site or listed that many items on it. Best of luck!
    Heather

  13. #13
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Big Cartel is another one for those who are looking.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  14. #14
    Senior Member coldquilter's Avatar
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    I sell only locally at craft shows and have always been interested in online selling but it seems kind of overwhelming. I hope it goes well for you.
    Michelle

  15. #15
    Senior Member star619's Avatar
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    Isn't it exciting that even as we've moved into the age of the internet, there are increasing opportunities for selling & making & sharing our "crafts", and they're becoming a larger & larger market?

  16. #16
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    well I just checked Artfire and see it is $12 a month. I guess if you have a lot of listings it would be worth it, I have less than 10 on etsy, at 20 cents each for 4 months it is more economical for me on Etsy.

  17. #17
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    Have been considering this also. Has anyone tried Craigs List, or is that just too risky?

  18. #18
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    I guess the bottom line is - are you successfully selling on the various sites? If it costs less to list, but you're not selling, that's not good. If it costs more and you're not selling, that's not good either. I haven't read anything yet about how well the sales are doing at any of the sites, and to me, that's the critical information for making a decision.

  19. #19
    Member tootskellett's Avatar
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    I have been an Etsy seller for 3 years. They have changed some things and my sales are very good this Christmas season. Both inexpensive unique hot pads , fabric paper doll sets(under $15) and more expensive quilted runners and wall quilts have been selling. I am in a lot of circles and try to have new items almost daily to keep my shop fresh.(it gets people to visit my shop). I do have several repeat customers who also have requested custom items. The 20 cent listing fee is cheap enough, even if an item doesn't sell.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pollyv9 View Post
    Have been considering this also. Has anyone tried Craigs List, or is that just too risky?
    I don't think people shop on Craigslist for beautiful handmade items.

  21. #21
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    Over the years I have had people say that I should sell my quilts. I recently made a lap size quilt using beautiful high quality designer fabric....my daughter said people are selling those for 80 bucks on line. I told her that's how much the fabric alone cost me! In order to make any money, I would have to charge $200-$250. I don't think I could afford to buy my own quilt. (Although, I guess if you had a business, you would be able to purchase the fabric at cost)

    People can go to Macy's, JC Penney, Walmart, Target, Kohls and find a wide range of quality and affordability in products. Most people don't know the time, cost, or effort that goes into making handmade items, unless they themselves do something or they live with someone that does.

    I would love to sell quilts on line, or otherwise. I just don't know how to market it to the right demographic of people who could afford it. Also, I am not sure if trying to sell my quilts would take some of the enjoyment away and just put pressure on me, or be frustrated if there were no buyers.

    This is a great topic and I am really interested in the advice of those of you who make a decent profit selling your quilts/crafts.

  22. #22
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    That is the problem I have had in the past. People just do not understand the difference between a hand made item out of quality materials and a quilt like object that was made in Taiwan or somewhere. I wish you luck.....
    <a href="http://www.mylivesignature.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://signatures.mylivesignature.com/54489/336/AFDCC36A59CDFF42A211209DA03F222E.png" style="border: 0 !important; background: transparent;"/></a>

  23. #23
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    great article and conversation...I'm learning too.

  24. #24
    Super Member Quilter2B's Avatar
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    I'm an ArtFire seller . .

    I have been on Artfire for almost two years. Up until a few months ago, I was what they called a "free" member. They have done away with the basic membership and now everyone who sells is a "Pro". I have been a seasoned eBayer (10+ years) and decided to give Artfire a try for my custom stuff (since everyone is looking for deals and steals on eBay and eBay has gotten greedy with their fees). I like the fact that I am unlimited as to the number of items I can list and there are no listing or final value feels other than the monthly and fees charged by paypal. I haven't sold a lot but if I sell one or two patterns every month, it pays for the monthly fees. Artfire has recently gone through alot of software changes, I am excited about the new layout and customization. I just wish there was a bulk upload (up to now they have only allowed this if you exported your file from Etsy). Some of my items have been selected for a "collection" and Artfire is tied into Google so it seems to work for the time being. They have also recently added a blog feature. I'm hoping to get some time after the holidays to get more in depth into it (at least as much as my 6 year grandson will let me :-)!) Next year we are planning on doing a booth at the Farmer's Market as it seems to be a good draw of customers.
    Maybe some day it will all be nice and fancy!

    Slowly getting back into the swing of things!

  25. #25
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    I know here where I live there are craft fairs. So when I get enough stuff made I'll try that. I'm also going to work on some medieval-type wall hangings and stuff and try to get a booth at the medieval faire when it is in town. The people who attend those appreciate the time and skill it takes to make something.

    Artfire does suggest a minimum of 60 items. So I'm working on quilts, bibs, potholders and probably some wallhangings too. I'm still figuring out pricing though that is a toughie.

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