Get paid, babe! How to set up a site and sell your stuff


“I would pay good money for that!” 

Maybe your neighbor constantly compliments your cookies or an aunt is always eying your newest necklace creations, but it's clear that you've got serious talent—and people would be willing to pay $$$ for it. Sound familiar? It's time to start selling.

Thanks to third-party online marketplaces, it's easier than ever to start your own business and sell your handmade products online. Not only is it super simple, but it’s also a great way to make some extra cash—and one day parlay your small business into a full-blown company! The only downside? Sometimes, getting started can seem basically impossible.

The first step in navigating the world of e-commerce is to choose an online storefront. You've definitely heard of Etsy, of course, but turns out there are a bunch of different platforms that could be perfect for your crafts. (Some entrepreneurs even choose to list their goods on multiple platforms to attract the most customers.) Read on for options...

1. Artfire is a marketplace that allows customers to post “wanted” ads if they cannot find the product they are looking for. This is advantageous to the seller, of course, because if you can make it quickly you have a guaranteed buyer.

2. More people visit Etsy to shop than any other e-commerce site—you've probably been on a few times yourself! It's also the easiest website to use for beginners who have never set up an online shop before and aren’t the most tech-savvy. The downside? There are *tons* of sellers, so your product might not get a lot of exposure.

3. Although this site has a more expensive membership fee ($25), your online store will look super legit—the platform is totally customizable and has awesome aesthetics.

4. One of the only e-commerce sites that is exclusively for handmade goods, Zibbet doesn't charge any commission fees when you sell a product, instead charging a low monthly fee. Plus, they have an awesome reputation with their sellers.

Once you've chosen your platform, it’s time to get down to business. Opening an online shop can be very intimidating, so planning ahead is def a necessity. No matter which site you use, you should have a good idea of what type of goods you want to sell, how fast you can make them and so forth.

From there, you should set up the account on the website of your choice. When listing your products, it is imperative to take high-quality photos of your products—just because what you’re selling is beautiful doesn’t mean the photo will be beautiful!

Next step? Pricing. While there are many different ways to price a product, the following is a good formula to follow to determine a fair price: Materials + labor x 2 = wholesale price (if you're selling in bulk for some reason), and wholesale price x 2 = retail price.

Lastly, make sure you have an idea of how much it will cost you to ship the product. A good rule of thumb is to charge the customer the exact cost of shipping, as they will already be paying a little extra in the price of your product.

Voila! You're on your way to starting a successful online business. Happy selling! 


Do you have an Etsy store? What are other questions you have about setting up an online shop? Let us know below!  


by Maddie Howard | 2/1/2016