Craftster Community

CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE => CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE => Topic started by: jungrrl on January 05, 2007 12:42:57 PM

Title: Crafty Business FAQ
Post by: jungrrl on January 05, 2007 12:42:57 PM
Hey everyone! I'm making a ginormous FAQ for Crafty Business! Hopefully this will be a great resource for everyone, a way to get into some more pointed discussions of crafty businesses, and a way to reduce the number of repeat posts.

If you'd like to suggest something for the FAQ please PM (;sa=send;u=8228) me!

Frequently Asked Questions:

1.) What should I sell? (
2.) What should I name my company? (
3.) How do I price my items? (
4.) I have a great product, now where do I sell it? (
5.) What kind of payments methods should I accept? and How do I take them? (

Upcoming topics (previously stickies) in no particular order:
  • Taxes:  Sales Tax (   &  Taxes for Online businesses (
  • Copyright Info (
  • When copycats profit (
  • Webhosting suggestions (

Title: What should I sell?
Post by: jungrrl on January 05, 2007 01:59:52 PM
FAQ #1 - What should I sell?

The answer to this is: whatever you want! It’s best to sell what you know, sell what you love. (You can always sell what you think people want to buy, too.) People sell every crafty thing under the sun and no single kind of item will ever be the only profitable one.

Title: What should I name my company?
Post by: jungrrl on January 17, 2007 08:33:32 AM
FAQ #2 What should I name my company?

Well, that's a tough one.  It's easier for people to choose from a list of options you've given than to make up names for you since only you know what kind of name you're going for.  Here are some things to keep in mind while trying to decide on a name:
  • First and foremost: Is the name already taken? A good way to tell is to google it!
  • In the future, you may want to delve into other crafts.  Choose a name that will follow you through your changes while staying relevant to your products. Many people solve this problem by using their own name.
  • Make it easy to remember.  If you business name is spelled oddly or it's a word most people won't remember how to spell, it's going to be difficult for them to find  you, especially online.

Here are some other discussions that may interest you:
How did you come up with your brand name? (
Tips for naming your business (

Also, check out this outside link for some other useful tips:

If you would still like your fellow Craftsters to weigh in on your ideas, feel free to post here (!

Title: How do I price my items?
Post by: jungrrl on January 17, 2007 08:41:33 AM
FAQ #3 - How do I price my items?

There are different theories on how best to price your items.  You obviously need to cover the cost of materials and please do not forget to pay yourself for your time and effort!  Many people set an hourly wage for themselves, either what they make at their day job or another amount they feel is appropriate, and add the cost of their time to the item price. 

After adding your costs there are various ways to set your price.  Suggestions include:
  • Cost of supplies + cost of time only
  • Doubling the cost of supplies + cost of time
  • Doubling the cost of supplies only
  • Tripling the cost of supplies only
  • Cost of supplies + cost of time + some extra amount

As you can see, even amongst craftsters, there are many different pricing strategies.  In the end you need to make sure you can turn a profit over your supplies and make sure that you set a price that the market can handle.  Also, keep in mind that if you sell on consignment you will only get a percentage of the retail price!

Remember to be aware of underselling, ie the habit of crafters to price their items very low simply to garner sales or because they feel the item isn’t worth more, thus not properly paying themselves for their time and effort.  (Discuss (

Title: I have a great product, now where do I sell it?
Post by: jungrrl on April 27, 2007 01:09:16 PM
FAQ #4 -  I have a great product, now where do I sell it?

More thorough recommendations can be found here (

  • Etsy (
    • The first place most craftsters will tell you to go is Etsy (  It is a website similar to Ebay with a specific target toward hand-crafted items.  You can open a “store” and list your available items.  There is a set price to list and a percentage charge if an item is sold. The listings are in place for four months or until the item sells. The full details can be viewed here (
  • Craft Fairs (
    • Craft fairs vary but the general rule is you purchase table space, bring a table and your wares and sit there and sell your items! More info coming soon!
  • Your own website
    • This will be a big answer! More info coming soon!

      For the time being, check out what your fellow Craftsters are using for webhosting and shopping carts.
      Official Webhosting Poll (;viewResults)
      Official Shopping Cart Poll (;viewResults)

  • Consignment (
    • There are two ways to do this: online or in a brick-and-mortar. Generally speaking both you and the store operator get a cut of the sale.  Percentages tend to be 60/40 or 50/50 but can vary. You will need to sign a contract with the store operator and discuss terms in advance so that you do not find yourself in a sticky situation.
  • Ebay  (
    • Selling crafts on ebay can be a challenge but can also be very, very lucrative with the right items.  Most of the high money-making crafters on Ebay sell reconstructed clothing.  Most have worked long and hard to garner a following and to make their listings have a specific “look”.
    • Things to keep in mind while selling on Ebay:

      • When using Ebay you need to remember that keywords in your title can make or break you.  Use every available space to your advantage.  Ebay searches only titles automatically so that is how you draw buyers in.  Things like “Look” and “Wow” are wastes of valuable space.
      • Make sure you have clear terms of sale. IE How long does the buyer have to pay? What methods of payment do you accept? How will you ship the item? What is your return policy?
      • Though there are many other payments and payment systems that you can accept, you will not get very far in an Ebay business without accepting Paypal ( (Discuss (
      • Most sellers leave feedback after the buyers has left it for them.  There are a smaller percentage who leave feedback immediately, however, they open themselves up to unscrupulous (or possibly uninformed) buyers who leave negatives when they have issues with a seller instead of trying to contact them first.
      • If someone does not pay you for your item you need to follow the proper course of action set up by Ebay.  That information can be viewed here ( (Discuss (
  • Livejournal / Myspace / Blogs
  • Other

Title: What kind of payments methods should I accept? and How do I take them?
Post by: jungrrl on April 27, 2007 02:15:54 PM
FAQ #5 What kind of payments methods should I accept? and How do I take them?

Well, this depends on how you're selling.  

If you're selling at a craft fair, etc. the easiest choice is obviously cash, just make sure you have money for change.  You can also accept money orders ( and traveler's checks ('s_cheque) fairly easily as they operate the same way as cash. Both of these methods can be forged. I don't know that it will come up often, but it's something to be mindful of.

You can accept checks, however, many people suggest you write down the person's license number and phone number in case the check does not clear.  It can take up to two or three weeks for a check to clear.
(Discuss (

It is also possible to accept credit cards at shows.  This is discussed in detail in this thread (

Online payments can be slightly different. Most online customers will want to pay electronically.  

I need to read up on this more to finish this answer, but for now, please check out this thread on Paypal and Other Shopping Carts (