FREELANCING / SEP. 12, 2015
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5 Tips for Selling DIY Projects From Home

It’s incredible to see what people are currently creating. All you need to do is visit Etsy or Pinterest to see the stunning DIY projects individuals are working on across the globe. If you’re one of these creative and crafty people, give yourself a pat on the back. Whether you offer candle holders or herb boxes, there’s a market for well-crafted DIY projects.

See Also: How to Turn Your Crafting Hobby Into a Business

Consumers are responding really well to these handmade projects because they tend to provide a feeling of warmth, skill, and quality. What may have started as a hobby, can quickly become a profitable source of income. You may be a master of building and creating, but what about selling?

We’re no longer limited to local craft shows or community-based word of mouth. With advances in technology and online opportunities, you can now reach a much larger population with ease. For years, larger companies like Ebay and Amazon dominated the market. Although they are still major players, there are plenty of other niche sites that are pushing out a ton of DIY projects. Etsy is a prime example, but there are also numerous other sites, such as ArtFire or eCrater. If you are looking to sell your DIY goods, here are some tips to help you along the way.

1. Focus on Attracting as Many People as Possible

soaps
shutterstock

There are plenty of ways to bring attention to your projects through social media, but, you’ll need to appeal to people before you make any sales. While creating your project and deciding what you’ll offer, think about how you can appeal to various groups through different types of projects. 

For example, say you began making handmade soaps and other related products. Instead of just offering a generic bar of soap, create soaps that are ideal for babies, pets, sensitive skin, etc. Widen your potential customer base by offering various types based on one concept.

When you offer different types, you will also have more potential outlets to sell your products. Now, instead of just selling your soap to select locations or to select individuals, you can widen your potential market. Approach local pet stores about carrying your pet soap line for example, or advertise on social media the perfect baby shower basket full of goods you make. Get creative and have fun with it while keeping profits in mind.

2. Create a Website

If you have already sold your DIY projects through various platforms and see the potential, you may want to create your own website. This little piece of online real estate will allow you to market your projects and add that extra level of personality.

Although some prefer to just provide a link to the platforms they sell on, many want to offer their own eCommerce store. This looks more professional and could also help increase overall profits. Without needing to pay out commission fees, you can stretch your profit margin even further. Some of the best options to look into are:

Once you’ve built your website, start a little blog to drive traffic and focus on SEO. Not only should you use keywords in your content, but you also need to tag your photos properly. If you’re selling DIY herb boxes, you could write small posts on gardening, herbs, or anything else that’s relevant that your customers would find informative or entertaining. This will help you ensure that customers come back.

Slowly but surely, you can build a brand behind your products. Through strategic planning, you can quickly evolve into a successful company. Think about your audience and how your DIY products stand out. Building a brand will help you market easier as well, helping you develop and grow brand recognition. As long as you continue to produce high-quality projects, they will speak for themselves.

3. Take High-Quality Photographs to Push Online Sales

girl with camera
Sam-Robinson

When it comes to eCommerce, good photography can drive sales. No need to hire a photographer or take night classes, but high-quality photographs are king. You may offer the best quality DIY projects, but if you cannot effectively portray how great they are, it will be hard to make sales. As humans, we’re highly visual after all.

Think about Pinterest’s success based on stunning photography and interesting projects. You want to draw people in and beautiful photographs are a great way to do so. Slowly practice your photography skills and consider reading some basic tips to help you improve.

You can hold your project in your hands and truly appreciate its quality. When you’re selling online, however, your customers are buying into the pictures you present to them. If your photos do your project justice, you’ll likely sell more. This DIY Guide from Shopify offers everything you need to know, plus more. 

4. Know Your Shipping Costs

The last thing you want to do is not plan effectively, sell items and then lose money on shipping. When it comes to selling DIY projects from home, this is one of the first areas you should focus on. Stay organized to potentially widen your shipping potential. As a North American vendor, you’d hate to miss out on International orders because you didn’t bother figuring out shipping costs.

You can start by visiting your local post office or even their website. There are easy-to-use calculators that will give you a general idea based on your product’s weight and dimensions. Organize costs based on various destinations as long as it makes sense for what you’re selling.

If you’re really stumped, reach out to other DIY project sellers. You would be surprised how supportive and helpful people are within this community. Ask a few people who sell their own DIY projects how they calculated their costs. You may pick up some tips that could make all the difference in terms of cost and accessibility.

Once you have figured out your costs, setup a shipping area within your home or office. That way, everything will be in one area of the house and you won’t feel overwhelmed when you get multiple orders. Keep tools such as labels, a tape measure, your shipping scale, and packing tape in this area. Whenever possible, spruce up the packaging. It’s all about creating a positive experience for your customers.

5. Package Beautifully

Girl doing crafts
shutterstock

Think about when you’re at the store, trying to decide between two items. Don’t you generally choose the option that looks nicer? Two jars of jam may contain the exact same ingredients, yet one could have caught your eye because it was packaged in a unique way. Remember, we’re visual beings and we prefer something that looks nice. You don’t need to spend much to go that extra mile. Add small additions to your packaging that are appealing, yet professional. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Personalized tags that are well constructed and offer a glimpse into your growing DIY brand. 
  • Small additions that evoke a feeling or connect the consumer to your overall concept. For instance, you may be selling all-natural candles, so why not package your candles using natural-looking paper or twine? Stay in-tune with the overall vibe of your project. 
  • Include little thank-you messages, increasing the level of appreciation and customer interaction. 
  • Focus on visually-appealing patterns, stickers, or even attach a 3D decoration, such as a button or bow. Remember to stick with the overall feel of your project. 

Basically, you want your customer to feel as though they’re receiving a gift. You can amp up your packaging without spending much, it’s all about being creative. If you’re already creating DIY projects, you’ll already be gleaming with creativity. Your customers will not only appreciate the extra effort, but they’re more likely to recommend your projects to someone else or buy more as gifts. Here is another excellent guide, offering you tips when packaging for Etsy, however, these tips can be applied to any DIY product you’d like to sell. 

See Also: How to Stay Motivated While Working From Home 

Due to the Internet there are more opportunities to sell DIY projects from home than ever before. What may have once been a hobby, could potentially be your new career. Selling your creations from home is a great way to maintain a career while raising children or caring for an elderly loved one. Stay focused and pay particular attention to customer feedback. This will give you the proper insight so that you can continuously improve and expand.

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