Many of us have hobbies and interests that we turn to when we need an escape from everyday life – something to help us relax and express our creativity when the 9 to 5 is stressing us out or stifling us.
What many of us don’t realise, however, is that the help of an online marketplace, it’s possible to turn your hobby into a source of income, allowing you to quit the day job and devote your time to something you love, without suffering financially.
DaWanda is an online marketplace where anyone can open their own shop, to offer their own handmade creations of any kind – from clothes to jewellery, via items for the home and original artwork. If you can imagine it and make it, you can sell it online! Many sellers have managed to grow their shops into thriving businesses, becoming their own bosses. If you’d like to learn how you could do the same, read on for some expert tips for success:
What are you good at? Painting? Baking? Sewing? Discover your passion and let it thrive! Develop a range of products which would meet the needs of your ideal customers, offering them a variety of designs or functions. It’s a good idea to base your range around a common theme or design motif, e.g. colour or pattern, so that each piece can be recognised as being one of your unique creations. Make sure you have enough products created to fill up your shop and give customers some choice – 15-25 items is a good start.
Once you know what you’ll be selling, you can start selling it! Opening a DaWanda shop is completely free; you just need to register to get started. Most online marketplaces (like DaWanda) simply charge a small commission fee for each successful sale, so you don’t pay anything unless the site is working for you.
Next, think of a catchy but informative name for your business, and design a graphic banner for your shop page which encapsulates the spirit of your creations. Then write an introductory text for your profile to let buyers and other members know your story. When it comes to selling handmade items online, the personal connection between buyer and seller is really important, so this is your chance to let the real you shine!
One of the biggest factors in successful online selling is excellent product photos and item descriptions. Photograph your photos against a bright white background, in sunlight or with bright lights. Take photos from all angles (you can add up to 4 images to one listing). If you’re selling wearable items, get someone you know to model them for the camera.
When it comes to your listing text, make sure to include lots of detail about how the item was made, and where you found your inspiration for it. Your customers will love to find out the ‘story’ behind what they’re purchasing.
Take advantage of the strong network of support in the form of an online community: offering feedback and the chance to really get the word out about your shop. Ask other members for tips and feedback in the Forums, join the conversation on Twitter and share your products with your social network with the DaWanda App for Facebook.
Give your customers reasons to pick you over the competition! You might want to add products to a SALE category to lure new customers in with great deals. Offering personalisation options is also really appealing to buyers, e.g. allowing them to choose their own fabric or pattern, or engraving/stitching a loved one’s name onto a gift.
And finally, don’t forget to pop your MOO MiniCards or Business Cards into your packages to add a professional finishing touch and give them something lovely to stick on the fridge! Taking these steps ensures that you stay in your customer’s minds for longer, and encourages them to recommend you to others.
Thanks DaWanda team for the great tips. Time to get crafting!