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Editorial blog

Top mistakes to avoid when selling crafts online

24 Jun 2018

Andrew Vear, Owner of Enterprise Badges, a global supplier of badge making machines and components, offers his top mistakes to avoid when selling crafts online.

The online world represents a huge opportunity for selling crafts, so it’s important to get it right.

Whether you list your products on eBay, Etsy, Not on the High Street, or even have your own website, there’s so much opportunity to generate sales, or reach a huge audience. However, over the years, we’ve noticed some common mistakes people make when selling crafts online. To give your new business the best possible chance of being successful, make sure you avoid these five major mistakes!

Uploading bad photography

One of the biggest mistakes when selling crafts online is uploading bad photography. Would you buy something online if the only picture you saw was out of focus? Or grainy or blurry? Probably not, so why would you expect anyone else to?

The number one rule when selling online is to never upload poor quality pictures. Take my advice and invest time in ensuring your photos show your products in the best possible way. They should be in focus, with good lighting good, taken with a proper camera. It’s vital that any unique features of your products are highlighted.

Make the most of what’s offered as well, for example Etsy lets you upload five pictures per listing, and for eBay, you can add up to 12 (for a fee). Why not upload product pictures at different angles, highlighting the various features?

Writing poor descriptions

Descriptions are equally as important as pictures. If it’s too short – or too wordy – then no one will read it, and no one will buy your crafts! A one-liner is not the way to go. You should be as descriptive as possible when listing your product, highlighting all of the key features. Think about what you would want to know if you were looking to purchase the product, and go from there.

You also don’t want to go too far and write an essay. If there’s too much text, it can be overwhelming, and the user will be put off from reading it. They will just move onto another product.

Another factor to consider for your product listings is Search Engine Optimisation, which is the process of increasing your rankings on Google. Once you’ve identified keywords that relate to your product, and you want to rank for (e.g. “silver stud earrings” or “gold medal with ribbon”) you can include them in your product description, which can help give your ranking on Google a boost.

Not using social media

Whilst you should naturally get traffic or visitors by being listed on the likes of Etsy and Not ON The High Street, one of the biggest mistakes when selling crafts online is relying on that alone. Social media is a great cost-effective way to market your brand. Set yourself up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and start posting beautiful pictures of your crafts whilst growing your follower base. These tactics will help to drive traffic to your website, helping you to get more customers than you would have done, had you just sat back and done nothing.

Pinterest is great for businesses, with many pinners buying a product after seeing it on Pinterest. So, if your business isn’t already on social media, now’s the time to sign up!

Not offering international shipping

Sure, the UK is a big country, but you’re missing a huge audience if you don’t offer international shipping. Purposefully cutting yourself off from loads of customers is a big mistake to make.

Worried about the extra costs shipping internationally will incur? There’s no need to worry. Lots of businesses charge the customer extra for international shipping, and it’s often something that’s expected. If someone really wants your products, they won’t be put off by having to pay a tad more for delivery.

It’s important that you research the cost of shipping to various countries, so you can set your pricing right. It’s also worth looking at any regulations and requirements, so your parcel doesn’t get stopped at customs!

Giving up when you don’t see immediate results

Ultimately, you can read lots of online guides that explain how easy it is to sell crafts online, and then get disheartened when you don’t see immediate results. The worst thing you can do though is give up. Just because you’ve listed a product and shared it on social media, that doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly get hundreds of people interested.

Instead, you need to grow a loyal customer base over time, and frequently list new products so they have a reason to keep heading back to your online store.

Over time, perseverance, experience and knowledge will pay off, and things should start falling into place. But that’s not going to happen right away, and you shouldn’t just quit. This is one of the biggest mistakes when selling crafts online. Setting up an online business is exciting, but it’s not easy.

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