Business Series 3 : Choosing what to sell.
Updated: May 7, 2021
How to choose what to sell?
How does one decide what to sell? I do know that on Etsy selling supplies works. The handmade market is a bit more difficult to get into. I started selling on Etsy with Indian fabrics and trims. 10 years later and it still does well. Below I have discussed pros and cons of both businesses.
Benefits of selling supplies:
I have two shops on Etsy. One where I sell supplies and the other where I sell handmade stickers and planner supplies. The supplies shop is by far the bigger earner with minimal effort.
1. Ease of mind: You don't have to think about design and execution of your process.
2. Easily ordered : You can place an order for supplies and the wholesalers or manufacturers deliver it to you.
3. Less Effort: You only need to photograph the stock and list it.
4. Ease of order fulfilment: It is a one time effort . That is, you photograph and list the product and then fill orders. For me it's cutting the trims to size when I get an order and packaging it.
5. Saves Time: Saves more time than managing a handmade business.
6. Happy Customers: Customers are happy that they don't have to wait long.
7. Extra time: You have more time for other things.
I am sure there are many other positives for selling supplies. It is definitely easier than selling handmade. Let's explore what would make a handmade business more appealing.
Benefits of Selling Handmade:
1. The Human aspect: A handmade product is a product made with love and patience. It carries a part of the creator with it. It helps to establish a connection between buyer and seller.
2. A sense of fulfilment: A product that has been created with intention, love and patience provides for the creator as much fulfilment and sense of purpose as a buyer who chooses to support the business.
3. One of a kind : A hand made product , no matter how many times produced with the same materials, design and hands will always be different from the previous one. Every piece is thus created in a unique way.
4. A clear conscience : For most of us, being able to create something unique and of a great personal value instead of mass produced in a factory, allows us to have a clear conscience and peace of mind.
5. Control : You are in complete control of the quality. I have often had issues where the trims I ordered were not good enough to sell. That left me with a lot of dead stock. However, it was a learning opportunity and I found a way to use it to my advantage.
6. Small capital: When you start a handmade business, you do not need to have a lot of capital on hand. Compare that with selling supplies where you often need a lump sum to place an order with a manufacturer or wholesaler.
There are many other benefits of having a handmade business , but these are the most obvious.
Benefits of selling Vintage items:
There is a third category on Etsy and that is selling Vintage items. People today, are more conscious of where and how things are made. More and more people are choosing lifestyles to reflect this choice.
Selling Vintage items is perhaps the middle point between selling supplies and selling handmade.
It's similar to selling supplies except that it's better for the Earth and people's wallets
Whatever kind of selling you choose, there is a lot of research to do and decisions to take. I wish you all the best in your endeavour.
Next Tuesday's topic : How to start selling.