Author Topic: Where do you sell?  (Read 2311 times)

Offline fourkid

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Where do you sell?
« on: November 20, 2017, 09:10:14 AM »
I have tried for a year or two to do some selling as a missions project. I want to sell items I sew and knit and use most of it to donate (only keeping a small portion of monies earned to replenish supplies as needed. I consider my labor as donated.) I sew doll clothes, bags, and knit hats as examples. But I have not found a good means of actually selling them. The few local things I sold had to be pretty heavily discounted - which is okay for getting my feet wet as all my materials in those items were donated (and all the bit of earned money passed on to worthy ministries) - but I need to find a better outlet. I am not professional enough in photography to meet the quality of the sites that places like ETSY seem to demand to get looked at, or am I just talking myself down?

Do any of you have some places you find work best for you for this type of low key business?
Blessings,
Patti
(aka fourkid)

Offline RobinK

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Re: Where do you sell?
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2017, 07:08:12 PM »
Patti, given the type of selling that you are doing I don't think that a site like Etsy would be a good fit for you. In order to be successful on Etsy you need to have a constantly revolving supply of merchandise and offer something that sets you apart from the thousands of other sellers. I haven't seen the items that you make but am gathering from your description "I sew doll clothes, bags, and knit hats as examples." that these are more homey type articles. Are you selling at seasonal bazaars and craft sales? I think that you would have more success there. At least where I live there seems to be a never-ending array of these events all year long.

As with any type of selling you need to market your wares and in order to successfully market you need a "hook". Your hook is clearly the fact that all of your profits go to worthy causes. In addition to actually making the merchandise you also need to have a marketing plan in place -- get a list of all of the events in your area (churches, community centres, senior's housing, etc.) and figure out which ones you want to attend. Plan your booth or sales table carefully so that it will catch the eye of prospective purchasers and really emphasize the fact that your profits go to a worthy cause. Have some colourful posters made up focusing on what ever the worthy cause is and display them prominently. If you have computer skills www.Canva.com has a great free program that will assist you in making posters and other advertising type materials. Consider branding yourself -- have a particular colour scheme for the booth/table decor, have a catchy name that captures what your are doing and use the name and colours consistently so that people instantly recognize you at events.

Offline fourkid

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Re: Where do you sell?
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2017, 10:44:42 PM »
Robin K Thank you so much! This is exactly why I was never in business (I was/am a teacher first.) I can see this working. I never thought ETSY was a good fit for me - but I just didn't know where to go. I like these ideas. This gives me great, new goals to aim for in 2018.  ;D
And it ties in with the 4-H project my grands are doing this year as well - I think I will involve them in helping find places to sell and how to display - maybe even have them make up some simple tote bags/bag holders to add to the inventory.

I really needed another "eye".
So now I need a catchy name  8)

**Edited to add - I am really bad at computer skills - but I have family that can do this!

Offline RobinK

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Re: Where do you sell?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2017, 03:44:30 AM »
Since your work is in aid of mission work how about Mission Possible? I've never seen the movie franchise Mission Impossible, I'm remembering it from years ago when it was a TV series, but I'll bet a lot of people would remember that name. As you know, kids of the most creative people in the world -- I'll be if you sit down with your grand-kids and talk about the mission work and brainstorm they'll come up with some great suggestions.

Offline Pina

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Re: Where do you sell?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2017, 06:54:00 AM »
Patti,one can rent a table for several hours on certain days throughout the year to sell handmade or other items in the lobby of our local hospital. Only one group,or one person,it's not a bazaar. One lady was selling very reasonble priced lap quilts,quilted table runners etc. I liked. The local senior center,churches and schools have sale events where anyone can rent a table. Around this time of year I read "crafts for sale" at private residences too. Usually those people support a charity,a few sell their crafts for themselves.

Since your work is in aid of mission work is the mission not supporting your fundraising with suggestion where to sell your handcrafted items ?


Offline fourkid

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Re: Where do you sell?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2017, 01:05:48 PM »
(snip) As you know, kids of the most creative people in the world -- I'll be if you sit down with your grand-kids and talk about the mission work and brainstorm they'll come up with some great suggestions.

That is really cute - it will go into the running. Yes, I did plan to include the kids and the rest of the family in brainstorming name ideas.

Offline fourkid

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Re: Where do you sell?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2017, 01:19:09 PM »
Since your work is in aid of mission work is the mission not supporting your fundraising with suggestion where to sell your handcrafted items ?

Those are good ideas, Pina. Thank you.  :-* I don't work with an organization - I do this on my own. That gives me freedom to chose the recipients. my criteria is that I have to personally know them and their work. To date I have only been able to help 3 or 4 people. I cross denominational lines in the mission projects and people I support - and also contributed a small amount to one dear lady struggling with cancer and the death of her daughter, who was her primary caregiver. (so far all my contributions have been small amounts - around $50 each.) But I want to do more - hence the plans to step up a bit. I have depleted my stash of items, so am working to build that up. I got discouraged so quit working on this during most of 2017. But I decided that I should go forward. I won't be ready for this holiday season - but I am hoping that 2018 will see more that I can do. God put it on my heart that my sewing can help others, so he will find a way for me to reach more buyers. Seeing this topic as I was exploring more of the site gave me the idea to ask for group help. I am so glad I did. I am encouraged again and can see how this can work. Small is ok - but I want to move forward - kind of like Dorcas did. It matters to those that I can help, even if it is small.