Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What it is like to sell handmade on line....

I'm in a few groups on line and everyone always gets frustrated about why nothing is moving from their shops.  You get lots of traffic and views but almost no sales.  This doesn't mean what you make isn't nice/pretty/well made etc.  As I thought about it I came up with this:

If you've ever done a show think about how many people walk right by your booth and don't stop...they see you but don't want what you sell...then there are the ones who stop look at your stuff and act like it is poison and burns their eyes..then there is the one who stops and looks at everything you have and shows you a stretchy crystal bracelet she bought for $2 at the Dollar Store and wants to know if you have anything like it...then the next one looks at and tries on everything and walks away or buys the one pair of $5 earrings you marked on sale. If you are lucky a few people come in, love your stuff and buy a few things and then goes to get a friend and she buys some stuff too. And maybe, MAYBE they look for you at the next show and bring another friend who loves what you make too ....if they don't get sidetracked at another booth first and spend all their money.

That is what selling on line is like too, but multiplied by thousands of other booths!

So don't get discouraged.  When I first started to make and sell things I was one of a few now I am one of many.  I RARELY get a sale in my stores.  My best customers love to pick up, try on, touch and talk to me about the pieces I make.  Once I do sell on line to someone they will buy again, but getting that first sale is the hardest thing to do.  Think of what you are trying to do like the tortoise and the hare..guess what we are all the tortoise!  

And as Dori the fish said...Just keep swimming!


  1. So true I often wonder why sales are so slow online yet if I do a house party everyone buys and often a few pieces at a time. It definitely is a case of being able to pick it up and see it - my Mom always told me you don't see with your hands but I have to say the more I am in this business the more I realise that you do "see" with your hands.

  2. Thanks for this reassuring blog posting! While I'm somewhat discouraged by my online sales (which is zero) I don't let it get me down. My store went live in December so yes, I'm new to online sales. One important thing for me to have my store though is I hand out cards to everybody I meet, especially my friends, family and old co-workers. I have customers that regularly come to my home where I set up my kitchen table like I will my first show in March and because they've already looked at my product on-line they have a pretty good idea what they want! So I believe that even if I have low sales it's a very important link in this chain for me. I'll have to learn how to swim I suppose!!

  3. I have to agree with everything said in the article as well as the comment by UniqueNique. I've had some luck my online store but I can't afford to open more stores in hopes of getting a broader marketplace. I had a lot of luck with a house party before the Christmas holidays. I still enjoy making jewelry and am continuing to swim in hopes of making more sales.

  4. Thanks for posting this, I sometimes wonder if my shop is invisible. But I keep on keeping on.

  5. I smiled when I read your comments. How very true, I have sold online and in markets and have experienced all the things you outline.

    As you say It really is a matter of the tortoise and the hare,


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