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Advanced Selling Tips for Crafters

From the feedback I have been getting, I’ve learned that many people are working long and hard at their crafts, but are still having a hard time realizing home business success. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. There is just too much going on for one person to be able to solve all problems. However, let’s break them down into two parts and then try to apply basic business solutions to each part.

Here are a few selling tips to consider.

The Product

I’m a pretty good cook. I’ve won awards from my local culinary arts society and have even been invited to give a lesson or two. However, when I try to make a new recipe, especially from some of the most popular food and lifestyle magazines, I am usually very disappointed. Why? In my opinion it is because something is usually missing, either from the ingredients or the instructions.

Now you’re saying to yourselves, “what’s this got to do with anything?” Well, most crafters are constantly searching books, magazines and web sites for free craft patterns. Like the “free recipes” noted above, however, I think something is always missing. Simply put, the best crafters are not going to give away their best designs. Much of what you get for free can be helpful, but only if used as a starting point.

Even on my website, the designs I offer must be electronically condensed in order for the page to load in a reasonable amount of time. If you want to enlarge them, you most likely will be disappointed in the fidelity of the result.

You wouldn’t be reading this article if you weren’t interested in discovering some new selling tips for your craft.

So put yourself in the buyer’s position. Is she seeing the same craft over and over again at the same show? If she is, the only reason she will buy from you is if your price is lowest. You don’t want to find yourself in a price war.

Ideally you want to earn a premium for your efforts. So let’s try to do something to differentiate you – to make a common pattern special – to make it you. Some selling tips to consider:

Oversize it or miniaturize it.
Use metal instead of wood, or wood instead of plastic.
Change the designs to make the craft prettier or more practical.
Instead of painting on a design or applying a decal, add a carving or incision that adds texture and dimension.
Use your imagination and sense of creativity.

Always use the best materials and methods of manufacture. If you shop carefully, you can get fine supplies either on sale or in the clearance bins. Many online sellers are offering the same supplies you see in the stores for 40 percent to 50 percent less.

The quality of your materials is one of the first things a buyer will notice. Don’t turn her off by using cheap, chintzy materials.

Do the same with your manufacturing methods.

Are your seams straight and even? Did you use a nice copper braid, even when glue would do? Is you paint or stain evenly applied and unstreaked?

For every craft, there is always some extra little touch that shows you’re a pro – that your product is worth more than the guy’s at the next table. These steps might take you a little longer at first, but once you get the rhythm down, you’ll find it really adds little to the time and cost of making your craft.

Once you get this far, you face the more daunting problem ...

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