Finding Ideas For Crafts to Make and Sell By Jim Delahaye

There are several ways to learn how people sell crafts, like going to craft shows and scanning the listings at Etsy. But those markets don't tell you what crafts sell. They only reveal what other crafters are making and showing. There are other places where crafts sell that you can research and learn what the best selling crafts are and how much people are willing to pay for them.

Before you start snatching ideas for crafts to make and sell from the sources described here, understand that it is illegal to copy and sell other peoples designs. If you get caught at copyright infringement, it can cost you legal fines and worse. Use the craft ideas you find through your research to stimulate your own creativity.

The first place to research best selling crafts to make and sell is online at QVCs website. Use the "search" box to enter terms like quilt, or ornament, or birdhouse, or lamp, or just even the word handmade.

QVC will then display items they are selling on TV. Unless you specifically search for handmade items, the results will not be for items made by hand. See anything you could make into a craft and sell? Use your imagination and think about everyday items that could be made by hand.

While you are looking at crafts to make, jot down the prices the QVC items sell for. Determine if you could make the craft for 50 percent or less of the selling price. If the answer is yes, then you can probably make and sell these crafts for a profit.

QVC is a great place to start your research. They purchase items in large quantity at wholesale prices to list and sell on TV and on their website. QVC has been broadcasting on TV since 1986 so they have come to have good judgment about what sells and what doesn't.

Another place to research crafts to make and sell is Go to their home page and scroll through the "categories" and click on "crafts." Now drill down and click on "handcrafted & finished pieces".

The next step is to go further down the left hand sidebar links and select "preferences." From there, choose "completed listings." At the time of this writing, eBay showed me more than 17,000 listings of handcrafted and finished pieces; all of them a source of ideas for crafts to make and sell.

eBay lets you sort the listings by price, so you can learn even more. What you are looking for is ideas for crafts to make and sell that are already selling and to ask yourself if this is a craft you would want to spend time making.

You also want to note the number of bids for each craft listing because this tells you if there is a demand.

And finally, look at the closing price to discover how much people are willing to pay for crafts like those you want to make and sell. Write down the closing prices these craft items sell for. Can you make and sell the crafts for 50 percent or less of the closing auction price. If so, you will most likely be able to make and sell these crafts for a profit.

The market doesn't lie. But aside from eBay and QVC, it's a challenge learning what crafts are actually selling. By researching at the sites above, you will discover what craft items people buy and how much they are willing to pay.

Be aware that the season or time of year you do your research will affect the results you get. For example, throughout the months of October, November and December you may find more craft items selling because shoppers are seeking unique handmade crafts for Christmas gifts.

Here are some examples of common home items that can be crafts to make and sell: potpourri, place mats, napkins, curtains, towels, potholders, coasters, baskets, pillows, quilts, room dividers, throws, wall hangings, floor rugs, lamps, chairs, porch swings, stained glass, birdhouses, wind chimes, clocks, mirrors, candles, cutting boards, pottery, plant holders, window boxes.

Remember that copying others designs is against the law. So be creative and come up with your own crafts to make and sell.

Jim is author of several books recommended by The Chicago Tribune, The Crafts Report, Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle, Sew News, Bead & Button, Country Almanac, Sunshine Artist, Ceramics Monthly, Working Mothers, Florida Retirement Lifestyles and many more craft magazines. He provides articles and answers to how to sell crafts at his website.

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