As a regular pinner on Pinterest, I come across a plethora of crafty ideas. Some ideas are cute do-it-yourself gems that may be a springboard for your creative muse to get busy. You may look at a cute idea and think, “I can tie dye shirts and sell them on Ebay/Etsy or at a crafts fair.” You may find yourself counting those chickens before those eggs hatch because of course the idea is cute and more than your Aunt Agatha would be interested in buying one. Right?
Let’s set aside the classes, books, and hours of practice it takes to produce a quality product and look at what else it takes to actually sell your one of a kind gems. If you are interested in selling at a crafts fair, you need to be mindful of the legal steps you must take to be above board with the federal, state, and local government. Some well organized craft events may expect you to have a business license and a seller permit. To have these items, you need to register your business as a sole proprietorship or LLC. If you find a crafts event that is not making these items necessary to participate, then be aware that the organizers are not the end all-be all of what is legal in selling your wares. If you want to fly under the wire and hope you don’t get caught, then be aware that when it comes to money, the government is a genius in recouping what they deem as their take.
If you are interested in selling online via Ebay, Etsy, or the like, be aware that the government has their magnifying glass on the worldwide web and are working on legislation to recoup taxes from online sellers. Yes, there are laws already on the books that cover a lot of what is expected of you as an online seller, but the requirements will soon be more defined and the salad days of avoiding the tax man will soon be over. Once again, many people sell online believing they are not a real “business”. Well the tax man may beg to differ and you may not want to tangle with that.
So now that I have pretty much presented myself as a killjoy, you may wonder what you could do to sell your handmade crafts. Well if you don’t want to fly solo into a highly competitive arena, try working from small to big. Church bazaars and yard sales are a start if you want to see if there is an interest in what you make. Selling to friends and family may seem like a cheat, but if you start there, it can turn out to be a 1980′s Faberge Organic shampoo commercial where they will two friends, and so on, and so on.
If you know a local business that might be willing to stock your items for a commission, this will get your feet a little wetter in the business of selling. Sometimes small business would welcome your inventory if it compliments or expands their inventory. There are many ways to sell your handmade crafts. You just need to make sure you do it the right way.