Get It In The Bag!

So, you had an idea…… you made the item, you’ve listed the item for sale and nothing! Absoutely nothing happens, yes, you got views, people hearted the item, said they loved it, maybe even tried it on, but it still belongs to you and your bank account is feeling rather depleted!

So how do you get it in the bag and out of your life? Well, if I knew the answer to that my friends, I would be rich and not writing this article right now! However, I am willing to share some tips and tricks that I’ve learnt along the way; some are basic and obvious and some you may not have thought of or of as thought relevant to your business model.

Email Collecting
Try and collect email addresses from both existing and prospective clients, these can be used in many ways. Remember though to get consent to use their email in advance and remember you must cease using it, if they ask you to stop.

Email newsletters using free services such as Mad Mimi
Running shop promos and/or sales
Informing clients of up-coming events that you will be attending

Business to Business Promoting
Approach other businesses to try and sell your items; consignment stores, boutiques, salons. It might also be worth asking in some bigger businesses if they have a Christmas Bazzar for staff to buy gifts. I do some of these each year and they are usally free and only take a few hours of your time.

Craft and Art Fairs
Of course, these are an excellent way to sell your items, but they can be expensive to enter and you will need lots of props and equipment, so only viable if you intend to do these on a regular basis. I attend around 15–20 per annum and have enough gear to fill a good amount of garage real estate!

Online Selling
There are heaps of sites out there for to list your items on and I’m willing to bet that you thought you could post and the walk away and be counting the cash the next day……..not so I’m afraid, the competition is hot! You need to research similar online sellers and get a feel for price and styles that are selling, also don’t believe all the “sold” items you see, there are ways of fixing that data as well………but that’s another story! You will need good descriptions and excellent photography, a small blurry image in the middle of an out of focus black background is not going to sell that item…… Experiment with techniques, until you get it right – read a blog on photography tips, there are several good blogs on here. Price it right, cheaper will not always sell it; price it right. By lowering prices, you are devaluing yours and other artisans work, you will also not clear enough cash to rebuy new stock……again another blog for another time!

Social Networking
Again a plethera of networks and ways to use them, be smart and don’t spend all day tweeting, remember you are supposed to be making items! Get a business Facebook page and use that; Pinterest is also good and an interesting business model.

 

Cross Promotions
This is another great way of getting your online items exposed, you simply need to team with another vendor that sells complimentary items and add some of their listings to yours in the photo section and then add a line like “You might also like xxxx by xxxx” and hyperlink the said item. Easy and fun! I do this a lot with Oaklies Fashions, we have earrings and scarves. Other combinations could be soaps and face cloths; note cards and pens…….. it is endless, use your imagination.

 

Teams
We’ve all probably been in/are in a team somewhere online, probably on Etsy as this is a site for teams. These can work well, if properly maintained and run and working as a big group can work for some but not all members.

Service Service and More Service
I can’t tell people enough to treat their clients well and with respect, they are after all┬áspendng their hard earned cash on your items. Have a clear and concise returns/repairs policy and send your items out looking well presented. I got a lovely comment last weekend at the fair, a lady came back to me after buying an item half an hour earlier and said “thank you for packaging my item in a nice gift bag, I just bought something else from another booth, and it was dumped in an old Target bag”……. mmmmm , not good!

Local Media
You don’t need to pay for ads in local papers and magazines, they are always looking for content and would be happy to write an editorial about you and your business. They generally do not write it, you will need to and submit to various publications. Each one will have a preferred writing style, so check that first and tailor your piece to fit. They might just publish, you never know. I’ve been published several times in local media and am about to be published again this November.

I’m sure I could go on and on, but I think I will stop here for now………thanks for reading and I hope you get it in the bag!

Written by Lotties Trinkets

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Posted in Handmade, Selling Tips

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