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Where to Sell your Products of your Hobby or Business

Where to Sell your Products of your Hobby or Business

In this article I dig deeper in my previous article on How to make money from your hobby or passion? There are many aspects to think about when you want to monetize your hobby. Where to sell your products being a major one.

When I still was a graphic designer I always joked I should find a new hobby, because I didn’t have one anymore by making a business of my drawing skills. And in a way I did find another hobby when I returned to one of my former passions: ceramics. So I have experienced several hobbies that make money and know what difficulties and pleasures might come your way.

Do you love the idea of selling your products, but don’t even have an idea yet what that product should be? Have a look at this article to get your own stream of ideas flowing: 59 Ideas for Hobby Products to Sell 

Handmade products as a statement

Handmade products are much in demand. Especially now more and more people refuse to buy cheap, plastic stuff with a short lifespan. 

I for one will be so happy when the ban on single-use plastic will be effective. I am especially looking forward to the creativity the packaging industry develop for boxes and covers that are cheap to make yet durable in use.

Mind you, they don’t have to be cheap for me, I just suspect that businesses are more eager to use products that are cheap.

Ways to sell physical products

Where to Sell your Products: Open Atelier

It is easier to sell digital files than physical products. When you sell physical products, you also have to think about the space where to expose them, the packaging, storage and distribution.

Not to discourage you, because selling physical products, and moreover if they are unique, is so rewarding. I have always loved the contact with the people who bought my art. LOL, even if they didn’t buy anything I usually loved to talk with them!

For both digital and physical products you need customers, hence you need marketing. Find a way to promote them, people will have to know you made something.

1. Website

Having a website is a must nowadays, although it doesn’t necessarily has to be your own website. Websites like Etsy and Zazzle give a lot of opportunity to sell your products, designs or ideas.

If you want to own your website than have a look at 3 Free Ways to start a Blog | Blogger – WordPress – Wealthy Affiliate and WordPress Tips for Beginners – Readability, Design, User Experience. Here you find several tips that will send you well on your way.

2. Social Media

Use a social medium to showcase your treasures. For instance: 

Most social media are to make contact with possible clients. That is why they are called social. 🙂 They are not suitable for direct selling, even though there are people who sell through one of these social media. Usually people visit a social medium to be entertained, not to be seen as a possible client.

3. Crafts Market

Crafts Market

Markets are great to visit and to attend. OK, the weather can be bad, so if they are outdoors it better be nice, dry and not too sunny. In my opinion, market visitors are more relaxed than, for example, shopping mall visitors. 

Sometimes the format of a market is all laid out for you and there is hardly anymore to think about than put down your stuff on the table in a nice way. Other times you have to bring your own material to exhibit your products, so you have to think of a way to easily build up and break down the exhibition material.

A great place to find inspiration is a store design business. They show all kinds of possibilities to hang or put down things. You can get ideas about promotion signs and lightning.

4. Exhibitions

Buy magazines or visit websites about your expertise. Subscribe to newsletters. Often you will find announcements for exhibitions to participate in.

And if you can’t find any, organize your own exhibitions. I had 3 different formats for my own exhibitions that I alternated.

Open Atelier

You could also call it a solo exhibition. If you not only exhibit what you want to sell, but open up your workshop and show the process, you will attract more visitors. People are really interested in how things are made and what better way than seeing the artist at work?

Salon afternoons

Group exhibitions 

Inviting other artists to cooperate with you has multiple advantages. 

  1. You can share the general costs. 
  2. You expand your network of fellow artists. 
  3. You will probably expand your network of future clients as well, because the other artists will invite their friends, family and clients. At least, those who understand market forces and share culture.
  4. Chances are big the artists will invite you back in the future. 

Salon meetings

In contrast with the group exhibitions I never invited artists working in my field for my Salons. Instead, I made it a point to invite people from other disciplines. That was so inspiring! I would pick a theme – for instance Water, Inspiration or Earth – and invite a poet, a writer, a photographer, a Tai Chi teacher, a musician or some other discipline that would fit the theme well. 

5. Galleries 

Some galleries I exhibited my ceramics asked 30% of the sales price, others 50% or even 60%. But price shouldn’t be your criterion to choose a gallery. A quality gallery will take care of the publicity, has good contacts with the local press and a great network of wealthy clients. Some even put efforts in linking specific artists with certain clients, because they presume they will make a good fit.

Gallery

Don’t try to contact clients behind the back of a gallery. Trust is a great asset you’d better not tamper with. You might save a percentage in exchange for a bad reputation.

6. Shops

In the Netherlands shops wouldn’t buy unique products. They think it is way too risky to have unique quality goods. Some will take products in consignment, which means you stay the owner of the product until they sell it, after which they receive a percentage and pay you the remainder.

Shops are great for some products. For instance, items that are made in an edition, like screen prints or t-shirts. Shops often lack the network and promotion for unique art.

7. Contests

Contests are a better way to build on your reputation than to actually sell. Yet they are a great source to meet possible clients. And if you win a prize, then you will not only get some money, but have an asset with which you can win the trust of people who don’t know you yet.

You don’t have to do everything yourself

For all parts of the sales process applies that you can do it yourself or outsource it. An art gallery will take care of the exhibition and the sales. A music company will produce and sell your recordings. A dropship company takes care of the packaging and sending.

And sure, they want to be paid for that. But think of the labor they take out of your hands. In that time you can make other products to sell.

Most of the examples I have given, concern art products. I have the most experience with that, so that makes sense. Still, I expect that other disciplines can get inspiration from this for their own purposes, just as I got the idea through a street performance to organize salons.

13 thoughts on “Where to Sell your Products of your Hobby or Business”

  1. Hi Hannie!
    Nice article and very useful information! I think there is also a way to sell some products via Amazon? It is interesting for me how to attract people via a social account: is it possible just to add some random people to build up a social network?
    Thank you!
    All the best,
    Alex

    Reply
    • Hi Alex, yes, you could make a store on Amazon as well. I would prefer something like Etsy or Zazzle myself, because they have more creative articles, but if you already have something at Amazon, that’ll be the obvious choice.
      And sure, you can add random people. You never know which customer you will attract. Plus, those people have a network as well with prospective clients.

      Reply
  2. Hi Hannie, this is such a great site telling people how to sell their business as well as hobby products. I also found some very interesting ways to monetize my hobby and got so many ideas to sell products.
    Thanks for giving such inspiration and for telling me easy ways to sell products and also for the amazing ideas. Wish u the best.
    Love
    Aparna

    Reply
    • Great, Aparna, I am so glad I inspired you. It’s amazing, isn’t it, how we can teach and inspire each other. All thanks to the internet. 🙂
      Take care.

      Reply
  3. Hi Hannie, a great list you made here!
    I do have friends who sell their handmade stuff. As far as I know, some of their products are in a high demand, so they even have a waiting list (!) and work only by recommendations mouth to mouth. Others are selling on Etsy, as well, but I think also on iCraft and Absolute Arts.
    In my young days, I used to make jewellry of clay and it sold very well in a local hand-made store-I made quite good money out of it. I still love to make all sorts of crafts, but for myself nowadays, or as a present only.
    A friend of mine is a passionate “hobby” photographer (a saxophonist in civil life). He has regular exhibitions in an art gallery and his photos are mostly sold out by the end of it.
    Market is such an interesting place to visit as a buyer-I can literally spend hours admiring the variety of phantastic ideas and skills that created these crafts.
    However, if I was ever to start doing my little crafts in larger quantity, for sale, I’d definitely consider a website-and a blog, and social media. If I grew, maybe dropshipping as well.
    Very good, practical, immediately usable advices-well done!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, Hermina. Like you, I used to make a lot of stuff to sell, and am now mainly working for myself. The reason is that we emigrated and I closed down my atelier and sold the kiln. But I loved every aspect of it, including the hassle of being on markets, etc.

      Reply
  4. Where to sell your products sounds to be very good advice for anyone interested in starting their own business, you have provided us many good places to start selling our products. You sound to be sharing from your own personal experience, and there is nothing better than getting tips from someone who has been there and done that

    Jeff

    Reply
    • You’re right, Jeff. Been there – done that – bought the t-shirt. That’s what they say in the States, don’t they 🙂
      Not only is it a pleasant read, I guess, if the writer writes from her own experience. But it’s also way easier to write, as you know yourself all too well!

      Reply
  5. Great article on where to sell your products. I think its great when people have a hobby and something that they are interested in. It keeps us busy and focused. Best wishes!! Thanks for this great list!

    Reply
  6. Hi Hannie. Thank you for sharing all these tips on where to sell our products of our hobby or business. I have a neighbour who loves to create her art crafts. She brings them to the art crafts shop who takes them in consignment. She asked me to help her to sell on the internet as she has no knowledge of internet stuff.

    So I created a new blog which is a sub-blog connected to my main blog to display all those products she has made by taking pictures of them before she brings them to the shop for consignment. I help her make some sales.

    So one of the ways to sell the products is collaborating with someone else’s website or blog. 🙂

    Reply
    • What a smart idea, Janet, and so nice of you to help your neighbour. Collaborating is a great way to lift each other to a higher level. It’s a pity that sometimes people are afraid to collaborate because they are afraid others might pinch something of their pie, wheree in reality everyone wins if you do it right. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Hi, These are some great ideas on where to sell your products. In my small city based in South Africa we often have a flee market once per month at a bird park where members of our community can set up a stall and sell their craft made products. There are more elderly people setting up stalls than younger people. It’s great to see all the crafts they make. This also allows them make additional income. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Oh, what a great initiative that is, Kay, I love it. Usually you have to pay for a stall, so sometimes you will have lost money at the end of the day. I love your town already 🙂

      Reply

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