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October 2010
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How To Market Your Products

We have repeatedly talked about finding / making / coming up with products to sell.  If you can make the best kitchen decor items in your town, maybe it’s time to start making them to sell!  Same thing applies if your holiday decorations get “oohs” and “aahs” from all your friends, relatives and neighbors, perhaps you have the beginning of a business at your fingertips.

Well, now you have a table full of stuff to sell, how do you know what to price the items at?  Let me give you just a couple of pointers that will get you started.

** Research the market — go online and do some google searches (or yahoo or whatever search box you use) for the items that you want to sell.  See what comes up — how many different resources are there selling the same thing or something similar?  What are the pricing differences between the resources you’ve found?  Compare what you have to what is available – see what you can pinpoint about yours that makes it better than whatever competition there may be.  Don’t spend tons of time doing the research – just enough so you get the idea of what’s out there and what people are charging.

** Don’t under estimate the actual value of your item.  Many times those in the sewing / crafting areas grossly undervalue their time as well as the value of their completed products.  Never try to be the bottom of the list in your pricing — you are doing yourself a great injustice as well as not bringing in the dollars you should.  Sometimes the customer thinks that because your price is the lowest, the quality must also be poor, so your items get overlooked for more expensive ones.   Perhaps you could start your pricing at mid range of those similar products you find, but also be sure to see what you could put in your write up about your product that makes it look and seem just a little better than the rest.  For example, do you do “custom” work?  Perhaps embroider initials on the purses you sell?  Do you “double stitch” some areas that could be considered a “stress” area of your completed product?  (On the coupon clutches we make, because the binder will most likely be stuffed with coupons and a little extra heavy, we do quadruple stitching on the handles when putting them together, then double topstitch them as a finishing touch).  Any extra fancy touches you add to your product should certainly be mentioned in your writeup.

** Outsource the work you really don’t know how to do.  While you may be the best seamstress or crafter in town, you may be like me and know very little about getting all your stuff online, or even in getting a website or blog going.    Back in the days when “Front Page” was the going thing for making websites I was determined to do one of my own.  While my daughter and son-in-law were doing that as a business, I figured they were way too busy for me to ask them to do one for me.  Well, very long story short, I worked for WEEKS – every spare minute I had trying to get one done.   I eventually did get a very basic one done, but for a few others that I thought I needed, I was quick to ask them to put mine on their list to do.  In the end I realized that I COULD have done a whole lot more of the stuff that I KNEW how to do instead of doing the very difficult “learning curve” on how to put together my own website.  Nowdays there are tons of easier blog formats and website formats available (wordpress for example) to make it easier for those of us who are really non-techy.  The point of this is for you to spend your time doing what you do best, and ask for help on those things you really don’t know how to do.  There are professional looking graphics available that you can use if your talent is not being an artist, and there are places like elance that you can go to for help in setting up a blog or website.

** If you don’t want the hassle of your own blog or website – there are other places you can add your products to sell.  For example, Etsy is a super place for custom and handmade products.  You can list your products, open your own etsy “store” and get involved with this “handmade” community.  Of course there is always ebay where you can simply list your items individually and keep a running list of auctions going.

The main thing to keep in mind is that there are millions of people out there selling “their” things, and you can certainly be one of them and be able to make some extra money for yourself and your family.

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About The Author

Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author


2 Responses to “How To Market Your Products”

  1. ingrid Kongsberg says:

    Thank you , I live in Denmark and have a lot of sewing to sell, but I i have not try to sell on net, I have sewing 58 year, nex week hi,h, i am a old women, and I have me own shop with knitting ans fabric, I like it, be there for 29 year, I will look for see what i kann do. Ingrid

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