Where can I sell my crochet online? This is one of the first questions that left me scratching my head when I first set out to sell my crochet. The only place I knew of was ebay, and that didn’t feel like a good choice. I didn’t even have a Facebook account at that point 😕
So I sat down and got out the good old Google and did some research. From that and from experience since then I can tell you that there are three main options for selling your crochet creations on the internet. There are of course more options than this when you include selling in person, in shops and craft fairs, but for today, we’re only looking at online selling options
The 3 Main Ways To Sell Your Crochet Online
1) You can start on social media selling your crochet with no fees.
2) You can rent a space on a third party website like Etsy and sell your crochet for a small listing fee and a % of the commission
3) you can have your own crochet website and pay no commission, but you have to pay hosting fees
There are pros and cons to each of them. And generally speaking, it comes down to how much money you have to spend and how much time you have to give. So let’s look more closely at your options for selling you crochet creations over the web
Selling On Social media
So if you’re selling on social media, it’s completely free. There’s no charges anywhere unless you decide to create an advert on the platform for more exposure to your ideal customer – do not try creating ads unless you have done your research, as it will end up being a waste of money
The downside is, is that social media isn’t searchable for shops and items. So the only way to get your customers, is to go find them by interacting in groups or hashtags that they follow. This means playing along with the algorithm to be social, make connections and drive traffic to your page or group. Hoping along the way that you’re doing enough to attract the right customers that will love what you make and buy your products.
Selling on social media doesn’t cost any money, but it can take an awful lot of your time which is a precious commodity when there is so much to get done. If you enjoy being chatty on social media, then this is a great option for you, however if you are more of an introvert (like me!) then selling your crochet solely on social media quickly becomes a chore which you will try to avoid
Third Party Sites
On these third party sites like Etsy and Shopify, you are renting a space. It’s a bit like hiring a space in a shop on the high street.
You get your own front window, you can add any items you like, as long as they meet the shop policies and you usually get a personalised web address so you can share it around and drive traffic to it yourself as well.
For all this you have to pay listing fees and commission on your sales.
But the sites are searchable. People can go to the homepage of Etsy and they can put in their search terms for whatever it is they are looking for, and then all the items from all the shops on Etsy that meet the criteria will appear in the search results. If you have done a good job with your keyword rich descriptions, you could end up on the front page of those search results without having to drive traffic to your shop yourself. This saves you time, potentially a lot of time compared to social media and you get to take advantage of random passing traffic.
These third party sites also get you found on Google. If you enter a search into Google, and products from your online crochet shop match that search, your shop and products will come up in the search results.
This is far more useful in terms of being searchable. You get passing traffic resulting in sales that you don’t have to put in a tonne of extra work for.
You do have to put time into learning how to use a platform though and getting your keywords right. But it’s far less work to find the right customers who will buy and are prepared to pay a premium for a handmade creation.
Generally speaking, most of the fees are not upfront. You have to pay a small listing fee, which is very cheap. And then once you make a sale, you’ll also have to pay commission from your sale price.
It’s a trade off between how much time you have to spend marketing and finding customers and how easy it is to sell.
Your Own Website
The third option is your own website.
This is often viewed as a magic way of getting lots of sales. Having a website doesn’t automatically get you traffic and sales. It takes a lot of work to build a website and there’s a lot of learning involved.
But it’s completely yours. There’s no fees except what you pay to have your website hosted. And if you’re paying anyone to design it for you.
If you’re going to do all the design yourself then it’s a lot of work learning how to do it and how best to do it. I know I’ve been there done that. It does take a lot of doing and it’s a very steep learning curve if you’ve never been involved with websites before.
If you’re starting out, don’t go with your own website. It’s too much of a learning curve. And you have too much to learn as it is without adding a website to the mix. A website is definitely a down the road option once you have settled on a brand identity
I would always recommend choosing a third party site. So we’re talking Etsy, Amazon Handmade, Shopify, sites like that. And they are very good, a lot of people complain about the fees but what you get from them in terms of the traffic, in terms of expectations of the customers to pay that extra for handmade items. I think it’s really well worth it. And it’s definitely an option to go for.
Social media is still great and it us necessary in this online world for your business to have an online presence as
it gives your customers a place to follow you to find out what you’re doing and what’s coming up. It gives customers a chance to verify that you are a genuine business and go and see what your followers think about you.
But when it comes to selling on social media it is difficult. And you do have spent a lot of time finding your target customers.
It is free which is a great draw, especially when you’re starting out and you don’t have much money to invest.
But to be honest, the fees you pay on third party sites. Most of them come after a sale. And it’s it’s minimal. It’s pennies per month if you have only 10 listings or so and that would be my recommendation. But I would always keep a profile active on social media. Because it’s how people get to know you and decide if you have a brand that they want to be associated with.
Of course, you don’t have to choose just one. You can sell your crochet using all 3 options, which is what I do to sell my patterns. However, you do have to choose which platform you will focus on the most, as you will make more money from the place you put your focus. So just be careful that you’re not spreading yourself too thin by trying to everything at once.
I hope this has given you insight as to which option will work best for you, for where you are in your business journey right now.
There are 3 ways that I can help you grow your crochet sales.
1. sign up to the Crochet Business School newsletter, for weekly tips on growing your crochet business straight into your inbox.
2. You can also check out the Podcast for biweekly bite sized episodes on issues you should think about to grow your crochet business
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