How to Market Homemade Products

Written by jill richards
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How to Market Homemade Products
Marketing your handmade items can turn a hobby into cash. (Photo courtesy of J. M. Richmond)

If you have a homemade product speciality and are looking for extra money, consider selling your item. Hobbies like knitting, baking, jewellery making or sewing lend themselves to product sales. If your friends and family often compliment your handmade things, or if you often get requests to make them, you are on the right track. With a little marketing, you can earn extra income right away.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Labelling and packaging materials
  • Computer with Internet access
  • Selling space/locations
  • Finished products (inventory)
  • Camera for photos, if you are selling online

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  1. 1

    Determine if there is a market for your items. Are they unique, useful or beautiful? Check out craft fairs or holiday markets to compare your items to the popular sellers. Get honest feedback from friends and family. Do an online search and look at print advertisements to gather as much information as possible on competitor's products. If your item is one of a kind and solves a need that no one else is meeting, you have a market advantage.

  2. 2

    Identify the type of person who is interested in your product. Again, tap your social network to see who is most attracted to your item. Give samples or ask for feedback from neighbours and co-workers to see who likes it. The people who like it will represent your target market.

  3. 3

    Find out where your target market shops. Do they purchase things online? Are they bargain shoppers, or do they indulge in luxuries? Once you've answered these questions, you can determine where to sell your product.

  4. 4

    Decide where to sell your products. Places to market homemade goods include local craft fairs, holiday markets, e-bay and Etsy. Think outside the box. For example, a realtor might let you combine an open house with sales of your product to generate foot traffic through vacant properties.

  5. 5

    Set a price for your item. This is perhaps one of the hardest parts of marketing a homemade product. One of the best ways is to look at competitor pricing. If you have a unique product, try to find something that, while not identical, has a similar look and feel. You also can add up the cost of the time and materials that go into your product and figure out a market price, but be careful not to overcharge and discourage sales.

  6. 6

    Package your product professionally. This doesn't have to cost a lot of money. For example, if you knit socks, buy a spool of ribbon and create a label on your computer. Print it out and use the ribbon to tie it to your socks. If you make jam, create a label on the computer and affix it to the jar. For jewellery, buy card stock at an office supply store and use small squares to display earrings and necklaces. When packaging your product, you should include a logo or tagline.

  7. 7

    Sell your product. If you've decided to sell online, follow the site's directions and always use a photo to generate interest. If you are selling at locations in your community or through word of mouth, set up a selling routine that helps you stay organised and fulfil orders.

  8. 8

    Provide ongoing marketing support. Use low-cost advertising or get the local paper to write an article for free. If your item is one of a kind, benefits a cause or tugs at the heart strings, newspapers often will write a story about it. Always encourage friends and family to spread the word that you are selling homemade products. Positive word of mouth advertising is powerful and persuasive.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are selling a food product, contact your local health department to make sure you are following any state and local food-handling regulations.
  • You should also consult an accountant to determine what sales tax liabilities you may be incur. Regulations vary, so using a local resource is best.

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