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Sell Yourself: Cash for Crafts

knittingWe all have a special talent we wish we could monetize – maybe you make the best pies in the neighborhood, or your photography skills are prized by your friends. But how do you turn it into a profitable business?

We get this question all the time. And the best advice is always to start small, with little to no overhead. If you can moonlight in your pie-making business on the side, you’ll not only make some extra cash in your spare time, but you’ll get a feel for whether it could actually be a profitable, full-time business down the line.

Luckily, there are all sorts of online tools popping up these days to help you sell the fruits of your labor. In a series of posts on this blog, I’m going to detail some of the best ones, starting with one of my favorite online shopping destinations, Etsy.com.

If you’re a crafter – and by that I mean a knitter, sewer, jeweler, graphic designer, and everything in between – Etsy is the place for you to sell your wares. Not only is it easy to set up a shop – you can do it with little to no tech know-how – but it’s considerably less expensive than building your own website. You’re also entering a community of like-minded sellers and a built in audience of buyers.

How it works:  You sign up, and create a “shop,” which is where you’ll list your items. You’ll pay 20 cents to list an item for four months, and when it sells, Etsy will take a 3.5% cut. At the end of each month, you’ll get a bill detailing what you owe.

The goal, of course, is to make a lot of sales. That will make that $.20 listing charge more than worthwhile. For tips on how to make your shop profitable, I turned to seller Jess Radlich, a graphic designer whose shop Sublime Designer offers invitations, business logos, and custom work (full disclosure:  she made my – lovely –  wedding invitations).

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