How To Start Selling Hand-Crafted Items and Make Money Online




start selling hand crafted items
Photo by Johnny Briggs on Unsplash

Are you great at crafting and building your own hand-made items? Is hand-crafting items something you are naturally drawn to?

If so, you have an incredible opportunity to make money online with a hobby you enjoy.

And the best part about reselling hand-made items is that you typically can start out doing it as a side hustle and make money rather quickly.

In fact, unlike trying to Build a Blog or Start a YouTube Channel, you might be able to start making a profit right after your first month of selling.

If you’re serious about learning more on how to make money online by building and selling hand-made and hand-crafted items, read on.

Getting Started, Learn More About How To Craft and Build Hand-Made Items

If you are new to the hobby of hand-crafting items, you’ll want to learn as much as possible about the hobby. From there you can elevate your knowledge of how to make items people will buy so you can make money.

To help you get started on learning as much as you can about hand-crafting items, I recommend the following resources.

Follow DIY Hand-Crafting YouTube Channels

Christina’s “The DIY Mommy” YouTube channel is all about Do-it-Yourself tips for creating a cozy home with limited time while being on a budget.

Check out the video she made where she talks about 10 Crafts You Can Make and Sell

If you search on YouTube you can find and follow other creators showing you how to build and make various hand-made items and crafts for around the home, this will help you inspire ideas for something you can make and resell.

Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts

If you go on Pinterest and Instagram and search for hand-craft or home-made related items, you’ll see a constant feed of inspiration for items you can learn how to make. After you find an item you like, just carefully study it and spin off your own ideas for recreating it.

Sometimes on Pinterest, you’ll even find that the image you are looking at is a link to a how-to article on someone’s blog. There they’ll actually teach you step-by-step how to build the item you are looking at.

Sometimes the Pinterest Image you click on will also be a how-to video which is even better!

TikTok or YouTube Shorts will be great resources for finding how-to informational videos for hand-crafting items. But, keep in mind the videos will be very short and could be hard to follow if you are a novice.

To find the most helpful videos on TikTok or Youtube Shorts, just start searching for “hand-made crafts” or something similar. Then, the algorithm will start recommending the best videos to you.

After doing a search myself, I discovered a good example of a Hand-Crafting TikTok Channel called Craft Warehouse. Craft Warehouse also resells hand-crafting supplies, we’ll talk more about them later.

Blogs For Hand-Crafting Items

While you’ll probably discover a lot of Hand-Crafting and DIY Blogs through browsing images on Pinterest, another great option is just searching on Google for terms related to what you want to build.

Recently, I found the blog “DIY Joy” when I searched for ideas on what types of crafts could be made for reselling. Check out their site and the article I found here.

DIY JOY: Crafts To Make and Sell For Profit

Another great option for getting ideas on the types of hand-crafted items to resell, look at an eCommerce company’s blog which specializes in the space. For example, I found this article from ECWID when searching on Google.

ECWID: 25 DIY Crafts To Make and Sell

Other Places To Learn About Hand-Made Crafting

Don’t forget about websites like Reddit or books you can buy from Amazon in regards to DIY Hand-Made Items.

Also, check out magazines and other niche publications that talk about hand-crafting items. You can find a lot of used hand-crafting books and magazines on eBay.

What Kinds of Hand-Crafted Items Can You Sell?

There are many ideas for various hand-crafted items you can sell online to make money.

Check out the following list to get some ideas:

  • Costume Jewelry such as bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and sets.
  • Persian or Business Bags, Purses, and Totes.
  • Picture Frames and other Decorations for displaying photos.
  • Fake Flower arrangements
  • Home Decor Items
  • Candles
  • Wallets and Purses
  • Furniture Pieces like chairs and Bookshelves.
  • Pictures, picture frames, and decoration pieces.

This is just a short list, the list of possible items you can hand-craft is big and long!

To really get a feel for the right products to make, I suggest you read onto the next section so you can learn how to research the market and start with products that have the most profit potential for resale.

Researching The Market For Hand-Crafted Items With Good Sales and Profits

Once you’ve got an idea and some inspiration for a hand-crafted product you want to resell, it’s important to make sure it’s profitable.

What makes an item profitable?

A few general things to keep in mind and thoroughly research are the following:

The Price Point Of The Hand-Made Item You Are Selling

You want a product that can be at a profitable price point to where you can sell something and cover your time, cost of materials, shipping costs, and reselling fees (from Etsy, eBay, or hosting your own site.)

Typically, anything above the $15 – $20 dollar price point is a safe bet, that it will cover all of your overhead costs.

For example, if an item only takes 5-10 minutes to build, costs a few dollars in supplies, and costs only a few dollars to ship out, you’ve got enough left over to have a small profit for your given effort.

If you sell something for 20 dollars, then minus 3 dollars for fees, 4 dollars for shipping, and 2 dollars for supplies, you are left with a before tax profit of 9 dollars. If that whole process takes you 10-15 minutes and you can do 4-6 per hour. That means you are paying yourself around 36 to 54 dollars per hour.

That’s not bad money at all, but if you go below the 15-20 dollar mark, it can become easy to see how those cheaper items might not be worth your time, especially with all the fees and shipping costs related to reselling online.

If you sell something for more than $20 dollars using the same example above, you can easily make $60 to $100 dollars an hour with higher-end products.

Your Product’s Size and The Cost of Free Shipping

It seems like everyone wants free shipping these days.

So whether you decide to charge shipping separately or include it for free in your price, people still add up the total cost in their mind and are influenced by that final price.

An item’s size and weight are a big factor for profitability when you offer free shipping.

If you are selling a keychain or something similar in size and weight, it almost 100% makes sense to offer free shipping on it. Because if you price that item at 15-20 dollars, shipping will only cost around 4 dollars.

Even a hand-crafted item the size of a big book will cost around 10-12 dollars to ship out, so if your price point is $30 – $50, free shipping makes sense.

When you get into bigger items like small or big pieces of furniture, you have to be careful with offering free shipping. 

Depending on someone’s location, the cost of shipping an oversized heavy item can vary a lot.

Sometimes it’s best to not offer free shipping and just make a separate shipping charge instead. 

This way the exact price of shipping for the customer can be calculated ahead of time before they check out and make a final payment.

Charging shipping separately means you can sell something like a small bookshelf for say $100 dollars, then let each person pay their own shipping cost which might range from $30 to $60 dollars, depending on how far they are from you.

With such a huge range of shipping costs, you can quickly see why it’s much simpler to just let the buyer pay for it separately.

This way the final price for someone close to you won’t be overpaying.

Using that example, I hope it helps you to decide on how to set up your shipping pricing, etc. when you sell your products.

Note: One last option is to set up flat-rate shipping with a shipping carrier. If you can do that, free shipping might not be a problem for you because you’ll know the shipping cost each and every time, regardless of the location of the buyer.

Your Hand-Crafted Product’s Sales Volume

When you are researching a new product to sell, you want to keep in mind how much of it you can actually sell through.

This can be driven by the interest level of people willing to buy it or by how much of it you can actually make to sell in a given time.

So pick a product with a balance of both.

You want enough people buying your product so you can get consistent sales. But you also want to be able to produce enough of that product to have it available in your inventory to be shipped out when an order comes through.

Your Hand-Crafted Product’s Overall Potential Success For Being Profitable

After building on the previous points for product price point, offering free shipping, and a product’s potential sales volume. It’s time to do one final piece of research for determining an item’s success for being profitable.

How well does that product sell?

First, start researching hand-crafted products that are similar to the idea you want to create. 

Find out how well they are selling and at what price point. Look at all the platforms like Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and any other hand-made shops that are your competitors.

Next, as you research the various products and online marketplaces where these products are being sold, read the reviews and carefully examine the pictures and descriptions to get a feel for the quality of the product.

Lastly, if you can afford it, you might even want to buy a competitor’s product to see how it’s made and being shipped to you. This gives you lots of insight into how you need to build your hand-crafted product to make it better or at least comparable.

After you finalize all of this research, you’ll be able to determine the type of product, its level of quality, and which marketplace will bring the most sales volume and best profit.

You’ll also determine whether you should invest any more time into your product idea, or just start with another product idea instead!

Tip: Don’t be afraid to do some online market research and testing. Try making and selling different products on different online marketplaces to see how well things sell. Sometimes trial and error is the best way to make discoveries for new profitable hand-made products to sell.

Time To Start Buying Supplies and Crafting Your Own Designs

Buying supplies and starting the production of building your hand-crafted products will go through several phases.

In the beginning, you’ll want to buy smaller lots of crafting supplies so you can do the following:

  1. First, you’ll want to experiment with building various versions of your hand-crafted item. Get feedback from friends and family on what they like or don’t like about it.
  1. Second, once you lock in on a decent design you’ll want to build up a small batch of inventory to sell online.
  1. Third, you’ll start receiving customer’s feedback by them leaving reviews and deciding whether or not they want to buy another product from you, or they simply return it.
  1. Fourth, take your customer’s feedback, reviews, and your sales numbers to help improve your product to make it the best it can be.
  1. Lastly, just keep repeating this process with every new hand-crafted product you design to sell.

Doing these various steps for testing and building a small quantity of your hand-crafted item upfront will save you lots of time and money, and it will prevent you from buying large amounts of supplies you might never use.

Once you have a hand-craft product that sells well, is in demand, and is profitable for you, it will be time to stock up on a bigger lot of supplies so you can keep creating it!

Some ideas for where you can buy crafting supplies are the following places:

  • Etsy Hand-Crafting Supplies – It’s amazing that Etsy has a separate category just for buying hand-crafting supplies, definitely worth checking out.
  • Save On Crafts – Another solid option for buying crafting supplies. Mostly for items relating to weddings, events, and home decor.
  • Amazon Craft Supplies – Amazon has a large department/category under their website which is full of hand-crafting supplies.
  • Craft Warehouse – Craft Warehouse has a TikTok channel. They also run customer appreciation sales and other promotions. Based on the size of the website, they have an endless supply of crafting supplies.
  • eBay – eBay has a massive collection of hand-crafting and art supplies. If you know exactly what to search for, that will save you a lot of time browsing the site. There are many auctions and ‘buy it now’ wholesale lots available all the time.

There are a ton more places to buy hand-crafting and art supplies from online. Try doing Google searches and find local auctions in your city. Also don’t forget about browsing Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and going to garage sales or flea markets.

Hand-Craft Marketplaces vs. Your Own eCommerce Site

In order to have good sales and make money with your hand-crafting online business, you’ll need to sell on the right marketplaces or set up your own website.

Each marketplace like eBay, Amazon, or Etsy offers different features, tools, and other incentives for its sellers. In my experience none of that matters if the site does not bring you continuous sales so you can make money.

If you decide to start your own website like a Shopify, BigCartel, or PrestaShop e-commerce store, there’s one thing you need to consider.

You’ll need to drive traffic to your site to generate any sales. You can do this by marketing on social media, implementing an SEO strategy, buying ads, and by building your brand online.

However, promoting your website to generate traffic will take time away from you building and perfecting your hand-crafted items.

That’s why marketplaces are so appealing to resellers. Sure you pay a fee for each sale, but they bring the traffic to generate your sales.

I have another article I published which has an extensive list of all the marketplaces available for reselling your hand-crafted and hand-made products. Check it out here:

(Link is coming soon, after the next article is published here on the blog)

So all in all, is it better to have your own website or use an online marketplace?

The answer is: It depends.

I always tell people to test all the options, then go with whatever is making you a profit. There are a lot of variables that play out when selling something online.

Some variables include the type of product, the customer, the time of year, how well the economy is doing, and many more.

So, try selling with online marketplaces first, if your product does well, experiment with your own website / e-commerce store at the same time. Over time, maybe your own e-commerce store will start having more traffic and generating more profit for you than an online marketplace.

Last Minute Tips For Making Money With Hand-Crafted Items

Here are some final tips that I can think of to help conclude this article.

  • Don’t be afraid of trying different designs and hand-crafted products out, and realize some will succeed and others will fail.
  • Do test runs first for new product ideas and only buy the inventory of supplies in small quantities, once a product proves to be selling and is profitable, then buy larger quantities to keep producing that item.
  • Listen to the reviews people leave for you about the quality of your product. Then improve your products if the criticism is warranted.
  • Try selling your products on an online marketplace first, then consider opening an eCommerce store once you have a good understanding of your customers and how you can drive traffic to your website.

Consider Partnering Up With Someone or Doing Print-On-Demand Products

If you are not good with doing all the hand-crafting work yourself, you could partner with someone who can do all the hand-crafting while you focus on the sales part of the business.

If you decide to go this route, make sure you make a fair agreement and pick the right partner, preferably someone you know already.

Another option might be for you to go with a Print On-Demand product design where your items will be created and drop-shipped for you automatically. If this idea appeals to you, be sure to check out these articles here:

How To Start a Print-On-Demand Business

Collection of Print-On-Demand Businesses and Websites To Source Products From

Final Thoughts

Running an online store or selling with an online marketplace like Etsy, eBay, or Amazon is a lot of work. Don’t let yourself get burned out by slow sales or hand-crafted product ideas that are not working.

Take your time, listen to your feedback from your customers, and be willing to change things up in order to get the results you want. Whether it means changing marketplaces or the types of products you are making to sell.

Making money online is not easy, there are lots of lessons to learn and each of us will do it with our own journey, this is especially true for hand-crafting products to sell online.


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