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Category: Selling Guides

shipping handmade items

Top 3 Tips for Shipping Handmade Items

Selling online generally means that you’ll need to ship your items. While you may have the occasional local customer who can pick their order up at your doorstep, you’ll mostly be selling to people spread throughout the country (or around the world!) and will need to ship their purchases. Unfortunately, plenty of sellers make mistakes when it comes to shipping handmade items. From undercharging to wasting time searching for supplies, these mistakes can cost you a substantial amount of money and energy if you aren’t careful. 

The good news? 

Shipping handmade items doesn’t have to be difficult. Once you’ve established a system, the entire process should actually be pretty smooth. Keep reading to discover a few helpful tips for shipping handmade items! 

Set Yourself Up for Success 

If you have an online business, you need to have a dedicated area for shipping. Whether you’re working from home or have a dedicated location for your business, having a shipping area streamlines your process and ensures that you won’t waste time searching for tape, labels, packages, etc. every time an order rolls in. 

Your shipping area should be home to several important tools and materials, including: 

  • Shipping bags and/or boxes
  • Packaging tape
  • Tape measure
  • Shipping scale
  • Pens and markers
  • Notecards
  • Bubble wrap, tissue paper, etc.
  • Business cards, labels, and other branding materials

If you use other tools or supplies when packaging orders, keep them in the shipping area, too. The goal is to have everything you use when getting orders ready to ship all in one convenient location. 

Understand Shipping Costs

When you’re running a business, getting your shipping charges right is a big deal. Undercharging costs you money, and overcharging could result in upset customers. Shipping your items as inexpensively as possible is beneficial to both you and your customers, but figuring out how to do so takes some effort. 

First, if you don’t already have a postage scale, get one. You’ll want to make sure you have a tape measure, too, as the size of a package can significantly impact the shipping cost. If you plan on shipping via USPS, you can simply enter the weight, dimensions, and destination ZIP code to determine how much shipping will cost. When trying to determine how much to charge for shipping on your listings, enter various ZIP codes (especially ones for areas that are far away from you) to come up with an average price. 

It’s important to note, though, that shipping via USPS may not be your best option – especially if you sell large items. In this case, you might want to consider other options, such as UShip. When you use UShip for oversized items – such as handmade furniture – carriers compete for your business. This can lead to huge savings. 

Even if you don’t sell oversized items, shipping handmade items may be cheaper if you use services like Pirate Ship rather than going directly your local Post Office or the USPS website. 

The bottom line: If you want to avoid spending too much on shipping or under/overcharging your customers, you’re going to need to do some homework and research. 

Establish Clear Policies

No matter how careful you are, what shipping company you use, and how well you package your items, occasional problems are inevitable. Having clear, easy-to-understand policies protects you and can prevent a minor issue from turning into a major disaster. 

Your shipping policies should be short and to the point. Explain your insurance policies as well as how you’ll handle returns or items that go missing in the mail. When shipping internationally, make it clear that you are not responsible for customs fees. You may also want to make note that it’s illegal to mark purchased items shipped internationally as gifts. Clearly mentioning this in your policies could save you from an awkward conversation later. 

It also doesn’t hurt to mention that your shipping charges cover the cost of postage as well as packaging. Having this spelled out in your policies will be very helpful if a customer ever contacts you demanding a refund because you charged them more than the actual cost of shipping. 

Shipping Handmade Items Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

Shipping handmade items can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little patience and research, it is possible to set yourself up for success and make shipping your products easier than you ever thought possible. 

If you are thinking about launching your own handmade business, Rustiqued is here to help! Whether you sell small handmade products or larger items, we would love to have you as our newest seller. Start selling on Rustiqued today!

5 Things You Need to Do to Build a Successful Online Craft Business

Getting paid to do what you love is always an amazing thing. If you’re thinking about turning a hobby you are passionate about into a business, though, you have to do so much more than just make items and list them for sale. A lot goes into running a successful online craft business. Turning your dream of being self-employed into a reality requires patience, dedication, and a willingness to do what it takes to achieve success.

If you are dreaming of making a living from selling your craft, it is possible. It’s vital to realize in the beginning, though, that it’s not easy, and it’s seldom a matter of becoming an overnight success. It takes a lot of work and perseverance, but if you follow the correct path, you can build a successful online business selling handmade items.

Are you ready? Let’s dive into some of the things you need to do to have a successful online craft business.

Create Something People Will Want to Buy

When you’re used to crafting purely for your own enjoyment, you probably don’t consider the salability of your creations. If you’re thinking about starting a business, though, you need to shift your mindset and think about whether consumers will want to spend their hard-earned money on the things you make.

While you love what you make, you need to be honest with yourself about whether others will feel the same way. It’s smart to get feedback from others to gauge whether there is a market for what you make. Ideally, you should get feedback from people you don’t know rather than only asking friends and family members. Strangers are much more likely to give you an honest opinion.

If you’re finding out that it might be difficult to sell the things you make, find out what changes you could make to improve your creations’ appeal. You may find that making even a seemingly insignificant change makes all the difference. Again, get outside perspectives. Sharing your creations on social media and asking for feedback is a great place to get honest input and start building an audience for your soon-to-be business.

Commit to Working on Your Craft Business Daily

Running a successful business of any type requires a lot of commitment. If you’re serious about starting an online craft business, you need to be willing to work on making products, taking photos, creating listings, interacting with customers, etc. on a daily basis. You have to work on your business even if you’re feeling uninspired or burnt out or if sales are slow.

Successful businesses aren’t born overnight.

In most instances, it takes years to reach true success.

If you want to ditch your 9-to-5 and run your own craft business, you need to be in it for the long haul, and you need to have the drive to keep pushing through even when you don’t feel like it. It’s one thing to push yourself through work when there is the threat of an angry boss to contend with. It’s something else entirely to have the dedication to push through when you are the boss and have no one to answer to. Having the self-discipline to work on your business daily is something that a lot of folks struggle with, but it’s something you’ll need to develop if you are serious about building a successful online craft business.

Take Amazing Photos

Online customers don’t have the luxury of being able to physically hold an object they are thinking about purchasing. They are unable to see it in person and carefully inspect it. Instead, they rely on photographs.

When you are selling just about anything online, pictures will make or break your business. The photo is generally the first thing that captures a potential buyer’s eye, and it is often the biggest part of the decision-making process for online purchases. While writing good descriptions is important, taking good photos is vital.

The good news is that taking good pictures of handmade items isn’t difficult. Today’s high-end smartphones have cameras that are capable of capturing professional-quality images – even if you don’t have any photography experience.

Price for Profit

Setting prices is one of the most common problems among crafters and artisans who sell their creations online. When you’re first starting out, you are likely to drastically underprice your items. You know exactly how much it costs to make them, and you know exactly what goes into creating each piece. As a result, you may undervalue the time and skill that go into each item. You may also fall victim to underpricing if you base your pricing strategy on trying to compete with other people who sell similar products.

Running a successful business means pricing your items for profit. You need – and deserve – to be paid fairly for your materials, time, and talents. There will always be other sellers who sell similar products for less. There will also be others who sell their creations for more. Likewise, there will always be buyers who are willing to purchase at virtually any price point. It’s up to you to determine how much you would like to be paid for your creations and to find the right buyers.

Pricing handmade items can be tricky, but there are plenty of resources out there to help. Check out this article to learn more about pricing handmade items.

Never Stop Learning

In business, you are never “done.” There is always more do to, more to try, and more to learn. Even if you have reached a point where you’re earning an impressive living and spending your days (mostly) doing what you love, there are still opportunities for learning. The online world is constantly evolving, and if you want to become or remain successful, you need to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings. It’s also important to explore new options for your offerings, discover new techniques, and even make new mistakes. Being a business owner puts you in a unique position where you constantly have opportunities to learn and grow. Don’t let them pass you by!

starting a craft business

7 Free Tools for Starting a Craft Business

Chasing your dreams and starting a craft business is the thrill of a lifetime. It’s also a pursuit that requires a lot of planning, hard work, and dedication. Fortunately, though, there are a lot of useful tools out there to help you turn your dream into a reality. 

The best part? 

A lot of them are free, which is, of course, a huge bonus for anyone who is starting a craft business on a limited budget. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you some solid ideas of free tools to help you with the basics. 

Hatchful Logo Maker

When you’re starting any type of business, a logo is essential. While having one professionally designed can cost a fortune, you can do it yourself for free using the Hatchful Logo Maker. Even if you have no design skills or experience, this tool can help you create an eye-catching and visually appealing logo to represent your craft business. 

Rustiqued

We can’t put together a list of free tools for craft businesses without mentioning Rustiqued. As an up-and-coming marketplace for rustic, unique, antique, and handmade items, we don’t charge our vendors a single cent to sign up or even list products. Becoming a seller on Rustiqued is free, and you never have to worry about fees until you start making sales. 

Grammarly

If you want to sell any type of product online, you need to be able to craft a well-written description. If writing isn’t your forte – or even if it is! – Grammarly is a powerful tool that will help you tackle typos and polish your descriptions. It’s more powerful than the spelling and grammar checkers that come with word processing applications, and there are plug-ins that enable you to use it directly in your browser. 

Hootsuite

Building a strong presence on social media is a great way to build awareness of your business and drive buyers to your online store. Keeping up with posting across multiple platforms can be time-consuming, though. That’s where Hootsuite comes in. With Hootsuite, you can create content for all of your social media profiles in one convenient location. You can also schedule posts in advance. 

Mailchimp

Building a solid email list is another way to connect with current and prospective customers. With Mailchimp, you can do that and more. The free version gives you access to a wide range of basics that are perfect for businesses that are just getting started and enables you to build a list with up to 2,000 contacts. 

Trello

Having trouble keeping up with all of the tasks involved in starting a craft business? Try Trello. This card-based tool allows you to create multiple boards and organize tasks visually, which tends to work well for creative people. You can also invite others to view and collaborate on your boards, which makes Trello a great option if you have other people who working in your business.  

Canva

Want to make beautiful graphics for your social media, product listings, etc. but lack design knowledge and experience? Try Canva! With Canva, you can create professional-quality graphics in various shapes and sizes in a matter of minutes, even with no previous experience. The platform is easy to use and includes all the tools you need to create eye-catching designs for virtually any use. 

The Best Free Tools for Starting a Craft Business

As someone who is starting a craft business, you have a lot of free tools at your disposal. The ones listed above are just a few of the many options that are definitely worth checking out. And if you love them, most have paid versions that are even more powerful than their free counterparts. This means that you can take advantage of the free ones now and upgrade to the paid versions as your business – and your needs – grow. 

 

3 Reasons to Start Selling Handmade Products Online on a New Platform

As an online business owner, you have a lot of well-established selling platforms to choose from. Etsy, Shopify, and even eBay are all solid options. Why limit yourself to these well-known businesses, though? One of the great things about selling handmade products online is that you’re free to list them in various locations and experiment with multiple platforms to determine which ones work best for you.

While there are several big names in the industry, there are also up-and-coming platforms – like Rustiqued – that are worth checking out. You may feel like launching your business on a well-known platform is your best bet, but there are several perks to giving a newer one a chance. Keep reading to discover a few reasons to start selling on a new platform!

Expand Your Audience

No rule says you can only list your products in one location. In fact, doing so limits your ability to connect with potential customers. By selling your products on multiple platforms, you can reach a broader audience. Since listing your products in several locations makes sense from a business standpoint, why not try posting them on newer platforms instead of exclusively sticking to the big names?

Running multiple online stores can be a bit overwhelming at first, but with strong organizational skills, you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. The extra effort is worth it when you consider the fact that each additional platform you use creates additional selling opportunities.

Take Advantage of Great Deals

Newer platforms tend to offer great deals to give sellers an incentive for listing their products. At Rustiqued, for example, you can currently sign up and post your items for free. You never have to worry about fees until you start making sales. With deals like that, you really have nothing to lose!

When you join in the early days of a new platform, you may also get to keep those great rates even when the marketplace goes big. While each platform has its own policies, some will keep you at the same sales fee you signed up at even when they raise their rates.

Less Competition

When you sell your products on a site like Etsy, you have to compete against countless other sellers – many of whom may be selling products that are similar to your own. As a new business owner, you also have to figure out how to set your shop apart from ones that have been around for years and already have loyal customer bases.

Signing up to sell on a newer platform eliminates a lot of competition. Instead of selling products that are similar to the ones sold in hundreds of other shops, you may be offering goods that are unique for the platform. This means that your merchandise is more likely to appear favorably in search results instead of being buried under thousands of other listings.

Having less competition also gives you a greater degree of control over your pricing. Instead of having to worry about whether your products are priced too high or too low compared to similar products in the marketplace, you can see your prices wherever you feel comfortable.

The Bottom Line

Taking a chance on a new selling platform may seem a bit concerning, but the benefits are numerous. When you choose to sell on an up-and-coming site like Rustiqued, you get to take advantage of great deals, low competition, and a brand-new audience. You’re also getting in on the ground level of what could be the next big thing.

At Rustiqued, we’ve created an amazing marketplace for selling your handmade, unique, and rustic creations. We currently do not have any sign-up or listing fees, so joining is completely risk-free. You won’t have to pay a single penny until you start making sales. Start selling on Rustiqued today to turn your business dreams into a reality!

 

4 Steps to Turn Your Quarantine Hobby into a Business

Have you been stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Been working on a new hobby to pass the time? If so, you might have thought how great it would be if you always had so much time to work on things you truly enjoy rather than spending the majority of your time trapped behind a desk, working in a factory, or serving customers.

Whether you’ve taken up knitting, woodworking, or virtually any other type of craft, making something with your own hands leads to a sense of accomplishment that many people simply don’t get to experience while they’re at work. Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn your quarantine hobby into something more than just a hobby?

If you are serious about pursuing your passion, getting paid for doing what you love isn’t an unattainable dream. In fact, millions of people are doing just that. Thanks to the Internet and sites like Rustiqued, opportunity is everywhere. If you are ready to turn your quarantine hobby into a business, here are a few steps to get you started.

Do Your Homework

Before diving into your new business venture, you need to do some serious thinking. First, do some self-assessment. Think about whether your newfound hobby would still be enjoyable if it became something you had to do in order to earn a living. Something that’s fun to do in your spare time might not be nearly as enjoyable if it becomes your full-time career. Consider whether you’d be willing to spend several hours each day working on your craft.

If you’re confident that you’d like to turn your hobby into a business, the next step is evaluating the market. Check online to see if other people are selling products that are similar to yours. Ideally, your product should fill a void in the market. If you are selling something that is identical to what thousands of other people are already selling, you’re going to have a hard time building an audience and making sales. If your product is unique, however, or serves a purpose that currently isn’t being served, you have a great chance of finding success.

Talk to friends and family members and ask them to provide honest feedback on your work. Be willing to accept constructive criticism and make changes if needed.

Establish Pricing

So, you have a product that people love and you’re confident that you’d enjoy making it full time. Now it’s time to come up with a price. For many people, pricing is one of the most difficult parts of selling handmade products. You want to earn a lucrative profit, but you don’t want to price your items so high that no one is willing to buy. At the same time, you don’t want to price your items too low and risk having potential customers assume that your products lack quality.

When coming up with a price, you first need to factor in the cost of your materials. You also need to think about overhead expenses, such as the cost of advertising, listing your products online, etc. Think about how much money you would like to earn per hour and how long it takes you to create a single product.

Pay attention to how much similar products are currently selling for online. Ideally, your price should fall around the median price point.

The more information you use to establish your price, the greater your likelihood of coming up with a reasonable number that will appeal to potential customers and pay your bills. If you’d prefer to keep things simple, though, many newer sellers charge three times the cost of materials for their products. Keep in mind that you can always adjust your pricing strategy, especially when you are first starting out.

Create an Online Shop

Going to local craft shows is great, but if you plan on earning a full-time income, selling online is the way to go. Rather than dealing with the hassle and expense of building your own website, create an online shop on Rustiqued. Selling handmade items on Rustiqued is easy and affordable, and doing so is an excellent way to build the business of your dreams.

Setting up a shop on Rustiqued doesn’t require web design knowledge or any special skills. With our shop setup wizard, you are just a few clicks away from having your very own online business. And unlike other platforms, there are no start-up costs. That means you can set up shop and list your items without ever having to worry about fees until you start making sales. Selling on Rustiqued is completely risk-free.

Spread the Word

With your shop up and running, it’s time to start marketing. After all, people need to know about your business before they can buy from it! Start by networking to your friends and family. Share your shop link with them, and encourage them to spread the word by telling others and posting your link on social media.

Set up business profiles on Facebook, Instagram, etc., and share photos of your products and business. Sharing “behind the scenes” glances of your process and talking about your story is a great way to build awareness of your business and form relationships with potential customers. Use your social media platforms to interact with your followers. In today’s market, consumers love buying from real people rather than faceless, soul-less corporations. Build meaningful relationships with your audience, provide exceptional customer service, and let people see you as the real person behind the business.

The Bottom Line

If you’re serious about turning the hobby you picked up during quarantine into something more, selling your creations online is the best way to achieve your goal. With Rustiqued, you can list your unique and/or rustic items online and never have to worry about fees until you start making sales. Even if your business starts off as a side hustle, it’s a great way to earn a profit doing something you love. What are you waiting for? Start selling on Rustiqued today!

how to write a product description

How to Write a Product Description that Sells

Running a successful online business isn’t just about creating amazing products. You also need to write epic product descriptions that sell your products. A picture is worth a thousand words and is the first thing that draws potential customers in. The product description, however, is what seals the deal. It provides additional information and details that browsers can’t discern from your photos alone and helps them determine whether a product is right for them.

In short, product descriptions are really important!

If you are hanging your head right now and feeling like you’ll never have a successful online business because you aren’t a good writer, stop.

You don’t have to be an amazing writer to put together good product descriptions that will sell your products. All you need is a grasp of basic spelling and grammar, a little bit of creativity, and some simple marketing know-how.

Are you ready to learn how to write a product description that sells? Keep reading!

Understand Your Audience

Before you type a single word, you need to know who you are trying to sell your product to. Developing a solid buyer persona helps you figure out what information you should include in your description. Doing so will also guide your word choices once you start writing. Figure out who your ideal buyer is, why they are shopping for products like yours, and who they are as individuals. The more detailed your buyer persona is, the better it will guide you as you write your description.

Understand Your Product

When you create a project using your own two hands, you know basically everything about it. You know what it’s made from, what techniques you used, and what the product is used for. Jot down important specs like materials and features. Now, refer back to your buyer persona. What are their buying motivations? Figure out which features, benefits, and other details speak to their motivations and needs. If, for example, stay-at-home moms are your target audience, you’ll definitely want to mention safety features or the use of non-toxic materials.

Choose the Right Words

how to write a product descriptionWhen trying to figure out how to write a product description, it’s important to understand the impact of the words you use. Some words are more powerful than others. According to Buffer, there are even certain words and phrases that grab shoppers’ attention and encourage them to buy.  A few of the most persuasive and influential words in the English language include…

  • You
  • New
  • Free
  • Now
  • Amazing
  • Introducing
  • Easy
  • Hurry
  • Quick
  • Easy

There are words that you should avoid, too. It’s not that these words are necessarily “bad”. They are just so overused that they no longer have much impact on buyers. A few examples include:

  • Expert
  • Stunning
  • Breakthrough
  • Market-leading
  • Driven
  • Innovative

Spend some time researching powerful marketing words. Jot down some of your favorites to use in your own product descriptions. Just make sure to only use those that accurately describe your products or business.

Tell a Story

Consumers are tired of being sold to constantly. They want businesses to connect with them in meaningful ways. Telling stories in your product descriptions is one way to do that.

You don’t need to be a master storyteller. In fact, your story should only be a couple of sentences long.

Instead of just listing out benefits, tell a story about the type of problem your product solves. Tell the story of your business. Get creative, and come up with a story that will make your customers feel more connected to your products and your business.

Make It Scannable

Very few people want to read through huge blocks of text when they are trying to learn more about a product. They want to be able to scan through the description quickly to find the information that they are looking for.

A good format for creating a scannable description is a few sentences followed by several bullet points. Tell your customers what a product is and why they need it first, then include things like dimensions, materials, etc. in a bulleted list.

Optimize Your Description

A good product description should make your item more discoverable for people and search engines. If you aren’t familiar with search engine optimization, or SEO, it may sound complex. In reality, though, there are plenty of simple things you can do to optimize your descriptions.

Think about keywords: the words and phrases that buyers might search for when shopping for items like yours. If you are selling a handcrafted kitchen table, for example, you might want to use keywords like “farmhouse table,” “rustic kitchen table,” and “handcrafted table”. Sprinkle those keywords in your product description (and the product title!) in a way that sounds natural. Don’t go overboard, though. Doing so will make your description seem spammy and could cause search engines to penalize the listing. You can use keywords in your product tags, too.

Use a Spelling and Grammar Checker

how to write a product descriptionYou’ve written up a description you’re feeling pretty proud of. You considered your target audience, listed out all the relevant details about your product, and write a captivating short story. You’ve even done a bit of optimization to make sure both people and search engines can locate your products.

You may be thinking you’re good to go at this point, but there’s one more step that you should never forget.

Always proofread and use a spelling and grammar checker before putting your product description online. This is one of the most important aspects of knowing how to write a product description. Grammarly is an excellent tool for this. You can check your text using the online Grammarly app, or you can download a Grammarly plugin for Microsoft Office, Chrome, or Windows. Whichever option you choose, this powerful tool does a great job of picking out typos and spelling and grammar errors. It’s much better than the built-in spelling and grammar check tool in Microsoft Office because it typically picks up word choice errors, like when you type “if” when you meant to type “is”.

Making sure your descriptions are free from spelling and grammatical errors makes you look more professional. And customers are, of course, more likely to buy from someone who seems like a pro.

Manually read over your listing, too, to make sure that there are no errors in your product specifications. Incorrect measurements in your listing, for example, could be a huge problem when a customer buys a product and it doesn’t meet their expectations.

Congratulations! You Now Know How to Write a Product Description

Even if you don’t consider yourself a skilled writer, the tips listed above should help you create captivating descriptions that will sell your products. Don’t be afraid to experiment to determine what works best in your business and what doesn’t. One way to do this is by creating two listings for the same type of product and writing a different description for each. See which description performs better. This will help guide you as you write descriptions for additional projects.

Don’t give up. It may take some time to nail the perfect description, but once you do, you could find yourself selling more products than you ever imagined!

small business week

3 Ways Your Online Business Can Celebrate Small Business Week

Are you celebrating National Small Business Week in your online business?

If not, it’s not too late to start!

This year, the event runs from May 5th through the 11th, and it is the perfect opportunity to celebrate your own small business and grow your customer base.

Here are a few quick and easy ways your business can celebrate.

Share Your Story

Sharing your business’ story is one of the best and easiest ways to celebrate National Small Business Week. You started your online business for a reason, and that reason is probably still what drives you to get out of bed every morning. Tell the world your “why” and why it’s so important to you.

You don’t have to be an amazing writer to tell your story. A few paragraphs about why you launched your business, why you’re passionate about what you do, and why you keep working to improve your company is all you need.

Need some inspiration? Check out the #MySmallBizWhy hashtag. Don’t forget to use the hashtag when sharing your own story!

Expand Your Knowledge

In honor of National Small Business Week, the Small Business Administration and Constant Contact are offering a wide range of free webinars, seminars, and one-on-one coaching sessions. Whether you are interested in learning more about search engine optimization, social media, or email marketing, this week is the perfect time to gain some new knowledge.

Several other coaches and entrepreneurs are offering free and discounted trainings throughout the week, too. Check in with some of your favorites to see what they have going on. You may be able to score a great deal on a training that you’ve had your eye one.

Say “Thank You”

Without your customers, you wouldn’t have a business. Use this week as an opportunity to reach out to them and extend your gratitude. Consider sending out an email with a coupon code that can be used in your online shop this week. You could also offer a freebie along with any orders placed during the week.

Don’t forget to thank the other people who have helped you build a successful business. Take time to show your employees a bit of appreciation. Have a mentor who has helped you out along the way? Make sure to thank them, too.

Chances are, making your business possible takes a lot of people. Small Business Week is a great time to let them know that they are appreciated. Sending tokens of your gratitude or even hopping online and posting a “thank you” video is a great way to make your appreciation known.

Happy National Small Business Week!

From all of us at Rustiqued, we would like to wish you a happy National Small Business Week! We would also say thank you to our vendors and our customers for helping us reach our own small business dreams. We are incredibly grateful for those who choose to do business with us.

sell handmade items online with rustiqued

How to Sell Handmade Items Online with Rustiqued: The Definitive Guide

When you want to sell handmade items online, Rustiqued is a great place to start. We’ve created an affordable and easy-to-use platform that enables you to reach a huge audience and make money doing what you love. Whether you build furniture, create fun home décor items, or make just about anything else, Rustiqued is the perfect place to sell handmade items that are rustic and unique. If you aren’t sure how to get started, keep reading to learn how to sell handmade items online with Rustiqued!

Decide What You’re Going to Sell

Before you can start selling, you need to figure out what type of product(s) you want to offer. If you already have a product that you love making, this step should be easy. If not, think about the types of crafts you love doing and which ones would likely sell well. Be sure to come up with an idea that is unique! Even if you are making something that lots of other people make, putting your own spin on it will make it more likely to sell.

Set Up an Account

Creating a Rustiqued account is easy. Start by heading over to the “Sell on Rustiqued” page. There, you will need to create a username and password. You’ll also need to provide additional information, including your full name, email address, shop name, and your phone number. You’ll get to decide on a unique URL for your shop, too. Check out our Terms of Use after you’ve entered your information, and if you agree, click on the “Register” button.

Go Through the Shop Setup Wizard

Once you’ve registered, you will be taken to a wizard that will help you set up your shop. Completing this step is optional, but it makes it a lot easier to at least tackle the basic parts of getting your shop up and running. Inside the wizard, you can set up things like your shop’s physical address, payment methods, shop banner, etc.

List Your First Item

After setting up your shop, go to your Dashboard. On the left side of your screen, you should see a menu. Click on “Products”. Once the page loads, click the “Add New Product” button in the upper right corner. This will bring up a box where you can enter a product name and price along with photos, tags, and a description. This is also where you will select a category for your item.

Choose a photograph that clearly shows your item. Be mindful of the background, and make sure the item being sold is the star of the show. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take good pictures, but understanding a few basic rules do help. (Check out our product photography guide to learn more.)

Write a compelling title that accurately describes your product and draws viewers in. Then, write an equally compelling description. List all important details such as materials, care instructions, etc. Try to use keywords or phrases that people may use to search for items like yours in the title, description, and tags. (We have a guide dedicated to writing great product descriptions, too!)

Fulfill Orders

When orders start rolling in, they’ll show up under the “Orders” section of your dashboard. Fulfill those orders in a timely manner, and you’ll be well on your way to receiving your first awesome feedback!

Sell Your Handmade Items Online with Rustiqued Today!

When you want to sell handmade items online, Rustiqued makes it easy and affordable. You can set up shop and list your first item in just a few easy steps, which leaves you plenty of time to work on your creations or market your new business on social media.

pinterest marketing

How to Market Your Business on Pinterest

Every brand has a story to tell. Unfortunately, today’s consumers are inundated with so many stories and so much information every single that that making sure yours is heard is becoming increasingly difficult.

One way to make your story shine is through the use of visual marketing. And Pinterest is the ideal platform for launching a visual campaign. With Pinterest, you can tell your brand’s story using compelling photographs rather than trying to tell it entirely with words. Pinterest is an ultra-popular social media platform, and if you aren’t using it to market your products, you could be missing out on a lot of business.

You probably already have your own Pinterest account, but you might not be sure how to use it for business purposes. Here is some helpful advice on why and how to use Pinterest to market your business.

Why Pinterest?

Pinterest has been around for less a decade and boasts more than 200 million users and a mind-boggling 100 billion Pins. Photos take center stage on this popular platform where users “Pin” things they love to virtual boards. Pins and boards are shared and reshared time and time again, potentially allowing a single Pin to be seen thousands – even millions – of times. Pinterest users are extremely active and engaged, so using the site to build awareness of your brand and your products only makes sense.

Many brands have been quick to adopt Pinterest as a tool for visual marketing, and for good reasons. Pins are 100 times more shareable than Tweets, and the half-life of a pin is 1600 times longer than that of a Facebook post. For these reasons alone, Pinterest should be your business’ best friend. Convinced? Here’s how to get started.

Open a Business Account

Whether you already have a personal account or you are brand new to this platform, you will need to set up an official Pinterest for Business account. Signing up is easy, and doing so gives you access educational marketing materials that help you learn how to market your business. You’ll also gain access to Pinterest Analytics, and the team at Pinterest is working on developing new tools and training materials that are geared toward helping businesses succeed.

Create Searchable Pins

Think of Pinterest as a visual search engine. Users search for the things they love, and the results come back in the form of Pin-able images. When you write blog posts or content for your website, you use keywords and other elements that are recognized by Google to help users find you, right? The same thing needs to be done for Pinterest.

When writing titles and descriptions for your Pins, think about the words and phrases users may use when trying to find something that is like the products you sell. Pinterest users love arts and crafts, so if you are selling, for example, handmade furniture, you would want to focus on keywords that let consumers know that your products are not mass-produced. Skip the “cutesy” product names and go with descriptive words that people are likely to search for.

Use Captivating Images

Clear, high-resolution images look professional and are visually appealing. When photographing your products, arrange them in front of a plain backdrop, and use soft, attractive lighting. Lighter images are typically re-Pinned 20 times more than darker ones, and images without faces get about 23% more re-Pins. Keep your images simple and crisp so viewers know exactly what your Pin is about at a glance.

The size of your image matters, too. While all Pins have the same width, the length is unlimited. A good size to shoot for, though, is 736 x 1102 pixels. This size is not too large or too small, and it is typically considered the unofficial standard size.

Make Sure Your Pins Are Seen and Shared

You have the perfect image and you’ve already written searchable titles and descriptions. Now what? To ensure that people actually see and share your Pin, you need to optimize for engagement.

For starters, pay attention to the habits of your target audience to determine your optimal posting times. The exact best times vary for different categories, but on average, the best times to post are between 2 PM and 4 PM EST and between 8 PM and 1 AM EST. The absolute best time to post is Saturday morning.

Make it easy for visitors to your website to share your content on Pinterest by adding a hovering “Pin It” button. Pinterest offers a tool to do this, or if you use WordPress, there is a plugin. Whichever option you choose, adding a “Pin It” button is easy (even if you aren’t a Web developer), and doing so makes it simple for users of your website to share your content with their followers. There may also be tools or plugins for e-commerce platforms that enable you to add this useful feature.

Stay Active

Adding a few Pins then disappearing isn’t going to do much to build your follower base or spread awareness of your brand. To be successful on Pinterest, you need to share content regularly and often. When trying to get new followers, you should be posting 5 to 30 Pins every day (not all at once, though). Pinning your own content is extremely important, but it’s also a good idea to re-Pin relevant content from other users.

Engage with your followers by responding to their comments. Reach out to your followers directly by commenting on their pins as well. Engagement is a two-way street, and consumers love brands that take the time to connect and engage rather than only pushing out their own content.

Spend some time checking out popular boards that are related to your products or business, and engage there as well. When you comment on popular Pins, your brand name will be seen by their massive audience, and you could gain some new followers.

Making Pinterest Your Brand’s Marketing Powerhouse

When it comes to visual marketing, Pinterest is the place to be. Users are searching for products, brands, information, and more every single day, and by creating useful, engaging Pins, you can put your products and brand right in front of your target audience. Pinterest is a remarkable tool for marketing, and as the company continues to develop new tools and training for businesses, and it becoming even easier for even individual artisans to have a huge impact.

craft product photography

How to Master Craft Product Photography

A picture is worth a thousand words. And when it comes to selling handmade products online, a picture can be worth a lot of money, too. Whether you make furniture, home décor, jewelry, or any other type of hand-crafted item, successfully selling it online requires good photography. After all, your potential customers can only see your products through the photos you share. Simply put, low-quality photos won’t sell your items – no matter how nice they are.

The good news?

You don’t have to hire a professional photographer, nor do you have to be an expert yourself. Here are a few tips to help you master craft product photography and take high-quality images of your handmade items.

Use a Decent Camera

You don’t need a top-of-the-line camera, but you do need something a bit better than that old digital camera that’s been lying around since 2002 or a cell phone that’s several generations old. If you have a newer iPhone or high-end Android device, you can probably get away with using it for your product photography. If it’s in your budget, though, we recommend investing in a decent mid-level digital camera.

Look for a camera that has adjustable settings and creates crisp final images. A DSLR is a solid investment for anyone who sells products online. All the features can seem a bit overwhelming at first, but if you take the time to read your manual and do some online research, you can be snapping products like a pro in no time.

Learn the Rule of Thirds

Even if you don’t know anything else about design or photo composition, learning the rule of thirds can help you take your product photography to the next level. This rule states that a photo should be imagined as being divided into nine equal parts by drawing two equally spaced lines horizontally and two equally spaced lines vertically. Important elements in your photo should be placed along those lines or where they intersect.

Simply put, the rule of thirds encourages you to not center your product in the middle of your photo. Instead, set it slightly to the side and angle it a bit. This results in a more interesting and visually appealing photo. Most cameras have a grid setting that you can use to compose your shots without any guesswork.

Shoot in Good Light

Think your camera’s flash is a sufficient substitute for good light? Think again. Photographing products in good, direct light is one of the most important steps in capturing amazing images. Taking photos outside on an overcast day is perfect. When it’s a bit dreary outside, you will have plenty of soft, direct light that isn’t too bright. If it’s raining, your windowsill will work, too. For best results, remove your curtains or blinds.

If waiting on the right weather conditions isn’t an option or you need to be able to take pictures at night, building your own lightbox is a fairly straightforward process. This tutorial will help you make one for just a few dollars.

Keep Your Backgrounds Simple

When photographing products, you want your handiwork to be the star of the shot. Taking photos with a simple background ensures that the viewer’s focus will be on your product instead of getting lost in whatever is behind or underneath it. Plain walls and flat, solid surfaces are your best bet. Things like grassy fields, brick walls, and wood floors work well, too. Avoid patterned fabrics, busy scenes, clutter, etc. If your background detracts from the item you are trying to sell, you need a new background.

Use Props the Right Way

Craft Product PhotographyLike a busy background, too many props – or the wrong kind – can draw attention away from what you are selling. When you use them correctly, though, can help buyers better understand what you are selling and imagine how your product would fit into their lives. If you are selling handmade ceramic bowls, fill one with some delicious looking fruit for a photograph. Add a few bottles of wine to your handcrafted wine rack. Photograph your wall art hanging on the wall in a nice home. There are a lot of great ways to use props to make your products pop. Just don’t go overboard.

Edit Your Photos

A few simple changes can make a world of difference in terms of the quality of your photos. Adjust the lighting and contrast to make colors look more like they do in real life. Crop out any extraneous background and anything that doesn’t belong in the picture. When editing, remember that the goal should be to make the image of your product like as true-to-life as possible.

Good product photography is more important than many artisans and crafters realize. Your product pictures can make or break a sale, and they can even influence how much you can charge since high-quality photos give products a higher perceived value. Do you have any of your own tips or tricks for taking amazing photos of your handmade products? Share them in the comments!

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