The Handmade Marketplace

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The giant crafts website Etsy makes it easy list homemade stuff to a potential audience of millions. But the hard part is getting anyone to pay attention and it actually buy it. That requires some basic business and online marketing skills, which are reviewed here, with the home crafter in mind.

-- KK  

The Handmade Marketplace
Kari Chapin
2010, 224 pages
$11

Available from Amazon

Sample Excerpts:

What best advice would you offer a crafter who is looking to gain national attention for their work?

Invest in great product photography. Great work sells itself, so you need to do everything possible to make sure the beauty of your work comes through in a way that’s apparent to people reading about you online or in print because most people won’t see your work in person.

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Unsatisfied Customers

In a perfect world, everyone would be happy with you and your products all the time. You would always be paid promptly and always get rave reviews. Sometimes, though, things just don’t work out. In this case you should:

Try to remain upbeat. Use positive-sounding words when communicating with customers.

Say, “What can I do to resolve this for you?” rather than “What do you want from me?”

Try to find value in what your unhappy customer is saying to you. It could be that their complaint has some truth to it, which you may find helpful in the long run.

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Are you getting some really great feedback about something in particular that you’ve made? Consider posting these compliments in the description of your item.

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Keep these customer service practices in mind at all times:

  • The customers may not always be right, but they do deserve your full attention and respect regarding the matter at hand.
  • Apologize first. What if you didn’t do anything wrong? you may ask. Well, while that may be the case, that’s not really the point. You can, in fact, regret that your customer is upset in any regard. Simply recognizing that your buyer has a problem and has had to take the time out of a busy day to alert you to it is reason enough to apologize.
  • Ask what will make the situation right. If what the customer wants is reasonable and you can do it, you should consider it.
  • Taking a hit on a sale is a small price to pay when it comes to your overall reputation and the trust you are trying to build with your market.