So you have been making cards for quite a while and think that you are now ready to go professional? Well there are many ways to sell handmade cards from doing a few for a local coffee morning to making it into a profitable business.
Where to Start
Firstly you can sell to friends and family, this is how most people get started. If you work in an office try selling to your colleagues. Display them in a photo album and make people aware that you have a selection available if people want to have a look.
Next you can try local gift shops, florists, coffee shops and even hairdressers. Everyone needs cards and handmade items have an extra special appeal. You can also try selling at a boot sale as they can prove very popular there or there may be a local event where you could take a small stand. For example a coffee morning, charity cake fair, Christmas fair and so on. If you think your cards are of good enough quality then try a craft fair. You will be competing with professional crafters so your work will have to be of the highest quality. But this is how many professional crafters are discovered by magazine and book editors so you could be snapped up as the next big thing!
Selling to Shops
If you have had some success with local outlets then you may want to try a little higher. Some large department stores buy from local crafters so it is always worth a try. Send them a professional card with a covering letter introducing yourself and what you can supply.
Alternatively why not sell online. The world’s largest online marketplace is eBay and you can either sell cards as a private seller or even set up an eBay shop. With no overheads such as premises or staff wages, everything you sell is yours. Etsy is another very well known online means through which to sell your crafted items.
If you are really serious about pursuing a career as a card maker then why not approach some publishers. Craft magazines buy handmade cards from crafters to use in their projects. Once you become more well-known, you may even be approached by a book publisher about contributing to or writing your own book. If you have had lots of good feedback, have loads of original ideas and are selling quite a few cards then why not approach some craft magazines with some examples of your work and a professional-looking letter. Make sure you have studies the magazine first and that your work will fit in with their style. Card making is an extremely competitive arena though, so if you do any other crafts such as scrapbooking or painting, this may give you more of an edge.
Tips for Cards That Sell
It’s important that you have a good range of designs to suit all occasions. When cards are displayed in a rack only the top part may show so position the design towards the top of the card.
Dimensions of cards make a big difference due to display racks that shops already have. A small card may fall out so keep to C6 or standard sizes.
Everything you do and use must be of the highest quality. For example, cheap card stock will bend and look poor. Always use a guillotine and make sure there are no smudges or dirty marks on the work. Matching envelopes looks professional.
Always put your contact details on the back of the card using a sticky label, handwrite your name or have a rubber stamp made.
Always pack your cards into protective clear plastic bags to keep them clean and undamaged. Bags are cheap and come in all sizes but don’t put a small card in a big bag to save pennies as it doesn’t look professional.
Do put a price on the card as people are reluctant to ask. Don’t under price your cards as you need to make a profit. You need to work out how much your materials cost, how much time it took to make them and then work out a price. It’s not worth making a hugely intricate card that cost £4 in materials if you are going to sell it for 30p. Batch cards are a great idea for making cards to sell as you can get a production line going and make several at once. Pick a simple theme or design which can be reproduced quite easily, such as rubber stamping.
Above all, have fun and make sure that every piece of work which represents you is professionally made and packaged, with a simple but original design and nicely finished.