How do you know if your crafts will sell? Gauging the supply and demand for handmade crafts means studying and testing the market. A huge stepping-stone to success is always to first understand who your target market is and where these folks can be found. You can do research on and off the Internet to determine what sort of demographics you should be aiming for. Ask yourself questions such as:
- What type of crafts sells well and which do not?
- Which kinds of crafts are “in” now?
- Which crafts could still be potentially popular in the weeks, months and even years to come?
- Where are crafts being sold and to whom?
Knowing your target market is half the battle.
It is very important to identify your competitors and by so doing, you will be able to adequately gauge the supply and demand of your handmade crafts. Research the company or companies in question and see if you can decipher the positive and negative sides of their business practices. You can never do too much research when it comes to improving your business and understanding your competitors. Are your competitor’s crafts turning a profit and what, if anything is their competitive edge? Learn everything you can about those you face off with in the competitive arena of crafts because rest assured, competition exists in every kind of business undertaking.
It may sound simplistic, but talk to folks who make crafts, enjoy crafts adorning their homes and those who buy crafts for themselves and others as gifts to see if your craft idea would appeal to them. Speak with family members, friends and neighbors and see what they like and do not like in regards to crafts. Arrange an informal get together at your home one afternoon or evening and invite folks over to discuss your craft ideas. Serve some refreshments, bring out some of your crafts, and gauge other responses to them. Listen closely to comments of the group assembled and accept that criticism is part of the circumstances. Take the criticism in your stride and then separate the constructive parts from the parts that are simply of no consequence to you and your business. Let the constructive criticism work in your favor to help improve upon your crafts. Do not internalize any of the negative remarks or let them get in the way with your progress.
Another thing you can do to gauge supply and demand is to speak with staff at local craft stores in your area to find out what customers are buying and most interested in. Bring some of your crafts with you and inquire about their good and bad selling points. Do the staff members believe that your craft would sell or not? If not, then why and how can you improve them to make them more worthy of sales? Also any suggestions that craft store employees give you would be welcome for your new handmade craft business. If they cannot answer some of your questions but can point you in the right direction then that is a valuable resource to check out. Do the same at craft shows whether they are local, state or national shows. Speak to folks “in the know” at booths and customers shopping for crafts and ask for their honest opinions, ideas and helpful hints. Professional associations or organizations are also valuable sources of supply and demand inquiries as well.
If you discover that your craft is not as likely to be as well received by the public as you had originally anticipated, try not to get too discouraged. Go back to the drawing board and make some additions and/or alterations to your original designs. Realize that if you want to make money at the handmade craft business then you will have to cater to what customers seek, and not necessarily to what appeals to you specifically. You must appeal to the masses so to speak, if you want to have a business that thrives.
Be aware that supply and demand changes like the tide and does not remain static. For example seasonal items, such as Christmas crafts, begin to grow in popularity among craft lovers in the autumn months, gaining in popularity right up until the Christmas season begins. However, Christmas crafts do not hold the same appeal the following February or March. Tune into these kinds of trends in the industry and that will help keep you on track.