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Making things to sell at Markets?

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    I have been unemployed for a while and would like to get off the dole but the current jobs available are a bit grim. I went to art school and am quite creative and crafty so was thinking about making some things to sell at markets and maybe online. Things I was thinking of are:

    Soaps
    Body Lotions
    Face Masks
    Cards & Prints made from my hand painted designs
    Candles
    Jewellery
    Handmade Sweets

    These would all be hand made by me and high quality professional items i.e. not assembled from card making kits or jewellery kits so I'd be looking to charge a decent amout for them i.e. Soap £3.95 a bar, a card would be £2.50 etc. I'd design the packaging and so on.

    I am not looking to start an empire or big business rather I want something fun I can do part time to bring in a basic income so I have time for my art, studies and volunteering.

    What do you think, is it really viable to make a passable income part time from this sort of thing, are people buying quirky handmade items during the recession?

    I live in the west coast of Scotland so it's not the most affluent area!

    What do you think, any input would be great!
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    Are your products different enough from other things out there? If not are the priced to compete? Post up some pics

    these are luxury things for (mainly) women for pampering themselves, you have to choose where you sell them carefully.

    Could you start by sharing a stand with someone already at the market? Then you wouldn't have many costs and you could get feedback from customers on what you've got and see how well they sell.
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    (Original post by polanski)
    I have been unemployed for a while and would like to get off the dole but the current jobs available are a bit grim. I went to art school and am quite creative and crafty so was thinking about making some things to sell at markets and maybe online. Things I was thinking of are:

    Soaps
    Body Lotions
    Face Masks
    Cards & Prints made from my hand painted designs
    Candles
    Jewellery
    Handmade Sweets

    These would all be hand made by me and high quality professional items i.e. not assembled from card making kits or jewellery kits so I'd be looking to charge a decent amout for them i.e. Soap £3.95 a bar, a card would be £2.50 etc. I'd design the packaging and so on.

    I am not looking to start an empire or big business rather I want something fun I can do part time to bring in a basic income so I have time for my art, studies and volunteering.

    What do you think, is it really viable to make a passable income part time from this sort of thing, are people buying quirky handmade items during the recession?

    I live in the west coast of Scotland so it's not the most affluent area!

    What do you think, any input would be great!
    A few people sell their hand designs through my brother's shop: he does a few sample prints for free and displays them, then charges enough to cover printing and money for the artist. If a particular design or range takes off he makes them more like contracts. It works well because the artist pays little for the prints and has them displayed in an advertised shop (art supplies). Just an idea.

    I'd say that if you're going to try something like this, it's worth working with others to cut down your costs initially, (Like J said), and that would go for most of your ideas.

    I think so long as you find the right place to sell your products, you will find people willing to buy.

    Good luck with everything :yy:
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    A friend of mine sold decorative ornaments on eBay. She bought plain basic ornaments like pottery and then jazzed them up a bit. They sold quite well but she didn't have the time to do it because of her proper jobs. But there's buyers out there.
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    You could try Etsy. You have a sort of 'shop front' but its up to you to do your own marketing.
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    (Original post by polanski)
    I have been unemployed for a while and would like to get off the dole but the current jobs available are a bit grim. I went to art school and am quite creative and crafty so was thinking about making some things to sell at markets and maybe online. Things I was thinking of are:

    Soaps
    Body Lotions
    Face Masks
    Cards & Prints made from my hand painted designs
    Candles
    Jewellery
    Handmade Sweets

    These would all be hand made by me and high quality professional items i.e. not assembled from card making kits or jewellery kits so I'd be looking to charge a decent amout for them i.e. Soap £3.95 a bar, a card would be £2.50 etc. I'd design the packaging and so on.

    I am not looking to start an empire or big business rather I want something fun I can do part time to bring in a basic income so I have time for my art, studies and volunteering.

    What do you think, is it really viable to make a passable income part time from this sort of thing, are people buying quirky handmade items during the recession?

    I live in the west coast of Scotland so it's not the most affluent area!

    What do you think, any input would be great!
    While it is a great idea, I think your target market for such things is a bit off unless you can bring those goods further afield.

    Soaps. Body Lotions and Face Masks, these products are among the most difficult to sell because you first have to convince the person that the ones they are currently using isn't as good for them. Also you've to convince them to part money for something rather expensive as compared to the commercially available ones.

    I won't even bother with the face masks.... you'd be lucky if it even sold 1 piece.


    Cards & Prints made from my hand painted designs, a good idea, a possibility. Though I think a market might not be the best place to sell them.


    Candles- excellent idea, I would try and supplement it with some that I could buy wholesale... the wholesale ones might actually push sales for your handmade ones.

    Jewellery - don't bother.

    Handmade Sweets - Not easy to do and you need volume for this one.


    Personally if you're really after a market business, try and do something cheap and high volume instead... niche/luxury stuff aren't going to sell well in an outdoor market unless it is a touristy area or at a fayre.

    This is what a Chinese friend of mine is doing, he has a small market stall in Wales, he buys wholesale from China socks, gloves and hats. He then gets his gf to stand at the market to peddle those goods for him... 3 pairs of socks for a quid, they make 20p from each sale. But because it sells in volume. The quality isn't fantastic either, but people who buy them don't care because it is cheap and that's exactly what his target market are after since it isn't in a wealthy part of Wales.
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    Answer one question to me:

    Do you bring value to other people through your products? If yes, if people would find your hand crafted items beautiful/low cost/well marketed, you have yourself an answer.
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    I have sold some handmade jewellery on ebay and Etsy. They are good places to start, although unless you can get people looking at your stuff it can take a while to sell. A market stall might work, but it will depend on the quality of your stuff and how much you sell it for.
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    if you could realistically get to london on a regular basis there is a big market for this stuff- I was in brick lane yesterday and there are absolutely loads of all kinds of artistic creations from minor east asian fashion designers to vegan cake stalls. I am actually thinking of looking into getting a a place at a stall myself just to see if I can sell some of my old clothes (parts of brick lane I'm pretty sure are non-liscensed stolen goods) - what I mean is- some places anything goes and you could literally roll up with any half-descent cr*p and sell it- but if you are genuinely talented and can make some quirky things that ideally are useful (especially where there are gaps in the market- like jewellery in brick lane)

    otherwise I think the problem is just reaching your potential sellers- i think theres a market for this stuff anywhere
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    you to try dinnel_com,You have a sort of 'shop front' but its up to you to do your own marketing
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    (Original post by Herr)
    While it is a great idea, I think your target market for such things is a bit off unless you can bring those goods further afield.

    Soaps. Body Lotions and Face Masks, these products are among the most difficult to sell because you first have to convince the person that the ones they are currently using isn't as good for them. Also you've to convince them to part money for something rather expensive as compared to the commercially available ones.

    I won't even bother with the face masks.... you'd be lucky if it even sold 1 piece.


    Cards & Prints made from my hand painted designs, a good idea, a possibility. Though I think a market might not be the best place to sell them.


    Candles- excellent idea, I would try and supplement it with some that I could buy wholesale... the wholesale ones might actually push sales for your handmade ones.

    Jewellery - don't bother.

    Handmade Sweets - Not easy to do and you need volume for this one.


    Personally if you're really after a market business, try and do something cheap and high volume instead... niche/luxury stuff aren't going to sell well in an outdoor market unless it is a touristy area or at a fayre.

    This is what a Chinese friend of mine is doing, he has a small market stall in Wales, he buys wholesale from China socks, gloves and hats. He then gets his gf to stand at the market to peddle those goods for him... 3 pairs of socks for a quid, they make 20p from each sale. But because it sells in volume. The quality isn't fantastic either, but people who buy them don't care because it is cheap and that's exactly what his target market are after since it isn't in a wealthy part of Wales.
    I think london markets like camden and brick lane are the exception with this advice- you see all sorts of things selling there that probably wouldnt work anywhere else..

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Updated: January 10, 2012
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