Why should you make a business out of upcycling? If you’re a crafty person and love to make unique one of a kind things, why not save the environment and make money while doing it. Upcycling involves taking waste materials and giving them a new life, think about all the money you will save by using items you were going to get rid of rather than buying materials. Using waste materials and selling the results reduces landfill and saves you money. If you’re thinking of starting a business using upcycled materials, here are a few tips to think about and help you on your way.
Things to Think About:
As a seller you are not limited to only online or in person. Selling online may look easier, but can be just as difficult as selling at fairs.
Online Selling Pro’s:
In Person Pro’s:
The best way to make your business grow is to sell both online and in person. Selling online will help you get a steady rate of customers, and sell to a larger audience. Whereas In person will help you make connections, and help you grow from a seller perspective.
Marketing is extremely important either way, and there are a variety of ways to get your business name out there. There are several ways to market your business, some of which are listed below.
Budgeting is often pushed aside by online sellers, but should always be factored in no matter where you sell. One things you may want to consider are fees, transportation, and production cost. For example, events almost always have an entree fee or a space fee. Costs to consider include; how much will it cost to get your things there? (Gas) Are you paying someone to assist you at your booth, or is it a friend? And cost it took to make all the product you’re hoping to sell that day. Online websites always have a small fee for working with them, and often take a portion of the price of goods. For example, you price your upcycled lights at $10, and $1 of that goes toward the website you use. This is similar to a rent fee per a piece. Don’t forget about shipping costs to send out and receive packages around the world; will you include shipping in price of the product, or will you make customer pay to return the piece? Are you willing to pay for goods that were damaged due to shipping?
Now that we have covered the pros and cons of online vs. in person, how to market, and what needs to be budgeted for. Let's talk about some additional things to consider, for example, partnership. Are you doing this alone or with a friend/partner/etc.? Are you splitting the payout with them, or have a business plan laid out in case of future growth? Are you both sharing a space to work at, or work separately at home? If sharing a space, be prepared to change spaces to work if someone decides to dip out. And most importantly, make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to selling, and keep each other informed on everything.
Links giving tips, tricks and hints on how to start your business and where to sell your products:
Handmade Business Article talks primarily on how to start and prepare to sell at craft shows
CrateJoy Discusses selling online, and getting your small business seen.
Mud Lists several online websites to sell with that isn’t etsy.
Festivalnet Old looking website, but it stays up to date with events/shows/fairs in any state to help people find a place to sell.