This blog site focuses on cards and projects utilizing materials and tools from various scrapbooking and paper craft companies.
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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Advise on selling handmade cards

Making cards to sell is a great business if you can develop a client base that buy from you regularly. There are a few things I've learned after selling cards for the past 2 years, here are a few of them:

  1. Each customer has a particular taste in design and type of cards they like to purchase. This is important because when buying stamps and other products to create your cards, you need to have a variety of design and styles to accomodate your customers.
  2. It appears technique is less important to some customer. If they like a particular stamped image, I found that it really doesn't matter if you colored it with pastels or pencils and did nothing else to it but color it. You can spend hours creating a card with various complicated technique and the card won't sell any faster than if you created it with a simple technique.
  3. If the customer is also a rubber stamper, then technique and design may be more important than the stamped image to this particular customer. These types of customers buy your card because they want an example of techniques so that they can re-create the cards themselves.
  4. The two previous notes leads to this advise: Know your customers and why they are buying your cards.
  5. Customers don't know how long it took for you to make your cards unless they make them themselves. As a matter of fact, many don't care if it took you 5 minutes to create a card or 3 hours. Keep things in perspective. . .many don't understand the process of making cards so don't feel offended if they don't buy the more heavily "technique" driven cards.
  6. Sometimes it is more profitable to make cards that are the simplest to make but use quality stamps and materials when creating these simple cards.
  7. Buy quality rubber stamps. It can make your job easier when creating a card design. A very nice rubber stamp can make even a simple card pretty without any other additional embellishments to make it nice.
  8. Know the cost of each components of your card, down to that single brad or ribbon. Keep also in mind the cost of the glue, tape, ink, envelope, etc. These things add to the cost of creating the card.
  9. Sell your cards at a lower rate than your competitors if possible. It's more important to have repeat customers who will buy more than one card from you as opposed to one customer who will buy that one pricey card. You may have profited more on that one card but if your card is too expensive, you may not sell many of them in the long run.
  10. Always buy bulk when purchasing cardstock, scrapbook paper, embellishments, etc. It will help to keep your cost low and provide you with various materials to create different design elements to your cards.
  11. Don't focus on buying "designer" or "brand name" products unless they are the only ones that sell that particular type of product.
  12. Buy tools that will allow you to create various design elements to your cards. Concentrate on buying big ticket items on tools. In the long run it's a great investment. You will only need to buy it once even if it's expensive but if it provides you the means to create various designs to your cards, then it's well worth it.
  13. Many customers buy handmade cards because they like the idea of buying a card that is "one of a kind". Be careful about making "bulk" sets of cards. For many customers, it's less appealing to buy a card where there are multiple sets of a particular card design. Make bulk sets if a customer request it.
  14. Most important of all make cards because you enjoy making them. . .if the focus is to sell them, you will burn out in no time and the idea of creating cards will become more of a burden rather than something fun. Ultimately, you'll get tired of making them.
  15. The truth about selling handmade cards: You won't make a lot of money selling handmade cards, especially if you factor the time it takes to create them so if you are realistic, the sale of your cards is just a little bonus. Make cards because you enjoy making them whether it sells or not.

Hope this list helps you understand the business of selling cards. . .especially, if you've been thinking of starting a handmade card business.

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