Tag Archive for craft supplies

Handmade Wholesale: Comparing the Daily Deal Sites

When sales are slow and production is steady, some handmade artists consider marketing their goods to wholesale clients or taking a chance on a “Daily Deal” site.

Online wholesale companies or daily deal sites all work differently, but they have one thing in common: a large subscription base in which they can promote your products to new and interested buyers. Here’s a little roundup of these companies, so you can compare the facts and see if one might work for your handmade business.

 

Fair Ivy

Fair Ivy Collage Fair Ivy may be interested in buying your handmade products for inclusion in its surprise gift boxes.

Here’s how it works. If you have something you’d like to offer for wholesale, you can e-mail newproducts@fairivy.com. If they are interested in one of your products, you’ll be given some more information on how the process works. Fair Ivy will pay 40% of the normal retail price for your product (so they’ll buy a $10 item for $4), buying anywhere from 40 to 100 of your product (with the average being 60 items). They will also reimburse you for shipping charges, and then mail out your handmade goods as a part of their surprise gift subscriptions.

A benefit to working with Fair Ivy is that you do not have to mail out many individual orders. You will, however, need to package each item as if you would send it to a dear friend, gift-wrapped with information about your handmade shop and the process you used to make the item. Once your items are wrapped and Fair Ivy has agreed on the number they will purchase, you can expect immediate reimbursement via PayPal.

During the month your craft is featured in a Fair Ivy surprise package, you are forbidden from blogging about it or sharing the news on social media sites. However, after the month is finished, you are free to reveal the surprise and your shop will also be featured on the Fair Ivy website. Visit Fair Ivy on Facebook.

 

Heartsy

Heartsy Screenshot

The easiest way to describe Heartsy is Groupon for Etsy. Basically, handmade sellers (most have Etsy stores, but some use other mediums), offer a “deal of the day” for Heartsy members, which is at least 50% off normal retail prices. They benefit from having a large amount of traffic to their shop and many orders in just a few days. The orders are shipped directly to the buyers, and never transfer through Heartsy headquarters. Heartsy makes its money by charging buyers a small $1 to $3 transaction fee and selling VIP memberships at $7.99 per month.

To be a featured seller on Heartsy, the first step is to register and set up a free account. Once registered, the seller submits their work to be voted on by fellow registered users. Voting remains open for 3 days, and the stats are compiled to see if the artist’s work would likely translate into sales. Heartsy staff reviews the submission (can take several weeks) and will get in touch with the potential seller to further discuss the deal.

If the seller is accepted, Heartsy will work with them to finalize the best pricing strategy for their deal. For instance, the seller might offer a $19 voucher to their shop, but sell this for $9 to Heartsy members. There is an extra incentive for Heartsy VIP members, which means the seller will offer then am additional $10 of shop credit if they purchase the deal.

One Etsy seller had this to say about selling on Heartsy: “I would recommend it one time in your business career. But be overly prepared for the biggest storm! I thought I was pretty prepared, but find myself still catching up after 3 weeks. So it’s definitely a lot of work, but worth it for the increased exposure!” Visit Heartsy on Facebook.

 

Very Jane

Very Jane on Facebook

To apply to be a featured seller on Very Jane, you should e-mail featureme@veryjane.com.

Sellers are featured for 24 to 48 hours, and Very Jane collects orders for the seller. After the sales period is complete, the seller obtains a spreadsheet of everyone they sold to and their addresses. They can then make their product, and ship it straight to the customers. An advantage of Very Jane is that the wholesale products do not have to be made, and they can be made-to-order.

Very Jane takes a 25% to 30% commission (a higher fee on items priced less than $5, to cover credit card fees) for featuring its sellers. This does not include the shipping fee, which all goes to the seller. To ensure that the product and packaging is up-to-par, Very Jane requests that sellers send a sample product after the seller is booked but before they run their deal. Sellers can be featured multiple times on Very Jane. Communication with Very Jane is prompt and clear. Visit Very Jane on Facebook.

 

GroopDealz

Groopdealz product

GroopDealz is a Daily Deal site that features crafters in exchange for a 30% commission on the purchase price of the product (not including shipping, which the crafter keeps). Half of the commission is awarded within 7 days of all orders being placed through GroopDealz. The other half is reserved until the featured crafter fulfills all the orders and marks them as shipped through the GroopDealz website.

One perk is that GroopDealz will cover all the PayPal and credit card fees, so the featured crafter doesn’t have to worry about anything but shipping products. In order to be featured on GroopDealz, the crafter must fill out a submission form and send non-returnable product sample to GroopDealz to ensure quality. On the downside, many Etsy artists who’ve tried to get featured on GroopDealz have noted that it can be difficult to hear back from their staff.  Visit GroopDealz on Facebook.

 

Pick Your Plum

Pick Your Plum

Pick Your Plum is a different kind of daily deals site, in that it offers craft supplies at a discounted rate. Think white t-shirts, ribbons and jewelry findings. But, some of the deals border on handmade goods, like personalized wooden signs, so this may be more of a direction in the future.

Deals go up daily Monday through Friday at 7am (MST), and quantities are limited. Their daily newsletter is the best way to keep up with the offerings, and perhaps more information for handmade sellers will be available in the future. Visit Pick Your Plum on Facebook.

 

Crafty Steals / Stitch Steals


Crafty Steals is a website that offers discounts of up to 90% off retail prices. They major in paper crafting supplies, and interested wholesalers can contact them at stephanie@craftysteals.com for more information on having a product featured. Visit Crafty Steals on Facebook.

Stitch Steals is the fabric version of Crafty Steals, selling bundles of quilting fabric for up to 90% off. The deals are typically closer to 50% off retail prices, and past deals have featured layer cakes, fat quarter bundles, buttons and quilting notions.  Interested fabric wholesalers can write stephanie@craftysteals.com for more information on having a product featured. Visit Stitch Steals on Facebook.

In Summary:

Daily Deal and wholesale websites can offer perks such as:

  • Increased exposure in a short amount of time
  • Residual traffic to your shop after the promotion
  • Reduced marking fees and often purchase transaction fees

But even with these perks, it’s essential to make sure you’ll still make a profit on your handmade goods after the numbers are crunched. With products flying off the shelves at 50% to 60% of the normal retail price, sellers need to count in all the expenses, including shipping and production costs. Also, it’s important to make sure you’ll be able to fill the orders in a given time period, so keep that in mind when accepting an offer.

Do you have experiences with any of these companies that you’d like to share? Please leave us a comment (or question); we’ love to hear what you think!

 

Winner!

Out of 402 comments, the winner of the $50 shop credit to Mountain of the Dragon is . . .

mountain of the dragon

#282 Cori! It looks like Cori is a quilter, so I bet she’s going to have a blast looking through the selection of modern designer fabrics. I just peeked at the shop, and there are even some sales going on!

Thank you all so much for the nice comments, and be sure to stop by the Giveaways Roundup which is updated weekly with contests from around the Web. Lots of chances to win fabric, craft books and handmade goodness.

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Hosting a Successful Giveaway on your Blog

Believe it or not, there’s an art to hosting a giveaway. No, you don’t have to have a lot of built-in traffic to have a successful giveaway. And yes, hosting a great giveaway can actually help you gain new followers.

Blog giveaways are increasingly popular these days, with some bloggers hosting a giveaway to celebrate blogiversarys, birthdays, hitting x-number of followers, or just because! Here are some blog giveaway tips we love:

Stack of Giveaway Fabric
Flickr/CraftyDame

Choosing giveaway items

The basic rule of thumb with a giveaway item is, give away something that you would like to win. Whether it’s a stack of beautiful fabric, a hand-knit scarf or a gift certificate to a favorite store, make sure it’s something that will attract the type of blog reader that you’d like to gain. This is not the time to destash your most dreaded fabrics, and if you wouldn’t enter, nobody else will either.

Setting the rules

Before posting your giveaway, you’ll need to decide a few things.

When does it end? We suggest 3 to 5 days from the start date, or longer if you are giving away a big-ticket item and want to attract the most attention. State the end date in your giveaway post.

Open to international readers? If so, specify which countries you’ll ship to, whether it’s the U.S. and Canada, or the U.K. only. You don’t want your readers to waste time entering only to find out later that they’re not eligible.

Maximum entries: How will readers enter and how many times can they enter? One entry only? One per day? Let’s say blogger x promotes a giveaway for a $20 gift card to Hobby Lobby. In order to enter, the reader must leave a comment. For another chance to win, she can become a follower of the blog. The prize value matches the effort you are asking people to put in, which is a good thing!

Contact info: If your winner has no e-mail address in his or her profile, will you draw a new winner? This may seem obvious, but best to think about these things before starting your giveaway.

How will you choose a winner? We suggest numbering the comments and using a random number tool like Random.org. But some people prefer to choose a winner based on the best answer to a question, or even writing down names on slips of paper and drawing them out of a hat.

Giveaway Winner Numbers
Flickr/hellojenuine

Working with giveaway sponsors

Oftentimes, a business or individual will choose to sponsor a giveaway on a blog that’s not their own in order to promote traffic to their shop or general interest in their product.

If you are working with a giveaway sponsor, it’s best to set up the giveaway in a way as to direct traffic to the sponsor’s blog, store or newsletter. Ask the participants to go to the site and comment on something they saw there. You’ll be much more likely to get future giveaway sponsors if you treat your sponsors right.

Getting new followers through giveaways

One of the huge benefits to hosting a giveaway is the ability to attract new visitors, and hopefully turn them into followers. While you don’t want to coerce people into following a blog they are not interested in, you do want to make it profitable for people who do decide to become a follower of your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Once you get people to your page through a giveaway link, ask them to follow through Google Friend Connect, an RSS Reader or e-mail subscription. State whether or not following your blog is required to enter. You can always ask the entrant to leave a comment, then leave a second comment if they are a follower (for an extra entry). This is a good way to attract followers who are truly interested in your craft blog.

One way to do this is to choose a product that attracts the type of reader you hope to gain. A $100 gift card to Walmart is going to attract a lot of people who may not care too much about your photo blog. On the other hand, a handmade camera strap will attract the types of people who’d love to read a creative photo blog!

Handmade Camera Strap
Flickr/tjstabb

Promoting your giveaway

“If you host it, they will come.” Well, you hope so, but this is not always the the case. Unless they have a built-in following, most bloggers will need to implement some kind of promotion for their giveaway. This can be as simple as submitting to a few giveaways blogs, or as detailed as contacting individual bloggers and asking if they’ll share about the giveaway on their sites.

Here are some tried and true places to promote your giveaway.

On Twitter, share your giveaway with a link to the short URL, and include the tags #giveaway or #win. Example: If you haven’t liked our great #earrings, get on it quick because you could #win them! http://ow.ly/4P8XN #giveaway

On Facebook, share a link to the giveaway URL, preferably with a photo of the item. Before posting, use the @ symbol to type the name of specific people or pages you’d like to alert. For example, if I’m hosting a scrapbook supplies giveaway, I’m going to post something like: @Paper Crafts Magazine readers: Enter our giveaway! (When you type the @ symbol, a dropdown list of pages you “like” will pop up.)

Getting  entrants to promote your giveaway is one of the best ways to increase your giveaway promotion organically. For people to enter, ask them to link up the giveaway on their blog, Facebook or Twitter to spread the word. If you give them an extra entry for doing so, you’ll generally get a lot of new traffic.

Giveaway blogs like Quilty Giveaways and Blog Giveaways will allow you to submit your crafty giveaway link. When I host a giveaway, I also like to alert One Pretty Thing, Craft Gossip, and Someday Crafts (stop by on Thursday or Friday to link up).

Craft Buds has a continual giveaway linky party where you are always welcome to link up craft supplies and handmade giveaways!

Giveaways Roundup @ Craft Buds

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

If you get nothing else from this post, I hope you pop over to Sew Mama Sew and consider participating in this year’s May Giveaway Day! You must sign up by this Friday, May 20.

Once you sign up, decided if you want to give away a handmade item or craft supplies. You’ll post a giveaway on your blog next week from Monday, May 23 to Wednesday, May 25. Sew Mama Sew will create a master list of all participants, and you will get to experience the joy of getting lots of new visitors to your blog!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day
It’s recommended that you keep your giveaway requirements short, because people will be entering tons of giveaways in addition to yours. One strategy is to ask readers to leave a comment of some sort, and follow your blog for an extra entry. Or you can ask them to follow you on Twitter, Like you on Facebook, or subscribe to your newsletter. (Just make sure that the prize value matches what you are asking participants to do.)

Have you hosted a great giveaway? Ever been part of a not-so-good- one? Please share your own giveaways tips in the comments! And if you know of any giveaways right now, link them up on our weekly giveaways roundup! We’ll be giving away some great stuff, too.

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