Selling Crafts, Accepting Checks

blueiris24December 4, 2007

I am new to all of this - I need to make some supplemental income and am thinking of starting to sell some items this next year. I realize I have some reading to do to figure out the business end of all this, but I was hoping you could answer a few questions. Do any of you accept checks? What has been your experience with that? Do you have additional insurance for any reason? Have you tried to sell on ebay and if so did you feel it was worth it? I've never done anything like this and I'm scared! I quilt and although I don't think there is an appreciation out there for the time and money involved in big quilts, I thought I'd try some wall hangings and some more artsy stuff and see what kind of reaction I got. I appreciate your help & guidance!

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I had a bad experience with eBay. I donÂt think it is a good place for quality products. My friend mentioned this site to me where you can post your crafts and sell them online They are new, but the site looks pretty nice and it is more specialized. Hope this helps. Btw, I am a big fan of quilts. Do you have a site where I could see them?


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 4:20PM
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Thanks, Ann, I don't have a website or anything along those lines-- I am just starting to think about selling items- I'm an intermediate quilter so I'm not in the same league as some of the quilters with their beautiful detailed work - but it's my New Year's Resolution to take more time to work on quilts and a few other things I dabble in, and I thought maybe if I started selling things I would have the rationale I need to take the time to sit down and do it!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 5:40PM
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Hi Blueiris!! I've done craft fairs for years and have taken tons of checks - I've never had a bad one ! I do ask for a phone number ,though. As for insurance , I don't buy any. I don't know of many people that use it. Just make sure your booth is safe ! I've tried selling my stained glass on E Bay . It's not worth it to me... there are too many imports on there that can sell way cheaper than I can.
Quilting is an awesome craft . Like stained glass , it takes alot of time and I'd never make a sale if I charged what it's worth ! I'm going to check out ArtMyriad ,too.
Thanks for the tip Summerflower !

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 6:29PM
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Never had a problem in fifteen years with the farmer's market with checks... Be prepared though. You will NOT get full value for your quilts.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 8:24PM
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In my humble opinion, Ebay is losing it's lustre - and I suspect they know it since they keep offering free listing days to registered sellers...
Try that myriad site or Etsy, you'll do much better I'm sure.
If you take a check for an online sale, don't send anything until that check clears the bank - it delays things considerably (week to two weeks to get to you, another week to two before it clears their bank), but if they don't mind waiting then it doesn't matter.
Lots of postal options come with insurance to a certain value, I would go that way if I was selling something I worked hard to create.
Suzan J

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 8:39PM
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Welcome to the forum, Blueiris.

Selling st a craft show is easy and fun. You can go to and find shows in your area to get started. I would suggest you start out at a school or church show. Come spring there will be plenty of them around. But start looking for them now as some may fill up fast. Cost? Anywhere from $35 to $75 for a table space. Make smaller items, find a show and give it a try. You might actually like it. I got hooked in May of 1980.

But as far as accepting checks goes, don't be afraid to do so. Things you look for is the name and phone number on the check. Look to see that the check number matches at both the top AND bottom of the check. We don't accept "starter" checks as that's the only time we got burned and couldn't collect.

We have had a number of checks come back for non sufficient funds. So all we did was call the bank instead of the customer, made sure there were funds available, informed them I will be redepositing the check and have had no problems. I was charged $5 by my bank for the returned check but found it too much bother to go after the customer for a crummy five bucks. I have really had only about a dozen bounced checks in the 27 years I've been doing shows. And only two that I couldn't collect on.

So if you're not afraid to write a check, don't be afraid to accept them. 99.99% of them will be good. Oh, and don't even think about accepting credit cards until you decide whether or not to pursue the shows on a regular basis, no matter what anybody says.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 7:55AM
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I've never heard of problems with checks for people selling through craft shows. I had some of my crafts in a hand-made only type giftshop for tourists last year. The giftshop had one person come through that had either stolen checks or a credit card. Of course that person bought mainly my items so I was out the money. Hot checks are usually not a problem.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 10:23AM
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I keep hearing from crafters I know that eBay is not working for them. I think it takes time to find your customer and it's not possible to do that in 7 days. I think it's more effective to have your own site and/or sell through spesialized online stores, so people will always find you, if they are looking for your type of products. It's hard to find you on eBay. Also, I think serious crafters would not want to be associated with all that junk, that is listed on eBay.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 10:24AM
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I belong to another board with lots and lots of Prim crafters that sell their own crafts. Many of them sell through ebay and also have their own stores. They seem to be doing quite well. I haven't heard many complaints on the board about selling at ebay.

One key I have noticed is that you must properly list your item. Too often I find items in searches that have NOTHING to do with what I was looking for because someone didn't know what they had. Therefore nobody found it!

I'm not knocking you or anyone else, just realize that often people think that any craft will sell. That's not the case! You have to have good quality items, new and different ideas and good prices. I have seen a few things out there for sale that I can't believe are priced so high when they look like a child made them. It doesn't work like that....

Ah, and as I've heard many times...don't expect to get rich quick. It takes time!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 5:38PM
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Do you have anyone that will take crafts on consignment? Some areas have stores that will let you rent a booth and put your crafts in -don't know how it works, but that way you could see what sells, what doesn't. If you are learning quilting, how about baby quilts> but there are many other items involving this craft. Big quilts just don't sell in our area. As to starting other crafts, if you plan to sell anything, go to every craft show you can get to, go to the library and look at craft magazines, ask your friend what they would buy, and remember each area is different, and each show is different. What sells one year, will not the next. This year people here were looking for good homemade items, but small.
The Bag lady sells out all the time. She makes mediam size totes, pockets inside, lined removeable bottom and cannot make enough. They are great.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2007 at 6:18PM
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Hey sweets98, I am just curious, what is the forum's name with lots of Prim crafters, that you mention?


    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 9:17AM
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Prim Mart :) You have to join to see anything and you are on "Probation" so to say with the first like 25 posts, meaning they check your posts before they are submitted. They do that to keep Spammers away :) If you don't post the 25 posts within so long, I think you might not belong anymore, too, again to keep down on Spammers and the member list being millions high with only a few regular posters. But once you jump in there, you want to post and share and learn everything you can! :)


    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 9:50AM
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I've never had but one problem with a check from a buyer and that was many years ago.
I use to sale on eBay but found it was more work and more fees than it was worth. I have 2 boutiques I have consigments in and 2 I sale wholesale out right to,I was very fortunate they found me and not the other way around.

I do highly recommend Etsy for online selling they are slowly but surely becoming a power house for handmade good sales. The fees are cheaper and people come there to buy handmade. I have shopped on there since September for Christmas and love it!!
Just remember whatever you do, selling is a lot of work, it's not easy to get started in major sales but don't give up easily, you have to build a following. Do your homework find out what your competition is doing....and then you do more. Customer service is a must but getting run over by the customer doesn't work either.
I wish you loads of success!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Check out Etsy...

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 10:00AM
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Pudge 2b

I always will accept cheques and have never had a problem.

I love quilts and their intricate designs - haven't got a smidge of talent for making them though. One thing I've always thought someone should make, or at least I've never seen such a thing, is a smaller lap quilt. These would be great, great gifts for the elderly and might be a good market to target.

I'm trying something a little different this year. Christmas craft sales are all but over by this time, and I get tired of fighting snow and ice storms, driving in the dark, etc. Anyway, I've got an opportunity to set up an open house in an almost empty storefront for a few days thru the next couple of weeks. I've advertised in the paper, put out posters, made some signage, and have been working on more items for sales. My 'tennis elbow' (I don't play tennis so it must be crafters elbow) is screaming at me but I figure I'll rest after the season is done and in the meantime the anti-inflamatories will have to suffice. I'm excited but also a little nervous about the whole deal, but it's sink or swim now. You never know until you try.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 4:08PM
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Checks are okay to accept because not everyone walks around with cash, especially if you are going to sell quilts.

Find some smaller projects that fits in with your craft....the lap quilts, maybe some ornies made out of quilts, what about stuffed animals (one lady I know used to make teddy bears out of old quilts). Even do some doll will find they might just LOVE your quilts but just can't afford it and will buy something smaller.

Go to ebay and do some searches, the advance searches that you can put "completed listings", then a description of what you are thinking of selling. It will pop up matches and show you what the items sold for. This will give you a good idea whether or not your stuff would bring a price you could live with on Ebay. Many times people are looking for a bargin on eBay (especially with crafts) and you just won't get enough money back. There are also more fees now with Ebay than used to be, including a final value fee when it sells (based on how much it sells for).

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 9:02AM
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