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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tips & Tricks on Selling Your Scrap

This resource is based on information acquired during discussions in my Humbug Tuts and Tools group.  As I, personally, do not sell my scrap, I do not have experience in this area, but many people do or want to sell their digital scrap, so I have written up this entry to provide some general guidelines for the budding entrepreneur.

How to Sell Your Scrap
There are many different ways to sell scrap on the internet, each with its pros and cons.  The options are:

  • Selling on a blog
  • Selling in a store
  • Setting up your own store to sell your own creations
  • Selling through an e-commerce site
Selling on a blog
Pros:  It is very easy to set up a blog.  There are two main options:  Blogger and Wordpress.  Blogger is easier to use, but Wordpress is more customizable.  For both systems there are a lot of free templates available or you can design your own.  By using Paypal, you can directly ask people to pay for specific items.  You can embed the Paypal buttons on your blog.  Paypal will provide the code, so this is simple and easy.

Cons:  Blogs scroll entries chronologically, so older entries will move off the front page and be replaced by new ones.  Paypal fees.  Paypal will re-direct people to a location for automatic downloading, but you need to set up the location.  Also, Paypal re-directs to a single page for all your transactions.  For example, you could re-direct people to a 4shared account but you cannot send a customer to a different page to each product.  If you do not enable re-direct, then you will need to manually send kits or links to kits to your customers.  Customers like automatic downloads.  The lack of automatic downloads could be the biggest limitation of selling on a blog.

Selling in a store
Pros:  Automatic downloads, business by other designers could result in sales for you (ie, more traffic)

Cons:  Store owners take a cut of your products.  Fees.  Potential fraud by store owners.

Tips on picking a good store:

1.  Visit the store and inspect it as if you were a customer.  Do you like the layout of the store?  Can you easily find products?  Do you like the current products in the store?  Does everything work, such as links to images or products?  If you cannot find items, parts of the store are broken or you are uncomfortable with any products in the store, then this may not be the store for you.

2.  See what designers there are in the Store. It is always helpful if a few designers in the store have many sales.  This will drive traffic to your products.

3.  Obtain references.  Ask other designers at the store their opinions of the store.

4. Ask to see a contract before you join.  Read it carefully.  Consider the following in a contract:

  • Do you have to pay to join? Many stores require a registration fee ($10 on average).
  • Is there a set up fee?
  • How often are you paid?
  • How much sale comission is the store going to charge? Stores charge anywhere from 10% to 30%.  Some stores may charge less if you sell exclusively with them.  Some stores offer different options, so check the different options carefully.  The sales commission is in addition to the fees charged by Paypal.
  • How many items you have to put in the store a month?
  • How many sales you have to make a year?
  • Do you have to join collaborations or blog trains?  Is there a monetary penalty if you do not participate?
  • How many days notice do you need to provide if you wish to leave the store?

5.  If you join the store, obtain a copy of your sales so you can double-check the numbers and prevent fraud or theft of your product.  Some stores will close suddenly or the owner may underpay (short) designers.

Setting up your own store
Pros:  No sales commission. No fraud from store owners.
Cons:  You need to learn e-commerce software.

Some types of free e-commerce software:  Zen cart, Joomla with a shopping cart

Selling through an e-commerce site
Pros:  More professional than a small store.  Less chance of fraud. 
Cons:  Fees and sales commission.  May require Paypal business or premier account.

Some e-commerce sites:
  • Etsy (Does not provide file hosting)
  • Payloadz (Provides file hosting)

1 comment:

  1. Very well researched and informative. Thanks for taking the time to write this!