One of the first things to do is to decide where you are physically going to sell your cards. Are you going to sell online with your own store, on a managed platform such as Etsy, or through local businesses and crafts fairs? Word of mouth and selling cards to family and friends will only go so far when it comes to selling cards. Good research will help to determine the opportunities.
In February 2008, trouble at eBay, including a strike by some dissatisfied sellers, brought speculation that Etsy could be an increasing competitor. At the same time, however, some Etsy sellers expressed discontentment with how Etsy was handling complaints about stores. At the time, a comparison of the two websites included complaints that on Etsy, items are difficult to find, the interface "feels slow", and the buying and selling process is United States-centric. Other reviewers enjoyed using Etsy's specialized search options, including the "Shop Local" tool.
There is an increasing number of online craft marketplaces, such as Etsy, Amazon's Handmade, Artfire, and many other specialist sites. Selling online is a viable proposition for anyone with access to the internet. No technical skills are required to set up an online store within these online handmade marketplaces. Starting a store on Etsy is relatively quick and easy to do. But, you will need to work hard at taking top-notch photos of your cards, crafting superb product descriptions, and learning about search engine optimization and keywords to really get your online business off the ground. Don't worry if this sounds daunting, the Etsy seller's handbook is a fabulous source of information and will help you get started.
A couple of years ago, I shared this post about an incredible resource for printing vintage botanical art prints – Botanicus – the free, Web-based encyclopedia of digitized botanical literature from the Missouri Botanical Garden Library. When I found that resource, I couldn’t believe how many incredible and totally free images were just out there on the web to be printed and framed. It’s a budget decorator’s dream! I really didn’t think it could get any better – BUT IT JUST DID!
Marketing and promoting the business, creating new designs, sourcing products, and administration are the other aspects of running a business that will eat into the time available. You will need to allow for over half your time to be spent on the business side of things. You will also need to think about how you will handle the business if you decide to take a vacation, if you get ill, or managing extremely busy periods. This is why good planning is essential. It will help you avoid any nasty surprises later on.
In April 2012, a newspaper article about Etsy covered its fraud detection efforts; Etsy had been criticized in the past for inconsistently applying its rules about items having to be handmade. Later in April 2012, the writer of Regretsy, a popular blog, did independent research into a specific featured vendor, Ecologica Malibu, and found evidence to accuse the vendor of being a reseller, which would be against the Etsy Terms of Service. The vendor asserted that it was in line with the Terms of Service, stating that the shop had simply failed to identify itself as a "collective" that included the work of several individuals, and many Etsy community members posted on the Etsy forum expressing unhappiness with the action (or lack of action) taken by Etsy. As of June 2012, the vendor's account is no longer active on Etsy.
Whether you use our print option or send your greeting online, our gallery of Birthday Cards offers a wide variety of styles and designs, including many that let you insert a favorite photo, and you can access the Stickers Menu for multiple categories of fun images to add to your project. We provide texts you can send as they are, or you can customize them to include your own thoughts or a shared memory. Keep the font we chose or opt for one of thirty-six available fonts in thirty color choices.
In an interview in August 2013, CEO Chad Dickerson emphasized the importance of human interaction and meaning from creativity in regard to his perspective on Etsy. Dickerson described the website as "a platform that provides meaning to people, and an opportunity to validate their art, their craft", and after spending time with Etsy users, Dickerson learned that "all commerce is about real human interaction". Dickerson also provided a summation of Etsy that is a further reflection of the company's relationship- and meaning-based ethos: "At the end of every transaction, you get something real from a real person. There is an existential satisfaction to that."
If you are going to cover a range of cards and styles you will have a range of target markets and you will market-specific groups of cards to the relevant target market. Knowing your target market also helps you with marketing. If you know who this demographic is, you are much more likely to be able to reach out to them directly with your marketing efforts.
If you are starting a business for the first time there's a wealth of support and information available including online groups. If you plan to sell on Etsy, you will find many tutorials available to get you started. You'll also find a wide selection of books published on the subject of running a successful handmade business. When looking at books, make sure you find books that are up to date. The market for selling handmade cards and other products is constantly changing. Another great option is online training and workshops.
Find birthday cards for mom, dad, sisters, spouses, sons-in-law, nieces and so many other relationships. Any card will let the birthday boy or girl know you're thinking of them. Even if you live hundreds of miles away, try our Sign & Send service to have a handwritten signature added to any birthday card and mailed for you. If you need a little inspiration to get started, read some tips from Hallmark writers for what to say in a birthday card.