MISSION: GET CRAFTY

The easy way to make $ with your DIYs

Many of us dream of making lots of money from our handmade quilts, mittens, handbags and more. But, let's face it, the idea of listing them among the millions of other items on eBay can be depressing. And by the time you do everything necessary to start your own online store (securing your domain name, hiring a web designer,  establishing a tax i.d. number, obtaining the certificate of authority for resale...and that's just for starters), the caffeine buzz will have already worn off.

But don't despair, DIY divas. There's a new kind of online store and it promises to help you turn your handcrafted projects into a handful of cash. It's the DIY consignment store, online shops that carry only handmade wares created by artists like you.

Like eBay, these web stores make it easy to sell your one-of-a-kind items by giving you a place to list them and handling the whole money-changing transaction.

However, the similarities end there. Unlike auction sites, these online DIY consignment stores come with a built-in DIY-loving customer base. They also foster artistic creativity (woe to those who try to list mass-merchandised items). Also setting them apart is their penchant for offering additional services for sellers, for example, promotion for your product and gift wrapping.

We've rounded up the top three online DIY consignment shops where you can start turning your handmade creations into cash today:

Etsy.com

Who's behind it: Robert Kalin, Chris Maguire, Haim Schoppik and Jared Tarbell  launched this site in 2005 from Robert's Brooklyn apartment and built it into arguably the largest online DIY consignment store around, with total sales reaching nearly two million dollars so far.

Specializes in: Etsy.com sells virtually anything handmade, from computers to furniture. Jewelry is a strong seller and art moves fast. Customers can also post requests and take bids from sellers for custom items.

Benefits: This site features unique search options for buyers, including being able to search for products by color, geographical location or materials.

How it works: Set up a username and password and you'll get your own free shop on your own page at username.etsy.com. You determine your own price. It costs  $.10 to $.25 to list an item. This store takes 3.5 % of the selling price. You're responsible for shipping.

Pixelgirlshop.com

Who's behind it: Shana Victor launched Pixelgirlshop.com in February 2005, and has grown from a one-woman show to a fresh and formidable contender in the online consignment market, processing thousands of sales of handmade goods.

Specializes in: Handmade purses, accessories, jewelry, hats, scarves and pet gear.

Benefits: This is a one-stop shop that does the selling as well as shipping, photography, site maintenance and even gift-wrapping for you.

How it works: Shana works with the sellers on a one-on-one basis to determine commission and shipping.

AnezkaHandmade.com

Who's behind it: Shannon Okey, an artist who specializes in textiles, created this web store to provide a collaborative space for artists of varied disciplines to come together and provide the craft-buying community with  a single place to obtain a variety of items.

Specializes in: DIY kits are a big seller on this site. Also popular are clothes, jewelry, paper crafts and accessories.

Benefits: Shannon distributes a newsletter to promote her artists and donates a portion of profits to charity, making this a hip and socially conscious place in cyberspace to start selling.

How it works: After initial approval, the agreement is a 60/40 split, with the seller (you) keeping 60% of the selling price and the web store (her) keeping the remaining 40%.

óJudy Ann Olsen


  

 

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