Tips for what to do when your handmade items don't Sell!

Uncategorized Mar 30, 2021

I think one of the most frustrating parts of owning a creative business is "The Gamble."

Everyday you show up, create your best work, and at the end of the day, some products may not sell the way you want them to. This is The Gamble. The Gamble is pouring your heart and soul into products that will hopefully, one day, grace someone else's home. 

Unfortunately with gambling, sometimes you win big, and sometimes you lose the pot. 

So, what do you do with the products that simply aren't selling?

Go cry in bed with a bowl of ice cream over all of the wasted time and money.

Nope, that's not it. It's time to embrace the age we live in of reuse and repurpose.

Spruce up your marketing

Before you call it quits on a product, you need to determine the reason why it's not selling. Is it the product itself, or is it the way that you talk about it?

Having a killer product description can make a big difference in the success of an item. Get my product description checklist and worksheet here to learn how to write a description that converts scrollers into customers.

Professional photos can also go a long way, as they highlight the best features of your products. Never underestimate good lighting, an aesthetically-pleasing background, and the magic of a good photographer.

Do a Facebook Live sale

What is this, you ask? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like - when you sell products while filming a "Live" video on Facebook. Here's how it works:

  1. Begin advertising 10-14 days before you plan to have the sale. You will want to provide sneak peaks of products. Be excited about the sale and mention it often in your other posts and videos.
  2. Number items using any number you choose.
  3. Price all items.
  4. Create a tracker including the item number and price, so you can keep track of who purchased each item live.
  5. Now you go Live! Start by saying hello and explaining the rules, then start selling. Do your best to create a steady flow - don't go too fast or too slow.

If you still want more information, check out my interview with Brooke from The Junk Parlor. She explains how she consistently gets sales through Live videos on Facebook.

Quick sales

Companies like TJ Maxx and Tuesday Morning make a fortune selling slightly imperfect and off-season products at a discount. They're so profitable because they own the fact that they aren't selling top dollar products.

Throughout the year, you can have a few flash sales to clear some of your shelves, especially for off-season products that didn't sell before. Really make your followers feel like they're getting a great deal!

Create bundles and up-sells

Another great way to clear out your unsold inventory is to combine these products with your products that are selling. 

To create a bundle, advertise one of your top-selling products paired with one that isn't selling, at a slightly higher price than the former by itself. If you drive the price up too much, the customer won't feel like they're getting a deal and may not find it worth it.

To create an up-sell, attach a not-so-popular product to the thank you page of a bestseller. Include a line like this: "Since you bought ________, I'm giving you ________ for only $__, normally $__! That's a one-time __% discount!"

Donate your products

If all else fails, donation is a fantastic way to promote your business while doing the world some good. You know those pesky school auctions that always ask for everyone to contribute? Donate to those! Some donations are even tax deductible, so make sure that you set yourself up correctly.

Learn from it

Every time we make a sale, or we don't, is an opportunity to learn more about our customers. They are communicating with you using their money. Pay attention to what products are valuable to them, which messaging they respond to, and when they are most likely to open their wallets. 

Sometimes, products just don't sell right off the bat. And that's okay! It's not personal. Do you what you can to rectify the loss using the above tips, and learn what you can do differently next time. 


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