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           Craft Shows, Music Festivals, Fine Art Fairs
 Festival Network Online Newsletter
 Art/Craft Edition  - October 2006

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A note from the editor

Hey Artists and Craftspeople,

Here's another good one from artist Rena Klingenberg who wrote the Ultimate Guide to Your Profitable Jewelry Booth. This month, she will explain how to go about selling your extra art supplies online. 

Happy Fall everyone! 

Success Tips for Selling Your Unused Supplies on eBay

During your slower times of year, selling your excess art or craft supplies via online auctions can be an excellent side-business.

There's a definite auction market for these supplies.  Many hobby and professional level artists regularly browse through eBay and similar sites in search of irresistible bargains and unique components they can use in their creations.

A few reasons why you may want to consider auctioning off supplies from your niche:

* If you create raw materials, components, kits, jigs, tools, or other art/craft supplies -
Auctions can be a good way for you to gain exposure to a wider clientele. They can also become one of your regular sales channels. If you offer unusual items and always have auctions running, you'll pick up a regular following of customers who are always eager to see - and bid on - your new components.

* If you buy your own supplies in volume at wholesale prices -
When you receive your bulk supply orders, you can take out the quantity of supplies you need for your own use, and divide the rest into auction lots. If you purchase cheaply enough, you can do a brisk business by auctioning off the remaining quantity at prices that are just under retail. Meanwhile, the supplies you keep for yourself are essentially free. This is a great deal for you as well as your auction customers.

* If you want to unload some supplies you're not using -
Sometimes as you go through your stock of supplies, you realize you're probably not ever going to use some of the things you've bought. Perhaps you're drifting more into a different niche of your art, or you've grown into using more expensive materials. Online auctions can be a great way to do some "spring cleaning" in your studio. You can clear out your unused stuff and make some money to spend on different stuff!

So if you're planning to sell some of your art or craft supplies via online auctions, here's a strategy that has worked very well for me.

In my experience, the auction lots that get more bids and close at higher prices are the ones where I create a useful collection of related items, rather than auction lots that are all one thing.   For example, instead of listing an auction lot of a simple strand of rose quartz oval shape beads, I create an auction lot of a neat little "designer collection" of beads.

In this case, I could group some of those rose quartz oval beads with garnet rondells and freshwater pearl beads.  These three stones work really well together, and this auction lot allows the winning bidder to have a lot more creative fun than he or she would with a group of all the same kind of bead.

Combo auction lots like this tend to be more valuable and useful to bidders. In a single auction and for one shipping price, they can get a variety of supplies instead of just one.

Another advantage of making combined auction lots when you sell supplies is that your auction listings will contain more keywords that are being searched for by a much bigger group of bidders.  For example, our designer bead collection auction could be found by bidders searching for rose quartz beads, bidders searching for garnet beads, and bidders searching for freshwater pearl beads.

That's a significantly larger group than just bidders searching for rose quartz beads.  And a good portion of bidders from all three keyword searches will be watching and considering our designer bead collection auction.
Now here's where it gets really good:

Not only do you have a higher demand for your combo auction lots - you also don't really have any competition for the exact auction lot you're offering. Other sellers might offer rose quartz ovals, or garnet rondells, or freshwater pearl beads - but not all three together in one temptingly color-coordinated auction lot.  If a bidder wants this bead combination, our auction is the only one available to bid on.

So according to Economics 101, high demand + low supply = higher closing price.

You can make tempting kits or package deals of other auction lots no matter what your niche is.  Here are a few more examples:

  * assorted colors of polymer clay plus some basic clay tools
  * a woodworking tool plus several backissues of a woodworking magazine
  * scrapbooking pens, papers, and a paper cutting tool

To bidders, these combination auction lots are much more appealing and valuable.  If you're a regular seller of combo auction lots, you'll quickly gain a following of eBay buyers who always check your current auctions to see what irresistible new combinations you have available.

Article by:
Rena Klingenberg - author of an ebook on selling jewelry at shows:
Thousands of tips for marketing your handcrafted jewelry.

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