Submitted by Emilie Corbiere
If you’re like me, a little extra money during the holiday season always comes in handy. If you’re also a native crafter or jewelry maker, Facebook is a terrific tool for you to sell your items. There are plenty of selling/auction pages for you to offer your wares and this time of year is the perfect opportunity. In the search bar, just type in the words powwow, native crafts, buy and sell, and many different pages will appear; make sure to read the page’s rules.
I would start by taking a clear picture of your work, I like to use a camera instead of my cell phone, a photo will usually show more detail. Once you upload the picture to Facebook, you can share and sell on as many pages as you like. Along with the picture, be sure to add a detailed description of your item, such as what it’s made out of, the size, the price, shipping costs, etc… Set your price to a reasonable amount, for example: I usually write down how long it took me to make the item and then I charge $10.00 for every hour it was worked on.
Depending on how large the item is, you can charge anywhere from $2.00 to $20.00 for shipping. If you’re not sure what to charge, ask your customer what town, province or city in the US that they live in, take the unsealed package to the post office and get a quote from the postmaster.
As for how to accept payment, I will only accept Paypal or Email Money Transfer (EMT). I like them both because most US residents will use Paypal and most Canadian residents will use either. Paypal also protects both the customer and the seller if there is a dispute of some kind and they don’t charge very much to use their services. Email money transfer is brilliant if you do online banking here in Canada; the payment takes just minutes to get to you and it’s so convenient.
Once you’ve been paid and the item is already made, if you can’t ship it within the same day, make sure to send it out within 2-3 days, and then the customer knows that you ship in a timely fashion. If you have to make the item, give the customer a reasonable timeline and remember that the longer you take to make something to sell, you are potentially losing future customers.
I hope this advice has helped you to decide if online selling is for you. I was nervous and skeptical at first, but now has become second nature and is a lucrative part time job. Good luck!
Emilie Corbiere is the administrator of the successful Facebook page Native Crafts and Jewelery with a following of almost 37,000 people.