Planning to Sell Crafts from India in the US and Other Markets?
The US market has always shown a huge fascination for Indian crafts. The current effective world market for handicraft exports from India stands at an impressive US $3048.42 Million with the US alone enjoying an unbelievable 29.92% of the share. Interestingly, this unparalleled growth is expected to double in the next 1-2 years.
These figures can further be validated with the fact that in 2 years SouvNear sold more than 100,000 units on Amazon for combined sales of over $3,000,000. And that was back in June 2016. Much more has been added to those figures till date.
Yes, but before you get excited with these numbers, it’s important to know that you will have to face some challenges before you start out on your journey to sell crafts from India in the US market:
Moreover, dealing with Asian businesses & vendors is very different and can be riskier as compared to dealing with the US ones.
Let’s discuss how these challenges can be overcome and how resellers can make big money and huge profits by selling crafts from India both online and offline.
STEP 1: Find the right crafts to sell online
The initial concerns for resellers in this business are questions like, what kind of crafts would sell best online? Which products would yield high profit margins? Which range of products resonates with buyers, etc.?
The important tip here is ‘sell something unique’
There is a high possibility that whatever you are buying online would be bought by many others too. This means high competition. So choose something unique, artistic and rare. In my last article, Selling Online? Do Not Miss These 10 Things Before You Choose Your Products, I discussed in detail what kind of products would become the best pick for resellers.
The brief up is:
Planters, tea-lights, vases, antique-look chess sets, ethnic-look sculptures in marble or wood, bags, jewelry and jewelry boxes, toys and games, kitchen, bathroom, office accessories, etc. are some items that can be excellent crafts to sell if they carry the true flavors of India be it the primitive tribal Dhokra Art, the beautiful Paper Mache Art from Kashmir, the impossible Openwork or Jaaliwork Art on stone or wood, or the Shabby Chic work reminiscent of British colonial India. You can explore more arts from India here.
But before you make these crafts your pick, make sure they fulfill at least 5-6 above mentioned requirements, and more importantly, are sourced from reliable distributors (as discussed in the next point).
In your initial stage of the business make sure you do not spend too much to fill up on inventory. It is risky and demands higher shipping charges and higher quality control. And of course it is an experimenting stage. You can never be 100% sure about the results. So go slow, go smart.
STEP 2: Find the right approach to reach reliable vendors
Once you know what crafts you can sell, the next crucial concern is where to find these products and reliable vendors who sell these. This is one very important concern that can flip the business around 180 degrees.
Make sure your future suppliers:
Sell crafts at wholesale prices
Take the responsibility to deliver products at your doorstep. DDP terms with insured shipment is perhaps the best option.
Promise to customize crafts based on your requirements
Have good brand value in the market, and a deep understanding of Indian handicrafts
Provide complete quality checks and ensure replacements, if there are any issues with the product
Can supply a wide and exclusive range of products
But how can you find crafts to sell and rely on some vendor sitting in far-away India especially when you know it could be risky to deal with them?
Explore craft shows that are exclusively for businesses, connect with other distributors via your current ones, and find credible, online wholesale websites exclusively selling crafts. SouvNear is one such platform that is US-based with a sourcing office and dedicated team in India, and delivers exclusive Indian crafts at wholesale prices. See why it’s the best choice for resellers.
Whoever you buy from, make sure they fulfill all the above-mentioned requirements before you do business with them.
Compare prices online of products similar to the ones you shortlist to buy from your chosen vendor. Ideally what you see retailing online for let’s say $20 should be bulk purchased for less than $10, otherwise you could be selling at a loss.
STEP 3: Find the right strategy to sell crafts online on Amazon, eBay, etc.
Once you have the right kind of products bought at good, competitive prices, consider you have already won half the battle. The next step needs more business and marketing skills.
Deciding the price of the craft to sell on Amazon
First, decide the price you wish to sell your crafts for. This step is very tricky especially when you list your products on Amazon. This marketplace promises customers to deliver products at minimum possible prices. So if a buyer wishes to buy an elephant sculpture, for example, Amazon makes sure that they provide a lot of choices at the lowest prices in search, navigation, and even on product pages.
Amazon will also provide options to compare prices of all available sellers in the buy box on product pages. You will often have to compete for the buy box when more sellers are selling the same product. Quick ways of winning the buy box are by lowering your price or by offering free shipping.
Clicking the pictures
The sale of any product online highly depends upon the images. The first glance at a product picture is what makes all the difference. Try using high-quality images from different angles, preferably in a good background but with a complete focus on the product. Also, try to show at least one picture with the product in use.
Using the most effective keywords
The next important step is to use the most effective keywords that would make buyers reach your product. There are tools like MerchantWords, KTD, Scientific Seller that can be used for initial keyword research to make your product visible in the crowd.
Stay updated 2 months prior with all the major events that come your way in the year. For example if Father’s Day is on June 21, make crafts that can be excellent gifting items for fathers available to you by May 30. Then update these on online selling marketplaces with keywords like ‘Father’s Day Deals, Gifts for Fathers’, etc. This immediately pushes the sales!
Writing the description
While keywords help in reaching the product and images make the buyer stop at the landing page for couple of seconds, content (along with competitive price) is what convinces the buyer to add the product to the cart. Beautify the product with catchy content but in a precise manner. Write specifications and dimensions and also how the product can be used.
Crafts sell best when you tell people how it is being made and by whom. If you can manage to write that in a terse way, you can quickly increase the chances of selling your product.
Once everything is set and you understand the trend of selling your products, start advertising campaigns. This really helps!
Keep up with the pace of selling your crafts. In 2 months you will understand what sells best and what new can be added to stock. Try experimenting with the prices, keywords and new products.
Questions or concerns? Write a comment and I will respond to you immediately. Till then don’t be a wantrepreneur- TAKE ACTION –and good luck with your business!