Best places to sell handmade clothing

Are you dipping your toe in the waters of fashion design?  Enjoy making clothing and seeking to make a little side cash?  Below is a list of places where you can test your ideas quickly and begin the journey to starting your own business.

Each of the marketplaces listed below are excellent test markets to see how well your ideas will sell without having to spend overhead on a website, branding, marketing, PR, etc.

etsyEtsy:
By far the best place for handmade goods is Etsy.  They brand themselves as:

the marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods.

The interface is intuitive and easy to use.  The audience has matured over the last several years to quite a good size, and the listing fees are incredibly low ($0.30 to list for 3 months).

There is a little bit of everything on Etsy from lingerie, vintage goods, outerwear, knit items – if you can think of the genre it’s probably on Etsy.

ebay-imageEbay:
The 800lb elephant of internet market places – Ebay is still heavily trafficed, but not like it used to be.  You’ll face stiff competition from international low cost providers (China, South Korea, etc), but it’s still a good platform for testing.

The user interface is not quite as easy to navigate as Etsy, and you can quickly rack up a lot of fees if you aren’t careful.  Luckily, as of today, Ebay offers 50 free listings per month – great for feeling out the market, but not as part of your strategy to grow your sales.

facebook-logoFaceBook:
The world’s largest social media network is a natural fit for sharing your ideas and collecting feedback.  Setup a PayPal account and you can take orders via messaging.  Plus – if you find users who love you, they will only be a click away from sharing your designs with their friends.

Craft Shows:
There’s nothing like face-to-face interactions and working a crowd to immediately find out what works and what doesn’t.  Do a little research to find out when areas near you will have craft shows and then sign up to be a vendor.

Attending a craft show requires work to setup your stand and break it down as well as an upfront payment to attend, but it can be a great way to gauge the marketplace and collect information from informal conversations that you can’t have online.

I hope you’ve found the above information helpful. As always – feel free to drop me a line (Michael) in the comments below. We will be launching ModaMake to help you with fashion pattern drafting – providing a quick and simple interface to making custom designs.

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