Christmas is nearly with us again and the search begins for gifts as usual. But this year it's different! There is a credit crunch and money is tight. Handmade goods provide very good quality and are generally cheaper than on the high street. Could buying handmade goods off the internet be the answer?
Long gone are the days when everyone used to make their own gifts to give to their friends and family because that was all they could afford to do. Now, it's much more of a way to give something unique and maybe different. Let's face it; if you shop in the average High Street, you stand a very good chance of finding exactly the same items in shop after shop and very few things are 'one off'. What is more, you don't even have to go to India, China or Africa to find anything special because there is a vibrant and successful chain of stores in every town doing just that.
I think it's with this in mind that there has been a real surge in people wanting to become crafters and make their own things and, because they are all 'one off' they become items to treasure. However, the business minded artists and crafters will have discovered that there is also a ready made market for handmade items because people, the general shopping public, really do want to give something 'special' when they hand out their gifts.
You will find that the number of Craft Fairs is increasing all the time and at Christmas time there will be one every week at a location near you! Unfortunately, both attending and exhibiting at a craft fair can put people off because there is usually a price to pay whichever mode you are choosing. So, if crafters really want to show off or sell their unique handmade items then they either have to stay small and sell only to family and friends or use the internet and if buyers don't want to pay the Craft fare premium the internet is the logical choice.
A search of the internet will reveal a growing number of craft sites dedicated to making or selling handmade items and they are all getting very popular as the desire to find unique gifts increases. So with both the supply of the raw materials and the outlets to sell them being readily available, it has never been easier to find something different for the 'special' people in your life. Good news for everyone this Christmas!
Everyone knows that craft items can be sold quite easily on various auction sites but the downside is that they can really eat into any earnings because there are both listing fees and commissions to pay on even the smallest item. It's no wonder then that sites like MyOwnCreation are springing up.
MyOwnCreation is a Cardiff based website that offers artists and crafters the chance to list their work on the website for up to 6 weeks for free and without the hassle of a commission charge. There are two major benefits to this; 1. It's really cheap for the advertiser who gets to keep more of the money they make and 2. The customers get some top quality items at a better price than they could find on a typical High Street.
Usually customers look for a degree of security when they buy services or goods off the internet. As with most handmade gift and auction sites the transactions are usually covered by a third party banking organisation who have the resources, size and background to cater for online trading. It's also quite common on this type of site for the customer to deal directly with the person selling the item. Certainly true for at least one popular auction site, but all sites usually have some kind of audit trail and seller registration process so that everything can be tracked back in the event of a problem.
It certainly looks as if the way has been cleared for handmade items to re-emerge as a viable choice of gift once again. Anyone choosing a handmade gift will surely be amazed at the quality of the items they buy. The work that goes into each item is such that, if it were subject to minimum wage legislation, we could not afford to buy it! We should all seize the chance to buy handmade gifts this Christmas and encourage entrepreneurs, artists and hobbyists in our cottage industries once again.