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Cash for Creativity

Some retirees want to keep their days open and cannot imagine working again, at least not for the foreseeable future.  Others want to remain engaged in the workforce at some level, whether for economic reasons or merely to stay busy.

One idea for creative types wishing to work a bit is to sell their handmade wares online.  Appealingly, this type of position can often be accomplished at home, and the extra cash it might generate could come in handy.

Here are two of the many online marketplaces to consider.

Etsy

Etsy showcases various categories of inventiveness.  Some of the goods they offer include clothing, jewelry, beauty products, vintage items, greeting cards, posters, household decorations, photography, ornaments, keepsakes, and wood products.

To sell on Etsy, individuals create a username and store name (e.g., Bill’s Beautifully-carved Wooden Tables).  The company does not charge to create the shop, but fees incur during sales.  There has been some controversy surrounding Etsy selling practices because they emphasize handmade but allow factory-made in some instances.  Yet, the company asserts the products sold on their site are unique, and even though certain goods may be factory produced, the design originated with the respective seller.  For example, if you create pickle-shaped pillows and it takes off with kids, a factory may be able to make the items in quantity, but you can still offer them in your shop (because it’s your design).

This innovative business was launched in 2005 and went public in Spring 2015.  It has an impressive market share, particularly in the vintage goods arena.  Some sellers do quite well, although advertising strategies are usually pivotal to merchandise visibility.  To check out Etsy, go to https://www.etsy.com/

Handmade at Amazon

A formidable newbie in the handmade online marketplace is Handmade at Amazon.  Clearly, Amazon is anything but new, but the strictly handmade division just launched in October 2015 and is already boasting sellers in the thousands.  Current product areas include jewelry, party supplies, lighting, lawn and garden, bedding, kitchen and dining, home décor, and a few others: the company avows additional categories will be available in the not-too-distant future.

Unlike Etsy, potential sellers must apply to display their handmade wares (Etsy tends to accept anyone who wants to open a store).  Mass-produced goods are not permitted on the site, at least not at this time.  Parent company Amazon, located in Seattle, was founded in 1994.  It started out as an online bookstore but has grown to become the largest online retailer in America.  Amazon sells a wide variety of goods, and its Handmade at Amazon division is anticipated to be a winner.  Actually, there seems to be a growing number of consumers tired of mass-produced products; therefore, they deliberately seek out handmade supplies.  For additional Handmade at Amazon info, go to http://services.amazon.com/handmade/handmade.htm

Unsurprisingly, there are other companies, like EBay and Zibbet, offering the ability to showcase imaginative goods.  Each business tends to have its own guidelines regarding store set-up, fees and payment.

Impressively, the opportunity to sell handmade merchandise has never been more promising.  So, if creativity is striking you in some way, you may want to check this out!

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