Simple Things to Make and Sell Online

We all know that the internet connects us to the world, but few people realize the true power of that. Having access to the information and connections that the online world provides gives us opportunities we never had before.

What sort of opportunities? For one, it has never been easier to start your dream business and instantly reach global customers.

Of course, you can sell many things online, but crafty folks who make art and handmade goods are in an excellent position.

The internet lets you share your creative ideas and products in no time. So what sort of things sell online? Here’s a look at eight great items to get you started.

8 Easy Things to Make That You Can Sell Online

Starting an online business does not necessarily involve complicated coding or new-age technology. Many people are finding online communities to be the perfect place to sell their arts and crafts.

If you already make and share a craft, then chances are you already have some idea of what sort of things make a good business model.

Much like in-person craft sales, the best items are things that personally interest you. Whatever your hobbies are, be they needle stitch or candlemaking, you can sell online.

Although it is not a firm one, the one requirement is that items should be easy to ship. Perishables are challenging, and large and bulky items are more problematic. Remember, your customers will need to pay for shipping and handling.

The faster the handling needs to be, or the larger the item, the more expensive this will get.

T-Shirt Designs and Other Print-On-Demand Products

Print-on-demand (POD) companies take designs that you create and print them on their products. This is convenient for the small business owner because it usually means that the POD company will handle all aspects of the fulfillment process.

You won’t ever have to touch or ship the final product–all of that work will get done for you.

From the business owner’s perspective, there’s minimal risk or startup costs with POD items. Whatever kind of design you want to make, you can likely find a company that will print it on nearly anything.

Want to put your photo on a t-shirt, hoodie, or face mask? How about a mug, phone case, or mousepad? Perhaps a water bottle or coffee mug? The list of possible products you could sell is limitless.

The most significant caveat of selling POD goods is that the designs you submit must be your own. You’ll be legally liable for any copyright or trademark infringement. So you must use original designs.

If you don’t make them yourself, ensure that you have properly secured the legal rights to reproduce them from the original artists or copyright holder.

A few print-on-demand providers worth checking out include the following companies.

  • Printful
  • Printify
  • SPOD
  • Teelaunch
  • T-Pop
  • JetPrint
  • CustomCat

Visual and Wall Artwork

Like POD companies, many printing companies will enable you to put your artwork for sale online and handle the painting. If you are already a visual artist, this is a great option to sell your work in an online gallery.

You can make and sell your art as posters, photography, giclee prints, or stretched canvases.

Of course, painters have been making art for centuries without the help of print-on-demand services. If you like to put your brush to canvas, you can sell your work online through many venues.

But unlike POD companies, you’ll want to set up your own portfolio website to sell your work directly to customers. That means you’ll need to work out all the fulfillment issues and find a way to keep your canvases safe during shipping.

Many of the most popular wall art pieces being printed by these companies are digitally created graphic designs. Instead of being full-blown artworks, these take familiar elements and mash them up into familiar themes.

They may be reminiscent of other artworks, or they may slyly hint a cute pop culture references. So you don’t have to be a talented artist or painter to sell posters and art.

Companies to check out include the following ones.

  • Printful
  • Printify
  • Redbubble
  • Fine Art America
  • Gooten

Soaps, Bath Scrubs, Bath Bombs

A craft item in high demand is homemade soap. These environmentally responsible items are something that everyone needs.

By purchasing all-natural and responsibly sourced ingredients, you can quickly build a boutique business that is eco-friendly and amazingly popular. Soap epitomizes the “something old made new again” concept.

There are many home, beauty, and even decor items that you can group in here. For example, bath bombs are popular and easy to make, as are bath scrubs and salts. You might also want to look into fragrance and decor items, too.

Simple Jewelry

Jewelry making is a popular hobby that can be profitable online. Depending on your skills and the materials you source, your pieces can range from simple beadworks to ornate mounted objects like gems, seashells, pearls, or glass.

Bracelets and necklaces are the easiest to get started with.

Candles

Related to soaps, candle making is an easy hobby, and the results are always in demand. You can find a niche candle business and specialize in a particular type or scent of candle.

Papercrafts

Papercrafts are designs that are created to be printed out at home. The paper is then cut and glued together to form three-dimensional models. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s incredible what you can turn one piece of paper into.

It’s something like origami mashed up with model building.

You can sell papercraft designs on a marketplace or your own website. The best thing about selling papercrafts is that they are effectively a digital download–you don’t ever have to ship anything.

Furthermore, since it’s a digital product, you can make it once and sell it over and over again.

Toys and Games

People in the 21st century are hungry for old-fashioned fun. That means that handmade toys and games are perfect for online stores. This is a broad category that could include everything from board games to ragdolls.

Picking what toy is best suited for your store may be an exercise in what you have the skills, supplies, and desire to produce.

Wood sculpted games like ring tosses, Jenga-style block towers, or ornately carved chess or checkers boards are great selections if you’ve got a good woodworking shop.

One popular item on Etsy, the leading online marketplace of handmade goods, is homemade cornhole games. These are simple plywood setups, but you can customize their painting and design in any different way.

In addition, all sorts of wood-built yard games are excellent options–although these oversized items may be difficult to ship.

Pet Collars, Leashes, and Accessories

Pet good sales are experiencing a boom right now. Many families adopted a “pandemic pet,” and these fur babies are getting all the love. Online stores are selling clothes and costumes for every type of dog and cat imaginable.

Don’t forget about old standbys like collars and leashes, though.

Why would anyone want to find these items online? Well, the selection at most big-box pet stores is very limited. If you find a niche, it can be very easy to produce a full line of pet-sized accessories.

Places Where You Can Sell Your Items

Etsy

Etsy is the world’s largest marketplace for one-of-a-kind and handmade goods. Think of it as your weekend’s craft fair, but on a global scale. The best thing about Etsy is that it is super easy to get a store up and running.

Facebook Marketplace

Pretty much everyone is familiar with the social media giant Facebook, but their Marketplace is becoming more and more popular for selling goods.

You can sell pretty much anything on Facebook, and the platform makes it easy to list items and sell them right from your Facebook business page. Of course, one of the most powerful tools is the platform’s built-in advertising services.

Amazon

Amazon isn’t set up inherently for small sellers, but it does have some cool programs that allow small shops to flourish. One example is the Amazon Handmade marketplace.

The real advantage of listing on Amazon is access to the insane amount of traffic that the website sees. It is the largest online marketplace in the world, and you can find nearly anything you’d like to buy on it.

eBay

The eBay site has grown since its early days of offering online auctions. These days, auction-style listings are still big. But plenty of shops also use it as a marketplace to list goods for sale.

So, like Amazon, you can find pretty much anything you’re looking for on eBay.

Your Own Website

Finally, you can always choose to sell goods from your own website. Many crafty people and artists do it this way because you can make your website anything you want it to be.

Instead of just being a listing in a bigger store, your website is like having your own shop. You can arrange things as you see fit and sell whatever you like.

The downside is that setting up and running a website can be a lot of work. You have to handle all of your marketing. That means you have to go out and find your customers and then get them to come to your store.

You’re also responsible for every component of your website’s setup. You’ll have to find a hosting service, buy a domain name, and then do the actual website building.

There are several services, like Shopify and Squarespace, that make all of this easier. They allow you to make your shop with a drag-and-drop builder that is easy to use.

Not everyone wants to go to the trouble of setting up their website, but it can be helpful to build your audience and connect with your customers.

There are enough tools now that most everything can be done easily and for very little money. Social media and website builders make this once tricky task accessible for many more people.

Final Thoughts

It’s probably not a good idea to start making something just to sell it online–unless you are interested in making it already.

In the end, the most successful business are those that are built from a passion.

If you’re naturally a crafty person who likes building things, then an online business is easy to set up and can help you reach many more customers than face-to-face methods can.