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We all have personalized products in our time. Whether you wrote your name on your notebooks at a young age or put stickers on your backpack, we all made it.
But even today, personalized items are still very popular with adults and young people. Coffee mugs and water bottles personalized with names are enjoying increasing popularity. Other personalized items such as pillows and jewelry are classic gifts. On Amazon, some of the most popular items bought are personalized and handcrafted items.
Virtually anything can be personalized and the best part is that the gifts make sense, which makes them a popular choice. People also buy personalized items for themselves and add flair to ordinary household items.
With an ever growing number of platforms available to people selling handmade items and support for small businesses skyrocketing as a result of the pandemic, now is the perfect time to start making money. If you need a sideline to make some extra cash, selling personalized items is a great way to do it.
How to start your own business with personalized items
Are you thinking of starting your own business to sell personalized items? It’s a good idea to plan your ideas out to make sure you’re organized and ready to get started. When you plan every step of your business from start to finish, you can sit back and relax.
Here are our top tips for starting your own personalization business:
Decide which items you want to personalize
Start by looking for inspiration and ideas online. Sites like Pinterest and Instagram have thousands of products and designs to look at. Find out how to add your own unique touch to existing designs and what can give your business an edge over similar designs. Some of the most popular items include mugs, pens, t-shirts, water bottles, and tote bags.
Once you’ve decided which items to personalize and sell, do some research on how to bulk-buy that particular item at the best possible price. There are many wholesale websites that allow you to buy certain items at a much lower price than if you bought them individually. Sites like eBay, DHgate, and Bizay are useful and accessible sites for this.
It is also important to research the equipment you will need when choosing a product to personalize. It can be a good idea to decide how much you’re willing to pay for the initial setup costs.
If you have to spend money on specific equipment, such as cutting plotters or laminators, think about what you can realistically afford. It may cost you pennies initially, but try to think of it as an investment.
Knowing what you are selling and how you are going to sell it is the first step in your business. Plus, you’ll be ready to go as soon as the orders come in!
Choose a sales platform
Take the time to compare and contrast different sales platforms. There are many to choose from, but it is a good idea to consider whether they charge commissions or sales fees and how much they are taking. You don’t want you to see little to no profit on your items as the sales platform is earning your hard earned cash!
Shop around to begin.
- Make a list of the different selling platforms you can find and note if they charge you for your transactions.
- Once you have a vague idea of how much you are charging for your items, it can be used to identify potential profit margins. It’s only natural that you want to get the most profit possible, so spend a few hours doing your research.
The most popular sales platforms are
- Etsy. Etsy is especially popular for selling handmade and personalized items.
Amazon has several sales plans that you can choose from. With the Individual plan it costs 75p per item sold, and with the Professional plan it costs £ 25 per month no matter how many items you sell. However, there are also additional sales fees.
You can read all about eBay Selling Fees here and Etsy’s Selling Fees here.
look into the logistics
Finally, it is important to research and plan your company’s logistics. Knowing how much postage and packaging is likely to cost you can help you figure out a price for the product yourself. There are many ways to get your articles published these days.
We live in a time when there are several delivery companies. They all charge differently and offer different benefits.
- Do your research to make sure you are getting the best price.
- You can choose to offer free or low-cost shipping to encourage buyers and increase sales.
- Either way, it is important to find out what you can ask for and still make a profit.
You can compare different couriers on the Parcel Compare website.
How Much Money Can You Make?
The potential profit depends on which items you want to personalize and sell. Because of this, it’s especially important to research all of the aforementioned aspects of the business, from bulk purchases to shipping.
When you have sorted out these aspects, you can choose a price for the item yourself. It is a good idea to choose a price that will bring you a profit but still be fair to the consumer.
For example, if you buy 50 plain white customizable t-shirts for around £ 1.51 per unit like the ones offered on the Wordans website, you can easily make a profit. This Etsy shop charges £ 12.99 for custom text t-shirts. They also offer free delivery.
Assuming you charged the same price of £ 12.99 after subtracting the cost of the original T-shirt (£ 1.51) and the cost of the standard second class postage (£ 2.95), you could get 8 To make £ 50 profit.
Once you’ve sold all 50 shirts your profit margin will be a whopping £ 426.50! Of course, Etsy sales fees and packaging costs would have to be considered. Either way, a nice sum could go straight to your bank account.
Likewise, if you buy 50 of these plain white customizable coffee mugs in bulk for around 65p a unit, the chance of winning is good.
Many Etsy shops charge around £ 8 for a personalized mug. If you charge £ 8 plus postage, you will lose just 65p on every sale. This would bring you nearly £ 370 in profit once all 50 cups are sold. Again, it doesn’t take sales fees into account, but it would still make you a fair bit of cash.
Leah’s personalized Starbucks mugs
Leah Shave is a 21-year-old paramedic based in London who started making personalized mugs as a sideline in May 2021.
She sells Starbucks mugs on the Etsy marketplace and sells them both as blank pieces and with vinyl designs printed on them.
Leah does the designs herself. After buying a personalized Starbucks mug online, she evaluated the price she paid for it. “I thought to myself: ‘I could have done that!’ and started researching the idea of starting my own online shop, ”she tells us.
She began researching the cost of buying empty cups in bulk, as well as the price of the machines that would require them. After accounting for postage and packaging, she realized there was a potential win. “I bit the bullet and ordered 50 Starbucks cups to test the deal,” Leah tells us. This is how her Etsy shop StarbuckiesCo was born.
You can hear their excitement when you talk about their sideline. She continues; “I use a Cricut Joy machine that retails for between £ 179 and £ 200. It’s a vinyl cutting machine that makes the vinyl designs possible. ”This is a critical piece of equipment Leah needs to finish her designs and, despite the cost, she considers it an investment. “It makes designing my cups so easy and has such a high quality, professional finish,” she adds.
Her strong work ethic and enthusiasm shine. Refreshingly, it is clear that Leah is not just aiming for a profit margin, but really wants to offer her customers a nice, high quality product.
“I’ll charge £ 8.40 for the empty cups and I’ll charge £ 13.99 for those with additional personalization or design,” she informs us. A fair price for the effort that goes into designing and creating additional personalizations. “I offer free shipping as it tends to drive sales.”
She follows with some advice. “It is a good idea to do some research before deciding on a particular postal provider. I pay £ 2.95 for Hermes delivery and they offer tracking, but like I said, I don’t charge you anything. “
Then sales fees apply. “Etsy fees are a little tricky, but I found it to be the best place to sell my mugs,” she comments. “When you sell an item, Etsy charges a 5% commission plus a 20p processing fee.”
“I sell about 6 cups a day on average,” she adds, “which equates to a weekly income of about £ 210. After subtracting the expenses, including postage and packaging, the cost of vinyl and bubble wrap, I look around £ 500 a month profit. “
She advises you to keep track of your finances when starting a small business or doing outside jobs. She uses a budgeting app that allows her to enter her income and expenses in one place. It enables her to see her weekly and monthly profits. “It’s so important to keep track of your earnings to make sure your business is functioning effectively.”
Then she tells us what she’s most looking forward to in her new company. “At first I used Pinterest to come up with ideas and adapt them to my own unique style. I write lists of ideas that come to mind and designs that I would like to try. I also look at the latest trends. ”Leah also makes mugs that are tailored to specific events and the time of year. “I recently brought out an England Cup during Euro and made a Pride Cup during Pride Month”.
Leah says she thinks about which items to personalize. “I’m focusing on expanding my cup designs for now, but I’m thinking about looking for personalized clothing like t-shirts as well.”
Finally, Leah gives this advice to anyone who wants to do something similar: “Just bite the bullet! If it works for others, why doesn’t it work for you? Try it!”.