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Tasamuel

Where can I sell Chainmail?

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Hello all that are reading this,

 

I am beginning to get into the hobby of making chain mail armor and had a few questions. I plan on making some pieces of armor for myself and friends before I start selling pieces of equipment. When the time comes to start selling them, where should I start? I have read multiple forums that say not to sell it on Ebay because of a few reasons, but I haven't found any places that they say to sell it at. Any help would be appreciated.

 

 

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You sell over the internet with PayPal and a good website. You market by going to SCA and LARP events and showing your wares. You probably won't sell much there (most people don't carry that kind of free cash) but you want to make sure that every person who gets in hailing distance of your setup gets a flier or a good business card.

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Selling online is difficult, personally I have had the best luck selling through my own website.  Etsy, and other markets are possible to move product, but you will likely have to do a small amount of advertising for it to work (as noted by another, there is a lot of competition).  The majority of my sales are from craft fairs and markets like that.  You'll want a large inventory before you begin, there are several retail sales "laws" that you can apply, but they're not 100% accurate when it comes to craft shows because the market is different and people are there to buy stuff most of the time.

Retail sales laws:

Typical advertisement returns are around 0.5% of the people reached (For example if you attend an event that has 20,000 patrons you can consider them your advertised to group so you can sell to around 100 people, but don't expect that to be the case.)
You'll never sell more than 10% of your inventory (This one is one that gets bent at craft fairs if it is the type of product that people are expecting and looking for such as a Ren. Fest, SCA or LARP event you could do better.  If you're out of place you could walk away with nothing.  If you want/need to make $1,000 for an event to make it worth your while you'll need to have at least $10,000 worth of inventory.  Also if your inventory is too expensive, as most armor will be you may not move any product.  That's why most people also make chainmail jewelry.  Having something small, that isn't $500+ gives people the option to support you without forfeiting on their mortgage :-P )

The only reason I mention the retail sales laws is because I was unfamiliar with them when I first started, and attended a number of shows WAY under prepared.  I would go to craft shows with like $2,000 worth of inventory and be like "Dude if I only sell half of what I've got I'll be doing great!" yeah, that never worked out.  Of course this can be intimidating to a newcomer, what I would suggest is to check out your local Ren. Fest and talk to people.  The one near me has three different shops that are all collaborative chainmail shops.  Even smaller shops may let you sell through them if you'll work in the shop with them.  Faires are hard with 12hr days etc. sometimes it comes out in a shop keepers best interest if they can increase their inventory, and get some restroom breaks in during the day.

Edited by ArchmailleDesigns

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