How CustomMade.com Helps Artisans Get Paid What They’re Worth

by G.B. Oliver

If you are an artisan or someone who designs and creates a product and markets it, do you feel your work is often undervalued, especially in today’s saturated online market? If you would like to change that, a shopping site that is increasing in popularity may be your answer.

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A marketplace connecting interested buyers with artisans who can fill their custom product requests

CustomMade is a unique type of marketplace. As the name suggests, products are custom-made upon request. Shoppers looking for a specific item bid to have it created by an artisan (or you can hand select an artisan), within a budget range the buyer offers – everything from jewelry to furniture to personalized gifts.

As I was looking over the list of current product requests, I saw buyers requesting a wide range of items – a wood dog statute (willing to pay $250 to $500), a charm for a necklace (willing to pay $100 to $500), a wedding gown (willing to pay $5,000 to $10,000), a two-sided wood animal and shape puzzle (willing to pay $250 to $500) and a ceramic model of a childhood home (willing to pay $500 to $1,000).

Yesterday, CustomMade announced that they have raised $18 million in new funding with an aim to grow further and connect more makers and buyers who crave one-of-a-kind items. It doesn’t hurt that one of their investors was Google Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of Google Inc. (ever heard of them?)

I had actually recommended CustomMade recently to a client of mine who was having zero success selling on one of the popular artisan marketplaces. She felt no one liked the type of jewelry she was designing. She had the skills, she just didn’t know what customers in her target market wanted. So instead of playing the guessing game, she can now offer her talents to make a custom designed jewelry piece, for probably 10 times what she was charging on the other site.

CustomMade currently has a network of over 12,000 professional makers. Furniture and jewelry requests seem to be the most in demand, with apparel and woodwork gaining in popularity. Artisans can also offer their current creations to be remade upon request, it doesn’t always have to be a completely original idea.

There are no sign up or membership fees. Artisans pay a 10% commission to CustomMade based on the final price of the project. Also, the buyer pays the artisan directly, CustomMade is not involved in the transaction. It is recommended that artists ask for 50% of the price up front.

FINAL WORD: If you want to get paid what you’re worth, and focus on custom designs instead of mass-produced items, maybe it is time to take a look at CustomMade (now, if they will just add requests for Marketing Services…)

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© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

Author: Gail Oliver, Online Small Business Consultant

I'm Gail Oliver, an online marketing consultant. Welcome to my blog, chosen one of the Top 10 Small Business Blogs to Follow in 2014 by American Express Open Forum. If you need help with your e-commerce business, be sure to see MY SERVICES, above.

1 thought on “How CustomMade.com Helps Artisans Get Paid What They’re Worth”

  1. Thanks G.B. for this great write up. Since marketing is something local Makers and Artisans have difficulty focusing on, your blog is a great call to action and will hopefully insite many of them to jump on the band wagon and join us on CustomMade. Oh, and thanks for the congrats on the funding too. Much of that money will be dedicated to marketing 🙂

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