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.
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…)
My series of ebooks, Small Business Marketing Ideas That Work!, walks you through all my best tactics for selling successfully online, with version for selling Home products, Wedding products, Kids & Baby products and Jewelry & Accessories. Please check out my Ebook Shop at the top of the page.