Working from home has a lot to offer, including flexible hours, holidays when you need them, and the ability to be more hands-on in your family’s day-to-day life. If you do work from home, however, you know that there are drawbacks as well, including a constant fluctuation in your income. To combat the continual highs and lows of working at home, many self-made professionals increase their income capability by diversifying their income streams. In short, this means spreading your eggs out in multiple baskets instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket. That way, if one income stream suddenly makes less money than you’re used to, you have other income streams to back you up.
One great income stream for many work-at-home parents is selling merchandise. Whether it’s t-shirts with your vlog’s logo on it or delicate pottery that you make in your spare time while watching TV, having merchandise for sale gives you one more way to monetize your day-to-day life.
For many work-from-home family members, coming up with merchandise to sell is the easy part. Harder, if it’s not your industry, is knowing how to get your merchandise from your living room to your clients, some of whom might not even live locally. Here’s what you need to know:
How you pack your items is almost as important as what items you’re packing. The most beautiful piece of pottery on the planet isn’t worth a dime if it’s smashed to pieces by the time it arrives on your customer’s doorstep.
When your goal is to monetize your day-to-day life, it can be tempting to skimp on packing charges, but that strategy will turn around to bite you when your customers demand a refund for broken or damaged items. Instead, request a quote to determine the cost to pack one of your items correctly, and keep that price in mind when you are deciding how much to charge your customers for the item.
Domestic vs International Shipping
Domestic shipping?or shipping within the US?is almost always cheaper than shipping internationally, logistics shouldn’t dissuade you from offering international shipping. It’s possible to have items shipped to most countries in the world without too much extra hassle, and offering international shipping options can be a game-changer when you work from home. After all, the internet is open to the whole world, so why wouldn’t you want your home-made business equally open?
To offset the extra cost associated with international shipping, many self-made entrepreneurs charge a separate shipping cost for international vs domestic shipping. Your customers are likely to expect this, and offering separate shipping costs is less likely to alienate them than not offering international shipping at all!
At the end of the day, your customers are the most important thing to your home merchandise business. Increase customer satisfaction by being realistic with customers about how quickly they can expect to receive their order, keeping in mind not only how long it takes to ship items but also how long it takes you to create items. Keeping a small stock of commonly-purchased merchandise on hand can help you provide faster turnaround times to your customers.
Looking for more information on shipping your merchandise? Contact us