On-line sales can be a good sales outlet for potters. There are several websites that provide a platform for sales. Etsy is one of the leading craft websites.
Although hosted sites charge listing fees and commissions, they are relatively low and the sites offer a lot of benefits. Because shelf space isn’t a limitation, on-line sales are good for a potter who has a large inventory and wants to show all the pots she makes. On-line sales are also great for a potter who has a small inventory because there is no minimum and re-stocking can be done as pots are made. One of the nicest aspects of hosted sales sites is they link easily to PayPal which can resolve the challenge of taking payment.
The largest obstacles to overcome are: getting good photographs and getting exposure.
Since customers can’t touch or handle the pottery, photographs are critical to making sales. I have been trying to take better photographs of my pots and have found that this is an entire skill set that I need to develop. It takes me a lot of time to get the lighting and angles right. But it is worth the effort.
The other obstacle is getting viewers – there are A LOT of things to buy on-line. And, there are a lot of potters so it is challenging to capture the attention of viewers. Until you are able to get people view your listings, sales will be slow. But it is exciting when some one who is two time zones away purchases a pot.