Making Pottery to Sell
By Eric Hammer
Many artistic types of people love making pottery. The stuff
is relatively inexpensive to make in terms of raw materials and
tools and it is beautiful when done well. The problem however
is what to do with the pottery you made. Do you hold on to it?
Sell it? Give it away? Well, the holding onto it method doesnt
work very well if you make a lot of it and giving it away has
limited value. However, you can go ahead and sell your pottery
and even turn your hobby into a business.
Now before you rush to put price tags on your pottery, keep
in mind that selling pottery is work. Its a business just
like any other one and you need to be prepared to put in the
time an effort to learn how to be a business person and to sell
In other words, its not enough to simply make the stuff
and hope someone buys it. You need to keep close track of costs
and especially of your time as you make the stuff. The single
largest cost of your pottery business will in fact be your own
labor. As one blogger on the subject we looked at says, "every
time you touch the pottery, your costs go up."
How Much Can You Make?
Making money with pottery can be a bit tricky to do. One professional
in the pottery business reported that he grossed $100,000 but
netted only $15,000 for his trouble. Therefore, its difficult
to quantify. The catch is that if you dont count your time
in making the pottery pieces, then the material is quite cheap
and if you are good, you can make a handsome return vis a vis
the raw materials (its not uncommon to spend $5 for raw
materials and sell the resultant piece for over $100). The catch
is to keep track of your time so that you charge a fair price
based on the amount of time it take to sell your pottery.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
The single best tip we saw for making pottery for sale is
to keep track of your time. If it takes you 15 hours of labor
to make a piece of pottery for sale, then the fact that you spent
just $5 for the raw materials is not really that important. Whats
important is to get paid for the workmanship you put into your
Of course, alongside making pottery for sale there are any
number of other activities you might take up. You could also
paint or you could collaborate with someone else who makes pottery
and offer to do the glazing and decorating while they make the
For that matter, if you are not particularly artistic, you
can also easily become a middle man, selling pottery on behalf
of artists who would much rather be practicing their craft than
pretending to be a business person.
Qualifications / Requirements
There are actually two things youll need in order to
be successful in making pottery for sale. First, you need to
have talent for making pottery. And that means more than making
the misshapen lump of an ashtray that your mother proudly displayed
when you brought it home from camp. Your craft cant just
be good enough it has to be exquisite. If your stuff looks
like it could easily be in a fancy shop selling handmade gifts,
then you are ready to sell your pottery. If it looks like the
sort of curiosity that someone might hold onto because their
friend or relative made it for them, then you need more practice.
However, even if you have the minimum requirements to make
professional quality pottery, you are only halfway there. The
other thing youll need in order to make pottery for sale
is professional sales knowledge. You have to be able to think
like a businessperson when selling your pottery or you will never
be able to earn enough to make it worth your while. If you dont
have the skills needed for that, consider taking on a partner
who can guide you in selling your work for what its worth.
Start by taking an honest look at the pottery you are producing.
Is it really up to the standard where people would pay to own
it? If it is, great, then start looking for places to sell your
work. eBay is a good place to start since you can reach a global
audience, though keep in mind that your work will be worth less
there than if you sold it in a trendy local shop. Once you have
gotten comfortable making pottery for sale, you can move on to
create your own web site and try to get your work into local
shops on a consignment basis (this means that you get paid when
they sell your work).
eHow: How to Sell Your Handmade Crafts in Six Different
Ways An unusually in depth article from eHow with
lots of great ideas for selling pottery that you make. This article
also includes links to a number of additional helpful resources.