Handmade Business - Should I Sell One-Of-A-Kind or Reproducible? - AccentYourself

Handmade Business - Should I Sell One-Of-A-Kind or Reproducible?

Are you new to selling art or crafts? Are you starting your business and trying to figure out what to sell? There is debate over whether to sell OOAK (one-of-a-kind) or only sell things that can be easily reproduced. Both types of items have pros & cons. I will share my perspective of why I sell both in my market booth at in-person events. 

A booth shot of my sea glass jewelry display.


One-of-a-kind items are unique and sometimes difficult to reproduce, although it depends on the artist. These types of items are often more detailed, and could also be more exclusive or rare. For example, all of my sea glass jewelry is OOAK, as are my son's statement rings. Once an item sells, there won't be another like it!  

Benefits of selling OOAK items include exclusivity...unique products no one else sells, and a higher demand. You can also possibly charge more for OOAK items. I sell sea glass jewelry, and a red sea glass pendant or ring usually sells quickly and for a higher price simply because it is an ultra rare item. Materials for my OOAK items cost more as well, which contributes to higher prices.  

The downside of selling OOAK items is that it requires a lot of creativity, time, and consistency to keep a full inventory. I'm not always motivated or inspired to make new things. If your OOAK items are more artistic, it will require more planning and time to create. OOAK arts and crafts aren't the most efficient use of time, nor are they the most profitable considering the amount of time it takes to create.   


My reproducible items are more "production" work. They are easily reproduced and I can sell multiple of the same item. I consider this type of product my "bread & butter" and sell a lot in my booth including basic hoops, stud earrings, stacking rings, and a few simple necklace designs. The materials costs for these items is usually low, which helps keep them at a more affordable price.  

Handmade sterling silver wide hammered hoops on posts, approximately 1/2" in diameter.

One benefit of having reproducible items in your booth is that you can mass-produce each style and have plenty of inventory on hand. Another benefit is these items are SELLABLE. Hoops, studs, stacking rings all sell consistently and usually at a lower price point. Most customers that attend markets can afford these items, which help increase sales. 

The downside to selling this type of item in your booth is the work can be boring, and the price point is usually lower. To make $100, I have to sell 5 pair of studs or ONE sea glass ring. Lower price points aren't always a negative though...it's good to have a wide range of prices. 

What Do I Sell? 

My philosophy is to sell both! My OOAK sea glass jewelry and my son's statement rings actually sell well and allow us to offer unique handmade items for our customers. Our "Bread & Butter" items bring consistent sales in our Saturday market booth. Our number one goal for our jewelry business is to make money, and in order to make money we need items that SELL. Our basics sell. 

Figure out what you like to make to satisfy your creative needs, and add some sellable items that are easy to reproduce and you can have a nice balance of inventory that brings you steady sales! 

Handmade sterling silver Holley Blue agate statement ring made by Will Macy.

Good luck & happy selling!  

My name is Barb Macy and I’ve been making jewelry for 20+ years and specialize in sterling silver and sea glass jewelry. Thanks for visiting my page! - Barb M

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