Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Site Promotes Craft Sales in Your Own Neighborhood

Meet Nextdoor.com!

I love to create, ever since I was a little. I remember being around 8 and making "trendy crafts" potholders on a little loom. Today my granddaughter is crafting too. She is into the loom bracelets and it is so enjoyable to watch her whip up that handmade jewelry. I know some of you take crafting to a different level and have a desire to market your crafts. I created my website just for people like you and in the past 12 years I have been trying to find new ideas and new avenues off, and online, to help you creators, bakers and makers get your hand-crafted products noticed by the right consumers.

The idea of selling crafts is not new but it has transformed into this world of crafts and hobbies and artists and the customers that love to buy unique handmade creations. Online marketplaces are plentiful, weekend craft fairs and craft festivals are merging with farmers markets and street fairs and happen weekly . Lots of new venues have popped up over the years for the makers and bakers to sell their wares. 

But guess who may not know about you and your crafts business? Someone that might become your very best repeat customer of all? And one of your most profitable customers?

Could that new buyer be right down the street from you? Say just a few houses away? 

Am I saying you should get a box of hand-crafted goods and go door to door?

No way - not for me.

Well, let me introduce you to a new online network for your neighborhood. The site is called NextDoor.com and it works by connecting you with your neighbors. It is not intended as a marketplace nor does it have any real business features (yet). What is does do is connect you with the people that actually live right around you. You have "profile" where you can talk about yourself and your crafts business.  There is also a Classified section for local neighbor to neighbor information. 

NextDoor is new and I have been using it for a few months. I like it a lot and recommend it highly for help with your craft business or just to connect to those around you. 

In my neighborhood, I have seen several dogs and cats reconnected with their owners and one abused dog get the medical treatment he needed through donations. A few people have shared their experience with the local roofer and computer shop - which I find very valuable.

NextDoor has a very secure method of keeping out any non-neighbors (this is not anything like craigslist) by using the US Post Office for confirmation. You do not have to share any personal information online, you can join by mail. Mine postcard arrived in 2 days with a code number for joining. If you are in a hurry, you can use a credit card for verification, again, not for me. 

I invited all of my next door neighbors by post card too (free to me, just clicked a yes button) but no one on my street has signed up yet. My particular neighborhood shows posts from neighbors in a 1-2 mile radius from my house only, so far we have about 40 neighbors. NextDoor also blocks all registered sex offenders from joining and viewing by linking to county and local databases. Our local police department has joined and they have received help with local crime and disturbances. So far, this site has been quite helpful in my semi-rural town.

I see this site taking off for baby sitters, garage sales, block parties, that half cup of sugar, ladies nights out and oh so much more.

Maybe it's time to take Hey Neighbor to a different level. What do you think?
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