Make a Profit
If you would like to make some extra money, consider upcycling in order to do so. You
can make a profit selling what you create. Since most of your items are either already
in your home, donated, or you buy them for a low cost, your overhead is very low. Your
biggest investment will be your time.
Spreading the word that you do have items for sale is very important. Spending a bit
of time to market your business is a good idea. Tell those you know including friends,
family, and people you work with. Let people at church and from various organizations
you are involved in know too.
Your marketing should express the fact that you are upcycling, as this will gain the
interest of many potential consumers. If they have the choice to buy from you or to
buy new, they will buy from you. Not only to save money, but also as a way for their
purchase to benefit the environment.
You can make business cards if you want to allow people to have a way to get in touch
with you. This is a low cost marketing investment. Make sure all of your contact
information is on the business cards. Consider creating a website that displays the
items you have for sale. You can also create some social media buzz through Facebook
Selling your items locally can be done at craft fairs and community events. Typically,
there is the option of renting a booth for a low cost. You can display items you have
for sale at such events. It is also a terrific way to get the word out in your
community about what you offer.
You may decide you would like to make money through upcycling by allowing people to
place special orders. They may have a specific project in mind that they would like to
have created. Not everyone likes this type of idea though as it can be stressful. If
you prefer to create what you want and then sell those items, it is completely up to
If you do accept special orders, you need to make sure you can accommodate the needs
of the buyer. Clear communication about what they want, what you can do, and when you
will have the project completed for them all have to be discussed.
One of the hardest parts of upcycling for a profit is trying to decide how much to
sell items for. You want to get your materials covered and you also want to have a
return on your investment of time. You may need to test out prices to see what
consumers are willing to pay.
Since each item you create will be different, you will need to determine a price for
each item. Don’t get too caught up in doing this. Try to keep track of how much you
spend for any materials on a project. Track the amount of time you spend on it too so
that can all help you to determine pricing.
You will have to keep track of your income. It is also in your best interest to keep
track of your expenses. Do this so that you can report any income on your tax return.
Income includes any money you get paid for upcycling art you have created.
Expenses will be a deduction from what you earned. Your overall profit is going to be
your income from the projects less your expenses. The types of expenses that you can
Materials you purchase
Booth Rental Costs
Storage of Projects (if you need to rent a storage shed)
You can’t deduct anything for your time invested in projects that you don’t sale. If
you donate any projects to schools or non-profit organizations, you may be able to
deduct up to a certain value for them. Talk to your tax preparer about such deductions
to make sure they are allocated correctly on your tax return.