Artisan Connect

Problems with selling handicraft projects internationally

Date : 2011-02-15 16:11:08

DescriptionWhile making and selling handicrafts overseas seems like a great way to bring livelihoods to rural areas, it is fraught with problems. Having seen many handicraft projects developed after the tsunami, and having been asked to advise on a handicraft cooperative trying to sell to both tourists and abroad, I’m wary of this type of project because of the numerous problems that have to be overcome for it to be successful and sustainable. Technological problems: For the people to be able to sell products themselves they have to have a website or use eBay. This means that they have to have a digital camera, access to a computer, and a way to process or accept payments. If they are going to have their own website they have to have someone that can develop, update and maintain a visually appealing and user friendly website. Language problems: Everything on the website or in the eBay description will need to be written in English. If there are any problems or special requests from the customer, someone will need to be able to negotiate with them in English. Do the local people have the language skills to be successful at this or will they have to rely on a continual stream of volunteers or aid agency staff? (...)

Name of InstitutionProblems with selling handicraft projects internationally

Author(s) NameKristen Patin

Added/Updated byKristen Patin

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