When you, a solopreneur, present fair trade goods, well… you’ve really accomplished something, both for your clients and for yourself.
The term “fair trade” typically relates to goods of all kinds created in third world countries, often by solo businesses or small businesses. It demands fair treatment of all workers, and a fair price so the artisans can pay a fair wage.
These are not necessarily beaded bracelets, although they could be.
Just look at the quality and variety of fair traded goods in these images. I would personally be thrilled to own any of them, wear them proudly and display them prominently in my home.
Many grocery stores now feature “fair trade” coffees and teas, and often other products.
Many top line and specialty stores also feature fair traded goods of all kinds.
So how do you tap into this market?
Tapping Into The Free Trade Market
There are several superb ways of locating free trade goods, such as:
(1) THE AFFILIATE OPTION.
Become an affiliate for companies like Novica. Novica is a subsidiary of National Geographic. The images you see here are from their site. They don’t mess around with nickle and dime stuff; these products are not cheap. The Novica goods are top quality goods in every sense of the word.
When you look to a Novica affiliation, odds are that they won’t accept you as an affiliate until you have reached certain goals in sales and/or site traffic. They aren’t looking for beginners; they want to affiliate with genuine pros. The quality of your site is very important.
Also, Novica works through Commission Junction, one of the major affiliate aggregators. You can be sure that you will get your commission, and that lots and lots of link options will be available to you. But you have to earn it. Whether or not you are accepted is determined by Novica, not by Commission Junction. So you may want to look through the Commission Junction companies and see if there are any other companies that might have products you can use.
(2) THE BUYER OPTION
A second option is to contact embassies from third world countries and ask them to hook you up with artisans in their countries. Be prepared to tell them what kinds of goods you are looking for, and what quantity of goods you can purchase. If you can only handle two or three items from each artist, fine, just let them know up front.
Working with third world artisans is not always easy. Look for items that won’t break in shipping, or go bad if stuck in customs for several months.
(3) THE ETSY OPTION
Scour Etsy and similar sites for artisans from third world countries. Contact them directly and see what kind of arrangement you can make with them.
FINDING YOUR CLIENT BASE
All of this is well and good, but where do you find customers to purchase what you have to sell?
I cannot recommend a better source than the FREE Master Class, “Find Your Ideal Client and Thousands More”. Here is where you learn if there really is a market for your product, and if so, how big that market base is. It is a priceless Master Class.
DIFFERENTIATING YOUR FAIR TRADE BUSINESS
As a solopreneur, there is no way to be everything for everyone. Even Novica doesn’t try to do that. You need to DEFINE YOUR PRODUCT BASKET, and in the process, DEFINE YOUR CUSTOMER BASE.
For example, how about a blog on:
- Handbags (like the one you see here);
- Women’s clothing;
- Household decor;
- Musical instruments …
or hundreds of other things?
You might also differentiate your solopreneur business by featuring products from a particular country, or particular region like
…. or loads and loads of others.
The whole potential for solopreneurs and fair trade goods is just so immense, and is growing daily. The personal satisfaction is pretty darn good too.