Regulations on selling handmade items

Hiya all you great money savers,

I have been making various craft items for my grandchildren and friends for several years now and would like to start selling them.
The thing that worries me is how the various regulations will affect me. I have done loads of online searching to try to find out what rules I need to follow and if I need to notify anyone but can only find American help! As I’m in England that’s not helpful at all!!
I know I need insurance but do I also need to contact trading standards or get my things tested in some way🤔. I make hair bows, door plaques, decorated sea shells and various other decorative items.
I’m looking at selling on Etsy, Facebook and possibly at craft fairs.


  • MysteryMe
    MysteryMe Posts: 3,047
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Yes, contact your local trading standards as there will be product safety standards you need to meet, the hair bows being the obvious one on your list, anything with small parts etc.
  • I've been selling craft related items and like many other sellers have goods listed on eBay and etsy. Things like plaques and sea shells you would be fine selling without having to contact trading standards aslong as you are sure that the materials used are safe and are not going to affect the public. That could mean the wood used, varnish, paints etc If your plaques are not run of the mill and have additional features that could hurt someone or break easily and could be deemed a toy for example then you would need to take the relevant steps to make sure you have these tested. Also anything modified to be used in the mains would need to be tested whereas battery operated don't neccessarily have to be. Its a bit of a grey area in my opinion so i stay away from anything battery or mains operated. For example you see lots of people selling light up picture frames with Christmas lights around the edge. None of these are teated as sellers just fit battery operated christmas lights into internal frame. However you have to still be sure that the lights have come from reputable company where they might have passed their own testing requirements. In many cases most are just from China and who knows if these could overheat...just an example to give you.

    I would say for anything pretty much standard like shells, rocks and plaques just get them listed and don't over worry yourself. If you feel there is any danger to the public with what you are selling or your unsure then calling trading standard won't hurt and they can put you in touch with certain bodies that do the relevant checks on products but be aware these can be costly and time consuming.
  • Thank you for your help. I’ll do a bit more research on selling handmade items to set my mind at rest. I would like to sell the things I make but I’m not the sort of person who can jump in without checking everything first.
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