Author Topic: Selling your work  (Read 10246 times)

Offline Kilted Brewer

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Selling your work
« on: July 07, 2013, 05:07:25 PM »
I'll start with a bit of background.  I taught myself to knit from a couple of Debbie Bliss books.  After several attempts to quit smoking, I figured I should find something to keep my hands busy to increase my chance of success.  I needed something cheap, light, and portable so I could have it when I wanted to smoke.

Other than a few sniggers at a man knitting, it worked like a charm.

Over the years I've stuck with it and have gotten decent for a self taught guy.  I make gifts for folks thought the year, along with stuff we can use at home.  I'm slow (I let go of one needle to work the yarn), but methodical.

The other night it struck me.  As a stay at home Dad, I have short bursts of downtime throughout the day.  And after I put the kids to bed, I often pick up the needles and listen to an episode before bed myself.  I'm still not fast, but I am knitting more often.  And am running out of people needing knitted gifts.

So, why not sell some of this?  I have a big stash of yarn my mom gave me, so materials are free.  And wile my time is important and valuable, this is time I'm knitting anyway.  So any projects I sell would be almost all profit for me.  It would be nice to have some extra cash to roll into the debt snowball.

Do any of you sell your knitted projects?
Where do you have the most luck selling?  eBay, etsy, other web sites?
What types of knitted items do you find easiest to sell?

Lately I've been on a cabled scarf kick.  Everyone needs a warm, cozy scarf right?

What works for you?  It sure would be nice to make the downtime I have a bit more productive!

Offline LibertyBelle

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2013, 05:40:59 PM »
I taught myself to knit from a couple of Debbie Bliss books. 

Kool! What was the first book of Bliss's that you started with?
I have a few dozen sets of needles of various sizes that I've picked up here and there at estate auctions, but I have yet to learn how to knit.  ::)


Offline Kilted Brewer

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2013, 06:22:12 PM »
I used "How to Knit" and her "Knitting Workbook".  They had what I thought were the best illustrations- good for a guy with all thumbs.

Now, you can find all the instruction you need on youtube to get started.  The videos available are great and I use them when I try something new.

But I'm a bit old fashioned and still like having a book handy!

Offline sammyj

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2013, 08:36:13 PM »
Check out this site.  I have bought a couple gifts here.  I hate the slave made Chinese shit.

http://www.etsy.com/


Offline LibertyBelle

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2013, 09:01:39 PM »
But I'm a bit old fashioned and still like having a book handy!

Thanks....and me too (like having a book).  :)

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2013, 07:05:19 AM »
Etsy can be a blessing or a curse. It's fairly well-known among crafters and artists, so you already have a pre-established niche marketplace. However, it's almost too well-known at this point. There's A LOT of competition. I've only had moderate success with it, though I haven't dedicated as much time to it as many other crafters do. There are definitely ways to be highly successful with it, but it takes practice.

What kind of stuff are you interested in making?

Offline tumtum73

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2013, 06:17:42 PM »
My grandmother used to knit pot holders using spare unused yarn in between projects.  We still have them after over 10 years.  They are getting a bit ratty but still work like a champ.  They are not the prettiest looking things, disparate colors of yarn, but they are frickin pot holders.  They don't need to be pretty.  I'm not sure it is a business but might be another idea for gifts and a way to use up some of the excess yarn pieces.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 02:54:39 PM »
I think the best yarn items as far as selling are going to be the smaller things.  You could sell a nice 6"x6" potholder for $5 or $10 and make a ton of them (selling them in pairs quite often), but if you tried to do the same thing per square foot with something like an afghan, there's no way you'd even come close.

For instance, let's take a 5'x4' afghan.  You'd be knitting or crocheting the equivalent of 80 of those potholders, but there's no way you could ever get $400-800 for it.  It's suddenly overpriced as far as the average consumer is concerned, and no longer an impulse item.

Offline GardenLady

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 04:23:10 PM »
EBay and Etsy are probably the best forums for selling your work. Also look into "time trade" groups, an hour of knitting can be traded for an hour of someone else's time in car mechanics, small animal husbandry, legal advice. Everyone's time is equal based on an hour, so if a handmade scarf takes you 4- 8 hours depending on pattern and color changes, you have a significant time investment to trade. That might be more worthwhile than selling for straight cash. Trade hours are "banked" so you trade and store up hours, then look for the services you need.

Offline chickchoc

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 05:58:10 PM »
You might also look into craft co-ops or boutiques in your area.  In my town, there is a fine art gallery (which also sells higher end craft stuff, especially at the holidays), a crafters' co-op, and a craft consignment store -- all of which are within walking distance of each other.

Another way to sell is to exhibit at craft shows. 

You could list items on Craigs List, too.

I sell online at www.etsy.com/shop/chickchoccreations and locally at art/craft shows.  I'm also looking into the consignment and co-op shops in town and elsewhere.  This is my first year to attempt a business approach; in the past, it's been more of a hobby.

Good luck with generating an income stream!


Offline Kilted Brewer

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 11:07:32 AM »
Thanks for the replies everyone, and sorry to have abandoned my own thread!

Got busy with other stuff, kids started school, fall trout fishing, then hunting, then the holidays, whew!

I did sell some scarves via eBay.  Seemed pretty painless and easy.  I looked at etsy, and it's cool, but I didn't feel like putting in the time to set up a store, etc, for just the few items I had.  Maybe down the road.

Eventually, I'd like to start selling some of the flies I tie this way, and have that be my main income source.  So, in addition to some extra money, this has been a good excercise to just start figuring out how to sell online.

The time bank sounds really neat, though I'm not sure how I'd find one around here.  I know someone runs a skills bank, but I'm not sure that's the same thing.  I should give him a call or send him an email.

Offline chickchoc

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2014, 07:23:21 PM »
Whichever way you decide to go with your business, you might want to contact the Small Business Administration in your area.  They offer LOTS of free help and even individual consultations to entrepreneurs.  In addition, it's really important to keep complete and accurate records of your income and expenses for 2 reasons:  1)  to find out if you're making a profit and 2) taxes, both federal and state.  SBA can help you set up a system, too.

I'm just now (January 2014) starting to formalize my craft business and setting up an inventory system is very tedious for me since I've been making crafts for many years.  Try finding the original cost of items for which you no longer have receipts or even recall what year they were purchase!! 

Good luck!

Offline annmedford

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2014, 10:16:50 AM »
Check out this site.  I have bought a couple gifts here.  I hate the slave made Chinese shit.

http://www.etsy.com/
+1
 I've used etsy and ebay both to sell my handmades, both have their uses.  ebay has I believe a much larger audience, but etsy viewers are more into handmades... so, maybe try them both and see what works for you!
cheers!

Offline annmedford

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2014, 10:18:12 AM »
I think the best yarn items as far as selling are going to be the smaller things.  You could sell a nice 6"x6" potholder for $5 or $10 and make a ton of them (selling them in pairs quite often), but if you tried to do the same thing per square foot with something like an afghan, there's no way you'd even come close.

For instance, let's take a 5'x4' afghan.  You'd be knitting or crocheting the equivalent of 80 of those potholders, but there's no way you could ever get $400-800 for it.  It's suddenly overpriced as far as the average consumer is concerned, and no longer an impulse item.

completely agree!

Offline annmedford

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2014, 01:47:24 PM »
something I'm adding to my etsy site, some hand knit mice




camo mouse!


lots of mice!
do you think  people would like them?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 01:55:42 PM by annmedford »

Offline annmedford

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2014, 02:12:51 PM »
does anyone else have an etsy or ebay site?, I'd love to see your work!
Ann

Offline annmedford

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2014, 02:24:00 PM »
You might also look into craft co-ops or boutiques in your area.  In my town, there is a fine art gallery (which also sells higher end craft stuff, especially at the holidays), a crafters' co-op, and a craft consignment store -- all of which are within walking distance of each other.

Another way to sell is to exhibit at craft shows. 

You could list items on Craigs List, too.

I sell online at www.etsy.com/shop/chickchoccreations and locally at art/craft shows.  I'm also looking into the consignment and co-op shops in town and elsewhere.  This is my first year to attempt a business approach; in the past, it's been more of a hobby.

Good luck with generating an income stream!

do you still have your etsy store? the link seems brokn.

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2014, 03:27:48 PM »
does anyone else have an etsy or ebay site?, I'd love to see your work!
Ann

I had an etsy shop, but I closed it. I'm working on building up some inventory again (mostly jewelry, less fiber arts), I'll post the link when I get it going.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2014, 07:00:54 PM »
The mice are just plain adorable!

Offline annmedford

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2014, 04:44:16 AM »
The mice are just plain adorable!

thanks!

Offline annmedford

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2014, 04:45:47 AM »
I had an etsy shop, but I closed it. I'm working on building up some inventory again (mostly jewelry, less fiber arts), I'll post the link when I get it going.
great, I look forward to it!

Offline busymomx3

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2014, 08:13:59 AM »
What about selling at farmers markets or craft fairs?  Those aren't always everyday and it would allow you to build up a stockpile to sell.  People love buying things they can touch and feel and impulse buy :).  Good luck to everyone selling their crafts.  I don't feel I'm good enough for that.  I would love to learn to knit scarves.  I will have to check out youtube.

Offline digitalartranch

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2014, 12:26:19 PM »
There's A LOT of competition. I've only had moderate success with it, though I haven't dedicated as much time to it as many other crafters do. There are definitely ways to be highly successful with it, but it takes practice.

Old thread but I thought I would chime in - I agree all the sites like it have gotten so big its hard for folks to find you specifically without linking from your site, referalls, etc.  redbubble, deviantart, society6, etsy - etc.  I don't knit but I do painting (traditional and digital) and I think we have the same challenges.

curious @AvenueQ "There are definitely ways to be highly successful with it, but it takes practice."  - do you have any resources to share or tips to give?  Id be interesting in hearing more about what you think it takes to make it on these sort of networks.

good luck and happy selling!
THANKS!

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2014, 12:43:14 PM »
curious @AvenueQ "There are definitely ways to be highly successful with it, but it takes practice."  - do you have any resources to share or tips to give?  Id be interesting in hearing more about what you think it takes to make it on these sort of networks.

This shop on Etsy does fairly well, and you can find a link to her website where she gives lots of tips for selling at cons (probably a lot of crossover for craft/art shows). The successful shops that I see seem to be the ones that find a niche market, like this one, or that have built up a customer base like this one. Predicting what's going to be a hit and what's not is tricky, and building a customer base takes time. I have noticed that more traditional art, like paintings and photographs, tend to struggle more on etsy (I don't know about elsewhere).

Offline digitalartranch

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Re: Selling your work
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2014, 10:53:40 AM »
checking out the site now, thanks!