There is a massive marketplace for selling crafts online. Both as finished items and as supplies to other crafters. I will write more about this in a separate blog. Today I would like to share my experiences of selling my hand knit goods online, something I did very successfully at one point. Unfortunately a while ago I fell out of bus and can no longer knit for long enough to make a real go of it.
I felt I wanted to use my knitting talent to make something that is fast to make, lightweight and therefore cheap to post, enjoyable, and marketable. There are many items that come into this category. Natural cotton face cloths are a big seller on websites such as Etsy. Cute knitted gift bags another idea. Baby booties. I finally plumped for baby hats. Just one piece, often thin enough to fit inside letter sized envelopes for cheap posting, and always in demand.
I made a batch of hats and placed them on Etsy. I also opened a Facebook page, and an eBay shop, and to be honest very quickly I was selling in quite large numbers. Looking back, I think my hats were too cheap (mind you that is probably why they sold well) and my photographs were rubbish (a reason I felt I had to sell them cheap) but still, it worked.
The hats really took off when I focused on newborn sized hats. Photographers bought them to use as photography props, and expectant and new mums loved them too. They also make super baby shower gifts. Ebay was where I sold the most. This was sometimes difficult though. I had a problem with people saying they hadn’t receive their items and far too frequently had to refund their money. Yes, I could have sent everything recorded delivery but the point for me was speed and ease, whenever possible place in envelope, stick on stamp, post.
I think this was an Ebay thing because it didn’t happen one single time on Etsy. It also only ever happened to sales in the UK .So maybe it was a Royal Mail thing. Who knows. Somehow a hat could reach Peru but not Manchester. Well this is another reason I only sold things which were fast to knit. I would have been devastated to lose so many hours of work in such a way.
I mostly sold ready to knit items. I found making to order stressful and time consuming. So many emails, and sometimes the customer didn’t pay in the end. I didn’t take deposits, again that’s just more work when I could have been knitting. I did occasional custom orders, for trusted clients, but did find that a bit stressful. I felt more creative just knitting what I wanted with no time constraints like a photo shoot in two weeks time, for example.
These days there are numerous platforms to sell knitting and other crafts, I will cover this in more detail in a future blog. Amazon has a hand made section now. Etsy is still very popular, but possibly overcrowded, I found traffic there slow at times. Facebook pages has died a death, I believe. Ebay is, in my opinion, the place to be for higher sales, but beware the pitfall stated above.
Here is a little gallery of some of the work I sold (many thanks to the photographers for allowing me to use their stunning images). The patterns to some of my designs will be appearing on this blog over time, I am working at getting them written down.