Saturday, December 29, 2012

Selling on Etsy?

I've got too much stuff. There, I said it.

Vintage patterns that I'll never make up (menswear and maternity, anyone?), along with fabrics that were too good of a deal to pass up (but, now my tastes have changed). Add in my embroidery business offerings, and I think maybe Etsy will help me lighten my "stash" load.


My fear? Is it possible to lose money in the attempt to sell stuff there? I know it's just 20 cents per item to post, but there is SO MUCH STUFF FOR SALE THERE ALREADY. Almost seems like a saturated marketplace.  I'm not looking to make a million, but I don't want to give it all away, either. I'm thinking that if I "bundle" the patterns and fabrics, that will help them move. ????  With my embroidery business, I'd post samples, but take custom orders. Again, though, there are similar embroidery offers there, so is it worthwhile?

Can any of you tell me your experiences with selling (or shopping) on Etsy?

14 comments:

annie said...

I had 6 yards of fabric I bought for the back of a quilt. Then I changed my mind. I sold it on Etsy in about 6 weeks. I really believe in this country of ours there is somebody looking for what you have to sell and will love it.
I've also bought a few things and have been very happy.
Be sure your shipping charges are accurate. You could lose a dollar or two there if you aren't careful. Use a good kitchen scale to weigh.

JoanneM said...

Merry Christmas Kristine!!!

When I destashed a year or so ago (and I did not have a ton)I gifted to several colleagues who had daughters who did sew (hard to find, believe me!). I then sold some through garage sales, but when I looked at etsy and ebay, yes, the market saturation alarmed me.

My point is, when I went through the humbling process, it was clear I was going to lose a lot of money. It really "cured" me of any future purchases. I have become "fabric purchasing" strategic as a result. I must be able to see every piece in my stash and I only purchase with a project in mind, in a given time frame.

This helped me reframe my philosophy as I searched suitable sources to sell/rid my stash. Good luck with your search. There are many other lessons I learned while I pondered etsy and the like......

Not the answer you wanted, but an answer no less!!

Take care!

Joanne

Bunny said...

While I haven't "done" Etsy, I considered it and asked some experienced users as you just have. One thing that kept surfacing was the difficulty of getting your site "out there". When there are thousands of sites on Etsy, I've been told it is really hard to get people to find your site and it takes some real understanding of how Etsy functions to keep your site "up front". I also thought that at twenty cents a piece for lots of stuff it could mount up. How about Craig's list? Not that I have had any luck with that! And it seems to send you scammer after scammer so maybe I'll take that thought back. Let us know what you decide and how it turns out. I have given lots of stuff to a local charity and will bring them a fabric haul this week from cleaning my back fabric room. It's just easier.

Kathi G said...

I agree with Bunny. ETSY is a tough site to manage. I had some things on sale on ETSY a few years ago and not one person went to the site. I did all I could to try and get my site seen and it just didn't work. Having a blog will make this easier for you. I know EBAY has higher fees but I just sold a lot of sewing and knitting items a few months ago and everything I listed sold with in 7 days. I wasn't looking to make money just to lighten my load a bit. Some things sold for less than I wanted and some sold for a lot more. I was glad when it was all over. I made a lot of trips to the post office. Don't forget to list your items as non-returnable if you don't want them back. I wasn't doing this as a business so I made it clear that nothing was returnable. Good luck. I can't wait to check out what you have for sale.

sewcrazy said...

First off, I second what Annie said - if you see on Etsy, be sure your shipping costs are accurate. I sold some vintage fabrics on Etsy, and because I estimated the shipping low, I barely broke even across several sales (lost on a couple - don't forget to add in the cost of the backing materials...). However, every time I have listed items - vintage patterns, fabric, vintage embroidery kits - I have sold some of the items, enough to cover my costs, and with the exception of the fabric, add a little bit of cash to my pocket. I would do it again, time permitting - and not expecting to get rich, after all, this is just a spare time project. Good luck if you try!

Sewfast said...

Have you thought about listing your stuff on Pattern Review? I think there are some other sewing related boards that allow selling and you may be able to sell your stuff more quickly to a target audience. You have alot of followers here on your blog as well...you might see if any of your readers are interested in helping you lighten your load.

BeckyMc said...

I second Sewfast's thoughts. I have bought fabric from a pattern review classified ad and I bought a couple of pieces of silk when Toy offered it on her blog. It's worth a try.

Gail said...

I tend to sell things (and more often buy) on Ebay. Postage is the killer and you need to do your research to ensure that the postage you quote is accurate.

Romona Sewing Journey said...

Are you a member of Pattern Review? If so great place to sell your patterns and fabric. They have a classified you can place your item for sale. No cost, just must be a member. I sold two sewing machines on the site and it is a great site to be a member of with lots of information. Just a thought...

Kyle said...

Oooh, I like the pattern review idea. I think if you're a member, it might even be free.
Also just posting the stuff on your blog is an option--I have seen other bloggers do that with success.

I have sold on ebay (not sewing stuff) and if you go that route, get a scale that can weigh accurately so you don't lose $$ on the shipping. Also check into the USPS flat rate boxes, they are great! Also you will want to always pay for tracking so that the buyer can't claim they never received the item.

Good luck! It is fun to sell stuff! :)

Rose said...

As I look at all the stuff I have, I think about selling it. The question for me is time versus money. I suspect the money would be minimal and the time more than I wish to invest. I'd rather spend the time clearing out "the stuff" or, preferably, sewing. So far, everyting has gone to Goodwill or the Red Cross. I do feel good about that. It's also easier. I know that you are one busy lady. Do
you really want to spend the time? I sometimes buy on Etsy and Ebay, but not very often. I have this thing about sellers that I can trust.

sdBev said...

I thought about Etsy and after reading the same posts as Bunny opted to use other venues. It is possible for you to list things on your sidebar for sale. No cost to you. I've done this and think I can share a bit of code if you are interested. (merrowb at yahoo) Many things sell rapidly. Others sit there for a while and some never sell.

Another good choice is the SewIt'sForSale group on Yahoo. You have to join first and I do recommend that you look and make a purchase yourself before attempting to sell. They are very particular. I've had a listing rejected because my format was price first then item description. At the time,they wanted description first and then item. I also know of a person who was promptly banned because she did not ship exactly on the date promised. They are picky.


I've not used PR but have had good luck at the Stitcher's Guild.

Lastly I have sold on ebay. But ebay fees, especially when added to paypal and credit card fees have phased me out.

These days I prefer to do RAK's Random Act of Kindness and generally pay the shipping myself if someone wants my previously loved item.

Anonymous said...

switsforsale yahoo group
lots of members

Nkem said...

Put it out there first of all