If you are like me and you really get into crocheting you will come to a point when you do not want to keep everything you crochet. First of all, your house will only hold so much and secondly you really do not need innumerable afghans, potholder, dolls, doilies etc. cluttering up. At this point you have two options; you either give your homemade handiwork away as gifts or you attempt to sell them.
If you are thinking about trying your hand at selling; one of the first things you will want to know is how to price your items. It might appear to be easy to some yet to others and myself, I know this was one of the biggest struggles I had with marketing anything I wanted to let go of.
If I price to high, I might scare potential buyers. On the other hand, I do not want to price to low, I do want to be compensated for all my time, skill and work that was involved.
When I sell something there are certain things I always do. First, I make small folding cards that has the following information on it.
Front of the card :
Crocheted by Pamela
On the inside:
Name of the piece (example Rainbow Afghan) ( or doily, vest, doll, etc)
type of yarn used
By doing this I know that at least the buyer now knows that the item is homemade and the type of yarn use before they even get to the price. Some yarns are more expensive then others. Secondly, the care instructions are always a good idea. Care instructions can be found on the yarn labels. I do not want the buyer to get home and destroy the piece after the first month because they did not know how to wash an item. Also the longer the item will last can help maintain a good name for you.
Following this I always store the item inside a plastic bag until I am ready to display it. This will help keep it clean and looking like new while it is being stored.
Now moving on to what do I charge? There are a few ways to determine what to charge, but in pricing you must also remember crafters very seldom receive the worth of the time invested in their craft.
Also often it seems that when it comes to yarn, buyers really have no idea how much yarn can cost these days. Buying enough to create a project, depending on the project and yarn, can be a pretty substantial chunk. You do want to at least get the cost plus a little extra for the time you put into making the item. So lets discuss three ways some people come up with pricing.
First you should do some searching and see what other people are charging. I always look up at least five different sources. This should give you a good basis to go by.
Second, some people will take a base rate times their time to come to a solution of what to charge. For example, Sally crocheted for thirty hours to create an afghan and she wanted to charge $7.50 an hour for her time. (Example: 7.5 x 30 = 225) Sally sold her afghan for $225.00.
The third way is the rule of thumb I usually take ninety percent of the time. You should calculate the total cost of making the item. Make sure you add all your supplies, buttons, yarn; anything that you had to go buy to create that Item then you multiple by 3. I add .50 for each folding card but if I had to buy a hook I usually do not add that. Example: $55.00 for yarn and .50 for the card brings us to a total of $55.50. (Example: 55.5 x 3 = 166.50) Now in this case Sally sold her Afghan for $166.50.
Other things to consider when selling, never sell your homemade craft items with yard sale stuff. It has been my experience when people are shopping garage sales they are looking for a good buy, not a specialty item. I have found I alway had better experience selling my items with all new things surrounding them. I learned this after a few failed attempts myself so I just made this a rule. I either sell new or used items, but never at the same time.
Second, consider your location, if you are in an area that is lower income or an area where crafts are not really valued; you might consider selling your items on the internet.
However if you choose to sell through a third party and not on your own, I strongly suggest you read all the rules governing that web sight before committing. Always practice safety and discernment when doing on-line sales. I never want to meet a buyer at my house and always pick a public location for business meetings. I never meet anyone alone. I would also suggest setting up a special email account just for your business with a different password then what you usually use.
You also might want to consider a consignment shop. Many people have great success at this without the overhead of fair costs and the time invested in working a table.
Word of advice, crochet your best when you sell. Crochet as if you are entering a fair and trying for the blue ribbon. Even if you are only making a dishcloth, avoid cutting corners. People prefer to buy quality products and you do not want to offer poor quality stuff. You only have one name and you will want to protect it. Make sure when you are finished, what you crochet is sturdy, durable and professionally finished. You do not want to see any yarn ends or frayed edges.
If you know any other suggestions, please share. These are just a few suggestions that over the years I have heard about or that I have personally tried myself.
Good luck and until next week keep those hooks flying.