When the options to donate or consign your stash don’t suit, you may want to consider selling your stash yourself. While this is more work on your part than consigning items, it can also make you more money. In this article we’ll look at creating your listing and venues for selling.
Creating your Listing
Years ago when I was a partner in a web design business I created a form for search engine listings (these days it would be called SEO). It summarized the information for each site so I could go through and do the listings quickly and efficiently.
Doing something similar for your items before you pick your sales venues will make your life easier and will give you a list of items you can update as they sell.
For each item you’ll need:
- a picture, note its file name & location on your computer
- the designer’s or author’s name, if appropriate
- prices: both retail and selling
- a description
- sales tax info: rate and where applicable
- shipping costs and information
Your picture should be clear and detailed. Many places will allow you to have more than one picture. Take advantage of this when applicable.
Your description should give important information about the item. For example a description of a canvas should include designer, mesh, design size, and canvas size. Information about condition, etc. should be included. It should also make the piece sound attractive. For example this description “Just add a name to complete this lovely almost complete 18 mesh Tapestry Tent stocking with threads included.” sounds better than “18 mesh large Christmas needs 3 inches of stitching to complete.”
In many areas sales tax may need to be collected. You can usually find information about this on-line. While many casual sellers do not do this, charging sales tax is becoming more common. The burden for this is on you as the seller.
I sometimes feel as if I have been trough the mill on shipping. For folks in the US priority mail in flat rate packages is easy and has fixed costs. If you ship overseas or use your own packaging, you’ll need to calculate costs yourself. Be sure to include this. Neglecting it can eat up your profit.
Finally you need to know any fees for selling, listing, or using PayPal. These vary by venue. Some or all of these may be charged and should be included in your selling price.
Armed with this information you’re ready to go!
Selling on eBay & Etsy
Both eBay and Etsy can be great places to sell stash. Both require that you register and both have fees. Etsy has listing fees, but not selling fees. eBay is more varied. They always have selling fees but sometimes they wave listing fees for certain kinds of sellers, types of auctions or numbers of items.
You can sell almost anything on eBay. Etsy has restrictions on what can be sold. If the item is from before 2007 it is “vintage” and there are no restrictions. These items do need to be labeled as such. Newer items are supposed to be something you made. The Seller’s Handbook on Etsy has more information on this.
On eBay you can have both auctions and fixed price (buy it now) listings. Auctions can run for up to one week. Fixed price listings can run for up to one month. There can also be listings that are fixed price until the first bid comes in. Etsy listings are for three months. Both sites have options to renew listings automatically.
As time has gone on, both these venues have more businesses on them and fewer individuals selling their stash. The good thing about this is that your listings if the prices are low will stand out, attracting buyers. Because these listings cost, think about whether you want to incure this cost.
Selling on Facebook
Facebook has become an increasingly popular venue for selling items. While there are actual Facebook stores, needlepoint items are almost completely sold inside groups.
In order to sell on Facebook you must be on Facebook and a member of the group where you are listing. Each of these groups has administrators who must approve you membership.
They all have rules for listing and most have rules for buying as well. You must follow those rules. The rules vary but they are listed in a post at the top of the group.
A typical Facebook sale goes like this. You upload the picture(s) of the item to the group along with the description and price. People will look at what you uploaded and comment or message you with questions or if they want it. It is up to you to contact the potential buyers, complete the sale and ship the item. Unlike eBay and Etsy there is no mechanism to resolve conflicts unless the administrators put one in place.
Some of the more popular sales venues for needlepoint on Facebook include: Needlepoint Nation Stash Exchange, Good Buy Needlepoint Needlepoint Swap Meet, and Selling Needlepoint (mainly designers and shops).
Other Venues for Sales
Before Facebook became a popular venue for sales stitchers often made lists of items available and let folks know about it through lists and groups such as the ANG list. While sales are not permitted on the group, you may let folks know you have a list of items, the general type of things (books, canvases, threads, etc.) and to email you for the list.
You must be a member of the ANG List (it’s a Yahoo group) to do this, but you do not need to be a member of ANG. You cannot use this for commercial posts.
Because this list is very large, items listed here can go quickly. It’s up to you, as the seller, to keep your list up-to-date.