My not-so-stellar experience selling crocheted stuff

Disclaimer: This blog post is not meant to dissuade or discourage anyone out there who sells their crochet work or dreams of doing so. If you find your efforts are paying off, by all means, go make a killing!! 

Hi. If you’ve spoken to me within that last couple of years, you’d know I’m very adamant about not trying to sell my crochet work. I’ve tried numerous routes in my arsenal to make money from my crochet talent in my later 20’s. Most efforts ended in complete failure or close to it.

A casual vlog of my discussion why I don’t sell my art(crochet)

I tried having an Etsy shop, I sank more money into maintaining it than selling; I tried selling at a Farmer’s Market twice, one person bought from me the first time and the second two people bought;  I tried my own website on various platforms, not once has a single transaction took place; I tried eBay, same experience as Etsy; I tried having a Facebook fan page,

barely anyone interacted with it; I tried handing out business cards, never heard back from anyone who took them.

Let’s just say my decision to be resistant to selling is backed up with a lot of experience. I personally hate getting the run around from people. Talk is cheap. I hate when someone says that they will buy something just to never buy it. It’s worse when it comes to commissions. My hopes get brought up just to be crushed. So I became a “selfish hooker”(one who crochets only for herself and occasionally loved ones during the holiday season.)

But one thing I had not tried, consignment. Scratch that, I did do a consignment before I had established my work’s worth. Needless to say, I was scammed. So I won’t consider that to be a failure.

🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨🎨

There’s a place that I like to buy some of my skincare products. It’s a local shop near my house. I’m very much a “support local business” within reason. This is a black-owned business on top of that, so I feel a bit biased. But– I don’t believe in supporting a black-owned business simply because black people own it. If you have a good product that I want to buy, I’ll buy it. Supporting the black business is a bonus.

Anyway, minor tangent. The shop owner asked if I would crochet some pieces for his shop in February 2018.  I tend to wear my crochet stuff a lot in my free time.

At first, I was hesitant and resistant. Then a month later I decide to try it out.

 “Well, I won’t be involved in finding customers, dealing with the flakes, or the riding the roller coaster or hopes and dreams–crushed edition. I just make the stuff and if sells, cha-ching!”

Or so I thought. I was wrong. One day I was dropping off a few more crocheted pieces to the shop, Wednesday, March 21. The shop owner tells me about a lady who has the first top I made on hold. She’ll be back to purchase it on that Friday. That Friday comes and goes. The only money that I gain is a $5 bill I find in a parking lot by dumb-luck.

My thoughts so far are, consignment isn’t a stress-free way to go. It’s a stress-reduced option. I’m only giving this a trial run of 6 months.

Hope for the best, but fully expect the worst.

-MikuMarmalade

My motto when it comes to making money from my talent for crocheting.

But hey, I do hope things go well. If I 100% believed this was a waste of my time, I wouldn’t bother.

Update: April 14, 2018

One of the tops sold. It’s the same one the owner was speaking of. Although it sold a later period.

2 thoughts on “My not-so-stellar experience selling crocheted stuff

  • April 13, 2018 at 11:29 pm
    Permalink

    Sadly this is more common than one would think. People hear crochet and they think about their grandma’s yellow/tan/brown ripple blanket from the 70s. Even if we make the cutest things, and you totally do, we kind of get shunned by people’s perception of what crochet is. My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was little but I couldn’t do more than chain. I finally got into it in 2010 or so when I realized I had high anxiety. I made hats for my nieces and such and jumped straight into Etsy. I decided to make Princess Leia hats and at that time they sold hand over fist because at the time they only had knit hats for her and mine were just super cute. I probably sole 15 of them close to Halloween that year. Since then though it doesn’t matter what I make, I rarely sell anything.

    On Etsy I’ve gotten to where I might sell a copy of a pattern once every 4-5 months. Those are only like $1.80 and Etsy takes their cut. In the summer I put up some barefoot sandals because I stress-made a ton of them and thought they’d sell quick. Didn’t. I made about 10 pair for a friend’s wedding though. Currently I have 2 things on craftsy, sold zero…ever. A woman in the town about 23 miles from us wanted baby stuff for her shop but after 6 months of things selling pretty decently, she decided to make it online only sales. She wanted to sell my stuff on Amazon crafts but it got shady pretty quick so I backed away. Never did get back the stuff she had in the store but at that point I was glad to be done with her. I make a few sales on fb but mostly to family.

    Commissions ugh. Last year everyone wanted bun hats. I “sold” 6 of them to a “friend” and I trusted her to pay me after she had the hats but nope. I took another leap with a friend who wanted one of the giant octopus so a ton of blanket yarn and one year later it’s still in my living room. She messages me every 2 months to say she can afford it now so I ask where to meet up and she goes radio silent. sigh. Lately I’ve stress-made about 9-10 Waves of Warmth Slouch. None of them have sold but I’m going to donate them to my oldest’s project graduation yard sale.

    I like doing freestyle but my anxiety goes off the chart if I can’t write it out and follow it later so I push the perfection side of it, which is crazy and never works. Then I freak out and put it down. After 8 years I’m really close to finally finishing my Puu amigurumi (Yu Yu Hakusho). lol I love him but I just can’t get it all written down out of my head.

    Your stuff is amazing on so many levels. I think if you took it to a comicon or the like, you’d make a killing. I have a friend in Nevada that hits those and she makes a heap of cash every year and has people order new stuff on her site from biz cards. Just a thought. 😉 (PS came here from your Reddit post btw so thank you for posting your blog link! 😀 )

    Reply
    • April 14, 2018 at 5:37 pm
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      Oh my gosh! I’m so happy that you shared your story with me. I do tend to think that in a convention environment I’d do well. The thing is, I have to get there. I don’t live near a convention area. Yeah, I think a common thing is people think crocheting is some cheap hobby. What people fail to realize is if one is putting their yarn work out there, they’re competing with a LOT! Cheap things from China, machine-made items, other crafters, the list goes on. It just saddens me to know that there is a perpetual myth out there that crocheting/knitting is a viable way to earn worthwhile income. For a few, maybe.

      As for patterns, to me it’s too much work for a possible outcome of no payout. I’ve never written a pattern, so if I did charge I’d have to charge lower. I am aware of the “bad paid patterns” out there. I’d never want to buy a poorly written pattern(if I was one to use patterns) thus I’d never attempt to sell a poorly written one.

      Oof. Perfectionism is a bitch. I think a lot of artists deal with that. You can be your own worst critic. Awesome that you’re almost done with Puu. Do remember to take care of your mental health! It’s critical!

      Reply

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