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LoveCrochetKingdom

When do you know you're ready to sell your projects?

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I have an Etsy online shop and I've had it for about 2 month and I haven't had one sale. And now I'm second guessing my work. What if it not good enough? Is my work to expensive?  Is my work ugly? Or am I just overthinking? What can I do to know when and if to sell my work? 

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Even though I crochet, I have bought a couple of crocheted items on etsy that I didn't want to make myself. I think part of the problem is the volume of items available. A search for crocheted afghans brings up over 47,000 results. Even with a lot of those being patterns, that's a lot of things to look through. I think having a really appealing photo is important as well as complete info about size, yarn content, etc. As far as price, I would look through similar listings for comparison.

 

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Mona is right.  It needs to be a very nice picture taken of that item. Even if that item you crocheted is beautiful and that picture sucks you probably are not going  to even get any interest from costumers.

Krys

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I don't sell my items, but as a BUYER (in general, and especially this time of year) blankets would be the last thing I'd be attracted to buy.   I'd be much more inclined to be looking for a smaller item, like a cute/unusual toy, a smart looking hat/fingerless mitt set, a set of fancy pot holders, that sort of thing--something small, eye catching, unusual and clever.  I've been known to buy these small sort of items at bazaars for gifts on occasion if they catch my eye, even tho I could make them myself.

You would also be apt to get more return on your yarn and time investment for a smaller item.  Sorry to say, people aren't going to pay more for a handmade blanket than they would pay for a blanket at Walmart, and that won't pay for your yarn let alone your time; from reading a lot of posts over the years, it seems the non-crafter thinks a blanket takes 1 skein of yarn and can be whipped up in an hour.  But, someone might pay $15 for a hat in a trendy style/interesting stitch pattern/color, and you'd recoup your yarn cost and a little extra.

Krys is right, a good photo of your (anybody's) project will generate more interest than a meh one. Look at pattern photos of blankets or other items for staging and colors being used. 

A bit out there, (meant constructively, you did ask for observations) but the dark colors in your blanket clash a little.  The pumpkin has a yellow (warm) undertone, but the brown has a cool (blue/grey/taupe) undertone--on my monitor at least.  Sometimes this sort of color-wheel clash can be hard to spot, but this really jumped out at me.

 

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21 minutes ago, Granny Square said:

I don't sell my items, but as a BUYER (in general, and especially this time of year) blankets would be the last thing I'd be attracted to buy.   I'd be much more inclined to be looking for a smaller item, like a cute/unusual toy, a smart looking hat/fingerless mitt set, a set of fancy pot holders, that sort of thing--something small, eye catching, unusual and clever.  I've been known to buy these small sort of items at bazaars for gifts on occasion if they catch my eye, even tho I could make them myself.

You would also be apt to get more return on your yarn and time investment for a smaller item.  Sorry to say, people aren't going to pay more for a handmade blanket than they would pay for a blanket at Walmart, and that won't pay for your yarn let alone your time; from reading a lot of posts over the years, it seems the non-crafter thinks a blanket takes 1 skein of yarn and can be whipped up in an hour.  But, someone might pay $15 for a hat in a trendy style/interesting stitch pattern/color, and you'd recoup your yarn cost and a little extra.

Krys is right, a good photo of your (anybody's) project will generate more interest than a meh one. Look at pattern photos of blankets or other items for staging and colors being used. 

A bit out there, (meant constructively, you did ask for observations) but the dark colors in your blanket clash a little.  The pumpkin has a yellow (warm) undertone, but the brown has a cool (blue/grey/taupe) undertone--on my monitor at least.  Sometimes this sort of color-wheel clash can be hard to spot, but this really jumped out at me.

 

Thank you very much. Is there a way I can send you a link to my shop I dont mind the constructive criticism. I love my hobby and dont want to get rich. Just want to know if my post is  dull and lacking information. 

The blanket I'm currently working on is a kit I bought and those were the color yarns the came with the kit. Im trying to make something resemebeling Esperanza Rising for my daughters school class

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I gift or donate my items, but I do buy items that I don't have time to make or that catch my eye at craft fairs or online.

One thing you really need to consider is who is your market?  Who are you selling your blankets or really any crocheted item to?  This helps you research and make decisions about what to make, where to sell, and how to market.

So with your blankets for instance who do you envision having a need or interest in your afghans?  Where do you find them?  How do demonstrate that your product meets their needs and interests?

Unless it's an different kind of pattern blankets can be a hard sell because even if you don't knit or crochet yourself lots of people have family who do and are often gifted with afghans from family members.  I know even though I've made a few for our house, we also have a number gifted to us by family who wanted to make something for us as well.  Unless it was a picture afghan or something extremely different that I couldn't make I couldn't see buying one.  To support charities I've purchased a few raffle tickets but I would never have bought most of the ones I've seen offered at craft fairs.  No insult to the creators, but for them to make a profit for their time and materials, the prices are just not something I'd pay to buy as most of them aren't that unique.

Other people have given you practical suggestions.  I'd just add that if you want to make this into a business you have to figure out is there a need for the product you are creating and where can you market effectively to that market?  Looking online at other stores can help to see the types and quality of products that others are selling and even to some extent how are they presenting the products they are offering.  I'd also look honestly at the quality of the products being offered and how they compare to what you offer. 

Another possibility is to look for online groups for people who do sell crafts online to network and find out what other people are doing to find markets for their products and to promote their stores.

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You could post a link to your Etsy shop on this forum, there's no rule against that (folks post this sort of link in the 'patterns for sale' area here).

I meant to say in my other post that your stitchwork looks perfectly fine, so that's not an issue.  

I had to look up Esperanza Rising,then found this description of Abuelita's Blanket.  https://sites.google.com/site/mrwhiteisreallyawesome/symbolizm-and-allegory  What a cool idea for a project!

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I want to thank everyone that's has taken out of there time to reply to my post. I'm writing down every advice. Here is a link to my Etsy shop. Feel free to browse and tell me what you think. Thank you 

 

etsy.com/shop/lovecrochetkingdom

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I took a look; have to admit I've never browsed Etsy before, and have only looked at your site; but a couple of questions popped into my head (which may be silly newbie questions, but for what it's worth...)

I liked your video which showed your talent on a variety of projects, from blankets to clothing items; but I thought it was odd that there were only 2 items for sale, a virus blanket and a tote.  Your tag line is "Handmade Crochet clothing, hats, baby blankets and more", but I would have expected to see the other things (or representatives for these items) for sale, too.  What if a customer really fell in love with your Fox toy and matching blanket in the video...it's not offered for sale, so I'd probably click away to the next Etsy seller.  (Unless...is it customary for a customer to ask a seller to put something in their shop/custom order?)

I noticed there's a spot that says how many sales you've had (zero).  I wonder if this makes an adverse impression, and if it would make a difference if you 'sold' those 2 items to a friend in 2 transactions, reimbursed them and put them back into your shop.  Also noticed a spot for 'admirerers', I'd have clicked that button but didn't want to sign up; maybe ask friends and relatives to 'admire' your site?  Can't hurt...

Pricing -- I haven't done the research to see what similar items are going for at other Etsy shops, but I think you should.  Again, repeating the comment people aren't likely to pay more than the price of a similarly functional thing at Walmart.  I totally get the cost of yarn and your labor, but your customers aren't going to think that way.  The blanket at $35 doesn't look unreasonable, (Walmart - $5 - $30) but the market tote at $30 seems high (Walmart $5-15).

Since we are heading into colder weather, I'll bet you'd make some sales making hat and (scarf or cowl or mitt) sets; pick striking stitch patterns that you wouldn't see at Walmart!

 

 

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