Knitters and crocheters often find themselves facing leftover yarn from completed projects, colors that are not quite what they need for their works in progress and extra yarn that they never got around to using. Some crafters in the knitting and crocheting community also choose to support their hobby — or even earn a living — by selling yarn online.
There are many ways to sell yarn online, and the strategy that works best for an individual seller depends on multiple factors. These factors include:
- The seller’s time and resources to devote to selling online
- Whether the seller wants to just unload extra yarn or turn selling into a business
- How much yarn the crafter wants to sell
For many crafters, the most obvious way to sell yarn online is to sell it through an established sales platform. These include:
Each of these platforms has a unique process and pros and cons. For example, Craigslist just offers an online “home” for ads; sellers are responsible for arranging shipping or pick-up and communicating with buyers via email or phone. Etsy and eBay are more structured, but also require sellers to comply with their established procedures and codes of conduct.
There are two ways to create an online store to sell yarn. A crafter can create an account on a platform like Etsy or eBay and use it as an online storefront or she can create an independent e-commerce website. The first option is faster and simpler but comes with fees and a lack of store customization. The second option is significantly more expensive and complicated for the seller, but gives her the opportunity to create a truly one-of-a-kind online yarn store.
Sellers who opt to create their own e-commerce stores can do so with Shopify or by installing WooCommerce on a Wordpress website. Creating this type of website involves purchasing a domain name, building the website and marketing it to buyers, all of which the seller can do on her own or contract professionals to handle.
Yarn consignment works the same way as consignment in every other category: the seller and the owner of the retail store sign an agreement that states that when the store owner sells an item, she keeps a portion of the proceeds and the rest go to the original seller. In many consignment agreements, the item is only displayed in the store for a specified period of time, after which the store owner might lower its price, return it to the seller or keep the item and any profit she makes from its eventual sale.
If you do not have the means or interest to create your own online yarn store or list your yarn on a website like eBay or YarnFind, yarn consignment could be the ideal way for you to sell yarn online. Although consignment shops are traditionally brick-and-mortar stores, there are many online-only consignment shops and e-commerce divisions of established consignment businesses.
Another strategy to sell yarn online is to find yarn business opportunities. Instead of selling yarn directly to crafters, a seller can connect with a crafter who has an online business and create a business partnership. By becoming an established crafter’s yarn supplier, the seller can guarantee ongoing sales and nurture the relationship by offering bulk rates and other buyer perks.
A yarn seller can also find success by connecting with a group of knitters or crocheters online. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram make it easy to find others with a similar hobby, and a seller can create a market for herself by establishing herself as the go-to yarn supplier for an online or regional crafting community.