One of the most interesting things about quilting is that no two handmade quilts are alike. While it is enticing to think that you can sit around and make quilts all day and sell them online, keep in mind that a quilt takes hours and hours to complete from start to finish. While this shouldn't deter anyone from trying to make a profit on handmade quilts online, you should take the time to learn about the market you are getting ready to enter. If you make sure you are prepared before you dive in, you are sure to swim along nicely.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Research your market. Know what kinds of quilts are already out there for sale. If you are interested in making quilts using only batik fabrics, then learn as much as you can about which patterns and colour combinations seem to sell the best for others. If everyone out there seems to be offering applique but none of it seems to be selling, then don't bother putting your time and effort into a quilt that won't ever leave your home.
Surf the web to find different websites that offer items for sale to the general public. Sites like eBay and Artsefest are often flooded with crafters as well as buyers. Another option would be to start your own site and sell the items for yourself with no fees to outside parties. Be careful, however, if you choose this option because the marketing, promotion and driving traffic to the site itself are completely your responsibility, in addition to the creation of your product.
Make your quilts unique. There must be something that your quilts have that other quilts don't. If most of the quilts online seem to be machine quilted with stippling, then machine quilt feathers, wreaths or hearts; anything that gives your quilts an edge over the competition. Be sure to highlight your unique features through high-quality photos of the quilts available for buyers to see.
Describe your quilts online in the best way you know how. If you have a hard time writing out a description of your quilt, then it may be worth it to hire someone to write them for you. A beautiful quilt picture followed by a "100% cotton, machine pieced and quilted" description doesn't cut it. Use flowing words that create a feeling surrounding the quilt and make it different from the rest.
Know your costs and how much a quilt should sell for. Don't spend £45 on fabric and only sell the quilt for £32. In order to make a profit, your quilts must sell for more than just the cost of fabric and thread. Often, especially in crafts, people forget to factor in their time when calculating a price, as if their time is worth nothing. If it took you 10 hours to create the quilt from £45 worth of fabric, then you'll want a price that reflects that amount of time and materials.
Tips and warnings
- If you feel your quilts may not be selling because they are overpriced, then take a look again at what it is you are offering before you mark it down. It may be the quilt itself that is the problem, not the price.
- Don't fall into the trap of making the same old quilts over and over. If you are in a rut with making your quilts, then buyers might be in a rut with buying them. Continue to offer fresh looks and new techniques.
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