Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How's the Sell Off Going?

I'm referring to "The Great Fabric Sell Off of 2014".
If you don't know, I've been selling off my stash of mostly vintage fabrics on Etsy.  (If you are in the market for some great fabrics at even better prices, check out the link in my side bar.)

I started last October 30th and even though you would think it was too close to Christmas to sell much in 2013(for gift making/giving)I sold 38 separate pieces goods before December 31st, a high percentage of those lengths were Christmas themed too.

So how is it going in 2014 at the halfway mark of the year?

It's been slow and steady thus far.
I've sold 46 pieces of fabric in 35 separate orders(meaning some folks buy more than one length of fabric in an order).

April was the worse month for sales with only $48 brought in.  June was the best with $114.50 in sales.  My next best month was February at $93.00.  There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to sales.
Go figure.

I've grossed $494.00 in sales in 2014.
That's not counting fees(Etsy and Paypal), ink and paper(for enclosures and postage printing)and the cost of goods sold(the fabric cost when I purchased it).
I charge $6 for flat rate envelope shipping and most orders fit into that size, so I get a small bit of "profit"(between .30¢ and .95¢ depending on which envie(flat rate or flat rate padded)is used.

Between all the fees and costs I am not making but a small amount net profit on each sale.
But that's ok.

I didn't set out to undertake this as a money making proposition but rather as a way to get rid of LOTS of fabric without just giving it away and losing all those sunk costs.
And Etsy is serving that purpose.

I have 6 months left in this project as I will shut down the store in 2015.
Any fabric that is left at that time I'll divest myself of in other ways.

I'll be hauling out more tubs of Fall/Winter fabrics to start listing those in August.  Yes, the hottest month of the year and I'll be knee deep in wools, flannel and corduroy.
Oh goody.....I can't wait......*insert eye rolls here*.........

The problem with Fall/Winter fabrics however is that they are bulkier and heavier and most of them won't fit into a flat rate envie.  So I'll have to charge approx. $12 to cover the postage in a flat rate box, yet I won't be able to fit much more yardage in it than I fit into a flat rate envie(again, due to the bulkiness).  So while wools are costlier than say most cottons, I won't be able to charge what they are worth comparatively because of the higher shipping they will incur.

I have about 6 more tubs to go through and list, most of that Fall/Winter fabrics, plus what I have organized on shelving is down to 2+ tubs worth.  I'll need to make room in the spare bedroom where I keep my fabric for another étagère so I can access these Fall/Winter yard goods easily once I get them listed for sale.  I don't relish the thought of spending hours hunting down fabrics I have sold, so I get it all organized as I list it.  It helps that I have a staging area for it all.

I am hoping to gross another $750 in fabric sales before 2014 is over.
I currently have $1090.50 worth of yard goods listed with more stock coming online next month.
If my Etsy store gets any kind of traffic in the Fall months I should be able to meet that goal.

Selling this fabric off is just one of the many ways I have been downsizing in anticipation of selling and moving out of this house in a few years.
By the time we leave here, I only want to bring the fabric I still love and plan to use with me, to our next address.



  1. I sounds like you're doing great! Do you have the flat rate bubble mailers? You might be able to squeeze a bit more into them than with a flat rate cardboard type envelope. You have to order them online fro USPS. I'm always surprised at how much Lego I can cram into those suckers.

    1. Hi Lorraine, Yep, I use the bubble/padded mailers when I can. Much better than those small flat rate cardboard boxes. ;-)

  2. Have you tried the regional boxes that the post office offers? They might save you some money. Mt etsy store is sadly neglected. I am always trying to coax a few sales out of my eBay store.


  3. Hi Lisa,
    Yes, I used them sometimes but the problem with Etsy is you can't give a choice of shipping cost options like you can on eBay. I have to weigh and measure for bulkiness every piece of fabric and make a decision on a reasonable but not too little cost shipping option. I do refund any overage the buyer pays for shipping if it's not used.

  4. Our sewing group is looking at the winter weights right now, so it's NOT a bad time to be selling woolens. You've got to sew the items BEFORE the winter hits, right??
    Good job on your 2014 sales so far. But it is a lot of work!

  5. I have at least two full-sized pickup trucks of material in my sewing room. It's mostly orderly, meaning it all dumped on a huge dining table I bought for cutting or shoved underneath. However, all was bought wholesale or on sale. Some of it I hate now, so it hardly seems like a loss.

    I would think that winter fabric would sell in the summer. People who collect fabric are just oblivious to season and buy what looks good.


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