If you want an impossible task to do, try selling your homemade quilts to people who think all quilts cost the same as the ones they find n the big box stores. It's a hard task trying to sell homemade quilts for a profit but it can be done if you are determined and dedicated to the task.
Two quick tips. First, don't try to compete with the big box stores. Their job is to make money and they know how to do it well. Second, be prepared to take a loss as your work is not seen in the same light by the public as you see it.
To learn more tips on how to sell your homemade quilts and where to sell them, just continue to read our article. Our article provides those tips and suggestions that should help you move your products from your home to someone else’s. It just might not be an instantaneous move.
Tip 1: You can sell smaller less time-consuming quilts or quilts in frames at different craft shows.
Tip 2: At those craft shows take orders for larger ones from those who stop by your booth. Then take a 50% deposit to cover your costs just in case.
If they are made from legal products then you can sell just about anything you want. But you will have to be patient as not everyone likes the colors, designs, or those two items do not match their home decor, or the price is more than they are willing to spend.
Someone once said ‘everything will sell...eventually’. The key word there is eventually and that is where your patience comes in. You just have to wait for the right buyer who will appreciate the quality and beauty of your work.
The right buyer may not quibble about the price either. That means you do not have to take the low ball bid buy those buyers trying to get quality for nothing. Then you need the right location and the right venue to sell your quilts.
Unless the quilt is old, yard and garage sales are not the right venues to make a profit off of your work. if you have a good or unique reputation like the Amish, then you can sell just about anywhere and at about any price you want. If not, you may get discouraged by all the bargain hunters.
Tip 3: Don’t be discouraged by those Wal Mart shoppers who expect you to sell at the same level as big box stores. Stick to your guns and only offer a discount to those potential buyers who are serious about buying your quilts.
According to Google Trends, the past 4 years have been good to the quilt selling retailers. There is a strong market and it is consistent enough to warrant trying to sell your creation through different methods.
The key is to find your target audience if you are selling online or through traditional means. There are those groups of people who truly see the value of your work and the value of a homemade quilt. They will pay the price you have set, you just have to find them.
That means you do not try to sell to everyone. Finding your target audience takes a little work but the results should be better than a generic ‘sell to everyone’ concept. What you need to do is search the internet on how to find your target audience and what SEO strategies should work for you.
There are more than enough articles on those two topics to get you on the right path.
Tip 4: To get people to spend large sums of cash on your products, your quilts need to look handmade, not homemade.
It is possible as there is a market for homemade quilts. In fact, it is almost a $4 billion industry. But you are going to face some stiff competition. The heavily desired Amish quilts on average cost about $1000 but you don't have the Amish reputation helping you make sales.
Then, there are about 16 million quilters in America alone. That is roughly 1 out of every 20 Americans quilt, sell or give their products away to the other 19. Then if you are a dedicated quilter, you may have to spend about $13,000 on tools and supplies plus have about $6,000 worth of fabric in their stash at any given moment.
Then if you use a machine, you are looking at spending roughly $10,000 to $30,000 on a good sewing machine with all the bells and whistles you need to make a great quilt.
Yes, it is possible to make money selling homemade quilts but you need to decide how much you are going to spend on this enterprise. Knowing the costs helps you see what you need to do to make any money.
Tip 5: There are lots of online locations, like eBay or Amazon, where you can market your items. or you may want to enlist an affiliate marketer or three to help influence people to buy them.
This depends. Are you looking at an old quilt that has been passed down from mother to daughter over many generations or are you looking at finding out how valuable the quilt you made is worth?
For vintage and antique quilts you need to know approx. when they were made. This is not an easy task to do but it is easier than trying to sell your own products. To be considered vintage, the quilts have to be made between 1921 to 1970 approx.
To be considered antique, they have to be made 100 years or more in the past. That means you are looking at 1920 and earlier in order to own an antique quilt. Handmade quilts will have uneven stitches and those made before the 20th century will not have a tag on it saying it is handmade like most quilts may have from the 20th century forward.
Patterns play a part as each century had its own style with the better patterns coming in the 18Th century. Then colors and age will help you determine the value. Finally, the weave pattern will help you determine the value.
To get more specific details on those categories, just click here.
Tip 6: You may need to create your own website to reach your target audience. traditional methods like classified ads may only bring out those looking to get a reduction on your prices.
This is the hardest part of the whole quilt making operation. You can put any price tag you want on your quilts, and some people do just that. But the quilts will only sell for what the buyer is willing to pay for them.
What that means is that you can take the quick and easiest route and sell at a loss to the first person who offers to pay a really low price. Or you can hold out till your target audience arrives and pays the price you have set.
You are free to set your own price and you should consider the cost of all the materials, the amount of work you did, and how much time it took to make the quilt. That means your quilt prices may be higher, a lot higher, than the box stores. More about quilting prices and cost in our how much does it cost to make a quilt guide.
But if your quilts look good, not homemade, and have a lot of quality then you should get your price. One quilter sells her baby quilts for $125; her queens for $350 +; but on average her prices are in the $500 to $750 range.
Tip 7: It takes time and work to build a client or customer base. Once you do that you should see repeat customers coming to you when they need to buy gifts for weddings, etc.
In this category you have a lot of freedom as there are 2 main methods you can choose to use. or you can use both methods. The first is the traditional method where you send out ads to magazines, newspapers or free classifieds, and so on.
Or you can put up notices at your church, charity organization, place of employment, and so on. Just be prepared to have co-workers and friends looking to you to cut them a deal.
The traditional method also includes setting up a booth at a craft fair and selling your wares or finding a craft store willing to market your quilts on a consignment basis. Just make sure there is room in your pricing for them to make a little profit.
The second method is to jump on the technology bandwagon and build your own website, do SEO strategies to drive people to that website. of course, you will need a web page for your products with prices, an about you page, and a shopping cart page that is secure.
Then you can enlist affiliate marketers or ‘influencers’ to help you sell your products or continue to do it on your own. Be careful with using influencers as they will want one of your quilts for free.
Tip 8: Malls often have craft fairs to help draw traffic to their stores. You could get a booth but again be prepared to say ‘no’ to those potential customers with a garage sell mentality.
Once again you have a large number of credible venues to use to market your wares. For traditional outlets, you can find craft stores that sell top-quality quilts at top quality products, specialty stores that may be interested in selling for you, or you can go to craft fairs, swap meets, and so on.
For modern outlets, your venues are a simple computer search away. There is eBay, Etsy, Amazon, and a host of affiliate marketing platforms that can help you sell your quilts.
It is possible for you to set up your own Amazon store and it is a great marketplace to find your niche and target audience. Or you can simply create a website and do online marketing through different SEO options that will help get your quilts in front of your target audience’s eyes.
Then you can use affiliate marketers to help promote your work but be ready to pay a good commission to them or they may drop your products quickly. The key here is to find the right outlet that not only matches the quality of your products but also, fits your personality.
Tip 9: In selling your products, you have to be aware that the market might be saturated with everyone else’s products. Find a low competition market to make your sales.
That is hard to say as what works for one person may not work for another. Where some people find success in their home city using traditional methods may not work if you are out in the country enjoying the best parts of life without the noise and crowd.
You are going to have to test the different retail outlets and see which one works for you and your situation as well as bring lots of customers to your door. If your work is good, then you can count on word of mouth advertising to help sell your quilts.
There are many places where you can sell online. You can try Facebook ads to see if that draws interest. But make sure not to go to those social media outlets that are not popular. They do not have the frequency of use and their audience is small.
Or you can go through Reddit, Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and similar marketplaces. But be prepared to meet and follow their strict guidelines or you may lose your online outlet. Going through these places means you have rules that must be followed.
The best place to sell your quilts is on your own website. It will take a little upfront cash to set it up and monetize the website. Plus, it will take some investment in SEO tools, advertising, and so on but it may be worth it in the long run.
With your own website, you get to set your own rules.
The first step in this is to have a quality product to sell. You can’t get top quality dollars if your quilts are Wal Mart quality. If you try, you will find that you are out of business faster than anything.
Second, be honest and have integrity. Use good customer service, treat your potential customers well, and do not lie to them. Lies are even faster at putting you out of business than the previous step.
Third, use good SEO strategies to help drive traffic to your door. This includes using good keywords, have quality content on your web pages, and make sure navigation and checkout are smooth and easy to do.
Step one is to sign up at Etsy, read their terms of service and rules for selling your products through their outlet. Then, step two is to take the best possible photos of your quilts. Provide a simple background with natural lighting to help highlight the quilt’s strong points.
Then set the correct price and check out your competition to see what they are selling their products for. Once that is done, calculate your cost of materials, your labor, and the commission fee Etsy charges.
After that, place your ad on the website and go from there.
The truth is if you suspect or know you own an antique quilt, go to a professional appraiser to find the details about the quilt and its value. You can do this on your own but there are so many nuances when it comes to antique quilts that you may miss one or two and rob yourself of a good price.
Once you get the value, you get to place it on your website, use Amazon or other online outlets to market your quilt. It will cost you to use an appraiser but they know their stuff and can guide you to the best places to sell the quilt.
Be wary of antique dealers as they will low ball you a lot just so they can make a profit.
Selling anything, even well-made quilts is a tough road to travel. you will have lots of competition and a lot of nuisance customers. But if your quilts are good they will sell eventually.