I want to preface this with there’s no right or wrong way to sell your patterns online. You simply need to start in order to figure out what works for you! I started out selling my patterns on Ravelry, opened an Etsy shop, added my patterns to Lovecrafts, and my most recent endeavor is selling on my own, here! I prefer selling my own patterns directly the most!
Designing and Selling Your Crochet Patterns Pt 3: Sell Your Patterns
* Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I, Leah Gordon, may earn a small commission from purchases made, at no additional cost to you. These are products I highly recommend and use.*
I’ve compiled a list of platforms to consider utilizing to sell your patterns if you’re just getting started. Maybe you’re selling patterns already, but weren’t aware of the many options available to you. Read on to find options for marketplaces and platforms of which I’m most familiar.
- 3.5% of sales, billed monthly.
- The service is free if you sell $30 or less in a given month.
- If you sell more than $1500/month, fees are reduced. See the pricing page .
European Union VAT collection
- VAT (tax) may be added to your prices when a customer is in the European Union.
- The tax that is collected will be added to your monthly fees – we will bill you back for any tax that was collected so that we can report and file it.
- Please see this page for more details.
PROS: Built-in community of like minded individuals looking for patterns across varying fiber arts. Little to no fees unless minimum metrics are met by designers. Transaction fee is determined by Paypal.
CONS: Some users complain of usability issues caused by the color palette and overall visual aesthetic of the website. Learning curve for setting up shop.
- Transaction fee: 2% + 0.20 euros ($0.24 USD)
- Selling fee: 3.5%. ONLY collected on a monthly basis IF minimum sales threshold is reached! 30/35/40 euros ($36/42/48 USD)
PROS: Built-in community of like minded individuals looking for patterns across varying crafts. The most reasonable fees; little to no fees unless minimum metrics are met by designers. Patterns go through an approval process to ensure patterns are authentic and original.
CONS: The approval process may take up to a week and approval isn’t guaranteed. The learning curve of approval process may be frustrating for some.
- Listing fee: $0.20 per listing.
- Auto-renew expired (Fee added when a listing is auto-renewed.): $0.20 per listing.
- Auto-renew sold (If you sell multiple quantities of a listing in one transaction you’ll owe a multi-quantity fee for each additional quantity.): $0.20 per each additional quantity.
- Transaction: 5% of the total item costs.
- Payments fee (% of total sale price + flat fee per order) : 3% + 0.25 USD; only applies to sellers who accept payments through Etsy Payments.
- VAT: Varies.
PROS: Built-in customer base. Commercial success, popularity, and reputation to attract customers are second to none.
CONS: For small designers, the fees associated with selling on Etsy may eat into profit margins and seem intimidating. Without proper SEO guidance listings will have little to no traffic. Without reviews customers are reluctant to shop.
YOUR OWN WEBSITE
- Start Up: Plans vary starting as low as $2.59
- Listing: FREE
- Transaction fee: varies based on method used to process payments (on avg up to 3% + $0.20-0.30).
PROS: Operational freedom. You set your own terms and conditions.
CONS: Start up costs may not be budget friendly. Building a website takes time if there is little to no personal experience with website development. You have full responsibility of customer service, technical support, and overseeing all operations of your online business.
Ravelry comes in 3rd place on my list of e-commerce platforms. It was the first platform I chose to sell on. It was the only platform I was familiar with when I began selling patterns. Had I done my research vs following the crowd on Instagram I would’ve started with Lovecrafts. Lovecrafts comes in 2nd place. It has such a fun community and makes it really easy to source the materials and notions required for all project needs. Ravelry and Lovecrafts are very similar in capabilities. Preference will vary amongst designers and makers. The only platform on this list I no longer utilize is Etsy. From my experience, Etsy best serves individuals who already have a dedicated customer base. The accumulation of fees from Etsy became exhausting. Seeing how fees ate away at my already thin profit margin quickly became discouraging.
If you feel Etsy can still serve your needs, note there are ample resources provided by Etsy to become a successful seller. Don’t expect overnight success with the platform. With all the fees, you’re paying for the convience of Etsy doing all of the thinking for you. The fees may be understandable for some; particularly individuals who aren’t the most tech savvy/lifestyle constraints limit time to devote to operations associated with maintaining a presence online. I bought the Masterclass to better educate myself on why I wanted to sell patterns, and what route could potentially serve me best… and I know that sounds crazy (spending more money to learn how to make more money, lol). The course was loaded with resources to enhance my presence online, the presentation of my patterns, and build my confidence as a designer. After completing the course and with much introspection, I felt it was a necessary move for me to leave Etsy. I in no way share my experience to discourage others from the platform; these are things I feel one should know and consider prior to committing to selling anything on Etsy.
Lastly, I do want to point out that although selling on my own platform is my favorite method; it hasn’t been easy. I would only recommend this life to self-motivated individuals; it’s A LOT OF WORK! From finding a theme that’s clean and professional to understanding how to troubleshoot technical difficulties; having and maintaining your own space on the internet requires a lot of time and patience. Things to consider prior to buying a domain and hosting:
- Are you tech savvy/Do you have access to someone who can help you troubleshoot issues?
- Do you mind starting small and slow?
- Do really need total operational freedom/Is a structured preset system more for you?
Let your answers be your guidance! Remember there is no wrong way to go about selling your patterns. Everyone’s path to success is and will look different! I’m still selling on multiple platforms, and will continue doing so as long as it make sense for me. Consider selling on multiple platforms for exposure, or keep it simple and stick to whichever feels best and benefits you most! Don’t let anyone else’s poor experience or success be a deciding factor in your decision making. Do your research and experience things for yourself. This is a journey, have fun with it!
Hi! I’m Leah Gordon from I Play With Fiber! Thank you so much for supporting my blog. Writing and sharing with the world is a dream come true. I do hope you love this piece of me. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach me at my contacts listed below.
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(2020, November 30). Stores: pattern sales fees. https://www.ravelry.com/content/stores/fees
(2020, November 30). How much will it cost to sell my patterns. https://designer-handbook.lovecrafts.com/knowledge-base/selling-your-patterns/
(2020, November 30). Our House Rules. https://www.etsy.com/legal/fees/
(2020, November 30). How Much Does Web Hosting Cost? https://www.dreamhost.com/blog/web-hosting-costs/