I craft! Spinning, sewing, knitting, quilting...it's all here, along with so much more. I just love making things and writing about them. I hope you'll join me.



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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why Pattern Designers Should Sell on Ravelry or Craftsy

Do you design knitting or crochet patterns? Have you ever tried to sell your patterns? What outlet do you use to sell your patterns through?

If you said Ravelry or Craftsy, you're up there in the top percentage of very smart and thrifty designers! Ravelry has been around since May 2007 when Casey and Jessica Forbes decided to found a social networking site that allowed fiber artists a place "...to keep track of their yarn, tools and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration." (Wikipedia, "Ravelry." 28 February, 2014.)

In comparison, Craftsy has only been around since 2011 when it was launched by Sympoz (former eBay execs John Levisay and Josh Scott) but had over a half million enrollments in its first year. (Wikipedia, "Craftsy." 24 November 2013.) Craftsy is popular for their video tutorials teaching people various crafts such as sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet, cooking, and painting. But did you know they also have a ton of patterns released by independent designers? Everything from sewing to crochet and knitting? Did you also know that it is free to sign up, free to sell, and you keep your profits? http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sell

Neither Craftsy or Ravelry charge fees. Ravelry gives you up to $30 in sales a month before they charge anything, and then it is only a very small fee. Craftsy makes the explicit statement that it is your pattern, your design, and they do not take any of your profits. To make a long story short, Craftsy and Ravelry allow me to keep most of my profits (there is always the Paypal factor) but I lose out big on Etsy! If you want a break down, read on.

Now why am I saying all of this? Because I am also a vendor on Etsy. I sell my patterns there. To sell my patterns, I have to pay a $.20 listing fee, then another 3% +.25 if they are buying through direct checkout. If they buy through Paypal, I lose an additional .5% on Etsy then 2.9% + .30 on Paypal. So if I sell a pattern for $2 on Etsy, it costs me $.57 ($.06 is 3% + $.25 + $.20 listing fee) just in fees, making my grand total of profit $1.43. If I sell through Paypal, I lose an additional $.31. This takes my profits down to $1.12 Etsy and Paypal are collecting a tidy little profit off of me at this point. 

Now granted, if I sell through Craftsy and Ravelry I will still lose a portion of my profits through Paypal. I have a business account on Paypal, so my fee drops down to 2.2%. Which is only $.04. I can handle that. I would rather lose $.04 than $.88! Now, I know I'm going to lose out somewhere along the way and I can't make 100% profit, but the alternatives to selling on Craftsy and Ravelry seem better to me than paying Etsy!

 I'm not an Etsy hater. In fact, I adore Etsy and credit their venue for providing 90% or more of my sales. I can sell through Craftsy and Etsy at the $2.00 rate and still make $1.96 on each of my patterns because they don't charge fees for selling. But on Etsy, I have to charge $2.50 - $3.00 for those SAME PATTERNS just so I can make close to the same profits. 

I'm not going to go into the details of what is involved with pattern writing and production right now, but unless I sell A LOT of patterns, I won't become rich or supplement my income in doing it. I basically do it because I like to and can make a little change here and there. Ravelry and Craftsy are two of my favorite selling venues. If you're looking to sell your patterns online, try out one or both of these sites and see what I mean.

*Disclosure: I am a paid affiliate for Craftsy.com and will make a small commission from sign ups generated through clicking on these links. However, all opinions expressed and recommendations are based on my personal experiences. I do not sell for vendors that I do not use or have experience with. 

1 comment:

  1. I sell my patterns on Etsy, Ravelry, and Craftsy. I definitely get more pattern sales on Craftsy and Ravelry. Although I have had people contact me through Etsy interested in purchasing the finished item which is kind of nice :)


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