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New to selling, curtain fabric remnants to sell, guidance please!

(7 Posts)
sinclair Wed 05-Oct-11 16:54:18

Have to clear out my studio and have a mix of lengths of fabric from good designers and odd half metre bits that would make cushions and i think everything in between.

I have read the ebay guide to selling and know i need good photography and low starting points, but have a couple of questions.

Do i have to use Paypal? or can i ask buyers to send money online direct to my bank account or by cheque if they prefer?

calculating postage looks easy and DH has the gadget to print labels but what about when it is say 12m of fabric on a roll - would i courier that and would buyers be prepared to pay the £12 or so? Or should i take it off the roll and parcel it up and save money for seller? Or is it better on larger items to have collect only - i am in London so that may work for lots of people?

Do i put it up in dribs and drabs and feel my way with what works and what doesn't or should i open a shop and put it all in there for people to browse ( i haven't had the clearout yet so this is wishful thinking but guessing i have 5 or 6 sizeable lengths and 20 or 30 50cm+ bits that i imagine will go for £2 at best)

Aim is really is to make a bit extra in the run up to Christmas but have always wondered if there is a business idea in edited remnants so market research too. Everything is leftovers and over supply so all profit.

sorry i know this is long and there are threads about starting out on here, if anyone has any market specific tips that would be brilliant

sarahtigh Thu 06-Oct-11 23:00:51

you have to accept paypal but you can opt to take postal orders cheques etc, but never post until they have cleared.

regarding rolls it is always cheaper to bost a box 50x50x50cm than a rioll 140x 30cm, some couriers will not take struff over 120cm royal mail will not over 150cm long go to parcel2go web site type in a few box weight sizes and see, people generally want cheapest postage possible, do some completeld listing searches and see what things are selling for not what buyers are asking for

do not bother opening shop unless going to do to it regularly

sinclair Fri 07-Oct-11 13:24:51

thanks for replying, that is very useful info on the boxes, hadn't thought of that. Everything is couriered out in the trade partly tho as it is on next day delivery and this doesn't need to be. I can easily fold the larger pieces up and see what size boxes i need.

A bit of a breakthrough is that DH who is all set up has offered to sell for me so there will be positive feedback and a Paypal account when i start.

zipzap Fri 07-Oct-11 14:11:47

From a buyers point of view (I've bought lots a few bits of fabric like this from eBay in the past)...

Have a look at what people are selling similar stuff on eBay for to get an idea of what sells and at what prices

Depends what im looking for - sometimes I know exactly what I want, other times I'm browsing desperately trying to find something that would be suitable to make curtains/cushions etc. So sometimes I will search on a particular fabric name ('tree poppy', 'linara' etc) or manufacturer (Sanderson, romo etc). Might also search on colour - both manufacturer specific (mulberry, damson) or general (purple)

Lots of people sell cushion kits - seems they have just cut fabric into squares, occasionally a zip or covered buttons or piping etc. If you can also sell cushion inner and offer discount on sending the two together that might help.

Others sell bundles of small bits of fabric suitable for patchwork or cushion backs that have a common theme or colour or that go together well so you can get several bits for one postage price.

Also saying that you will discount postage for more than one item bought at a time and can be sent out together.

Getting as many appropriate key words into the titles so you have bigger chance of being picked up by lots of searches.

Photos - general one to see the fabric pattern, a close up with something in to give indication of scale - tape measure, 10p piece etc) so you can see pattern and type of fabric really close and if it is a big bit then hung up as if curtains so you can get an idea of what it would be like once in situ.

Say that you have a studio and are clearing out bits, gives sense of security that you are genuine. Option to pick up if you can is always nice. Plus also say that you can supply things like cushion pads, lining fabric, heading tape etc so if someone is planning to do this and can get it all together then it makes it easy for them and more likely that they will get your remnant and not another one. You could even offer a making up service for your bits if that's of interest and might tempt buyers. And remember to put in your normal stuff in there and use it to advertise that at the same time.

Also if you know any fabrics have been mentioned in any mags or used somewhere special, add it into the details.

Basically think of who might want to buy these bits of fabric and why and try to cover those bases when you are writing your blurb!

sinclair Sat 08-Oct-11 16:07:55

ooh that is very useful thanks. So the listing seems very important - usually my stuff is left over designer bits so i should be making a point of that. selling the piping cord and zip along side is a good idea too, or curtain making bits. i need to get in there and sort it all out and start taking photos really, your post makes me think start slowly and see what works and what doesn't tho really so thanks for that (makes it seem less daunting too)

higgle Mon 10-Oct-11 09:37:58

I did very well a couple of years ago when I sold the dressmaking leftovers from some of my mother's 1950s dresses - I had some that were maybe just under a metre with extra smaller off cuts, they made about £8-£10, I was quite surprised.

ninedragons Tue 11-Oct-11 02:50:30

If you do a search for "destash" on, you will get a lot of good examples of appealing photos and the sort of light you need to take them in.

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