Friday, June 12, 2020

Fastest Way to Finish a WIP / Beauties Pageant 85

I discovered the fastest way to finish a WIP: Sell the fabric!

I have been pretty diligent about pruning my stash over the past two years. I use what I have on hand, supplementing when necessary with smart purchases from my local quilt shops or online retailers. Gone are the days when I buy yardage just because I like it! Part of that process, at least recently, has been posting lots of fabric to sell on FeelGood Fibers, a secondhand fabric marketplace.

Using FGF has been an effective way to move fabric that doesn’t work for me anymore. So far I’ve sold 11 of the 14 lots I have posted. If you’re considering doing a little destashing, you might learn from my experience ...

What’s Worked for Me

My goal for posting this fabric was simple: Get it out of my life. This wasn’t just stuff I didn’t like; it was stuff I don’t think I could ever use. There was the Bonnie and Camille polka dot that was too pink for me, the Art Gallery floral that was lovely but not a palette I could work with, the graphic Carolyn Friedlander print whose cream background was too yellow for my projects.

I priced items to sell and did my best to estimate shipping. (All FGF prices include shipping within the United States.) After I had a few sales under my belt, I adjusted some price tags. Price points that worked for me were $12 for a yard of fabric, $16 to $20 or for a 2-yard cut, $25 for a modest collection of smaller cuts, and $35 for larger lots.

I took well-lit pictures of my fabric and was very specific about the size and condition of the fabric, including dimensions, whether it was prewashed, and the fact that I have a smoke-free, pet-friendly home. I also promoted everything on my regular Instagram account (@frombolttobeauty). I did this occasionally, because people don’t follow that account with the intent to purchase fabric. Including a notice about my FGF shop once in my feed and once in my stories seemed adequate. I did list each of the 14 lots to my secondary Instagram account (@fbtbdestash), pointing people to my FGF shop and making sure that I used #thegreatfabricdestash in each post. I know some of my sales came directly—and quickly—from those Instagram posts.

What I’ve Learned

I’ve learned that I’m not the smart fabric buyer I thought I was. Sure, some of the lots I posted were too traditional for my modern taste. Others were remnants from projects past. But half of them were things I bought because they were on sale. Moving forward, I’m going to buy what I love at full price instead of fabric I like at a reduced price.

What I Have Now

The three remaining lots I have on FGF are all canvas or home-dec sateens. I am fine with them sitting on FGF for a bit. If they don’t pique anyone’s interest, I’ll eventually price them so low that folks are just paying for the shipping; the fabric will in effect be free.

The lots I did sell have earned me a PayPal balance of over $200 (less the shipping costs). I will be spending every cent of it on new fabric purchases! : )

BTW: A word on the pictures included here ... The lot of Amy Butler fat quarters at the top of the post was slated for a project and then I decided to sell them. (Take that, WIP list!) The canvas fat quarters are still are no longer available at my FGF shop. The fat quarters from Bonnie and Camille’s Vintage Holiday also sold.

Follow Me On ...

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  1. I think FGF is a great tool. Good for you, taking the time to organize your fabric and decide what to keep and what to purge. Your destash likely made another quilter very happy.

  2. Moving to purchasing only fabrics I love and having a small stash has really helped me. Well, that and recognizing I love to work in solids so having yards of solids on hand is never a bad thing for me. :)

  3. Great news on your detash. Happy fabric shopping!

  4. I sold a lot of fabric, that I dind't really like, for very cheap in a destash a few weeks ago, too. I had though about it for months and it was so deliberating to finally do it. I was surprised how much actually went - more than I ever imagined and I am sooo happy to have the fabrics go to a home where they will finally be used in. And I feel so much lighter :) xo Melanie

  5. Congratulations on your stash busting plan. It really is a good idea. I will have to check out the link to buy, not to sell. I know, I should be learning from you not buying more.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing about your experience on FeelGood Fibers! We're so happy that you were able to destash what you no longer love, make some money, and make some room for new creative experiences! Your fabrics have been a huge hit with buyers -- you posted great photos and had them priced well (two of our top tips that we share with sellers)! Thanks for being a part of our community and for your positive words! xoxo


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