Today I want to tell you about a product that can set you back just two or three pounds and sell dozens of units every month.
There are many millions of different variations of this product selling in high quantities on eBay, Amazon and Etsy, and numerous other marketplaces.
The relevant three-letter word is ‘kit’ and it appears in titles like the below on eBay, many followed by prices from twenty to sixty pounds each:
– Make Your Own Wedding Memorial Charm Kit
– Santa Claus Christmas Cross Stitch Kit
– Clock Making Kit
– Make Your Own Reborn Baby Doll OOAK Unique Kit
‘Kit’ – in our case describing a combination of instructions and materials for making a particular item – is a product you can be selling literally hours from now, without heavy cash outlay.
But most bestselling kits are quickly copied by rival sellers and decimate profits for the person initially bundling instructions with materials that can be obtained on almost any high street.
That brings me to the most important feature of selling these kits, that being yours have to be different from anything else on the market and they must be impossible to copy.
We’re going to focus on cross stitch kits, representing a kind of needlework using crossed stitches to match the colours on a squared off image of the finished product – be it a cushion, or wall hanging, or other handmade item.
Cross stitch kits prove popular and profitable all year round, even though they represent a major part of the Christmas gift trade. One reason is that most people choose unusual, preferably unique Christmas gifts for family and friends. And what better way to achieve that objective than to make those gifts themselves?
The other reason for year round selling is to give buyers time to create the finished piece in time for Christmas giving.
A cross stitch kit typically includes a piece of linen bearing a transfer image onto which stitches are placed, cottons or wool for the stitches, needles and a picture of the finished piece (usually coloured and showing where each stitch and colour fits into the overall design).
Those kits might fetch prices like the following listings on eBay:
Cross Stitch Kit Gold Collection Santa’s Nap XMAS Puppies & Kittens – price £26.84
Cross Stitch Kit Gold Collection Holiday Glow Christmas Stocking – price £25.30
Christmas stocking cross stitch kits are incredibly popular and many sell between twenty and sixty pounds per kit, even though their components probably cost just a few pounds total.
Festive designs are the most prolific sellers – but they’re not the only ones likely to attract regular sales and high profits, as the following popular subject types show.
a) Unusual and complicated designs are difficult and sometimes impossible for other sellers to copy, such as the kit below for example, based on a design by an artist whose work is now in the public domain:
RIOLIS Motherly Love After G. Klimt’s painting Counted Cross Stitch Kit priced £18 each.
b) Gothic, fantasy and morbid, especially with skulls and winged characters, graves and crosses.
Gothic Angles Grave Cross Stitch Kit priced £93.49.
The Victorians loved Gothic images and symbols of death, with many creations now in the public domain meaning they can be used to create your own unique designs.
Look for 19th Century art portfolios and journals at auction and flea markets. Choose artists who died more than seventy full years ago and whose work is now in the public domain in the UK.
c) Iconic Images. The next image is probably an officially licenced design, but it’s shown to reveal a way to make your products very different to what others are selling.
It’s done by adding another popular technique – collage – to the overall design. Collage is an method by which various different materials, such as photographs, drawings, fabric and beads are conjoined to form one design.
The likeness below of Mickey Mouse has been created using lots of tiny images of popular Disney characters, combined to form the basic image and converted to a cross stitch design.
You can’t copy that design but you can create something similar using silhouette images of instantly recognisable people and places and many other subjects.
The fact it’s recognisable in black and white should make the subject equally identifiable in coloured collage format.
Locations, like this New York skyline.
How to obtain stock
– Make your own kits, using designs from the public domain, then either:
(i) Upload your image to a site that turns it into a squared off image, sometimes coloured, sometimes black and white.
Give these a try… Photos 2 Stitch and My Photo Stitch.
(ii) Create the design yourself by sectioning a public domain image into tiny same size squares, each matching the size of the crosses in your design.
Learn the basics from the Cross Stitch Guild.
From there you must assess the type, colour and quantity of yarns required to make the product.
You also need needles, also a coloured image of the finished piece showing where the different coloured stitches go.
– Source readymade kits from wholesalers and other providers, such as Alibaba.com, AliExpress.com and DHGate.com.
Also try: Sew And So and Emma Louise Art Stitch.
Five listing tips for your cross stitch kits!
1) You do not have to show the finished product in your eBay listings but you must show the image, coloured, as part of the instructions chart.
In your description, tell potential buyers how wonderful the finished product will look with vibrant colours and what a great gift it will make.
2) Insert ‘Sample’ or similar over your gallery image, especially your instruction charts, or people will download your images to use without paying for them.
3) Images can be obtained from books, greetings cards and prints in the public domain. The best source, however, is complete cross stitch patterns produced for Victorian craftworkers and issued in their own right or in magazines and ladies’ journals.
Most will be printed in black and white, although the instructions might include a code for colours to be used to complete the piece.
Where that happens you can scan the black and white version and paint on the colours for the finished piece and use it as your gallery image.
4) Create kits for tight niche markets. That way your products might be unique on eBay and other marketplaces and you could corner a large share of the market for yourself, especially at Christmas.
Consider products based on cats, dogs, freemasonry, Victorian ads, angels, Santa Claus, golf, cricket, football and hundreds more topics.
5) Kits can be made and sold without their materials and by merely mentioning the materials required to create the finished piece.
Those charts can be sold in physical format on eBay, Amazon and Etsy and other sites specialising in making and selling handmade goods.
With your cross stitch kits up and selling and making good money for you, it becomes time to apply the word ‘kit’ to numerous other products likely to fetch regular high profits for you.
The easiest initial market to target is ‘Crafts’ on eBay, followed by the following product sub-categories, all with ‘kits’ among their current listings:
Cross Stitch; Jewellery Making; Cardmaking & Scrapbooking; Sewing & Fabric; Children’s Crafts; Painting, Drawing & Art; Tapestry & Needlepoint; Crocheting & Knitting; Woodworking; Embroidery; Cake Decorating; Leathercraft; Rubber Stamping; Latch-Hook/Rug-Making.
The post This Christmas product will sell and make money for you all year round appeared first on Auction Genie.
This article first appeared on Auction Genie. Read more and comment here