Knitting For Profit: Only knitting once you have orders

Knitting For Profit

Oct 22

What is the commission strategy?

We looked at the other option last week, knitting up stock before you start selling, so now I’m going to help you decide whether only knitting once you have orders might be the best way for you to go.

That’s what you might call ‘the commission strategy’.

Commissions are well known in other retail industries, such as restaurants. Consider the way we choose which food we want as we place our order. The time between ordering and fulfilment is much shorter in this case than knitting a hat might be, (usually!) but it’s a similar model.

Your customer can make more decisions and you can have more styles available than you could possibly have displayed on your stall or in your Etsy shop.

They can choose colours and sizes, along with styles and finishes and when they need the finished item. And they’ll have to realise that their order will start at the end of the queue. (Unless they pay extra to ‘jump the queue’.

So what about the down sides?

You have to put boundaries in place for various reasons. Firstly people don’t realise how many options there could be for a single item.
If you’re a beret-knitting specialist you could offer:

  • 3-5 sizes
  • 6-8 colours (possibly 20 depending on the yarn)
  • 3 textures,
  • 2 fairisle borders (optional)
  • pom-poms, tassels or knitted bobbles (optional)
  • DK or chunky yarn
  • and baker-boy-style peak (optional)

Now if you start calculating the options you could give someone you’d be mind-blown…
If you just consider the lowest numbers I gave you there, you also offer all the with or without options, you’re giving 5184 variations of beret!

So ask someone to stand at your stall or look at your Etsy shop and make that kind of decision and you could be there a long time! Basically they’ll go to a High Street store and make the decision between two berets and be done with it!

Put those boundaries in place for good reason!

There’s no shame in saying these are the 10 knitted items I sell, 3 hats, 3 mitts, 2 cowls and 2 scarves. each comes in 3 colours and the hats have two size options. That’s as complicated as your customers will need it. They either want what you’re offering or they don’t!

I’ll talk about more benefits and downsides in the video, enjoy!

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