• Ellen Kardell

Want to sell some of your yarn?

If you're anything like the typical knitter, you have STASH, lots of glorious, amazing stash.

Yarn is wonderful and we can get seduced by its visual and tactile qualities: color, texture, feel, even scent. We see the potential of creative exploration or the joy of making a one of a kind garment or heirloom gift. It's really easy to get carried away and not realize the time it takes to get through 2000 yards, stitch by stitch. And that's just one sweater quantity. Many knitters have much, much more yarn stashed away. Your stash can start to pile up, and require housing of its own. It can start to feel repressive to have more yarn than you can possibly use.

That's where I come in. I want to see if I can get your unused stash moving back into circulation again, where it will

  1. make space in your house, and give you some return on your investment

  2. allow me to move it to another knitter, making a bit of return in the process

  3. wind up in it's "forever home", out of a plastic bin and hopefully into a finished project

  4. provide some level of emotional freedom for you

Here's how it works

I mostly sell natural fiber yarns, and no, they don’t have to be vintage or really even discontinued (I just have a particular fondness for the hard-to-find discontinued yarns, which is one reason why I focus on them). Most of the yarn I sell here does not come from wholesale sources. It comes from knitters with stash to sell, estates, shops going out of business and a variety of other sources.

That said, it’s harder for a micro-business like mine to sell current/more common yarns online unless they are going to be steeply discounted, or are highly desired brands (Madeline Tosh, Malabrigo).

The general procedure is that you email me a list of what you have with photos, and what you'd like to get, and I let you know a) if I think I can sell it, and b) what I can offer you for it. I look at current retail prices, scarcity and desirability and my own inventory levels of the yarn to determine pricing. When we reach an agreement, you ship the yarn to me (your cost) and I will handle everything from there, sending you payment upon receipt.

In the best of situations I much prefer to buy outright rather than consign. It's 'cleaner' and easier for both of us to not have to carry paperwork over a long period of time. It just depends on how my cash is flowing at the time.


If you've been on my mailing list awhile, you'll see that I don't do sales. I don’t price my yarns at artificially inflated "suggested" retail prices, or full standard retail so that I can play the “big sale—70% off” game. I respect my customers and I don’t like games. It's something that most large companies do (and to be fair, for a variety of reasons); I prefer to offer fair prices all of the time, low cost shipping and great service.

My approach to pricing reflects what I need to get from the sale based on what I paid for the item. It's usually less than keystone markup (keystone is standard wholesale to retail markup of double the retailers cost)—and it must be at a competitive price for the consumer.

You may have paid more—or less— than retail for what you are now trying to re-sell. It's none of my business to ask you what you paid for it and I don't. I use my own intuition combined with market research to get to the price that I want to offer to the final buyer. I can then make an offer to you based on what I need to get, taking into account the services I provide (photography, writing listings, storage) and the cost of business overhead including market research, web hosting, insurance, shipping subsidies to customers*, advertising and marketing, and a modest profit.

So, know that you are in the position of being a wholesaler if you have yarn to sell. That means in many cases taking a loss on what you paid, because prices only flow in one direction: farmer to mill to manufacturer to wholesaler to retailer to consumer, sometimes with added steps in between.

I’m negotiable on what I can offer and it will be higher than wholesale, but realistically, if you paid full retail it will probably be a loss for you. On the plus side, there is freedom from the sometimes unreasonable guilt about having "excess" stash. However you define that, excess stash can become an emotional burden—I know this personally. I worry about my stash being thrown into a landfill if something happens to me, and some of it has gone on to good homes via this website.

My goal is get unused stash moving back into the market to be used by someone who will love it.

So think about what you have, what you need to get from it, make a list including quantities, condition, color numbers, and let me know. I always need more inventory.

Thanks for your interest!


Stasher in Chief

Discontinued Designer Yarns

*I have low flat rate shipping, and I’ll admit, if I could ask for “true cost” shipping, I would do it, as the flat rates have hit me badly a few times. But customers have been trained to the "free shipping" paradigm that is now the norm for most businesses.

PS—If money is really tight for you, the best return on your investment is to list it all on Ravelry. This can be slow, and you need to do all the work of taking photos, writing descriptions and dealing with shipping.

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