I thought for a while (albeit not long and hard!) before I added the Clearance section to the site. I love everything I stock so why would I suddenly add them to the online equivalent of a bargain bin!? This post is to explain why I have a clearance section and why certain products are in it as I don't want people to think any less of the lovelies that are in there ... only that I would like them to go to new homes so I can renew the shop yarn budget!
Why have a Clearance Section?
Before I started the shop I was reasonably familiar with what was on offer in the knitting community and I knew the direction I wanted to go in. I chose the set of products that I wanted to open based on those I loved most balanced with the budget I had to spend, then closed my eyes and hoped everyone would love the products as much as I do. A year on and some products have continually sold but others have decided they like the shop and have stayed. It’s nice here but there comes a point at which they need to move on. You can skip the next bit but it’s a simple view of what happens when one product sells and another doesn’t.
I buy two products (A & B) for £10 each and price both at £15.
Product A sells well. Each time I sell it, I have £10 to replace A and £5 to pay the taxes & expenses associated with the sale of A & business overheads. It also means, if the pricing is working, that a small portion of the £5 is available to put towards expanding the business, Product C. Once Product A has sold enough, I can then add Product C to the shop. This then starts the cycle for Product C.
Product B doesn’t sell at all. It is £10 that isn’t doing anything for the business, neither contributing to paying the business overheads or to growing the business. So after a while, I reduce the price of Product B to £12 so at least I have the £10 back towards the business and a £2 contribution to tax, expenses & overheads. If Product B sells at the reduced price, I can then replace Product B with a different product which will hopefully perform better.
I promise my clearance shelves are not like those you sometimes see in supermarkets, with crushed tins and label-less packets and everything in a pile, all my clearance items are as well treated as my best sellers.
So, what’s in there!
Debbie Bliss Cotton Denim DK
I wish I was a shade less Lobster so I could wear this colour!
I think the failure to sell this is a real ‘It’s not you (lovely yarn), it’s me (yarnstore owner)’. I LOVE this yarn and do not love that it’s in the bargain bin but it’s had a number of outings to shows and it’s been online for almost a year and really, the only person buying it is my Mom. She loves it and because she knits for resale, she finds that knit up her customers love it. One of my favourite jumpers is knit it in. However, it doesn’t appear to be for my customers so it’s time to say goodbye to this lovely yarn and add another in its place. I have (right now) at least 4 balls in every colour and more than 10 in the dark grey which is what my jumper is knit in. There is a gorgeous pattern from Anniken Allis in this month’s Let’s Knit for this yarn if that adds to the temptation! I have to confess that if it doesn’t sell, I won’t be too heartbroken as I might just buy it all from the shop myself!
Debbie Bliss Rialto Luxury Sock (& matching patterns)
I think the RRP on this was the first hurdle. The recommended price is £9.95 and even at the first show I did I saw people just shake their heads at the price. When I look at good sock wool (including WYS Sig 4 Ply which has won awards) the price points just don’t match. The yarn has also not been a favourite with everyone although I love it. Some customers have had trouble with it as it’s a plied yarn – to get the marled effect two strands of yarn are wound together which means some people have found that it splits. It is also not a fan of being reworked a lot as it becomes fuzzy and doesn’t like to be frogged too much. It makes gorgeous socks though and I think if it’s treated as a sock wool, then it really is a great buy. I reduced it to £8.95 earlier in the year and now it’s £7.50, a price which is much more in line with sock yarns of the quality.
Ultra, definitely my fav!
KnitPro Symfonie Interchangeable Needles Deluxe Set
I stocked these because I wouldn’t be without my set which I have had for about 5 years now. These not selling may be that they have been a victim of their own success in that a lot of people who would buy them already have and also a lot of online sellers have them at prices far below RRP. I’m going to do the same with mine so that they go to new homes. These would make a fabulous gift for any knitter in your life.
KnitPro Symfonie Single Pointed Needles
Hands up, this is another ‘It’s not you, it’s me’. I chose the wrong length of these when I ordered them. I thought 35cm was a great idea as I love my long straight needles really long. Not so! Also more and more knitters, myself included, have moved to circular needles. I am glad to say most of these have found homes now, generally with people who like to tuck their needles under their arms!
I love these in the smaller sizes but found once I went up to a size 4.5mm and above they weren’t as smooth as I’d like and because I have to love something and not just like them, I am changing to Addi’s, which I think are great fixed cirulcar needles at all sizes, so these are moving on. I know people who swear by these at all sizes and I’m now down to the last few pairs.
Merchant and Mills Long Darners and Measuring Tapes
I love Merchant and Mills bulb pins which keep going out of stock but I think the Long Darners and Measuring Tapes are a more natural fit with sewing stores so they have been added to clearance. I will keep stocking Merchant & Mills, just that I’ll be leaving these two items to seamstresses from now on. Also, the long darners were a bit of an impulse when I was placing my first M&M order. They aren’t really a knitting item as the small sizes are a little fine but I couldn’t resist the gorgeous wooden containers they come in!
How could I resist these gorgeous wooden boxes?!
These are both on sale as the Rosy Green Merino Joy has all sold out. I’m going to look at them again though as I think these patterns would look beautiful knit up in the WYS Illustrious DK so I may need to take them back out of clearance!
WYS Aire Valley Aran
This is a great yarn but I have been told by a number of my customers that they would like to see a different range of colours so I am thinking about a new range of Aran for the coming Autumn Winter season. It’s also July so it’s a good time for it to be in clearance as people are starting their Christmas jumpers and the red, green and white in this are perfect for that!
WYS BFL DK
This magical yarn doesn’t really belong in clearance but this is another ‘It’s not you it’s me’ (a year has meant that what I know about stocking a yarn shop needs to be written on a slightly bigger stamp!). I originally stocked this yarn as a baby yarn so I ordered it in pastel colours. However once the Bo Peep yarn arrived, in it’s pastel and vibrant colours, this changed the BFL place in the shop but the colours aren’t always appealing for adult jumpers. It breaks my heart to have it in clearance and if I had more time I’d knit it up into baby items for resale but that might take me until 2030 at this stage.
Just a shade too pale for some folk
Lucy The Hare & Other Toft friends
I have only 4 Toft kits (2 hares, one elephant & Alex the Cat) in stock at the moment and while I will definitely be getting more in for the Christmas season, it will be almost an entirely new set as Toft keeping bringing out new gorgeous friends all the time! Also, these poor creatures have been in their packages for far too long and need a little love!
*emotional blackmail alert* Give Lucy a home today ; )
So that’s everything that’s in clearance and why. I felt I wanted to explain the why & what & why of Clearance. If you fancy anything, you can find the clearance page here.
Right! Back to resisting the Cotton Denim DK.
Happy Knitting (& Clearing ; ))