The best place to sell vintage knitting patterns

My daughter was recently gifted several boxes full of vintage knitting patterns. Whilst some people may have seen these simply as old, worthless patterns, anyone who is into knitting will however immediately recognise them as absolute treasure.

Whilst my daughter is not a knitter, she has one as a mother and asked me for some advice about where the best place to sell this awesome collection of vintage knitting patterns may be (she is a student and needs the money!).

I have decided to write this article in case anyone else has some old, vintage knitting patterns that they would like to sell.

Read on to discover more about the best places to sell your vintage knitting patterns.

Post may contain affiliate links.

The best places to sell your vintage knitting patterns online

Selling your vintage knitting patterns online is going to open up a much larger market than if you decided to sell them locally (more about that later). The obvious online markets for vintage knitting patterns are Etsy and Ebay. However, there are some other ways to sell vintage knitting patterns online. Read on to find out more.

Selling vintage knitting patterns on Etsy.

If you run a search for vintage knitting patterns on Etsy, you will find thousands of them! This is because Etsy is the most well known online market place for both vintage goods and craft supplies.

It is quite easy to set up a shop on Etsy – we even have some free listings for anyone opening a new shop. There are step by step instructions for opening your Etsy shop, and you can get your vintage knitting patterns up and listed in no time at all!

Now if you check out the vintage knitting patterns for sale on Etsy, you will notice that people are selling regular paper patterns and also PDF instant download files. Basically, this means that sellers have scanned their vintage knitting patterns and you can purchase these and download them straight away onto your device.

Theoretically then, you could scan a vintage knitting pattern and sell it over and over again. This is obviousl a lot more lucrative financially than selling your actual paper knitting patterns just once and then its gone forever.

However, I would imagine that to scan and resell vintage knitting patterns is breaking copyright laws. Indeed there is a discussion about this within an Etsy sellers forum. Personally, I wouldn’t take the risk of selling scanned vintage knitting patterns unless I was absolutely certain that it has passed into the public domain. As what classes as having passed into the public domain differs from country to country, I think its a bit of a legal minefield and I would advise not to do it. You don’t want somebody coming after you saying you have breached their copyright – this could be stressful and expensive.

Another issue about selling your vintage knitting patterns on Etsy is that fees are quite high. I think this quite a recent issue. I myself sell knitting patterns on Etsy (my own designs, not vintage patterns) and I have to say that the fees are really wiping out profits. I probably need to put my prices up. In some countries though, VAT is added onto the price of digital files so if you decide to sell your vintage knitting patterns in digital form, you need to consider that this will raise your price at point of sale. So it could be that asking too high a price might put off potential customers.

Anyway, Etsy still remains an excellent place to sell your vintage knitting patterns. This is a quality selling platform and one that attracts customers who are searching for vintage and unique products. I would personally only sell original, paper, vintage knitting patterns here because of copyright issues, however I know from selling my own patterns how easy and convenient it is to both buy and sell digital files on Etsy.

Selling vintage knitting patterns on Ebay

I have actually sold several vintage knitting patterns on Ebay in the past, and found there to be a thriving market for these items.

How much you can get for your vintage (or in fact any) knitting patterns on Ebay depends on the actual pattern, and whether or not you auction them off or sell them as buy it now items. The most I received for a single pattern was 32 pounds in an auction. This was for an old Spiderman sweater knitting pattern. I guess it sold for quite a bit of money as Spiderman knitting patterns are pretty rare to find.

Ebay would be a good place to sell bundles of knitting patterns, as well as individual ones. The fees on Ebay used to be a lot higher than on Etsy, but I think it is about the same these days. In fact, you don’t need to pay insertion fees on Ebay (they give you a set allowance of free listings every month). You have to pay 20 cents for each listen got Etsy.

I would say that Ebay has a bigger footfall in terms of potential customers than on Etsy, however Ebay buyers are often really looking for bargains. This means that you may not be able to ask as much for your vintage knitting patterns. Unless, as previously written, you have an awesome and unusual pattern and have a bit of luck in an action.

Other places to sell your vintage knitting patterns

  • Your local ads. You never know, someone local may pop round with cash, very happy to take your vintage knitting patterns off your hands.
  • Second hand marketplaces such as Preloved UK – I have seen knitting patterns for sale here but have to say the last time I checked on this website I saw a roaring trade in puppies. Half poodle, half Rottweiler, that sort of thing. I mean, I suppose they are pre loved, who wouldn’t love a puppy. However, this used to be an excellent place to buy quality used and vintage items, not pets.
  • Facebook groups. There are numerous Facebook knitting and knitting pattern groups where members trade their knitting patterns with one another. Run a search for knitting related groups and you are sure to find some fellow knitters who may wish to buy your vintage patterns.
  • Instagram. You could post photos of your vintage knitting patterns on Instagram and ask potential buyers to DM you. Be sure to add the knitting or knitting pattern hashtags to reach your intended audience.
  • Car boot sales and flea markets. You may have some luck at selling your vintage knitting patterns at places such as car boot sales. This would be a good option if you don’t fancy packing up your patterns and taking them to the post office.

Wherever you decide to sell your vintage knitting patterns, know that there is a definite, huge market for them. If you are lucky to own some, whatever you do, don’t throw them in the bin! If selling them seems too daunting, at least give them to a knitter who will surely love them and may even have a go at crafting up some beautiful vintage clothes.

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