The Yarn Business

I’ve given this A LOT of thought…
Many of us are “new” to the entire world of social media/business/marketing/pattern writing/etc.
At my FB page, I often pop little things up that I run across that may help or impact someone who is trying to create a business in yarn design.
Why don’t we have one here?
A place to post the latest little bits that may make a difference for someone else.

Business related
Social Marketing related
Advertising related
Pattern Design related

Enjoy!
and:
Keep on Stitchin’

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I just found out LoveCrafts is partially based in the Ukraine,
and are no longer able to review designs for acceptance.

(via an email from them directly)

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For those who still have their Etsy accounts,
or considering getting one:

They just raised their rates again: 6% now.
BUT, there are additional “tucked in” fees as well.

I sold a $4.00 pattern a few days ago.

My cut?

$1.22

yeah…

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I had a FB Marketplace Account loaded with my patterns.
The bot came along and told me that:
I can’t sell tickets to Sports events (???)
and I can’t sell digital products (???)

Now: FB wants me to put my patterns back up and advertise them
AND:
my account has been blocked because I failed to meet criteria #4.

I finally located criteria #4,
which is a “lack of trustworthiness”.

Huh?

So, I wrote FB to find out why.

Stay tuned.

Etsy NEVER responds,
but Pinterest/Go Daddy/Ebay and even Ravelry will respond.

Let’s see what the FB Powers-That-Be reply back.

I don’t sell tickets to Sports Events…
I’ve never even been to one.

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Ebay will let you post your finished products for sale without a business license or tax ID #.
They also call you directly if you have any problems.
VERY nice too.

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How to Sell Crochet Patterns (With a PDF Template) - Little World of Whimsy

Ribblr gets a strong mention!!
I’m US based, and am discovering that almost no one here really knows about Ribblr.
So…
I’m trying to spread the word as I putz along daily within my social contacts.

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Ribblr gets a strong mention!!
I’m US based, and am discovering that almost no one here really knows about Ribblr.
So…
I’m trying to spread the word as I putz along daily within my social contacts.

I even asked a couple of my favorite designers if they were going to put their patterns on Ribblr so so can buy them!

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Yep, there goes the monopoly…

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Facebook has “Chat”!!!
I actually talked to a real hoooooman being, and got a lot of info.

Apparently, the bot just went around and decided to close down a number of pages…
I asked for a review and now all is good. :smirk: :roll_eyes:

and:
you CAN advertise your designs/patterns/products on FB Marketplace!

The representative sent me their information page on the subject (let me know if you want the url).

For FB Marketplace, you post your products, and they circulate. No cost.
YOU decide where the customer goes: to Ribblr, your Web address, or your FB page…it’s up to you.

You first fill your store front with your products.
They allow lotz of photos, and your typical “description”.

Later, when you post your products to your FB page (daily or weekly posts, or announcements as to new designs), you are then asked if you want to “tag” your item in your store? Super easy, just one picture, one click, it’s tagged.

When the post viewer is asked if they want to see more? they can click and are taken to your product, then your buy now location link. (Ribblr, etc) I love that I don’t have to load a pdf anywhere but where I want the info to be.

Of course this is linked with Instagram…
and FB/Meta has a business page for you that shows you what time of day your followers actually see your posts. (Loads of extra features too…)

*remember to: #craftingrevolution to each post too!

I actually made a number of sales thru FB prior to the Bot Confusion.
Comparatively:

I paid $18 for 2 weeks of advertising prior to Christmas with FB.
I made 4 sales direct thru my website via FB.
(You can run your sales thru FB, I opted to not do so.)

I paid $60 for 2 weeks of advertising prior to Christmas with Etsy.
I made 4 sales, and lost commission to Etsy on each.

I paid $20 for 1 month of advertising with Ravelry in November of the same year.
I made zero sales.

Woooohooo!
I’m back up and running with FB Marketplace!

He said the bot just applies the same block to everyone, and then a review is done.
That’s it in a nutshell.

Good news?
You can add FB to the “actually responds” category.
Etsy is NOT in that group.

Ribblr/Go Daddy/Pinterest/Ebay all respond immediately.
Etsy never responds, and that is confirmed by many.



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Frequently, I’m in a FB Crochet group, and someone will complain about how hard it is to sort out sizes or find their spot on a pattern…I ask; have you seen Ribblr yet? and they have no clue it even existed. To be honest: hubs found it for me. I was complaining about pattern theft, he did research and boom! Ribblr came into my life. I would love to ONLY put my patterns at Ribblr. Let’s get everyone over here!!!

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. I would love to ONLY put my patterns at Ribblr. Let’s get everyone over here!!!
[/quote]
I think Ribblr only needs to hang in there, big companies are trying to get their cut of a pie that is making money right now. That’s all they care about.
I’ve bought A LOT of patterns over the years (I used to make A LOT of money) and I bought whatever I liked.
My observation:
there are those who throw patterns together for $3-5 that are poorly written and nowhere to be found for pattern support. But they make money because— 3-5 dollars? Not worth the time/ hassle.
There are those who draw you in with free patterns, some written quite well, some not. They offer a paid pdf of the pattern. My observation is if they write a crappy free pattern their paid pattern is going to be crappy too.
There are those who charge $6-12 a pattern. Paying more doesn’t always mean better.
Then, there are those who advertise that their “club” is open to anyone for crochet help but in actuality they only want to help you with their paid patterns. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
So, what I look for now that I have to scrimp my dollars, is for a consistent presence on social media, information on how to best contact designer for pattern support, samples of patterns that show me how well the patterns are written, and reviews from REAL people- not people you gave a pattern to.

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I had to get off for an appointment but what I also look for in a pattern is am I supporting a person? I want to support small business owners not fat corporate creeps.

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For those who are still advertising at Etsy:

Karen Buntin has an amazing group, as well as YouTube Videos which explain so very much.
This one came across my feed this morning,
and I’d have to agree.

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Follow up to the FB Marketplace Saga:
(for those who are trying to figure out how to actually make a business out of yarn design)

So, my account is now back in “good” standing, as apparently the bot was just doing this to a number of accounts right now.

When I went into the Meta Business side of things, I noticed they either had new options which were much easier to understand OR I am just now starting to figure things out. They did have several pop up announcements as to changes or things that are set to be activated in the next few months.

I also noticed that the layout had many more little “explanation” boxes to help me figure out what I was trying to do. (The last time I went into this area of Facebook, I felt like I was Dorothy in the land of the flying monkeys. NUTHIN made sense!)

Either way:
I loaded all the photos and descriptions for my designs, ((thank goodness I had the descriptions already written up and saved in a doc…made things MUCH easier))

I FINALLY found the wee little area that allows me to tell FB that YES!!! I want my Instagram connected, and can I please, oh please have an Instagram Business Account? To which they respond I can, and with the click of another button I can join the two together to make my life easier.

Sweet!
The little “store front” was easy to work with too, I was even able to make a little carousel with a current season or theme so that was extra special and add information to that to direct folks to my website and explain what sort of crochet I do.

Then:
A note popped up and said my account was now on hold, and it would take about 1 day or so for a review to see if what I am publishing meets their Community Standards.

AND…my website will also need to be reviewed to see if that meets FB Community Standards as well, if I want that address connected. (I do…kinda the entire purpose of this isn’t it?)

Back to the land of the blocked…
However, with that said:
I woke this morning to both business accounts passing “review” and open for business.

Whew…
It’s been a long week.

Turns out?
If you’re in the US and you have FB Marketplace, you cannot run the payment system thru your website or alternate service. Well, you CAN, but a notice pops up that says if you select that option, ALL of your stuff will be deleted and you’re on your own.

Nice…
Just when I thought FB and I were friends again.

This is just for sales direct thru FB…
unlike many other places, you CAN put your website links, etc right there, and folks can pop over to your location if they wish.

All the sales I had before went that route…
perhaps because it’s crochet based and folks like to look at what you have and hang out at your site.

What I can say definitively is:
FB Marketplace brought many visitors to my site, and followers as well. I can see clearly in my Go Daddy stats that was what was occurring. To have that aspect back in place makes me smile.

FB Marketplace also had something new (for me at least, I never saw it before), where I could choose to offer for folks to sign up for my email list AND give them a percentage off coupon for their next purchase. I’ve never done that before but thought: what the heck? give it a go…

It was easy to set up, and considering how well it went with my Go Daddy email list, it might turn out quite nice.

Oh! and I finally figured out the “drag and drop” option for photos!
Nice…as to reload all my designs meant reloading over 240 photos…I remembered how boggy their system interface was last time I published. This time? Everything ran smoothly, and was much, much easier.

That’s about all of it in a nutshell.
I know this is long, and probably uninteresting to many,
but for those of you who are trying to figure it all out like I am,
maybe this info will help.

Enjoy!
and:
Keep On Stitchin’

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Update:
LoveCrafts responded, despite their Ukraine problems and the email I received from them saying they couldn’t process new applications at this time.

I had submitted only 2 designs to see how their system worked.
They approved both of these designs, and want the rest published as well.

BUT, it turns out:
I must advertise within my design at least one of their wool products.
Otherwise: I’m dropped to the bottom of the circulation.

No thanks…I purposefully use a nice quality, inexpensive yarn that everyone can get in the US.
With how bad our inflation is and will continue to be, I’m not changing things.

And I’m not comfortable having my designs sit on the floor of a platform simply waiting for someone to claim them as their own.

FYI: when you sign up for LoveCrafts, you grant them permission to pull ALL your designs from Ravelry. You then have to go in and change each and every one to meet their system requirements, (Practically redoing everything anyway, so why import?) You THEN wait for an approval review to see if you meet their “standards of design quality”.

Frankly, imho?
It’s much easier, (and friendlier) to copy and paste your entire pattern to Ribblr.

HUGE shoutout to Ribblr again.
Let’s get everyone over here!

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Whew!
It’s crazy what they expect one person to do huh?

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I know!! I’ve never felt so old…

and yet:
it’s the “old” part of me that keeps sticking to this because I know I’m capable of learning.

It’s like “they” refuse to recognize INSTRUCTIONS are very helpful!! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Ebay & Facebook Updates:

I’ve been shut down for good with EBAY.

Soooooo,
I’ve heard of Etsy doing this.
And Facebook.

In fact:
Right now, I’m working with FB to get my Store together, they’ve blocked me again.
The chat agents are helpful, and hopefully I can save it before the AI bot blocks me permanently.
In fact, a few days ago, a FB agent connected us to email so that he can see me thru the rest of the drama, until my storefront gets verified and established. ((Shout out to: Jason at FB Chat))

Did you know that if the bot blocks you permanently there is NO APPEAL?
Yeah.
You ain’t never doin’ business with them again.

Your “Tip of the Day”, from all the research I’ve been doing this week is:
CONTACT CHAT SUPPORT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE or the bot will think for itself.

Everyone warns to contact FB “Chat” ASAP, or the bot will shut you down.

With FB, the bot was alarmed because it couldn’t establish my website domain.
Fortunately, I work with Go Daddy, and things are moving along smoothly…so far.
Still waiting on the bot to “review” and determine if I’m legitimate or not.
Mind you: I’ve talked with 4 different “chat” agents,
and have spent approximately 45 hours on this so far this week.

Yeah…VERY stressful.

IF the bot still determines I’m not “safe”, then I’m blocked for life.
Right now? I’m “restricted” from selling.
At least I have an email address and an agent who is following this thru.

With EBAY?
With EBAY!!!

I went to bed Sunday night to a few emails from Ebay saying they were glad to have me, and they auto renewed my ads. I had ONE little “watcher”, but nothing else. I had talked with chat directly (they called me in fact) and everything checked out perfect.

Yes, I can advertise digital crochet patterns.
Ebay deposited several “small amounts” into my bank account, and all was good.
I was verified by human and by their system.

Monday morning:
I’m removed because I’m a “Safety risk to both the customers and Ebay itself” and am banned for life.

Yeup.
For life.

So, my son “googles” and finds out this happens regularly with Ebay.

I can’t log in or reach chat because they keep responding with: “you are a risk to the safety of the Ebay community”. ((How can a little old person who crochet’s be a risk? I make freakin’ dog coats!))
Apparently this just “happens” with Etsy and Ebay.

Okay, the folks that it “happened” to earlier in the day report that they were able to get an agent by accessing them thru another platform. (We are completely locked out, with a horrid message about being a “safety risk”). Apparently, we can access EBAY chat thru Twitter or FB and they will fix it…
sometimes.

It depends on if the bot made the decision, and/or if a human can fix it.

This is the response I got from Ebay:

I admit,
I had a little meltdown, and a wee cry.
I honestly felt like I was “bad”…

which, in reality, is quite silly.

Then, my elder son reminded me that I’m not very different from the folks who crossed the US in the Wagon Trains. They had no clue what to expect, it was a new land, a new way of doing things, and sometimes things just went “South” really fast. He said keep on going, this is a new world for many of us, and quitting now won’t get me where I’m going. (smart kid sometimes)

Hubs reminded me that when he went to Ebay, there were only crochet books, not patterns, hence I only lost the hours involved in uploading photos, etc to their system. Be glad I didn’t have an established “store” with them that was actually working.

By the way: with Etsy, the SAME THING HAPPENS and folks lose their entire business storefront. It happens quite frequently, with no appeal and banned for life. Try to get someone to talk with? Not happening.

So…for now: if you run into any overnight “shut downs” or blocks? Get a hold of “chat” immediately with either FB or Etsy. Try to go outside the system to gain access to chat within the system if you must. BUT, contact them if you can before the bot shuts you down.

Be warned tho:
For no reason whatsoever, you can still be blocked for life if the bot says so.

And that’s my crappy news on the business front for this week.

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Just read through all that and oof that seems so stressful, so many bans for no clear reason. Especially when one moment it’s all okay and a bit later suddenly a problem and ban. Very weird. It also seems like so much work to get everything to work over there only to get bans. I hope you won’t have to go through something that annoying again :heart: I’m also glad how easy ribblr makes it to sell/make patterns compared to FB/eBay/etsy/… otherwise I definitely would not have been able to put up with it.

I’m proud of you for doing so much work to get everything working and thank you for sharing your experiences :blush:

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Honestly a little sickening

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