Selling your wool and yarn on-farm or at a fiber-related show is a great way to bring more profits to your farm business, but marketing and selling online lets you reach out to potential customers across the country and around the world.
First you should decide if you’re interested in selling raw wool, washed wool, roving or yarn. Raw wool should be skirted well and have as much of the vegetable matter (VM) as possible picked out of it. Washed wool can be sold by the fleece or by smaller amounts. Roving is commercially prepared and can be sold in any size “bumps”. Yarn can be hand-spun or commercially spun in an assortment of thicknesses and is sold in skeins.
Here’s a list of various Yahoo! groups and websites designed as market places for selling wool/other fiber, roving and yarn, along with a description of each. Some are intended only for certain types of preparation, while others allow sales of everything from raw wool to yarn.
- Fleece for Sale
- Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FleeceforSale/
- Description: This Yahoo! group is a moderated “direct sales” list for farmers/flock owners and spinners worldwide. You may only post raw (unprocessed) fleeces for sale; fiber from sheep, angora rabbits, alpacas, llamas and goats is allowed. You must list details about the fleece(s) for sale, along with the price per pound and your location. The moderators ask that you post only once a day and no more than twice a week. No advertisements for fiber fairs or internet auctions are allowed. Spinners who have extra raw fleeces may post them for sale, too.
- Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Spin-Sales/
- Handspinning equipment, supplies and fibers can be sold or traded on this group, but it is only open to members of the chat group Spin-List – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Spin-List. This group gives Spin-List members a place to buy from other members. All new members are moderated to ensure they aren’t spammers.
- Buy and Sell Wool
- Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BuyAndSellWool/
- This is a group for small or large flock-owners selling wool and other spinning or felting fibers.
- Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Spinning/
- This is a chat group for anyone interested in spinning. Ads are welcome on this group, but you must put “AD:” in the subject line. Ads include lists of fiber/yarn for sale, as well as, announcements about your booth at a fiber event, any classes you’re offering and links to Ebay auctions or Etsy (or other) websites.
- Fiber Buy and Trade
- Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FiberBuyandTrade/
- You can sell or trade any raw or processed fiber on this group. You must list your items for trade with prices so someone can pay the amount if they don’t have a trade. Equipment can also be listed for sale or trade as long as it’s fiber related. Postings for internet auctions are not allowed in this group.
- Fiber Source
- Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FiberSource/
- You can sell or trade any fiber-related item on this group, including fleeces/fiber; yarn; books, supplies or equipment for all fiber arts; and fiber animals and supplies.
Yarn and Fiber
- Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/yarnandfiber/
- You can advertise fiber, and fiber products, supplies, events, sales, etc. on this group. As long as it’s related to fiber, it’s allowed here. Ads can be posted as little or as often as you want. Posts directing people to your website, shop, blog or Ebay listings are also accepted on this group.
- Fleece ‘N Fibre Canada
- Website: http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/fleecenfibreCanada/
- This chat and market group is strictly for Canadian farmers and flock owners. You may list fleece and fiber (sheep, goat, llama, alpaca, rabbit and whatever else) that you have for sale. Fiber in any stage of preparation may be listed – raw fiber to finished yarn. Fiber-related and animal-related discussions are welcome in this group. Members can also post equipment, supplies, books and even fiber animals for sale. Wednesdays are special “market” days, but members can post items for sale/wanted to buy any day of the week.
- Website: http://www.etsy.com/
- This website is for vendors of handmade objects, supplies and vintage items. Signing up for an Etsy shop is free and there is a small fee for each item listed. You can choose various “tags” to describe your item for sale and upload up to 5 pictures for each.
- Website: http://www.ebay.com/
- You can buy or sell almost anything on Ebay, and wool is no exception. You can set up your sale as a traditional auction or state a “Buy It Now” price.
I hope this information opens doors for you to get more out of your wool. Advertising and selling online has helped me find buyers around the US and Canada interested in Tunis wool. Get online and get more profits out of your sheep!