October 2009

If you’re self employed in the UK and want the tax office to work out your tax you have to get your form in by the end of October. As I started my Etsy shop last year I had two businesses to work out so employed the services of an accountant to help me.

freeimages.co.uk workplace images

Well I’ve had a severe talking to. When I embarked on my Etsy shop I had no clue as to how to price things. I worked out how much the materials had cost me and looked at what other people were selling their items for and priced my items somewhere in between. It was only reading the forums and critiques of other shops that I realised what the correct formula was.

So for those who don’t know – though I suspect most do-  it is this:

Cost of materials + (TIME TAKEN x HOURLY RATE) = Wholesale rate x 2 = your shop price

The bit I was forgetting was to charge for my time – as I loved making the items. So often my items were sold at the wholesale or even less than the wholesale rate – no wonder I made a loss last year! I also got a lot of requests from online shops who asked what my wholesale rate expecting me to knit a child’s jumper for half of the price quoted in my shop – which, of course, wouldn’t have covered the price of the yarn!

Traditionally the wholesale price is the price offered to galleries or shops wishing to sell the work on your behalf – they then add 100% mark up on the items for sale in their shop. Doing the same for your online shop allows you to be able to offer discounts, free shipping, etc.

So I now have a snazzy spreadsheet with lots of columns covering cost of materials, hours worked, labour cost, admin costs, wholesale price, discount and actual price – it also allows me to work out how much was earned in labour and how much – if any –  was earned as profit. Which should make the whole tax thing easier next year!

This has also prompted me to double check the exchange rate and alter my prices accordingly. It would be so much easier if I could just put the £ value into my Etsy listing and the Buyer could see it or its equivalent in whatever currency they are shopping in.

As a result a lot of my prices have changed today – most up, some down and some have stayed the same. Looking at other items on Etsy I can’t believe how others make their items so cheaply – either they get their materials for free or they, like I was, aren’t factoring THEIR PRECIOUS TIME into the piece.

So from now until the end of Monday 2nd November I’m offering free shipping on all my items in my Etsy shop – just put ‘Stitching Adventures’ in the message to seller at checkout and I will refund the postage via paypal.


Back in August I attended the Bakewell County Show. Fantastic sunshine but lots of mud underfoot after several weeks of rain. I knew from previous years that although there were sheep involved there was no fibre for sale. Imagine my delight when I spied a stand from Toft Alpaca!  I’d been coveting their giant bulb bag for weeks but couldn’t quite stretch to that after all the treats my son had had during the day so I settled for one of the smaller kits. I finally made it up this week after the cold snap started – and they have been worn several times.

whitby 201

whitby 199

whitby 200

Beautifully soft and wonderfully warm. I think I’m in love with a new yarn …