Sunday Stash #119 – The Highest Bidder

Last week as I was cleaning up the fabrics of my life, I rediscovered the yards of out of print Tula Pink fabric that were gifted to me from Grandma Sparkles. They’re not totally my scene, so I’ve never really thought about using them all that much. Plus, Grandma Sparkles had originally purchased them after devising a quilt plan with the help of Tula Pink herself, so I never wanted to disrespect those intentions. At the same time, I didn’t really want to make that quilt. So they have sat.
And now I’m all like: Sell? Keep? Trade? Make? Honestly, I’ve been feeling the need for some fabric cleansing (and some diamonds) so I’m leaning towards selling. There are so many ways to go about this, but #thegreatfabricdestash on Instagram seems logical. People get fanatical when purchasing, and I love it! There’s nothing like frothing at the mouth over fabric–it shows your true dedication to the craft, no, the art of quilt making. There’s a lot of commerce in the quilt world, so it makes sense there would be a lot of divisive opinions about what is the appropriate resell value for fabric.
Let me make myself crystal clear, I don’t have a problem with anyone making a profit off anything they decide to sell. For better or worse, it’s called capitalism. What I do have a problem with is people shaming others for doing so. Is it ridiculous that some out of print designer fabrics resell for $50, $75, $100 per yard on Etsy and Instagram? Yep, it sure is. I’d be an unlikely customer in that market. However, the market is there (ironically created by the very people boo-hoo-ing it), and a seller shouldn’t have to “play nice” in order to cater to the sensibilities of the sewing world. Girl, get yo money! It’s simple supply and demand, so don’t be jealous because you didn’t have the foresight (or luck) to store supplies until the demand rolled around.
If I do decide to sell my Tula goodies, you bet your hard earned dollar that they will be going to the highest bidder. Am I ashamed to admit that? Not at all, and you shouldn’t be either! I applaud your ingenuity and savvy pragmatism! To that end, I went to my LQS, The Remnant Warehouse last week for Fat Quarter Friday. Lo and ten thousand Tula’s below, but what did I find? Oh, just four fat quarters of out of print Parisville. Three. Dollars. Each. And that’s how you werk a fabric shop!

20 Responses

  1. Leanne says:

    Go for it. I have all those fabrics but I'm sure not selling mine.

  2. *finger snaps and side eye* Daaaaaang, you's lucky. ūüėČ

  3. memmens says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how much folks will pay for fabric, do they dare cut into it when they've spent a small fortune on it? I've just bought some of my favourite prints for just £1 per FQ!!

  4. People pay ridiculous amounts of money to collect millions of different things. It's human nature. We're collectors. And for many people, the more it costs, the more they want it.

  5. V Hair says:

    Too right. I regularly suffer from fabric ineptitude where I don't realise that I want a fabric until it's gone out of print. If someone else has had the foresight to stock up, why shouldn't they benefit?! Good for you, happy selling (if that's what you decide on).

  6. If people have the money they can spend it as they like! If you're not loving it then sell it ūüôā

  7. Paula says:

    So true. I'll happily snap up a bargain, but I sure ain't gonna sell off any of my fabric for a steal if people want to pay for it. If they want to pay over the odds then it's my gain and I'll be more than happy to make sure the money is well spent!

  8. Frau Hiltrud says:

    Oh my gosh, Molly! That thing is amazing! I love it and I bet your brotherwill love it, too! You did good, Molly!

  9. Jenny says:

    freaking THANK YOU. I get tired of holding up this side of the argument on IG, along with maybe four or five other people. (PS Help us out and address the true definition of "gouging," which comes up not infrequently.)

  10. Preaching the truth tea like always. Thank you so much, too. I've tried to argue this point often on IG. I even once saw someone comparing selling Tula at a high price to dangling heroin in front of an addict and how wrong it was to tempt people who have fabric buying addictions. It's frustrating. If it's too expensive, don't buy it! No one is making you.

    I think the problem is that a lot of us can't shell out the big bucks, and then there are people who can, so of course us poor folks just watch much desired fabrics go somewhere else, and it makes us cranky and we wan't to scream "NOT FAIR!" so we blame the sellers for being big ole meanies for trying to turn a decent profit.

    That and I think just talking about all of this increases the demand, especially for Tula. I'll admit, I've gotten into a frenzy and bid on fabric only later to think, "What the hell am I going to do with this?". I had bid just to win, and not because I needed the fabric or even particularly liked it! I have to watch that. Maybe I'll just sell it, since I don't know what to do with it. In the end, it is just fabric, and there will be more, absolutely gorgeous stuff coming through all the time.

  11. Carol Q says:

    I totally agree with your thoughts. If there is someone out there willing to pay the high price then let them have it!

  12. Brianna says:

    Go ahead and sell it to the highest bidder, but might I suggest that Instagram may not be the cleanest way to go? Maybe just make it known when you list the yardage on Ebay, much more civilized way to conduct a "silent auction!"

    • Brianna says:

      PS I would rather see you list it for a high price and get that price (which I am generally unwilling to pay!) than list it and sell for a reasonable price to the first person who responds. It is maddening to have slower internet, or be at work, or some other troublesome problem, and lose out on great fabric just because you have to answer a phone or *ahem* be present at work. So you go ahead and make a profit off the fabric, it is gorgeous and why not!? People see no problem in selling depression glass at high prices–supply and demand, basic economics!

  13. I think it's crazy what some people will pay for fabric but nobody is twisting their arm. It's like a little isolated world on Instagram with the hashtag thegreatfabricdestash and the social interaction can really charge the atmosphere. It's all so visible but I'm sure the same type of thing has been happening on places like eBay and Etsy. On eBay an auction listing can easily be driven up with bids, as with any other item sold there.

  14. Such a score!! I had another one at SR Harris last week! Information is in my link up. I have sold some Tula on Instagram. It is a free market, so you get to charge what you want without any guilt or shame! That being said…. If you do sell, think of me! I promise to treat your precious Tula fabric with the adoration Grandma Sparkles and Tula deserve! Thanks for hosting Sunday Stash!!

  15. Kitty says:

    LOL nothing like some truth tea! Tell it like it is, Molli. I, too, will most likely never be among those Benjamin-flinging fabric fiends paying top dollar plus for out of print fabrics, but if I found some I didn't particularly feel inclined to use, why not help fund the fabric habit a bit!? I'm curious to see how yours sell, and good luck! Hope it funds a nice big juicy diamond (or two)

  16. I think I love you! I haven't bought any fabric on instagram, I sometimes watch the craziness from afar.

  17. SewPsyched! says:

    I agree!!! put it on the market, someone buys it, you can go on to make further purchases… it's win-win!! XX!

  18. Yes! I agree completely!

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