What’s Old is New Again: Reworking an Unsold Item

I know for certain that I am not alone when I admit that I have perfectly good items in my shop that have been there forever and remain unsold. There are other sites that will try to convince you that it isn’t sold simply because it’s not near the top of the list anymore; renew the listing often to keep it at the top of the list. My feeling is that there’s more to it than simply being near the beginning in the search results; if being first was all it needed, it would have sold when you first listed it.

I knit a lovely pair of burgundy mohair blend booties some time ago and listed them in my shop, and there they remain.  So I decided to take a good, hard, critical look at the listing. Here is what I found.

Pictures Burgundy collage

Although my pictures weren’t all that bad, they weren’t all that good either.  I have a much more sophisticated camera now than when I originally listed these booties, and a much better lighting set up.  Plus, there were only four pictures in the listing instead of five.


My description was terrific if I was trying to communicate with another knitter!  Nearly the entire text described the weight of the yarn, the size of knitting needles used, and even the integrity of the yarn manufacturer. At no point did that description sell these booties to someone with a new baby who might wear them.


I had all of six tags in the original listing.  They were handmade, knit, baby, booties, burgundy, and girl.


These booties were originally listed at $12.00.  This price takes into account the actual price of the yarn and the time it took me to actually knit the booties.

The Fix

New pictures were the first order of business, with better lighting and five different views.  The description was next.  Instead of focusing on the actual yarn, the new description concentrates on how much the reader needs a pair of booties as unique as the baby wearing them, they are easy care, they are soft/warm/fuzzy, they are affordable. The new tags included all of the original tags and also unisex, gender neutral, boy, infant, newborn, shower gift, soft, warm, fuzzy, easy care, and unique. The price came down to $7; the yarn was purchased for another project which was sold – that sale effectively paid for all of the yarn.  So the new price is only paying me for my time.


The new listing may still not sell these burgundy baby booties as they are a bizarre color in the world of baby footwear, but it has a much better chance of enticing a buyer.  Looking at older items in your shop with the same critical mindset might just give you a new idea of how to sell that wonderful piece that you’ve had for too long.

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Posted in Handmade, Handmade Artisans, Information, Promote Handmade, Selling Tips

4 Responses to “What’s Old is New Again: Reworking an Unsold Item”

  • chainmaille says:

    It is tough to be critical of yourself, I applaud the fact that you were able to step back and look at your listing in an unbiased fashion. Great tips!

  • MsMartyD says:

    First let me say that as a person who has raised 4 boys and shopped for a multitude of other babies I love burgundy on all sizes and shapes of people. I am also on the nutty side when it comes to color choices. When my first 3 were babies in the 50s and early 60s burgundy and olive green were not readily available for the little fellers. In 1977 after the first 3 were grown I had my 4th boy and he had olive green and burgundy as well as a couple of black items. One of my beloved sisters thought she had the right to instruct me since I am the baby of the family tried to tell me not to put black on a baby. I just said he’s mine and I’ll let him go about naked if I want. I said all that to say…. the burgundy is great.. I believe that given good choices very early in life will enable kids to make suitable and tasteful choices later on. Think about it…. would you want to get stuck wearing blue, pink and mint green every day just because you couldn’t open the bureau or closet doors?

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