I absolutely adore socks, and online shops are the best places to find them, the most variety.
That is really strange for me to say because just a few years ago I didn’t have a pair of socks to my name. Not one. I had some little socklet things that I wore when I went on a walk in my sports shoes, or went to the gym, but that was it. You see, I was in California.
Then I moved to Oregon. I arrived in spring and I distinctly recall thinking how quaint it was that local department stores carried so many socks. It was cute.
Then the next winter hit, and I hit the stores, and I bought socks.
- Tall socks
- Short socks
- Wool socks
- Polka dot socks (still my favorite)
- Plaid socks
- Socks to match nearly every outfit I had
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And there are even more socks your site might feature, like:
- Booties for babies
- Medical socks
- Athletic socks
- Fashion leggings
- Ski socks
- Luxury socks, even cashmere and bamboo
Except for the booties, I don’t think it is possible for anyone to personally knit enough socks to make a website business. So you’ve got a couple of choices.
AFFILIATE SALES. This is probably your best option if you are looking to making a living with your website. Work through ShareASale or other affiliate system and you will discover more socks than you can imagine.
A COOP BUSINESS. You might represent one or more knitters in your area who are adept at creating unusual socks. They are the knitting pros, you are the web pro. By splitting profits, this could build up to be a strong business, and it would bring income to some knitters who just wouldn’t have it otherwise. With a coop business, you can even take special orders for unique socks.
There is another strong advantage to a Coop business: You will make a higher percentage of profit. Affiliate sales will likely garner only 5 to 10 percent commission. A coop arrangement can offer you considerably more.
BOTH AFFILIATE AND COOP. This would be your strongest site, with lots of socks and lots of options for buyers.
SELLING SOCKS WITH A COOP ONLINE
If you opt to work with a Coop, be sure a few basic agreements are in place. Each participant in the coop should agree to at least the following:
Assuming you are splitting Profits, be sure to list those items considered “Operating Expenses” such as computer programs, advertising costs, banking fees, PayPal fees, outside contractor services, shipping costs, etc. If the service is not listed here, odds are that you pay for it out of your share of the Profits. The other option would be to pay each crafter a certain percentage of the sale, and that is a good option to.
Specify who will price the items, who will put them “on sale”, who will provide the description of the yarns and sizings, and other pertinent info. It is also a good idea to have a bio page with a paragraph or two about each crafter, and a picture of each — it makes it so much more personal.
Note how refunds and returns will be handled, whether by you or by the crafter. (It is easier if you make these decisions.)
Think about appointing a non-paid mediation group of perhaps two or three people to mediate any differences of opinion. The decision of the mediation group would be final. Your other option would be to make all decisions yourself, and that is fine too as long as everyone knows what is to happen.
Specify that you own the copyright to the site itself and to any visual material you create for site.
Specify when and how the crafters will be paid.
Note that you are making no promises of income whatsoever.
Keep this very simple. It is easy to get carried away with agreements like this, but as with all agreements, it is the trust between the parties that will make it work. A thousand pages cannot cover all contingencies, and a solid handshake can.
This is one of those wonderful sites that can make decent money AND provide a service to your community. There are so many crafters who need your service. Working together is a real win-win for everyone.