Saturday, July 23, 2016

Buying canvases on discount websites

The past few weeks, since it is the off-season in Florida, I have been selling inventory from Needle Nicely that has been on sale in the shop, but my customers have been ignoring.  Five years ago, I tried Ebay, which was disappointing--our sales strategy was obviously wrong and most of our items sold for our initial asking price (which was LOW!).  And the Ebay fees will eat you alive.

This spring I discovered a special group of Facebook--Needlepoint Nation Stash Exchange.  What a discovery!  There are some rules (of course), no fees (hooray!), and if you follow the program, no interference.  The basics are that you take a photograph of the various elements of your entry.  If it is just a canvas, you post one photograph.  If it is a kit or a multi-piece canvas, you post photos of all elements.  Then you describe the canvas (design area; canvas area; mesh; retail price; sale price. your payment preferences, shipping cost).  Easy peasy.  You post and then wait for inquiries.  Sometimes you receive questions; sometimes you are lucky, and they instantly purchase.  You private message them your payment information. I only take check or cc# since I am a retail shop.  Many individual sellers take Paypal since that is easier to monitor for individuals.  As a shopowner, my accounting prefers that I process credit cards myself rather than jobbing them out to Paypal.

As a buyer, there are many "tells" that you should be looking for.  Yes, that is "tell" as in poker playing. Everyone assumes that the canvas is hand-painted on mono canvas.  Kit canvases are silk-screened on interlock canvas (mono canvas is not receptive to the silk-screening process--this is your first clue). I think it takes an educated eye to discern whether the canvas is mono or interlock.  Sometimes you can tell from the design.  Usually, sellers will tell you.  But there are those who are either clueless or misleading.  I can forgive the clueless (and will try to educate them); but I really dislike those who are intentionally misleading.  I apologize for not having photographs to show you the difference--but my shop has very few silk-screened canvases, and I hesitate to "lift" images from other sites without authorization (and who would agree when they are going to be the "bad" example?).  I'm mentioning interlock vs mono because the price should be vastly different. Computers can print to mono, but most of those canvases are small so price isn't as much a factor.  Most of the time a computer-generated design is noticeably not painted, but printed.


  1. Good information here, Mary Agnes.

  2. I have seen you on NeedleStash site and found your blog. You live in a place I would love to live.

  3. Thank you Mary Agnes.:-) We do make sure that if something is not on mono or hand painted that they are clearly described correctly. Thank you for helping with unknown info like designers names etc.