You know as much as I might like to keep every stamp set/bundle I have ever bought, it just isn't practical. Eventually, I run out of storage space and have to make some tough decisions. So today's post is about how I decide what to sell or donate.
Here is my decision-making process (in no particular order):
Has Stampin' Up! added the item(s) to the retiring list? If yes, then that's a point in favor of adding it to the "sell" pile. Now, this is strictly because I am a demonstrator and need to keep current products in hand. If I were not a demonstrator, this data point would be less relevant.
Does the product inspire me? Honestly, that's the first reason for buying an item in the first place, but tastes can change over time and after extensive use. So, here I'm trying to answer whether the item has "stood the test of time." Some sets I consider "classics," and I will be a long way down the road before I sell one - if ever.
Am I using the item actively? There are many reasons why I may or may not use a product actively, many of which are covered in other data points. If it's just sitting on the shelf, that's a big clue to move it out. (This does not include seasonal items that are used only at certain times of the year, such as Christmas sets.)
Is the product easy to work with, or is it time- or resource-intensive? Answering this question may be the reason a product doesn't meet the "using actively" question above. As much as I like a product, I may let it go if I simply find it too difficult or fussy to get a good result. This doesn't mean it's a poor product. It simply may not match my own skills. That takes some of the fun out of my crafting, and there are enough stressors in life without that!
Is the item versatile?
Can I use it for multiple projects or applications? Is it good for cards, scrapbook pages, mixed media projects, etc.?
Can I color it? Stampin' Blends, watercolor pencils, pastels, Stampin' Write Markers? Which of these will work well with the images? I like a variety of techniques, but I like alcohol markers best because of their excellent blending.
Is it too unique? Can I use it over and over again with the same audience? If you make cards and other items to sell, this may not be a factor, but if you consistently send cards to the same audience, they will certainly remember if they receive the same design over and over.
Does it work well with other items in my studio? For example, is it a sentiments set that will work with many types of images? Is it a set with florals that can be used for many different types of cards, such as birthdays, weddings, sympathy, etc.? Does it mix and match with other sets to create scenes?
Are there coordinating pieces/sets? For example, dies, punches, papers, SAB items, etc? Do I still have them or some of them? If yes, the item stays in the "keep" pile for now - unless I plan to sell all of the coordinating pieces, too.
Is the item too similar to others in my studio? You know, I see comments from time to time that suggest we have too many florals. Is that even possible? People often are sentimental about specific flowers, and they can be stamped or colored in an endless variety of colors. Still, what about other, non-floral sets? How many sets of penguins might you use? If you're a penguin fan, then maybe the number is large. Otherwise, one may be enough.
Finally, does the item match the projects I make? If my primary audience is an older one, do I really need to make baby and shower cards? No matter how cute they may be, I probably won't use these very much - unless they work for grandchildren! If you sell your cards, this may not apply, because there are always people who will need a variety of topics.
What other criteria do you use to decide what to sell or donate? How do you prioritize those criteria? Some will carry more weight than others. I'd love to hear your comments!
I'm publishing this blog post just as a new Stampin' Up! annual catalog has released (in May) and the new July-December 2022 mini catalog drops in 11 days, along with the new Sale-a-bration (SAB) brochure. So, next up is my take on how to decide what to BUY! Stay tuned. . .
Until then, may God bless!