Sunday, July 14, 2013

Who's Making Money Out There?

One of my favorite sources of Etsy information is Handmadeology.com. They have more time and ability to check into stuff than I do. With my current job having such a long commute every day, I just don't have time to pursue all this stuff and to write about it like I used to. Their latest article tells the top Etsy sellers (in the handmade category) for 2013. Sometimes its nice to see who is actually succeeding at this.

We started the summer by setting up at the farmers market again. People seem to be interested in our creations, but purchasing is a whole different story. I still enjoy getting to talk to people and explaining what tatting is. Too often, however, I was going home having paid for the privilege of sitting in the park for 6 hours. We weren't selling enough to cover the cost of the booth most of the time. Even when we covered the booth costs ($20), it felt like we were giving away all our hard work with nothing to show for it.

What is working against us?
  • Living in an area with lots of handicrafters ("I can make that myself" mentality). We see a lot of people who stop by to figure out how to replicate our work and that mentality leads to a lack of value for the time and expertise put into creating each item.
  • Pricing - should we be charging more or keep trying to make it affordable?
  • Time - we don't have a lot of time to spend making, promoting, and selling our items. When you're selling online, spending time on promotion is crucial.
  • Too much variety - one of the things I've noticed with successful sellers is that they sell the same set of items. This leads to people knowing they can rely on finding the items there and it cuts down on some of the work of photographing and listing items. We just keep making very different things according to how we feel at the time.
I'd love to hear from any of you who are finding success with your online sales.

1 mad comments:

Gianna's Jewelry Box said...

I just discovered your blog while searching for more info on BNR & BNS on Etsy. And now I'm reading through the rest of your blog. Your post "Who's Making Money Out There?" reminded me a lot of my own experiences. I opened a little shop featuring handmade glass bead jewelry at the end of last year and am only now really beginning to undertand key works, marketing, etc. I have taken to heart what a lot of others have said about not pricing items too low, get paid for your time, etc. But, like you, I tend to make one of an item and then do something else entirely different. I am now making several similar items, but changing the color of beads or the type of chain, for example. Still saves time on figuring out pricing and coming up with descriptions. Also, I have attended online workshops about photography that give great suggestions, but everything seems to take so much time (especially image editing). Your photography method sounds similar to mine. Take a few pics and post. I don't even edit most of the time. I take a handful of photos and pic the 5 best for my Etsy listing. Some are close ups, others are the full item, but I take the photo that way and use as is without editing. By the way, I'm still not making much money but I am starting to see more people find and favorite my items since I've been more diligent about using key words.

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