Thursday, July 25, 2013

Listing New Items is Time Consuming

I'm taking a few days off from my regular job to relax and maybe catch up with some things around the
house. One of the things I needed to catch up on was getting new items listed in our Etsy shop. It seems like it should be an easy thing to do. For those who make the same items over and over, they can update the quantity or copy the listing and be done.

For people like us, who get bored after each project and try something new every time, listing a new item in the shop takes considerable time. First, I have to take some decent pictures. I used to take more time with this but I've resorted to some quick photos and quick cropping and resizing as the only edits. Then you need to fill in all the important stuff on the Etsy listing. I've always been good about measuring things and putting them in both inches and centimeters so people can make an informed purchase.

Deciding on a price for each new item is almost torture since we never really get back what we put into it as far as our time, but we don't want to price things so high that nobody will buy them. Plus, my dear husband doesn't help a lot with pricing. I ask him what he wants to charge for a necklace he just finished and he answers, "one thousand dollars." So helpful! Now I just try to get him to tell me which items took more or less time than the others and which ones used more expensive materials.

A few hours later and I now have three beaded necklaces, a tatted baby bracelet, tatted lanyard, and a woven leather bracelet added to Etsy and ready to sell.

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.
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