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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: amigurumi price on: May 14, 2015 03:45:56 AM
How long does it take you to make the plain beanie?
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Looking for Input on Building Crafter Websites on: April 27, 2015 04:11:32 AM
The very first thing I would want to know is how familiar are you with the "crafting world" as you put it?
3  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Honest opinions? on: April 25, 2015 04:12:53 AM
My question would be where do you plan to sell your work? On line, or in person where the customer can actually see and touch what they're purchasing?
4  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Art pricing help! on: April 20, 2015 03:37:04 AM
Your problem is different than craftsmen who can price their work based on materials, etc. You have to figure the price for your talent, and that's an excellent question.
So I'm going to direct you to a forum that's made up of professional artists and craftsmen.
http://www.artfairinsiders.com/forum

Introduce yourself and ask the very question you asked here.
This site is made up of people who are doing this for a living, or are about to make the plunge so it's a serious group. There are people there who charge upwards of $500 for an original and get angry if they don't make $3000-$5000 in a weekend.
But your question hasn't been asked, so it will start a good discussion.
5  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: How many items? on: March 13, 2015 04:04:54 AM
Margaret, I don't think people today understand how to sell. In my opinion, all they think they have to do is put something on Etsy or Pinterest or they're looking for some free site no customer goes to, and they're going to make lots of money. And get frustrated when it doesn't happen.

It makes no difference what level of artist/crafter they are either. Nobody is telling them that selling their work is 50% of the business and they must be just as active selling as they are making their work.

We can go to Etsy and see a shop that's been open for 5 years with 83 sales, and go to another store that's been open for 6 months with 237 sales. Which one is sitting down every day and working in their store?
I see the exact same thing at craft fairs. I see someone who had a degree in their field who has excellent work, but is sitting in the back of the booth hiding behind a book. Meanwhile across the aisle is a photographer who is engaging the customers in what it was like getting that particular shot of those 3 bear cubs in the tree. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see who is going to make the sales.
I do a number of shows with that photographer and you've got to see these bears. http://the-mooseman.photodeck.com/-/galleries/black-bears

I would imagine there's some sort of tutorial on how to successfully sell online, but since an overwhelming majority of my sales are face to face I can't help there.
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Re: Festival of Colors??? on: February 10, 2015 03:41:20 AM
Not knowing where you are I can't help you with other selling options, but I know I wouldn't do such an event.
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: Would love to get some feedback on: January 24, 2015 03:57:47 AM
The reason you're doing better at fairs is simple. The customer can actually see, touch, and look at the quality of your work. Can't do that online.

Working a fair is simple. You dress nice, always stand up, and be ready to interact with your customer. And smile... a lot.

I have to respectfully disagree with Crafty Couple about the flyer and cards. You're there to sell today, and if the customer sees they can get it cheaper online with a discount, you just lost a cash sale. And isn't that why you're doing the fair in the first place?

I don't do fairs to drive traffic to my website. That's defeating the whole reason to do craft fairs. I have a section on my website that drives traffic to the shows. And I have a discount coupon the customer can print and give me at the show, not the other way around. Because the fairs are where the money is.

Now I exhibit with a pretty serious group of crafters. We do some serious shows just about every weekend during the season. Here's some photos from one promoter I do a number of shows with here in New England. https://castleberryfairs.com/gallery/

Some have canopies for outdoor shows that cost upwards of $1,000. They all have a web presence, but to a person they all will say they can make more in one weekend than they will do in a year online.
8  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Re: Calculating Shipping on: January 23, 2015 04:08:47 PM
The tracking fee for Priority is free and I get a number on the receipt with each package I send. The receipt even tells me the arrival date of the package.
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Re: Calculating Shipping on: January 23, 2015 03:13:37 AM
Cindy, can you fit the tiles into the small Priority Mail boxes? Because it's one price no matter how much it weighs. It's under $5.95 to ship, and you can order the boxes free for however many you want at USPS.com. The size is 5-3/8" wide x 8-5/8" long x 1-5/8" deep.
And the carrier will pick them up too.

Here's a hint to get the sales. Up your price about $3 and advertise free shipping if the tiles fit in the box. Yeah, you're getting $3 less overall, but you'll get more orders.

Ever since I've had my website, it's always been free shipping.
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: I have a costs-profit related business question on: December 30, 2014 04:34:16 AM
In all my years of doing this I have never charged an hourly rate. The cost of my raw materials are low compared to the finished item, and I find ways to keep all my costs low too. So my profit margin on my work is quite good.

Charging an hourly rate can be fatal if you have a labor intensive product like crochet or 2D work. I do a lot of shows with 2D artists, and none of them charge by the hour to produce a painting. I know of no photographer who charges by the hour to capture a moose in the wild.

What I have constantly found with exhibitors who charge an hourly rate is they never are consistent. When you charge an hourly rate, you must charge that rate for every minute you're doing something connected with the business.

Some examples:
Ordering material. Purchasing agents get paid. Do you?
Receiving material. Warehouse people get paid. Do you?
Designing and making your product. Here's where everybody pays themselves.
Packing the van and traveling to and from the show. Truck drivers get paid. Do you?
Working a weekend show. The salesperson gets paid. Do you? You do a 2 day show and that's 16 hours you're working for the company. Do you charge $50 per hour?

If you're going to charge an hourly rate, then you are an employee of your company and you must pay your employees for every minute they are working for you.

What happens when you do a two day show and for whatever reason you don't make expenses? Maybe you're placed in a bad spot, or it's too hot/cold/rain/snow, etc. I don't know anybody who hasn't had a bad show. If you're charging by the hour with no return, you're losing your shirt.

My business plan has always been KISS. (Keep it simple, stupid) I find the lowest costs of raw material, produce my product in the most streamlined way possible, and sell it for what the traffic will bear. I then deduct my expenses, and what's left over is mine.

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