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Topic: How's your Etsy shop doing? 2011-2013  (Read 7534 times)
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madhatterdesign
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2012 10:55:09 AM »

I've been working pretty hard on promoting myself, and trying to learn all of the fancy new 'search engine optimization' since about May of this year (I had made another attempt a year or so ago and even though I didn't try very hard I got 6 sales within about a week, and then everything came to a dead hault) but so far things haven't been going that great I've been getting okay views, but it doesn't seem like I'm getting as many as I should be for the effort I put in, and in the time that I've been working my butt off, I've made one sale, and in the end lost money on it because of shipping, and my etsy bill  Tongue

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BeaG
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« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2012 02:29:58 PM »

I reached another milestone: 1500 sales. Yay!

Le-Chat, I am glad I found another Dutch Etsy Oldtimer!
Looking forward to working with you in the EtsyNL team (well, we already started that).

Madhatterdesign, you've got a lovely shop!
Just keep working on it and your work will start to pay off.
No wonder you lost money on that one sale, since you could definately raise your prices.

Wishing both of you many happy sales!
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madhatterdesign
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2012 10:30:09 AM »

BeaG -
I try to keep my prices down as much as I can while still having room for profit.  I recycle a lot of materials, and buy a lot of others in bulk so I can keep my prices down.  I think a lot of things now-a-days are over-priced (not just online) so I try to be as fair as possible when I price things. 

Maybe I'm just optimistic, but losing money on that first sale really isn't a big deal to me because while I might not have made anything, it wasn't a total loss. After fees the sale was for $17 and some change. $8 of that went to shipping because the girl lives in Canada, which was the worst part of it, but hey, at least I know what to charge for shipping to Canada now.  Another $7 went towards my etsy bill, which isn't too bad. That's $7 dollars I didn't have to pay out of my regular cash flow.  When I really lost money was when the post office decided to abuse the crap out of the package I sent. It was a postal, flat rate box, so it was a fairly sturdy cardboard box, stuffed to the brim with news paper for cushioning, and when she got it she sent me a message complete with pics showing how it arrived.  I don't know what they did to it, but one of the corners of the box was completely caved in and there was a crack all the way down the side of one of the bowls.  Having to ship another package for that sale is where I lost money really.
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BeaG
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« Reply #33 on: July 28, 2012 11:16:26 AM »

I see, that was just a shipping nightmare then.

I disagree with you on the pricing.
A lot of products are overpriced nowadays, but those are products made by slave labourers and sold by business people that have no other goal then getting richer and richer.
It does not apply to handmade products, sold by their designer and maker.
THAT is a totally different market and calls for appropriate prices.
You started a shop, so you want to make money. Otherwise you would just give your products away. I do both, by the way, and love doing both.
The products you sell are unique. They are not to be found in every shopping mall around the world and their production does not involve exploiting other people.
So be proud of your unique items and let people pay for their uniqueness!
About the materials: getting materials for free, or cheap, is YOUR bonus. Your customers just see the end product. They don't care about where you got your materials and for what price. They don't need to know. (Would any b&m shop owner let you know their material costs?) They see a product with a certain value. In your case: unique handmade products, to be found nowhere on the planet. In other words: not cheap (in both meanings of the word)!
Your product costs involve so much more then your 'cheap' materials. How about the salary for the designer, the salary for the maker, the salary for the shop owner, the salary for the marketing manager, oops, that's all you! And how about a profit margin?
You don't have a profit margin and you pay yourself a very low (combined) salary.
Don't get me wrong: of course it is totally up to you what prices you want to charge your customers! I am just trying to open your eyes on the subject of pricing.
If you want to target the market of people with very little money to spend: that is a great goal. For your customers. You won't make much money though. But perhaps that was never your goal.
Etsy shop owners have many different goals.
Some run a 'real' business: they (try to) make a living out of it.
Others hope their shop will get them some extra spending money. They run more of a hobby business (I'm one of those. I started my shop to fund my crafting materials. But my shop turned out more successful than that.)
Then there are sellers who just want to get their creations out there, that don't care if they make any money. They love making things, but have run out of people to give their creations to. Or they use Etsy as a portfolio (and sell elsewhere).
And then there's the ones having no clue. They open a shop and think they will get rich. Yet they don't run it as a business, so they will never succeed.

When you talk about fair prices, you mean affordable for people with little spending money. But those prices are not fair to you (designer/maker/seller, etc.).
If you are fine with that, good for you!
'Affordable' products are cheap products (often in both meanings of the word) that can be found in pretty much every shopping mall around the world (and everybody has them...).
If you want to place your unique handmade products in that same category, that's okay of course. They are your decisions to make.
But please don't think that other artists selling their own creations are overcharging! At least 95% of them are underpaying themselves. On purpose or unknowingly.
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Le-Chat
« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2012 07:01:30 AM »

Congrats on your 1500th BeaG!!!
I had 510 views in July against 338 in June. It's an improvement already, now the sales...

I agree on the pricing. Sure me too I can keep my prices fair because of low cost materials, so I don't count what I didn't pay, but I do calculate my work (at least as much as I dare). And a scarf madhatterdesign sells for $15 I would price at least $25. And from a renowned design studio it would be 6 times that.

It irritates me sometimes seeing items comparable to mine sold for half the amount. Feels like being undermined by such sellers.
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Read about my t-2-t adventures and my own ecclectic way of recycling:
http://trashcollector.blogspot.com

Buy eco-friendly in my Etsy Shop:
http://LeChatCrochet.etsy.com
BeaG
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« Reply #35 on: August 01, 2012 07:49:47 AM »

Thanks, Le-Chat!

I am so glad that your hard work is already paying off in terms of views. Now here's to hoping your sales will increase too!

Don't worry about other artists 'underselling' you.
There is a market for every price level. They and you just serve a different market. Don't see them as competitors. Your market are the people that are willing and able to pay a decent price for unique handmade products. There's is a market for people that are mainly interested in low prices. There is room for all of us on Etsy.
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madhatterdesign
« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2012 10:13:43 PM »

Thanks, Le-Chat!

I am so glad that your hard work is already paying off in terms of views. Now here's to hoping your sales will increase too!

Don't worry about other artists 'underselling' you.
There is a market for every price level. They and you just serve a different market. Don't see them as competitors. Your market are the people that are willing and able to pay a decent price for unique handmade products. There's is a market for people that are mainly interested in low prices. There is room for all of us on Etsy.

I didn't mean to imply that any Etsy sellers 'over price' their items. What I mean was that a lot of top name retail stores over price their items, like jo-ann, and a.c. moore, and that drives the price of a finished product up.  A pack of 4 of the magnets I use costs almost $5 at wal-mart, which is why I don't buy them there. 
And as you mentioned there are also different types of sellers; the business owners, the hobbyists, etc. I'm still...finding myself I guess : /

And Le-Chat - Don't worry about me underselling you on anything : )
I've only had one sale this whole year (4 if you include sales to friends) and as I mentioned earlier, got screwed by the postal system : (
The scarf is also priced low because it was my first attempt at cabling.  I have an owl one in the works right now, that is much nicer, and is going to end up being much more expensive ; )
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BeaG
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« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2012 12:53:48 AM »

Madhatterdesign, I'm glad that you are going to price your next scarf higher.
And you hit the nail on the head: you say that other scarf is cheaper because it was your first attempt at cabling. That is exactly what buyers will think: why is this so cheap? It must be of low quality. They will think that either your materials, or your skills, or both, are 'cheap'. You don't want to give that message. Unless your first attempt at cabling failed..., but if that were true you would not have listed the scarf in your shop, right?
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Le-Chat
« Reply #38 on: August 07, 2012 04:12:14 AM »

That remark wasn't against you, madhatter  Wink

But I have to agree again with Bea. As for my own try-outs or in my opinion not completely perfect makings: I've made that mistake. Doesn't work, never sold a thing. Not on line.

It leaves me with two options: Either I convince myself I'm being too critical and simply list my item as a normal, good product. Or I only bring it to the occasional craft fair I attend and let people in person decide if it's good enough or not. Eventually, if it doesn't attract any attention it may land in the SALE box with other items that I've had for too long and want to get rid of. People love to rummage around there, it's always a success. Then, if someone picks something up and looks at me in surprise (really, only so much? what's wrong with it?) I'm there in person to explain why and convince them to buy.

Okay, agreed that's underpaying myself too, but it's only last resort to make place for new things.

I'm still in awe of that blue scarf. I knit, but I don't master cabling (yet). Maybe a bit more polished photograph with an attractive drape as the front picture would help. And take out the work in progress. It doesn't add anything.

And thanks for hearting my scarves. I need to redo those pictures.
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Read about my t-2-t adventures and my own ecclectic way of recycling:
http://trashcollector.blogspot.com

Buy eco-friendly in my Etsy Shop:
http://LeChatCrochet.etsy.com
madhatterdesign
« Reply #39 on: August 08, 2012 10:39:20 AM »

You've got a good point there Bea, it wasn't a fail, and actually would probably be perfect if I took the time to block it, because the only thing I'm not thrilled with about it, is the edges are a little woobely.
I guess I was looking at it from the point of view that my time/experience wasn't of much value on that piece because it was my first attempt, instead of looking at it from a quality point of view.  Maybe it is worth more : )

& Le-Chat, I never noticed until you said something, maybe it's this new computer, but that w.i.p photo look way too bright, and almost washed right out  Embarrassed    I know the ones of me with it on are kind of crappy because I had my boyfriend take them with my moms camera.  I'm not really, quite sure what you mean about a 'drape' photo though.  I get the basic like 'oh a photo of it draped on something' but do you mean holding it or just having it laid over something?



This isn't that great a picture of the 'scarf' because it was something I made/kept for myself and I was really just taking pictures of myself w/ it on, but unfortunately I don't have better pics right now, and it's too hot to take new ones lol.  I finished this one a couple years ago when I decided I really missed the little red hooded scarf I had when I was a little girl. The hood and scarf ends are all one piece with one seam down the back of the hood.  It's really warm, and I love it. 

I'd really like to get more knitted and crocheted items up in my shop, but the only problem is that stuff takes so long for me to finish things. It seems like it takes so long to get one thing done, that I get bored with it, and end up setting it aside to work on something else  Tongue
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