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Topic: Sales question  (Read 2021 times)
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amareluna
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« on: April 08, 2004 07:40:23 PM »

At what point do you decide to stop putting money into your crafty business and just move on to other things?

I'm rather frustrated at the amount of work/lack of sales I've been experiencing ...

The whole thing makes me want to call it a loss and get a day job..lol

So does anyone here actually make money off their website? Does anyone make their living with their craft?

If so, do you have any TIPS?Huh??

 Huh
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sewing stars
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2004 07:04:33 AM »

Personally I don't make a lot of sales off of my website by people who randomly find me. I do have a few like that, but too many.

I make money at craft sales mostly. I take part in about 3-4 a year. That is when I really earn my keep.

My website serves the role of easy access to information on my stuff. That is why I applied to sell on consignment websites. They have customer bases and higher traffic than my little site does. That way people can see my goods for sale that normally wouldn't.

I would say, don't give up, but keep plugging away at it. Link to lots of other people's websites, and also apply to be a link on the gurl wide web that bust.com has set up. I actually had a store find me through it and place an order.

I hope I helped a little...
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amareluna
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2004 07:15:52 AM »

I added my link to Bust on March 24th..lol..only got one hit and I'm at the top of the Health and Beauty Links...

I've been doing my *penance* linking with other sites, trying to perfect my search engine listings...

Last month alone I got over 600 hits to my website, and sold only one bar of soap through it..it's pretty discouraging.

Also, all the craft shows down in Florida that I can see draw a *younger* crowd are at least $250 for a booth- I can't put out that kind of money.

Right now I'm following a tip Misha gave me for gift basket companies- hopefully this will pan out....

I love what I do and will never STOP making soaps and such, but I AM considering stopping selling them...
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lexscreations
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2004 05:33:40 AM »

1) Don't give up!!!

2) Don't expect your craft to bring in enough income to live on until you've been in the business for quite some time.  Sure, some may get really lucky, but as for me, I only started my crafting business because I had to go on medical leave from law school and was too sick to work, so I needed something fun to do.  Wink  That was in November, and I am still struggling to break even so I can start paying back the loan my dad give me to pay my business expenses!  (Hooray for interest-free loans, heheh...)

I am still very ill but I have another part-time work-from-home job to bring in a little more income.  If there's a way you can work part time somewhere else--even from home--to bring in some money to supplement what you make crafting, and to be a steady income even when your products aren't selling, I'd say it's a good idea.  I don't think anyone could possibly work full-time and still run a very successful crafting biz and ever get any sleep!  I could easily let mine become a full time job.

3) E-commerce is hard.  Have you considered posting a few items on ebay, with a link to your page in the ad?  (Don't put the starting price too low or you'll be operating at a loss!!)  That's what I've been doing, for publicity...I consider it an advertising expense.  It directs people to my site; I don't have much for sale on my site itself at the moment, but I plan to, and when I do I may have developed enough of a "following" from ebay to make a go of it.  (That's my hope, at least.)

Also, try advertising at craigslist.org if you haven't already; it's free and really good.
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gloriana
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2004 11:22:04 AM »

I have to tell you, I've been thinking the same thing lately - it's discouraging to get a bunch of hits but only 1 or 2 sales each month...  it seems like a slog most of the time.  But I should say that your site is beautiful - well-designed, aesthetically very pleasing, and your products look awesome.  So I would hate to hear that you're going to close up shop (even though I certainly understand the impulse).  I think probably the next step is to do more publicity - write press releases and send them to magazines - and also to try and get into stores, not just locally but around the country.  Those would totally be my next steps if I had the time to pursue them (I'm thinking maybe this summer when the semester is over - I'm a teacher during the school year).  I've also recently started consigning and that has helped a bit.

In the meantime, do you want to trade links?   Smiley
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amareluna
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2004 11:23:43 AM »

I would love to trade links. I've been working on my links page, but haven't 'gone live' with it yet.

Should be up by the end of the week...but with the decorating task I've just undertaken, I might put it off until after this saturdays' market.

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lexscreations
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2004 10:30:38 AM »

First off... I want to say hey to LexCreations... a fellow Artsefest.com member.

Hi! *waves*

Quote
Don't be afraid to ask companies to buy "wholesale" from you. I rather sell 50 of my creations than one at a time.

That really depends on what your product is, how much you normally sell it for and how hard it is for you to make.  I can't afford to sell most of my products wholesale for less than $7 or so (depending on the item); stores don't like that when they can get boatloads of beautiful handmade jewelry from South America for the same price.  

So, what I want to know is, how do you manage to do wholesale?  Do you sell your items at half price or less to wholesalers, or sell them for more and let the wholesalers up your prices to their customers?  How do you find them in the first place?

I guess for me wholesale probably doesn't make much sense, since my stuff rarely turns out "uniform" enough.  On the other hand, I would consider it anyway.  Wink  I just can't afford to sell to wholesalers at half my prices, and they don't seem to like that.  But you're making good money, which of course makes me stop and think!!   Cheesy
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amareluna
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2004 10:38:18 AM »

I have the same problem. You can go to any drug store and buy a 'glycerin' soap in a pretty color with a great scent for 99 cents.  Of course, theirs is mostly tallow or animal fat..which makes it icky in my opinion...but I can't knock down my pricing much at all. I charge what I have to to cover materials and then just add a really little amount for myself.

For example, I only make a quarter on my $2 soaps...and a store isn't going to be able to mark a $2 soap up to $5- nobody would buy it!
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lexscreations
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2004 10:52:39 AM »

I have the same problem. You can go to any drug store and buy a 'glycerin' soap in a pretty color with a great scent for 99 cents.  Of course, theirs is mostly tallow or animal fat..which makes it icky in my opinion...but I can't knock down my pricing much at all. I charge what I have to to cover materials and then just add a really little amount for myself.

For example, I only make a quarter on my $2 soaps...and a store isn't going to be able to mark a $2 soap up to $5- nobody would buy it!

Actually, there are probably some stores that can--and do--sell soaps at $5 a pop.  Wink  But I wouldn't know how to find them.  And I've found that more stores would rather sell on consignment, and that takes a big bite out of your sales (usually 40% commission or so).  I can't deal with that unless I start overcharging my customers, and that's the last thing I want to do.  The soap market might be different in that case, though; soap and jewelry are pretty different, after all.  Smiley
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amareluna
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2004 11:09:39 AM »

The soaps that they sell for $5 are 4 to 6 ounces most of the time..which is what we soapers have to sell ours at for retail in order to turn a profit.

The $2 soaps are small round soaps with basic ingredients that aren't hard to come by....pretty hard to convince someone to pay $5 for them..lol..maybe I'm just too honest  Wink

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