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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Esty vs. eBay? on: December 15, 2005 07:16:22 PM
I sell on both etsy and ebay (and on my own website) and have found that it depends on what you're selling. You have to figure out the market, I guess.

For example, my grudge journals have done very well on etsy (and I appreciate the low fees, the automatic storefront and the overall indie/crafty nature of the site) however, if you have a specific item that you can target on ebay you'll do quite well based on the traffic they get.

This time of year is an excellent time to move some merchandise on ebay. I've done pretty okay. That said, fees are high (especially when coupled with paypal fees!) so you have to price your work accordingly. I do very well with wedding items on ebay and I do well with items that have some sort of fan base/crossover appeal (for example, it's much easier to sell a "Hawaiiana" or "Cyndi Lauper" journal than a "handmade" one. At least that's what I've experienced. I will continue to sell on both, hopefully learning as I go. I also use ebay to drive traffic to my site by pointing out that I sell handmade items on my own website and to check my About Me page for a link!

And as much as people complain about ebayer's being cheapskates I dropped my etsy prices and finally saw an increase in interest. It seems crafters want stuff to be almost as cheap as ebayers. I'm actually consistently surprised by how little almost everyone on etsy charges for their wares! That said, I'm not sure the early adopters to etsy are my target audience anyway. I tend to sell to non-crafters on ebay and in everyday life and they will pay more since they don't reflexively think "I could make that for less!"  Smiley I am very much looking forward to etsy's future and I hope they will hit a critical mass of folks interested in items that are not mass produced. I just think it's a great site that could really build a reputation to rival ebay's.
2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: When copycats profit... on: December 04, 2005 09:13:12 AM
I've always had rather lenient views on copyright until I started doing some research because of a problem I'm having.

I have been selling custom bridal cards on ebay for the last 2 and a half years and I found out recently that another crafter has swiped my design, made what she would consider alterations, and is undercutting me by 30 cents a card. I emailed her and said I didn't appreciate her stealing my entire design and cutting into my customer base and she emailed me back, claiming to have been selling the cards in her sister's shop for years and then she changed her profile and listing to make these outrageous claims. In one place she claims to have come up with the design in 1997, in another place 1999, and she claims to have been selling them on ebay since 2001!! And she didn't even register on ebay until 2002! I find her claims outrageous and I really feel she is selling a much cheaper and crappy version of my cards. Weirdly, my cards are the ONLY craft she sells. She doesn't seem to be part of any online craft communities and she's been selling my card on ebay for about a year. It's quite confusing and I'm really torn about what to do.

Just for reference, here are my cards: http://cgi.ebay.com/Wedding-Bridal-Bridesmaid-Thank-You-Gift-Card_W0QQitemZ5642520628QQcategoryZ3268QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

And here is her auction (she even swiped elements of my layout but I have since changed the layout I use somewhat):http://cgi.ebay.com/Bridal-Gift-Cards-Bridesmaid-Wedding-Thank-You-Showers_W0QQitemZ5641565148QQcategoryZ33160QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

U.S. Copyright law -- I've been doing a lot of reading and consulted briefly with an attorney friend -- is pretty cut and dried. If you make it and you can prove you made it first you are the copyright holder. However, if you want to seek financial damages you must register the design with the copyright office. For example, legally you are not supposed to sell items you create from purchased patterns unless stated otherwise in the pattern/from the manufacturer. In order to sell stuff you make from Sublime Stitching patterns, for example, you must get permission from the company.

That said, I totally understand where many of you are coming from. I've made and sold marble magnets -- they are fun and easy and weirdly addictive -- and I've been inspired by other things I've seen here. I've made duct tape wallets from patterns I've found online. That said, now that I understand the copyright laws I'm going to be a bit more careful.  I sold a couple of duct tape wallets to coworkers not realizing that I had to come up with my own design in order to make that money. I'm not going to use the design for profit any more because I understand it is illegal.

I don't think it's as big a deal when you are making something for fun and not for profit. If the other seller on ebay had simply made those cards for her own bridesmaids I wouldn't have cared at all! I would have done the same thing. I just wouldn't have sold them as if they were my own idea!

At any rate, I think too many crafters just let their original ideas slide away without a fight. Again, it's one thing if someone here shares a design with other crafters and we all run out and make our own unique version. It's another thing entirely if I try to sell that original crafter's design! That said, I do believe most creative people will simply continue to create new and fun things. I know I suddenly have tons of ideas that will be much harder for my little fan to replicate and sell. Development is always my favorite part of the process.
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: King of the Hill or: Extreme Texas Pride on: August 01, 2005 02:21:51 PM
That is just beautiful work! I love the faces! Nicely done!
4  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Re: sublime baby bibs! on: April 07, 2005 01:07:56 PM
Very nice clean stitches and placement!

I make these for friends, too, but I think yours are prettier!
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Help: Instructions for Vintage Camera Purse/Evening "bag" on: March 25, 2005 09:17:52 AM
A friend of mine saw a vintage camera hollowed out and converted into an evening "bag" and I am now obsessed with the idea!

Has anybody seen these anywhere? Doesn't it sound delicious? I simply must make one (my husband surely won't miss it if I take just *one* of his antique cameras!

Anyway, I'd love to know if anyone has any ideas on how to make one.
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Philippines embroidered on: January 26, 2005 12:03:36 PM
It's very cool!

Hmm. Lara? Phillippines? What are the odds you have a fixation on Mr. T?

7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Embroidered Tough Guy Pillow on: January 26, 2005 11:59:36 AM
Fan-freaking-tastic! NICE work.
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: show us your backs! on: January 18, 2005 02:12:03 PM
I am far too fascinated with this topic. I have always wondered what the back of other people's embroidery looks like! Ha!

Mine need to be neater, clearly!

I didn't fully appreciate the old saying that the back should be nearly as neat as the front until fairly recently. I just embroidered away, not worrying about "traveling!" But the more experience I get as an embroidery chick the more I think about the time involved. I *care* now! Awww.
9  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Re: My first completed Sublime Stitching pattern! on: October 18, 2004 02:37:12 PM
Nice creative stitching! I feel inspired.
10  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: For the bluebirds: MORE vintage patterns on: October 06, 2004 11:37:33 AM
More! More! More!

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