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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Selling Crafts on Etsy.com / Calculating Shipping on: January 22, 2015 12:05:59 PM
I am new to etsy and trying to figure shipping when using UPS.  I do custom travertine coasters.  Each set (4) weighs about 2.5 lbs.  To send one can cost upwards of $11.00-$15.00.

I sent three sets today for a total of about $14.00.  Yes, all three sets were in one box and the total was about $14.00.  How can I set up shipping in an accurate way on Etsy?  I really want to do this Etsy shop right.  I don't want to rip off customers when it comes to shipping.

I am not sure this is the place to ask this question.  If not, please direct me.

2  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Open House on: October 21, 2014 12:49:16 PM
I am not sure this topic is appropriate for this forum.  If not, one of the mods can delete it.

I am thinking of having an open house to sell off some of my work.  I am thinking of setting it for the first Saturday in December for a couple of reasons ...

1) Don't have to compete with Black Friday/Saturday
2) The house will be decorated for Christmas by then.

I thought I'd set up my tables, complete with table covers, and all the stuff I use on my tables for craft shows.  I would have all my stuff displayed and ready for purchase, which is my preference .... or I could take orders.

I thought I would have discounts for mutiple purchases that are cash and carry ...

1) 2 sets of coasters for either $40 or $45 (normally would be $48).  Can't decide on the amount.
2)  2 plaques for $18 or 3 for $25 (normally sell for $10/each)

Orders placed that day would have to be paid in advance and would receive no discount.

What do y'all think?  Have you ever done an open house?  I plan on advertising it through friends and family and on my facebook page.  I would like to hear your thoughts.  TIA
3  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Pole & Drape Question & Tablecovers on: August 10, 2014 06:46:40 PM
Hi Everyone,

Dh and I are setting out to make a pole and drape thing for our booth.  Dh is already pretty handy and has come up with the way he wants to do the poles to have as little as possible to put together during set up.

My question is this ... for those who have done this, what type of fabric do you recommend and why?  If there is something that did NOT work, why was it a poor choice?  I don't have much skill in the form of sewing, even a straight hem.  I will send it out to be hemmed to someone who does sewing for a living.

When we started 1 1/2 years ago we started with flat sheets as our table covers.  They are at a point they need replacing.  We want to go with commercial table covers in either black or chocolate brown.  We need a dark color to contrast my products which are all lightcolered, travertine tile.  I have looked on Amazon at tables covers and have read reviews.  The review vary wildly from a "1" where people say they will never buy XX brand again EVER and that it was a horrible product to "5" where people review the exact same brand as the best thing since sliced bread.

How do you go about picking out something when the reviews are so varied?  I do not expect a product of any kind to get all 5's.  However when the reviews run the gamut and there are literally 100s of reviews, how do you sort it out?

Can y'all tell me what table covers have or have not worked for y'all and why?

4  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Would these sell? on: August 06, 2014 06:08:09 PM
Hey Everyone,

I picked up some paper mache boxes at Hobby Lobby last week and decorated them by painting and distressing them with paint and ink.  The inside is painted black.  I have an example in the photo.  I am wondering if anything like this sells in your area and for how much?  The boxes I have are square or round or heart shaped and about 3x3 or 3 inch diameter.
5  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Whoa! What a fee! on: July 25, 2014 07:55:32 PM
I got a phone call this week from someone at a local radio station.  The radio station is planning a women's expo type event but it will be on a small scale, based on where the event is located.  The woman at the radio station said she got my name from a platation that used to run a craft show for many, many years but recently discontinued it.  They thought I might be interested in the womens expo.

The event will be indoors.  Booths are 10x10, 10x20 and antoher size which I cannot remember but is between the two sizes mentioned.  The 10x10 booth is $300.  Of course the booth fee is more as the booth gets larger.  They are providing a tent and one table.  The even is for 4 hours (2-6 PM) on a single day.

I was quite surprised at the booth fee .... $300 for only 4 hours.  I have paid close to that for a booth but it was a 2 day event that was all day long both days.  I am quite curious if they will be able to rent any booths.  I am already comitted to a 2 day even that weekend.  Even if I weren't committed, I would not do this small event.  It is a lot of work to set up, even given a 2 day weekend.

I am curious .... what is the most you have paid for a booth?  What is the shortest event you have done?  Would you consider a short event again?
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / A Day in the life .... on: July 16, 2014 08:15:19 AM
Hello Everyone,

I know we all make different products and have different goals, except maybe the goal to make a profit at what we do.  However, I am wondering if you can give me a glimpse of a day in the life of ... whatever you make/do.  Or even a glimpse of a week in the life of .... particularly if you do this full time or are close to doing it full time.

Thanks so much!
7  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Show in Shreveport, LA on: July 10, 2014 03:22:02 PM
Anyone been to Red River Revel in Shreveport, either with a booth or as a shopper?  Please give a review if you have!  I am trying to decide if it's worth it for next year.
8  UNITED STATES / Louisiana / Red River Revel--Shreveport on: July 10, 2014 03:19:51 PM
Hey All Crafters!

I am wondering if any of you have been to the Red River Revel in Shreveport, LA ... either having a booth or as a shopper?  If so, please give a review!!
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Craft Booth Etiquette on: June 30, 2014 07:12:44 PM
Hello Everyone,

I want to know how you would handle something that happened this past weekend at a craft show.  I was in the juried section of the arts and crafts show and this portion of the show was indoors.  All booths were 10'x10'.  No one insdoors was required to set up a tent.  Booths were delineated by taped corners on the floor.  Once the booths were set up the tape was not seen.

We did not set up any "walls" between us and our neighbor, nor did our neighbor.  In fact many didn't set up any walls.  (One neighbor was a no show.)  He offered a very different product than us.  The turn our was tremendous and we had quite a bit of traffic in our booth.  The issue is this ... sometimes people would be in our booth, leaning over our table looking into the gentleman's booth at one of his tables.  I am like, what?  really?  You want to stand in my booth and look at my perfectly nice neighbor's goods?

Once, a shopper was standing basically straddling our booths in the aisle.  She picked up one of his small arrowheads and asked, "Is this an Indian arrowhead"  I replied, "I have no idea, it belongs to the man in the next booth."

Has this type thing happened to anyone here?  If so, what did you do about it?

We plan on working up a wall "system" with drapes or curtains to separate us from the next both for future indoor shows where we do not need a tent.  What do you recommend?  Dh is thinking of using pvc pipe with fabric that has a hem in it that the pvc would fit through.

Thanks in advance.
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Price Increase on: June 18, 2014 06:33:44 AM
Hello Everyone,

I am considering a price increase for my coasters.  They have been at the same price for over a year.  Currently I am selling them for $20/set of 4.  I back the tax out of that price so the actual price is $18.35 (9% tax between state and local).  The coasters are tumbled travertine and I apply all the designs myself.  My cost of supplies is about 1/4 of my retail price.  That cost does not include my time.

When I wholesale to a local retail store, up to 3 stores now, I wholesale them for $12.  I feel that is my absolute minimum wholesale price.  Local stores around here usually keystone or keystone + 10%.  So there are retail stores in my town who are selling my coasters for $24-25 per set.  One store has been selling my coasters for well over a year & has made multiple reorders.  This is the design they carry ... http://www.customcoastersbycindy.com/Classic-Monogram-1005.htm.  Of course, I have the whole alphabet available, this is just a sample from my website.  The other two stores are recent additions to my wholesale accounts and   have not had sufficient time to reorder yet.

I would like to increase my retail price either to $22 or $24 per set of 4.  Dh seems to think that if I do a price increase I should go ahead price them at $24.  How do I go about deciding how much of an increase is too much?  Even at $20, a $4 increase is a 20% increase.  Is 20% too much?  I feel at $24 that I could comfortable leave my price alone for at least another year.  At $22, I am not so sure.  I would still back out my tax.  Using even dollar amounts makes it easier at craft shows, no need for coinage to make change.

Please give feedback on how to decide is a fair increase.
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