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Topic: pearls of wisdom: what do you know now...  (Read 71668 times)
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2004 08:10:29 PM »

Hello everyone, Im in the entrepreneruship course at the local college here. It has been a real eye opener! I have  to write a business plan and present it to a board of advisors ( I am nervous). But one thing that I have learned (i have learned many things) is that you must research research research and plan plan plan I guess that is two things. The reason most businesses fail is that they didnt do proper market research and find out who the market is and how to advertise to them. There is a lot of government agencies that are willing to help especially in Eastern Canada. http://www.acoa.ca/e//index.shtml (there are a lot more links that I can share. If you are interested please pm me because I dont want to clog the board Smiley
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2004 01:05:05 PM »

a lot of knowledgable folks out there... you guys are great!  thanks.

handmade goodies for humankind
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2004 02:51:32 PM »

Of course, you should keep meticulous records for everything, but I recommend being extra meticulous about keeping track of wholesaled and consigned items at shops that you can't check in on physically.  I have been going through heck with a couple of consignors who don't bother to keep good records (for example, one of them couldn't remember the retail price an item sold for and had no record of the retail price).  Be hard-headed about having a clear, detailed contract with consignors that covers pricing, price changes, shipping and handling costs, how long they will keep an item in stock, etc., and stick to it.  For wholesaled items, request at least half the payment up front, before you ship to them.

eBay makes it easy for you to keep track of sales within the past month, and it's easy to create invoices.  Keep copies of these.  Have detailed information about your policies for returns, refunds, shipping, and feedback (the About Me page, which is free of charge, is a great way to do this so that you can direct people there instead of cluttering up your auction page).  

And have fun!  
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2004 04:49:54 PM »

i used to feel self concious about the things i made once they left my hands.  i mean, what if that stuffed animal fall apart?  what'll happen when they wash the quilt?  but look around, there's a lot of crappier stuff out there that people are buying from wal mart!

i have a really hard time with my pricing - i want people like me to be able to afford the things i make, but it also needs to be worth my time.  i allways put it off until the last possible minute.  i try to estimate my costs & how long it took me to make then figure at least $10 an hour.  i've been finding out this weird thing where, mostly for people who don't know anything about crafting, the more expensive something is priced the better they think it is.  i use my non-crafty sister as a gauge & it's true!  creepy, but true...

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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2004 03:00:49 PM »

To all judt starting out (like me)

I've also had probs with pricing...however I think the very fact that these things are homemade and not mass produced means that you should take pride in them

As has been mentioned there's soooo much crap out there

Let's not do the self-effacing thing too much...its a very sweet trait but it gets in our way too much (I was we because I'm totally like this)

So, um, go us !!
sewing stars
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2004 08:55:56 AM »

Pricing is really hard. I find myself walking a thin line between affordable and getting paid well enough for my time invested in making my stuff.

I had a much older and wiser person once tell me that the price should be three times the cost, one time for cost of materials, and two more times for cost of time. I also try to think about what I would like to be paid per hour of my time, and try to price accordingly.

But sometimes in order to get that exposure in the local craft store I have under-cut my pricing in order to get more exposure. (Like pro-bono work for lawyers.) It pays off later when people recognize my stuff when I am selling at Craft sales.


never forget how to fly...
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everything is so neat!

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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2004 12:30:09 PM »

this is kind of airy-fairy advice, but the concept i've found most useful is that if you want to make a business work, you have to keep your self-esteem healthy and extra-high. selling your own projects, or even having your own business and defending its worthiness can be really hard on your ego. if you want to be productive and creative, you have to take care of yourself!

my other favorite advice was from the ladies at raised eyebrow studios via another.girlatplay.com. emira and lauren said they set an income goal and worked backwards from there. i think that is a really great way to make sure you get paid enough that you don't just burn out.

There's no such thing as too much information, so: All About My Vagina
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2004 07:49:23 PM »

one tip that comes to mind is, if you are making things to order don't be afraid to have a 2, 3 or even 4 week turnaround. i know i don't mind waiting for something that is being made just for me. you don't want to totally stress yourself out trying to get everything made in a week AND keep up on everything else-- answering e-mail, making new products, bookkeeping, updates, etc.

also, it might help to start out small? so you don't overwhelm yourself right off the bat, and you can get a feel for what works and what doesn't.


...turning wack into wearable
...shop independent, help animals in need
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2004 08:43:34 AM »

A lot of this depends on what you make, and how much you can charge for it.  I mainly make polymer clay jewelry and accessories, and in order for people to buy my products, I've actually had to lower the prices.  At the moment I am charging only for my supply costs and $10/hour, plus $1 give or take for overhead.  I am probably underpricing, but I have no choice in the matter if I want more customers! 

The best advice to me was, do not sell wholesale or on consignment.  (This was from a friend of the family who was in the jewelry business for a long time.)  I sell my pieces at craft fairs, for what they are actually worth.  Maybe one day I will have a store, or be able to rent part of one.  For now, though, the fairs have been profitable enough.

I have a web site as well, but I've found that people usually need to be able to see and touch my work in person in order for me to make more sales.  (Besides, I am hardly a web design guru.)  Wink
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2004 11:36:23 PM »

I'd have to say that the most valuable tools you can have are your gut instincts! Trust them!  Getting advice is always good, but don't listen to everything you hear. If you did you would be running in circles and not knowing what was best for YOUR company. Experiment with your pricing, product, advertising, exposure, and yes! retail outlets. Only YOU can decide what is best for YOUR company.

Pricing is hard, but have faith in your product. Price it to cover your costs and make a small profit - don't under price - you will find your customers who are willing to pay what it is worth. Consignment is not for everyone but it can bring you a good deal of exposure from additional sources and brand recognition. Advertising as well. Get your name and product known and recognized. Try different things, but above all, keep faith in your product.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2004 11:44:24 PM by funkyutopia » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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