Yes Or No?

Feb. 4th, 2015 02:15 pm
kerravonsen: Ninth Doctor: "thinking" (thinking)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
Every now and then I wonder if I ought to open an Etsy store... usually when people ask me if I have one, right after I've posted another bit of craft to a fannish fest.

Why? Because I want my craft to go to people who will appreciate it. Which is fine for the non-fannish stuff, it's what I give to my family every Christmas. But the fannish stuff, the symbolic stuff that I have very much acquired a taste for making? Well, if it's Doctor-Who themed I can give it to my sister (she's the one who scored Idris And Her Thief). If it's Harry-Potter themed - and most of it is - then there's only one person I know whom I can give it to who will understand the symbolism. Which would be fine if I only participated in one fest a year, but this last year, they've been multiplying. Fine, I know, Just Don't Do That Then. (sigh)


Look, I don't want to Run A Business And Become Independently Wealthy. If I'd wanted that, I would have taken up contracting years ago. I just want to make cool stuff and have it used by people who appreciate it. The business part of such an enterprise is an utter pain. Getting to the post office to send snail-mail is a pain. But how else could I get it into the hands of people who would appreciate it? So far as I can see, there are two methods: (a) give as gifts to people who know me personally, or (b) sell it to people who are willing to pay what it is actually worth - which means I don't want to underprice it, either.

Yet all the info I've seen about running your own Etsy store is "Market yourself! Work hard! Promote yourself! Branding! Have lots of stock!" But I wouldn't have lots of stock at all. Just the occasional thing. Not until I retire, anyway. Which is more than a decade away.

(insert lots of sighs here)

What should I do? Craft keeps me sane. But I am running out of people to give it to.

Date: 2015-02-04 08:54 am (UTC)
vilakins: (knitwit)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
Yes, I've thought about an Etsy store too, and wondered about all of that: posting the stuff, people not wanting to buy from so far away so I'd have to offer really cheap freight, and I hate self-promotion. I might try offering some of my extra stuff which I make for the sheer enjoyment of the process on TradeMe which is the local eBay, though they don't seem to have a section for crafts.

And the only reason I'm considering it is having far too many completed objects about the house, many more than I'd use.

Date: 2015-02-04 01:36 pm (UTC)
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] tree_and_leaf
There's some quality stuff on eBay. It's great for antique vestments and church supplies, for instance.

Date: 2015-02-04 07:24 pm (UTC)
vilakins: (planet)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
If I offered cheap freight, I'd price accordingly.

I think the fannish stuff would sell well on Etsy as people would search for it specifically and be more likely to find you. I'm thinking about making stuffed fandom characters who are very much in demand (starting with some for me as practice). Also your maille is much more unusual than my knitting so you'd be in a smaller pool.

I really should give Etsy a go just to see what happens.

As for TradeMe (very big here), people sell beautiful hand-spun and hand-dyed yarns there; hand-knitted stuff might find buyers. I'm just not sure how to list it.

But I'm a champion procrastinator.

Date: 2015-02-04 04:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Give it all to me! :D

Honestly, I have no idea what running an Etsy store would be like, but I love your stuff.

Date: 2015-02-04 07:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yet all the info I've seen about running your own Etsy store is "Market yourself! Work hard! Promote yourself! Branding! Have lots of stock!" But I wouldn't have lots of stock at all. Just the occasional thing. Not until I retire, anyway. Which is more than a decade away.

Well, I imagine most of that is targeted to people who are going to be trying to get lots of sales. If you just want to put up whatever you've got... well, it's only going to sell if people find it, but there's no point spending all your time advertising "just the occasional thing". It might be most effective to use good keywords and try to key the item descriptions toward quality and exclusivity.

Date: 2015-02-04 02:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can understand your hesitation, but I think the good thing about Etsy is that you can stock whatever you have and there's no requirement for you to add items if you don't want to. I, for one, would love to see an Etsy shop from you, but of course, it's whatever you feel comfortable with. Your crafts are beautiful :)

Date: 2015-02-04 03:30 pm (UTC)
dreamflower: gandalf at bag end (Default)
From: [personal profile] dreamflower
You have some gorgeous work that many people would gladly pay for, but perhaps like me, you prefer not to commercialize your stuff, especially since a lot of it is fandom related and would not be properly appreciated by non-fans.

There are other options. If you want to give something away to someone who would appreciate it, you could offer it up to a relevant comm for the cost of postage and a donation to some cause you support.

OTOH, if you just want to try your hand at an online shop to see what happens, just give it the amount of attention you have to spare; then if anyone buys, it's lagniappe.

Date: 2015-02-04 11:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmmm. (scratches head)

Evidently it long-since expanded to refer to an extra or bonus in a broader sense, if Twain-by-way-of-Wiki is to be trusted.

Date: 2015-02-04 11:53 pm (UTC)
dreamflower: gandalf at bag end (Default)
From: [personal profile] dreamflower
Also used to mean a small bonus; something pleasant and extra (and often unanticipated, but not always).

Not just in Lousiana, in use on the Mississippi Gulf Coast as well.

Date: 2015-02-05 01:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
it would seem the easiest way to advertise yourself is set up a Deviant Art account and let things snowball from there. There are a lot of Deviant contributors who display their artwork with a link to where it is available when they produce it.

How much you produce is of course up to you. The advantage of a paying hobby is there is no stress at trying to make a living from it!

I suppose you could do something similar in whatever fanspace you inhabit. At least you know the work will be going to a good home.

I do like your work and admire it though I never actually wear jewellery. I would be severely tempted by those dragon scale cuff things.

Date: 2015-02-05 04:10 am (UTC)
delphipsmith: (live live live)
From: [personal profile] delphipsmith
I think it depends on what you want to do with it. If you want to turn a big profit, then you have to price it accordingly. If you want to actually support yourself via an Etsy store, yeah, you'll have to market the heck out of it.

But if you just enjoy making things and want to get them to people who will appreciate them, then keep your day job, price your crafts at enough to cover your costs and don't worry about the marketing. People who want you will find you, and you'll get a little extra money here and there. Keep it low stress :)

This is how I do my freelance editing work -- I just do it when I feel like it and have time, the extra money is nice, but I don't go out and beat the bushes. It's like an occasional bonus.
Edited Date: 2015-02-05 04:11 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-02-06 03:19 am (UTC)
delphipsmith: (thinker)
From: [personal profile] delphipsmith
I hadn't even thought about not wanting to undercut others who *do* want to make a living at it, but yeah, that makes sense. I do agree that people need to be aware what handmade stuff costs, though.

I like "a ransom for my babies" :)

Date: 2015-02-08 11:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
PS with regard to a metal pin loom have you seen this ( one?

Date: 2015-02-16 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I opened an etsy store in November. I don't want to Get Rich with it, either, so I selected the "sell things in my spare time" option when asked why I was opening up the store.

I haven't sold anything yet, and my photos aren't nearly as slick and professional looking as most of the sellers on there (see the "not making it a primary income store" type thing), but I've gotten a little feedback from some friends/acquaintances who have checked out the store. The primary comment? I've underpriced my stuff.

It never really occurred to me to consider #1 in your list of price reasoning. I just look at my stuff and think, "Okay, what do I want for this?" And I also try to compare it to other prices (price competitively/within reason for the market, so to speak). But looking at similar items, the price ranges vary WIDELY. And my low prices haven't really been advantageous to my selling, since, as I said, I haven't sold anything yet. Your thought processes give me more to chew on when considering my pricing, certainly. :-)

I don't know if I'm making sense. What I'm trying to say is thank you for pointing that out. :-)

My store definitely needs more attention. I don't have a banner, and I'm thinking about re-writing my shop profile. I've got stuff that's ready to list that I have to actually photograph and list, so there's that, too.

Anyway, good luck if you decide to open a store! I'll check it out!


kerravonsen: (Default)
Kathryn A.

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