Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thinking Out Loud

I spend a lot of time surfing Etsy looking at stores. It's kind of funny that some people take so much time taking the right pictures, having great headers and tags, making the store look purdy, having the best descriptions of their goods as possible. It's a pity that they don't own a dictionary. The misspellings are awful. Not everyone mind you, but there are a fair number of 'big words' (not really THAT big) that are misspelled in their lovely descriptions. "Occassions" is the word that prompted my ire this morning. 'Occasion' is the word. 'Occasions' is the plural. In my dictionary, occasion gets one 's'. If you're going to go to all the trouble of selling on Etsy, make sure your words are spelled properly.

Pricing is another thing that irritates me. Now I know that pricing is a really big deal, and gets a whole lot of people a whole lot of fired up. I understand that the artist needs paid properly for their work. Thats fine. I'm totally cool with that. But if you're buying wholesale (and if you're selling retail you better be buying wholesale) why do you need to mark up your supplies ten times? If you insist on paying yourself the hourly rate you feel you deserve, and then tack on materials x 10, be prepared not to sell much. Sure, there are plenty of folks out in the world who are willing (and can afford) to shell out $65-75 for a semi-precious bracelet. I know how long it takes to string a bracelet. I know how much material goes into the bracelet. Granted, the general public might not, but since making jewelry has become such a big deal, it's not a secret society anymore. Anyone can go to a bead show and buy strands of SP gemstones. Anybody can buy Bali sterling for a decent price (decent as in 'all things considered') so don't be alarmed when Jane Q. Public and her friends whisper among themselves "$65?? That's crazy! I can make three bracelets for that!" and they do. Almost every month you can find a bead show (or rock and gem show) nearby, so what's stopping them from going there and buying? Not a damn thing. And that should scare you to death.

If you're making your own glass beads (boro lampwork, whatever) , metalwork, wirework, chain maille, seed beading go ahead and price it high. Those are skills that not everyone can (or wants to) do. But for your more 'pedestrian' items (and honeys, if you only carry 'high end' stuff, do yourself a favor and make some pedestrian pieces, your overhead will thank me) lower your prices to where anyone can afford your glorious piece, while still making yourself some money. Greed kills. Remember that.

If anyone actually read this blog, those particular paragraphs would get me into a world of shit. But it's my opinion. And that opinion has been formed from YEARS of craft/art shows. I'd rather sell a dozen $20 bracelets than one $60 bracelet any day of the week. Unless of course, it's a maille bracelet. My whole philosophy is thus: I hate it when I see something beautiful that I want, but can't afford. I keep my prices affordable, but the quality and beauty are still there. (yes I use some plated findings, but not always. I NEVER use plastic, ever...except I'm seeing more and more vintage acrylic goodies that are making me rethink the never use plastic deal)

I'm just sayin'.

1 comment:

ZenCreations said...

I hear ya! I get nasty grams every so often from my fellow Esty sellers, complaining about my prices. I always reply the same way: " you don't know who my suppliers are, how much I paid or the amount of time it took me, so no one decide on my prices but me. Thank you."

No reason to mark things up to an unreasonable amount. These are the same people that wonder why they don't sell very much.