Sunday, May 30, 2010

Etsy Selling Tip 4: The Price Is Right!

I frequent a lot of craft forums and I see this question over and over again: "Do you think I am charging too much/too little for my items?" I think the best answer to this question is another question, "Would you pay that much for the item or a similar item?"

We all know that money is tight these days. When I price my items I always ask myself how much I would pay for a similar item from another seller if I were buying online or at a craft show (I'll talk a little more about craft show pricing later in this post.) Now this is just my personal opinion and it has worked for me. Never sell yourself (or your craft) short if you put a lot of time, effort and love into something you've created you should by all means get paid well for it, but remember to be realistic. Also take into consideration that most people buy handmade because they are looking for a unique item...without the heavy price tag of something mass produced.

What it really comes down to is you know your price is right if you'd pay it yourself. If you wouldn't pay the amount you are charging for a similar item, no matter how unique and well made it is, you are charging too much.

Now, how do you decide if your prices are too low? Ask yourself this, Are your making a reasonable profit over your supply cost? Can you cover your Etsy fees at the end of the month? (Assuming you haven't spent all of your money visiting other awesome Etsy shops lol!) If you answered no to these two questions, then your price is probably too low. If you are at this point don't be afraid to raise your price a little. The price of your item can reflect the quality of your item just as much as the photo. If a price is too low buyers may think that the quality is low as well.

Craft Show pricing

The most important thing to remember about a craft show is that it is a craft show not a flea market, therefore do not drop the price of your items to unreasonably low prices. I have been to shows where fellow Etsians are selling their crafts for half and sometimes less than half the cost they sell their items online for. I am all for giving a price break at a show, but once again do not sell yourself short. Knocking a few buck off mid-level and high ticket items is a great way to get people out to a show you are participating in. I post information about shows I am doing in my shop announcements and on my blog. I often let buyers know I will be discounting some of my items during the show as well as selling items not listed on Etsy. This not only brings potential buyers out to the show but also to your table/booth.

Now, how do you decide if you should keep your pricing during a craft show the same as in your Etsy show or slash the prices. This should be gaged on the show it'self. I say always start out the first 1-3 hours(depending upon the length of the show) as close to your original price as possible. As the day goes on base your pricing on the following:

Hows the crowd? Is it large, steady or very thin?
How many other vendors are there selling items similar to yours?
Do buyers really contemplate an item after learning the price or do they walk away immediately or shake their heads (I see this a lot from older buyers)

One thing I've learned is to stay firm on a price if a potential customer really ponders and it and comes back several times to look at it again or see if it's still there. This usually means 1) They may be a fellow vendor and need to make a few sales of their own before they can buy anything, they saw something at another table they liked and are trying to figure out which item they like best or if they can afford both and finally if you are going to drop your price. Remember it is not a flea market or a swap meet. Your not just cleaning out your garage and throwing the items on a table. You worked hard on your creations. Do not be discouraged if the person ultimately walks away. Their going to be the ones on the ride home kicking themselves because they didn't buy that item from you they really liked. On several occasions a few days after shows I have gotten orders/convos from people who saw one of my items at a show and didn't buy anything then, but when they got home decided they really liked it and should have bought it.

If the day has been slow and and the crowds haven't been great, you may want to drop your prices a little. Your goal should always first and foremost be to make back your table/booth fee and your supply cost, because everything after that is profit. Even if you don't make a profit at least you are not out any money and you got your name and your product out in the public. My 1st show I didn't even come close to breaking even, but several people saw my stuff and looked me up online.

Finally it's important to take into account the area of the show is in. Potential customers may not have as much disposable income to spend as those in other places in your city. Keep that in mind as you are pricing your items.

Wow! Sorry this one was so long. I probably started rambling there for a bit.

Etsy Selling Tip 3: Flick It!

UPDATE 5/31/2010:
I just wanted to clear up that I am in no way telling you to try to sell items through your Flickr site. I am just reminding you that it can be a way for more people to see your crafts and connect with artists you may not have found out about via Etsy alone. I do not think that you should blatantly try put "find me on Etsy" in your description or anything, but to remember to put links in your profile. Also you should put photos of yourself in your Flickr account. I think it is always great to get to see the person behind the craft.

As Etsy sellers, especially when we are first starting out we don't have a lot of money to spend on advertising. Therefore low cost and free advertising is very important! Over the next few entries I will discuss several forms of advertising that I use. Today I'd like to discuss Flickr. I think Flickr is one of the best free to low cost advertising opportunities available that a lot of Etsy sellers do not use to their advantages.

How to use Flickr to promote your shop/items:

1) Fill in your profile!
I find photos of awesome handmade items on Flickr often. The 1st thing I do is click on their profile to learn more, only to find it blank! Think of your Flickr account as an extension of your Etsy shop. As it is against Flick policy to link to your Etsy shop in the description and title of an image, it needs to be in your Flickr profile. You should also link to your personal site and blog if you have one.

2)Take a look around
Do searches for pictures of items relating to your craft. This can give you more ideas on making your items more photogenic, using color schemes, background props and placement. Searching also helps with finding new tags for your photos(for use on Flickr and Etsy.) I have found several new terms to tag my photos with that I never thought of (I will focus more on tags in a later post.) Descriptions are another great item to look at. A great description can really make your photo stand out and your item(s) seem more interesting.

3)Get Connected
Add fellow crafters on Flickr as contacts. This is a great way to keep track of users you may want to find again as well as creating a network of friends that may have tips and advice to offer.

4)Group Therapy (Possibly the most important)

Search and join groups pertaining to the items you make and the materials used. As the majority of my items are created using polymer clay, therefore I joined several polymer clay groups. Next was themed groups. One look at my Etsy shop and you will notice an overwhelming robot theme, so joining groups for fans of robots was the obvious next step. I try to add at least 1 or 2 photos 3 or more times a week to the groups I've joined with the most activity.

Below I've compiled a list of my favorite Flickr Groups

Toysaholic Anonymous (1,868 members)
~ Toys =D (JOIN Contest : MAY) (569 members)
Etsy Artists Rule: 1 Million Picture Pool (2,585 members) love (11,599 members)
Craft Revolution (7,092 members)
I Made it Myself (19,666 members)
Kawaii D.I.Y (1,370 members)
Etsy - Look and Learn (6,389 members) Crafty Reviews (967 members)

Cuteable (3,510 members)
CRAFT (10,244 members)

The Secret Life of Toys (13,625 members)
Character Design (5,908 members)
Artisan Jewelry on Etsy (1,992 members)

Monsters and other creatures (2,546 members)

polymer clay (1,981 members)
MONSTER CLAY (107 members)
Monster Art (25 members)

Etsy (1,655 members)

get crafty! (8,335 members)
Arts & crafts fairs & shows (1,890 members)
Kawaii Collectors (966 members)

Handmade Goodies! (6 members)
ROBOT (946 members)

Anything Polymer Clay (1,253 members)
Kawaii Crafters (172 members)

Toy Robots (515 members)

Handmade Kitschy Jewellery (419 members)

iheartcrafts: cute & colourful (171 members)

Etsy Packaging (1,696 members)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Etsy Selling Tip Part 2: Time Is Money

So I've been slacking lately on put up Etsy selling tips, so I'm going to make an effort to put up 1 or 2 a week for now on.

Selling tip: Time is money!

Now that there are SOooooo many sellers on Etsy when you post a new item it can be pushed from page 1 to page 10 in a matter of minutes in your given category. I noticed that there are better times of day than others to post a new item(s)and have them sit on the 1st or 2nd page of your given category longer. The longer your item(s) are visible on the top pages the more people will see your item. Most Etsy customers will usually on browse through the first 5-7 pages of a category before moving on, therefore it is crucial to stay in that page range as long as possible. I post a lot in the "Geekery" category. I have found that posting new items or re-listing items is best done between 11am and 1pm. I'm not exactly sure why posting thins out during these hours. The 2nd best time to post or re-list is 8:00pm-9:30pm. This makes sure you get all those night owls who have just hopped on etsy after a long day at work/school and are winding done for the evening. When I post/re-list during the 8:00 hour 7 times out of 10 I'll wake up to an over night order placed. Maybe not for the item listed, but it did draw the customer to visit the rest of my shop.

Don't get discouraged if no one buys your newly listed or re-listed item right away, even if it sits in the 1st 5 pages for an hour. The more people that see your item the more people who will probably mark it as a favorite. You have to remember that many customers on Etsy don't have a lot of free cash. They may really like your item but they have to wait for a pay day to roll around to purchase it. So keep in mind Favorites=Future Sales.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Themed Robot & how about you come out & see me?

With Craft show and wedding season beginning, I have been super busy, but I wanted to share a few of the new robots I have been working on. I really wanted to work on some pieces with themes. A few are movie themed and a few are a based on fairytales. All of these bots are available now in my Etsy shop here. I will also have these and other figures on sale at Oddmall located in the Clarion Hotel, Hudson this upcoming Saturday 10am-6pm. I'll be in booth #62. Stop by and say hi!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Starting at 8:00am to midnight Wednesday 5/5, Add 2 items or more to your order, type the code:THANKYOU into order comments during check out and receive half off for every 2nd item. Half off will be issued via Pay Pal refund after payment is received. Code:THANKYOU must be typed into comments during checkout to receive the promotion.

Sleepy Robot Shirt. YOUR OPINION NEEDED!!!

So I've been working on this shirt and I wanted to know what you guys think. If I were to put it up for sale in my online shop would you buy it? Let me know (:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Quick Update and some photos

I've been super busy lately, juggling craft shows, art shows, orders, custom orders and making huge quantities of robots to send out to charity and promotion events. Since everything has been so nuts lately I decided not to take any more custom orders until the end of May. This was a hard decision because I LOVE doing custom orders. The ideas people submit are just amazing! Other than being busy I don't really have any new news to report. Below I have attached a few photos of the massive amount of robots I made to send out to a private charity event and the clothing party for their swag bags. Later!