3.26.2010

So....about this whole Etsy shop thing...

Okay...so I know many of you have told me that I should open an Etsy shop.

The thing of it is....I. Am. Scared.

Yup! I'm one hundred percent intimidate by that whole idea.

You see, I love to make stuff. I REALLY love to make stuff. You might have noticed that. Just say'n.

But...I worry about things like quality issues. What if it falls apart despite my best efforts??? What if they just think my workmanship is crap? What if I didn't know about some 'proper' material I should have used and the buyer is appalled that I didn't use it???

So many what ifs!!!

And then there is the even more obvious issue - What if nobody wants it.

I mean, really, I know people like what I create, or at least many of you say you do and please continue to do so because that makes me happy and that makes me smile. Just say'n. BUT...that doesn't mean that people are jumping into line to pay money for things.

And then there is that issue...what to charge for different types of projects. I know that very few artists actually end up making a reasonable amount of money for the time they put into their projects. Of this, I am fully aware. BUT...that really doesn't help with the whole pricing thing. You see, things are only worth what someone is willing to pay, thus, the rise and conquering of all things eBay. So, that makes it rather tricky to decide what is fair to you, as the artist, as well as value to the customer.

And then...the final problem...and quite frankly, the one I'm hoping that all of you will help me solve.

Yup. I am putting you to work! HA!

WHAT should I sell? I create a lot of different types of things and I don't really like being put into a box. Boxes are stuffy and stuff. Just say'n. SOOOOO.....with that being said, should I do cards, dolls, stuffies, supplies, mixed media pieces???? Can I do a bit of everything without looking like I am just tossing things in there? AND...what would YOU GUYS actually be interested in seeing in a shop of mine? What would YOU want to buy? What do you think? I am starting to get over the fears, but I need your help to push me over the edge. Or...if you think I should stick to blogging and ONLY blogging...let me know that, too! HA!

OH! And what the HECK is up with this weather???? Snowing? Really? REALLY???? Well, you know March...in like a lamb and out like a lion...

...oh....


....waaaaait.....

25 comments:

  1. Jingle, never live with regrets. With that being said, take this Etsy thing as an adventure and give it a try. Seriously, if it doesn't go well you can always decide on something else. But, the fact that you are concerned about it tells me it will go well because you care. As for items, make a variety of things. You'll see what people want more of and what isn't as popular. The key is to do what you love...they rest of your questions will be answered if you follow your own passion.

    ~Rita~ The Creative Yellow Bird

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  2. At 20 cents a listing you can't go wrong! I embarked on my store thinking that homemade cards would be my thing... it wasn't. I sold 1 card on Etsy. My cards orders have turned out to be all by word of mouth locally and that has worked very well for me.

    My Etsy shop has succeeded in handmade flowers and scrapbooking and cardmaking kits. Also my vintage finds have been successful as well.

    I think if you try something, you can always start over and try again... i did! I never set out to do flowers but it has worked very well!

    Can't wait to see what you do... I'll be visiting for sure... I need a Jingle original!

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  3. Great advise from above.

    Never live your life on what-ifs.

    For pricing I would take a look around Etsy and get a feel what others are doing.

    And like Diana said, if you aren't feeling it then you can start over.

    Good luck - I can't to see what you come up with :)

    And the weather has been cold and crappy here - they say the weekend should be nice - fingers crossed :)

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  4. hi jingle,

    I felt the same way too. I listed a few random things as I make a bunch of random things too...Guess what - I sold some of it...and some I didn't. I price my wares not too high I add between $5 to $10 for my labor above supplies. I create to make me happy not to get rich. This way I feel if anything were to happen the person buying it is not too upset because the item was not too expensive. Sorry for the long note :) It's art it may not be perfect and it may not last forever - Hailey

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  5. I know what you me by the whole etsy thing. I have a shop there and it took me forever to open it because I was so scared.

    Pricing is a huge issue for me! I never know what to price. Also what types of items to list is another one. I get a lot of great feedback but I've only had 4 sales so right now etsy is my own personal fun place to show off new ideas and make fun things.

    I don't promote as much as I should because I have another business on ebay that's my main focus Make sure you spend the time to promote and join etsy teams and tweet and facebook away and I'm sure you'll do well!

    Try starting with just a few things and a time period and see how it goes and also don't stress art is supposed to be fun! Good luck!

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  6. Well your questions are spot on and very valid...and all these comments are really good too in my humble (but noisy) view.

    I have to say that for me, despite my efforts Etsy is not going well, one sale in 5 months? I thought it would help financially with two girls in college and its a waste of time so far as I'm creating madly but selling diddly squat. But I wonder if all of your points apply to me...I could have written your post! I'm trying not to mind and now I've got my girls and sister on board as Marketing!!

    BUT- it all takes a heck of a lot of time, and creating isn't the end of it...hang on, there's a really good blog which might help you:http://whitneys-pottery.blogspot.com/
    follow her internal likks as this is the end of her series- I did.

    There's several Etsy sites in my blog list if you want to have a look-I'm supposed to be cleaning the house for visitors or I'd do you all the links!

    This isn't meant to be discouraging by the way- really, just maybe de-rosifying the spectacles, but maybe yours weren't?

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  7. I agree with what everyone else is saying. Go for it!

    That said, listing & promoting can get time consuming. Plus there are A LOT of sellers on etsy & it is easy to get lost in the crowd. but...

    Don't sweat it & just have fun.The price to list is so low that you might as well do it, especially if you are like me & have finished pieces just sitting around.

    If you decide to open a shop, drop me a note & I will be happy to feature your "grand opening" on my blog

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  8. Well, I don't know what the market is for them or anything - but I just LOVE your dolls. That would be the thing I'd focus on. I find them incredibly unique and cute as heck...and I might even buy one!

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  9. Yeah Jingle!! It is scary and exciting and all that stuff you mentioned. But it is also worth it. I just started creating things and October and was (and still am) a little worried about quality as I pretty much just wing everything. I am not good at following patterns and directions. I have sold one item, but as I am learning, I am realizing why I am not really selling more.
    Another option to try is ArtFire. The basic membership is totally free. No listing costs, you don't pay ArtFire anything when you sell an item. I have found it easier (for me, others might disagree) to find useful info for sellers from ArtFire then from Etsy, but I actually gather info from both. ArtFire is set up to link to all your other internet doings (blog, FB, twitter, etc.). ArtFire may not be as popular, but I feel a little more comfortable there.
    As far as what to list. Start out with everything and anything. Both ArtFire and Etsy keep track of how many views each item gets which will help you figure out what to continue to list.
    Anyway, I will end this book that I am writing you with this:
    You only live once. Go for it!
    (if you want more of my input just send me an e-mail)

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  10. It is truly a scary decision to make. I just followed my heart last August and went for it. My work has evolved greatly since I first started, but I've kept to my original theme and goal - which is to create whimsical, fun and affordable jewelry and hand knit goodies. I've gone by instinct, really. And I create what I think is pretty and what inspires me. It's a lot of hard work and success will be based on how you market and promote your items. You can create whatever it is you do best - a menagerie of crafts like you present here. You could name your shop Just Jingle Jamboree or something really catchy and fun that relates to you, your goals for the shop, and your crafts. Try it, and I'm always here to offer suggestions and help if you'd like some. :) Theresa

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  11. I gotta give my two cents...

    I create for the sake of creating. Everyone tells me all the time that I should sell my stuff but I feel like it would take the fun out of it (for the very reasons you listed). It's all about the fun for me. I don't want my creativity and crafts to turn into a burden. I don't want to worry about angry customers who bought something from me months ago only to have it break and demand their money back.

    If I ever did open a shop... it would be to sell supplies and special components so that other people can create something themselves. kniw?

    I am sure that whatever you decide to do will be what you feel in your heart and therefore will be the right decision for you.

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  12. Just go with it!! It's your Etsy shop ~ What's the worst that could happen - you don't sell a thing, but if you never try, you'll never know! That's kinda what happened to me - and then I finally opened my online boutique - it will always be a work in progress, and I'm not making millions (yet!!) LOL! ~ But I'm loving it and it's a great place for creative outlets!! Good luck to you and Happy Friday to all!

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  13. I love handmade gifts. I love the reaction I get when I give them.

    That being said, I started an Etsy shop over a year ago and have enjoyed it, but I always worry if people are going to be happy with what they buy. Yes, I worry but it is fun and every sale is so exciting for me.

    I think you should try it and just get your stuff out there. You never know who will find your shop and I'm sure they will love it. You make such wonderful creations!!

    I'm also on Artfire, and yes, it is free if you get the basic membership, but I think it doesn't get as much traffic as Etsy.

    Good luck,
    Debbie
    www.ShanasShop.etsy.com

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  14. wow, tons of questions. you know etsys pretty cheap. set up is free and listings are 20 cents for 6 months.

    and sales can take a while if you dont have feed back unless people know ya from here and want to buy :)

    I have sold on ebay for 10+ years and would not suggest that, but try etsy.

    I would look at similar items that you want to sell, see what sells and for how much - sell if your willing to sell what you do for that much - a huge question!

    and if so, try it out!

    tracy

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  15. ok i'm all for the no regrets thing...if its really something you want to do, go for it. The question i have is why do you want an etsy shop? Cause my thought would be do you want your beloved hobby to be a hobby or a job. I've done the crafting for money thing an it sucked all the fun out of it...not to be nelly naysayer...just sayin. ;)

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  16. Go for it. Do a little bit of everything. You never what will sell. Good luck!!

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  17. Don't be afraid! Etsy is the lowest risk way to start a business. Your stuff is going to do great!!

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  18. Well, I would be first in line to get one of your "personalities". I secretly covet them when you aren't looking. HOWEVER, it is a LOT of work and I've found that when you are working from your heart, the pricing is really tricky. There will be those who underprice their work and those who are overpriced. I guess you have to put a price on the items that you can live with. And decide how much time you can invest. Having said that, "shoulda, coulda, woulda: didn't." is sometimes worse than trying and having it not work out so well. Whatever you decide, I'm know you'll do your best and no matter what, be kind to yourself.

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  19. I think you should give it a shot! I'm scared to jump into things too, but you've got so much talent girl. I say, go for it!

    Hope your snow doesn't stick around long! :)

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  20. It's a difficult decision in a lot of ways. My concern would be if I have to make something, does the joy of creating go away? In some ways, it does for me.

    I've never bought anything on Etsy, but I am absolutely a browser. So many wonderful things to see.

    If I were you, I'd decide what takes the most time and delete that idea, what is the most expensive to make and delete that idea and then see what I don't mind recreating in bulk. I'm a slow seamstress, so that would not be on my list of things to offer.

    At craft shows, I've noticed the fewer the products (or at least categories) the easier to buy from. That is, if it's a jewelry stand, ok, I stop if I want jewelry. If it's kid stuff, or crocheted stuff or just purses, etc. But if it's a lot of different stuff, I might still look, but it doesn't catch my eye the way a One Item or One Craft area does.

    That said, is etsy the same? dunno.
    best of luck deciding and know we'll be rooting for you!

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  21. I left you a beautiful blog award, check out my blog to collect it.

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  22. So here is my take on it...
    Go for it. As for what to sell....
    Sell what makes you happy. The beauty is, listing is only .20.

    (I was VERY nervous about selling my items. I had the same fears you do...still do at times. Every time I mail something I am afraid the usps will play hockey with my packages and everything will arrive broken.)

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  23. I feel the same way about opening an Etsy shop, despite being told over and over to do it. I worry about the quality too, since I've bought stuff on Etsy that I regret, since you can't see the quality via photo sometimes.

    My other concern is that I love making one-of-a-kind stuff, and am not sure I could pump out multiples of one kind of craft. Not that they all wouldn't be unique, but I think I'd get sick of making lots of crayon rolls.

    I'm still determined though, and really hope to open one this year.

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  24. Jingle I LOVE all your work and you have sooo many followers I am sure all of us would love a Jingle creation...pricing is hard when I did my craft shows....my $5. items flew off the table. I sold my stained glass kaliedoscopes for $40. & $50....they to went well for me but I included a free stand for them...people seemed to love the free word! As with my stained glass bird houses when I included the free stand with ivy wich I had 89 cents invested they ALL sold. My night lights went really well for $8. I did have a harder time with my stained glass panels.
    Good luck gf!!
    hugs
    Brenda

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  25. Jingle, thanks for visiting my blog :) As for some advice: I started etsy last year and sold a hodgepodge of schtuff before separating into two shops: photography & jewelry. Even the jewelry morphed: handmade & vintage. I've been pricing according to my gut and other sellers who have similar items. I try to be really fair & affordable...but not too cheap that I become resentful of the buyer, like "you cheapo!" anyway, I've had sooo much fun....there are tips you must know before getting anguished about not selling...just as I became down about no sales, they starting coming in droves! (well ok, one per day, for a whole week!) Still, like many of your commenters, I do it for fun and for myself- not for my total income- and this takes SOME of the pressure off, but I remain very loyal to my customers and strive to make them 100% happy even if it means taking the time to write a handmade thank you, for example. Small stuff matters in the sea of handmade items on etsy. You seem to have this knack so I think you would stand out. Good luck!! - Mary

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