Friday, July 20, 2012

Is It Worth It?

      Recently, daniellexo from Etsy wrote a blog, How to Beat the Etsy Sale Addiction (and Make More Money!) . She talked about the high that you get from seeing that Sales number rise. Instead of valuing yourself and your work, you begin to set your value goals based on the number of sales you have. I agree, this is NOT the way to run a business. Read the whole article here.

     Danielle has some really helpful advice. The trick seems to be to believe in yourself and the value of your work. Make smart choices so that you work smarter, not harder. Keep a positive attitude and set business minded goals. Sure, that sales number is exciting (especially when you hit landmark sales), but you are running a business and you have to make sure that you are also profitable. Remember not to sell yourself short. This is not a yard sale, it's a business.

sign from missyscakesandaprons
      I am very lucky that my husband has a job that allows me to do what I love. I try to sell at prices that are fair to both me and my customer and am grateful that I do not have to survive on what I make! I am working hard to improve my work, my shop, and my business skills. I take classes, comment in forums, ask for critiques, and listen when people make suggestions. Sometimes I follow advice, sometimes I don't.... :-)

from ilanastangerross
 What are YOU doing to improve yourself and your shop?

xo ~ Mad



  1. Great post, Mad! I've decided to really concentrate on making things that are fun for me -- because if they make me smile, maybe they'll have the same effect on somebody else. It's so easy to think "What will sell?" vs. "What do I want to make?" The first question is an unknown to me -- I never know what people will buy -- so I'm focusing on the second one. Wish me luck!

  2. It really is important that you not get caught up in numbers---easy to do, but not good in the long run...My sales have slowed a bit as I've raised my prices a bit, but I feel better about what I'm charging vs. the time spent, so there it is...and I am also fortunate in that I have a full time job that pays the bills, so gives me the opportunity to create and see others enjoy the pieces....

  3. Danielle's post was great (sad it is her last!) and so is yours!

    She's right though, it's easy to get caught up with all the numbers (views, sales, etc). I'm trying to shift away from that, and create great items that will be useful (and fun!) for cats. A couple designs have been improved on, and I have been more aware of how I manage things about my shop (money, keeping track of everything). This is a business, and it needs to stay on track:) Thanks for the post!

  4. Correct on all accounts about pricing. Many first time sellers [and some experienced sellers] of their work on Etsy and at farmers' markets and craft shows under price their work for the thrill of sales. Kudos to those that realize it is a downward spiral and price fairly for themselves and the buyer.

  5. I sell alot of useful crochet things. My prices are based on the cost of the materials and the time it takes to make the item. My shipping includes any fees that I may have, plus the shipping price and a small handling fee for shipping supplies and ink to print out the shipping label.

    It is an exciting summer for me, as I am busy working on introducing other, high end crochet merchandise. I am looking forward to upgrading my shop to also have some great crochet purses, tote bags, winter headbands etc.

    Thanks Mad, this was a great blog post.

  6. I think for us we improve in small steps. You are right this is a business and turning profits around and reinvesting it can be slow but rewarding. When my husband first started making jewelry he had only some of the equipment needed but every year for the past three years we have put all of our extra money into equipment and now his is getting close to being able to increase his output.

    On the plus side we are not in debt as a business so any growth we have is all in the black. Not having to pay off loans is a huge stress relief.

    Good article!

  7. Excellent information, Mad! I've endured much anxiety over pricing and sales.

    I love the comaraderie of belonging to Etsy - other craftsmen/crafts'women' who understand the mindset of creating rather than just purchasing something mass-produced. However ... because my fellow Etsyans are craftsmen like myself, they can do the same thing I do (namely, look at what's been done by someone else and say 'I can do that or something similar myself' then spend time trying things out and look for ways to alter it to make it mine). And non-artisans don't understand why it costs more than the mass-produced stuff you get in stores ... especially since I TRY to get all my components from American and American-made sources.

    I don't have a job right now (feverishly looking, by the way ... anyone know of any jobs available??), and I would LOVE to have my business pay the bills but, with the limited exposure I have and the cost of doing business ... well, I'm still looking for a job.

    Enough about me (sorry) ... Great blog, Mad! I'm going to enjoy following you.

  8. Again a very good article Mad :0)

    Prices were my nightmare until I understand my shop was not a game but a business.
    Now I say "a part for supplies, a part for my time, a part for fees and taxes, a part for sales", and it's more easy.

    I'm trying to make thing that make me happy because I think people feel that you like what you do when they come into our shops : if I love my items I hope people too.

    But the most important for me is to keep eyes and ears open.
    Eyes to find inspiration and ears to hear advices.
    Sometimes someone say a small sentence which get a light in brain for a new idea.


  9. That article is great and there are so many people out there not giving enough value to their products... it's really a shame.
    I'm in the same position as you and what I do is try to focus. It's easy to get distracted.