Monday, January 5, 2009

Help.. please!

Every time I get really annoyed with the uselessness of maintaining an etsy shop, someone randomly buys something. Okay its not an exact formula, but it happens. Its not about making money for me at all, if I wanted to seriously make money with my art degree, it certainly wouldn't (and won't) be on Etsy. I'd go get a graphic design job, or better yet do enough paintings to do a show in a gallery, or illustrate a bunch of kids books. Those things may come eventually, but I can do an Etsy shop now. Its about still getting my art “out there” at all while I am mainly concentrating on being the mother to my kids. I can do it with theoretically minimal effort, and still be at home.

But, I am in serious need of some opinions here. I don't know what to price my stuff in my Etsy shop. If you look on the forums in Etsy, you will get all sorts of stuff about 'not selling yourself short' and spreadsheets on how to exactly price with charging as a professional for your time and materials and all, and thats your wholesale price, then you double THAT for retail. Most of the time its a plea for others to up their “too low” prices because then they can't sell their over priced ones. But guess what! Etsy is in a capitalist market, its all about supply and demand and undercutting is a way of life. I may have been forced to take econ101 to graduate, but I didn't completely zone out the whole time. There are an insane amount of sellers on Etsy, and it sure seems there is far more supply than demand. The supply tends to get buried pretty quick too.

So my economics class would tell me to lower my prices to be competitive, and the Etsy forums would tell me that by doing so I am undercutting 'serious-this-IS-my-day-job' etsians, and selling my work short. Then there is also an actual risk of cheaper prices making it look like they are lesser quality. Also I am totally cheap. ...and I wouldn't buy my prints at their current price (well, impulsively at least) I'd have to REALLY like it. Conflicting theories aside, I still have no clue what actually works. Obviously, I could use some feedback here. This is NOT a plea to go buy my stuff. (if you do happen to want a print, PLEASE let me know first and I will drop the price in HALF at least, if I don't find an excuse to GIVE it to you first)

So, should I lower my prices? ..and if so, by how much? Pelter me with your opinions. Feel free to critique whatever you want.


  1. pricing is a huge headache. i can totally commiserate.
    honestly, i think you are as low as you should go without your stuff not looking high quality. unless you want to take .25 or .50 off just to look more inticing. but i don't know how you feel about the look of that.
    i think you should just add more variety. sew some things, make a little ted book, i know you do so much more than is represented in your shop. i think if you list something else every once in awhile, you'll draw in a more diverse crowd, and then who knows what they'll buy! etsy is discouraging sometimes. it's a roller coaster because it's amazing when you do sell something, but it's so rare. just do what you can/feel like, and start getting geared up for sharing a booth with me at the next bazaar!

  2. Thanks for the feedback Eve! I do have a lot of ideas brewing at the moment... as usual. But the problem with variety is its a LOT more time consuming than printing out art I've already done.

  3. I'd love to help, but you got me there. I don't think I've ever bought an art print. If I want artwork I cheat and take a picture.

    I think that what Eve said is a good idea though. Diversify what you sell. I know you can quilt too and there's lot of people who love those and didn't grow up in Utah County USA and thus have no idea how to do stuff like that.

    Let us know how it goes and good luck!

  4. Well, C, I have to say. I'm totally a cheapskate. I've realized that and have accepted it. I'm not the type who will go blow 'lots' of $$ on stuff, even if I do like it. I'm far too practical and far too fanatical about staying out of debt and saving up my money.

    When I went to the bazaar with Eve, I noticed that for me its all about price and convenience. I guess there are those out there (uh, hem, Eve) who are willing to pay 40 bucks for homemade baby shoes but I'm not one of them. ;) And that's fine, it takes all kinds. Just saying... I haven't looked at your prices recently but if you feel like you should lower them, by all means do. Doesn't mean they have to stay that way, right?

  5. Scratch some of that, C. I just looked at your prices and I agree with Eve. Don't lower them, they're a steal. What I need to do is get some cute frames (or, hey, you could sell them including a frame as an option, and use IKEA frames then I would have no excuses) and then decorate away! I've got a baby coming, you know, and his bedroom walls are a little bare........!

  6. HEY! those *darling* shoes were ONLY 23 bucks.. easy!! ;)

  7. oh, and c- welcome to my world (as in more time consuming than printing out already-done-art)!!
    try it, though..
    it's not like it'll sell super fast and you'll be in over your head. not to be a downer, but you think it's a hit and then.. that's just etsy for you.

  8. I stand corrected, Eve. And, just for the record, I think you're fine whatever you buy and for how much. For crying out loud, you're smart enough about it and have EXCEPTIONAL taste so don't think I'm harping on you. If anything, its on myself since I'm the cheapskate with no taste or talent either! ;)

  9. Oh hey, hope you get this. Love the new pictures and title!! Now all you gotta do is get a background!! Oh, and BLOG.

    Lu Boo.

  10. Hi Liesel, I just found your blog and wanted to say hello. I have no advice whatsoever on etsy, but I think it is a good thing for you to do for the reasons you described in your post. Give my love to your family.