I had read a discussion on a beading facebook page about selling your work online. All the different options were discussed. Etsy, Artfire, and others I had not heard of , 11 Main, The Craft Star, Indie Made, and Zibbet. All of how I will check out and report here what I find out.
I became curious and decided to check my stats.
I joined Etsy in May of 2008. I will be a member for 7 years May 3 of this year. In that amount of time, I have sold a total amount of $1,672.47. Which sounds pretty good until you break it down. For one, I lost a percent of each of these sales to both Etsy and pay pal depending on who processes the payment. On top of that are listing and selling fees. Which, though not much, add up over time.
I could only data for a few years so this is what I have
I had sales of 753.66, these are Esty sales only. I did have special orders that added to this, but the point of this post is my Etsy sales.
my fees were 126.65 so after fees I made $627.01
divided by 12, I made 52.25 a month
divided by 52 instead , I made 1.28 per week
I had sales of 614.82 ,
views were 4,688
my fees were 151.86 for that year, so after my fees, I made 462.96 for the year.
Divided by 12 is 38.58 per month
divided by 52, that is 8.90 a week. I worked hard all year and that is all I earned. Very discouraging.
I cannot get my billing data for beyond that, but my stats for 2012 are
a total of 140.58 in sales.
I am not sure how much I paid in listing and selling fees that month so that makes it hard to know how much I made after fees.
Also non of these years show my pay pal fees. Most of my sales are through pay pal, and so that is another fee I owe.
Other things to consider are my materials. I spend on average about a thousand, sometimes more on materials. I am not even factoring in my time.
One thing that drives me crazy is when people say you cannot count your time when selling hand crafted items. If you cannot count your time, what is the point in having a business selling hand made things ? You better believe any jewelry you buy at a store has everything figured in when it is sold to the store, costs of labor, materials, and the cost to run the company, electric , phone etc. Yet when we create at home, we are told we cannot figure in a wage.
All of this is very frustrating to the average jewelry artist. We all work hard. We do our best to make good quality, beautiful items for our customers and then many of us sit there and watch our inventory age.
here is my inventory that I will be taking apart. Some will be gifts and a few things will go into my jewelry drawer, but the rest will be taken apart and put back in my bead boxes
It is a lot of inventory, wine charms, earrings, bracelets, key chains, and so on. Heart breaking but hey, they do not go bad, so I can remake them into new things , and still save some of them and relist them when I find a better option.
I am not giving up. No, that is not what this post is about. I am trying to figure out how to do this. What am I doing wrong and how do I fix it ?I am good at creating but not so good at business !!! I have to figure it out, I cannot avoid it any longer. If I want a successful business, and I do, I have to learn to be better at the marketing and business end of it. Period.
I have not been as happy lately because that financial side had me down. When you work so hard and take a lot of pride in your work, it is hard to not take it personal. I am not letting it get to me anymore. I am just going to create, and enjoy creating and do my best to figure out how to get my items seen by customers, not other venders looking for ideas on pricing or maybe people looking for ideas of what to make . I want to attract buyers that will purchase my items. I am always happy to share with other artists, that is not what bothers me. What bothers me is only other artists looking at my items so they do not sell !! I will learn marketing and figure out the best way to go for my business.
I am happy to share with anyone what I am making. There is no reason to be stingy about that. I am happy to teach others as I want to learn as well. But those two things, sales, and teaching, belong in two different places.
So, I plan to explore my options and see what I need to do. I love to make jewelry. I love to sell jewelry. After 25 years of investing in materials, and making items, I want to see some reward. I think that is normal. I probably have more than ten thousand dollars invested in raw materials. This does not count the probably grand in made up inventory I have on hand as well. As I mentioned before, for a while now, I have probably spent a grand a year, but for a few years I did not invest much and the first ten to fifteen years I invested on a couple of hundred a year , or less, as we had kids and I did not have as much to spend and things were a lot cheaper back then as well .
I will share whatever I learn here. Do I start my own website, join several different sites, start my own site, or do a combo of the above. Do I contact a professional to help me, or just do this on my own ?
I have a lot to think about and always love any feedback or experience anyone wants to share. I am not going to give up. I love what I do, and I want to be creative !! I am proud of my pieces and I know if the right people saw them, they would sell. My goal is to find those people !!! Since I love research, I should be able to learn something and figure this out !! !
Thanks for stopping by !!