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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Jewelry Pricing Calculator Version 3, More Discussion about Pricing, Etsy Tagging and Categories, Webpage Copying, Paper Art

I’m pretty happy today. Well, okay, I’m pretty happy MOST days… but I’m particularly happy today because I finalized the third version of my jewelry pricing calculator.

Now… not only did I redo certain aspects of it, I’m going to try REALLY hard to actually stick to it myself. I went through my current items recently and had to raise some prices as well as lower some prices.

I can’t go into pricing with the idea of: “How much would I pay for that piece if I wanted it?” Maybe I can’t afford every piece I want. There’s no shame in that. But there is much shame in me selling my jewelry for the mere cost of the materials used in it.

I love Lampwork. I buy some really decent Lampwork from some amazing artists. I have to come to terms with the fact that that will significantly raise the price of an item I make with that Lampwork.

Not everyone can (or wants to) buy a necklace for $200… but if the lampwork beads cost me $100 and I take those beads, add gemstones and silver to them, spend time creating a design and then use my years of experience to craft a quality necklace… why on earth would I charge $100 for it?! That’s not even including the time to photograph and list as well as listing and selling fees. Eek!

We (jewelry makers) need to value our work more. We need more confidence. We need to not even THINK about competing with lower quality and/or mass produced jewelry because WE ARE NOT.

If you make it, they will come.

They, being the people who want quality. Who appreciate what you do. Who will realize your quality and continue to visit your shop year after year.

Oh, speaking of customers… Oh heavens, I have the absolute best customers on earth! On more than one occasion, I’ve been brought to tears (or at least VERY moist eyes) because of a nice email. I truly, truly appreciate each and every customer and their wonderful personalities.

Alright… enough schmaltz for one night.

I’m watching the Sharks right now… they’re up 2-1.

I made a couple pair of earrings last night and a necklace. I’ll probably do s’more beadwork (meaning not involved art clay or enameling, etc) tonight… then I can photo tomorrow or Saturday.

Oh, back to jewelry pricing for a second… the other day I ran across something that stunned me. And this is PRECISELY NOT how I intend for us to price our work decently.

It was a listing for a base-metal charm on a base-metal chain. This is the same charm that I purchased during a BABE class… it was like $1 or something. We colored the charm with various methods. The one in the listing was nekkid… just the exact charm as you buy it from the bead shop.

So anyway… I am not into taking a $1 something and putting it on a maybe $2 something… total work involved is maybe 30 seconds… and then selling this piece for $30.

Yeah, it’s an easy way to make money but is there any satisfaction in it?

Which makes me understand that I am not doing this for money (although I’m not doing it for free either). But I am doing it (making jewelry) for some kind of creative outlet reason. Make any sense?

So this isn’t really a big rant… more of an observation of what I do and do not want to do within my business.

But I guess that’s what building a business is. Trying things… and learning what works for you as an artist and as a business person.


Click here to see. I don’t (usually) hotlink photos of jewelry for sale without permission.

ETSY… really?

Wanna see something funny?

Guidelines & Tips: Tagging on Etsy

Don't pick any words that are related, but not what it is. Don't tag a tote bag with "clutch", even though you can clutch it in your hand. Don't tag anything but a dress with dress. Eg. Don't tag cookies with "tea" or "coffee", even though you can eat them with these drinks.

Don't tag with potential uses for the item. Don't use "stocking stuffer" or "gift" as tags. Do not tag a messenger bag with "backpack", even though you can wear it on your back. Don't tag a blank book with "poetry".

Yeah… well, maybe I’d care more if I had ANY indication that Etsy does jack when an item is reported for improper tagging.

Now, tags aside, what’s up with categories? Go to BUY, CATEGORIES, JEWELRY, EARRINGS, METALWORK… and then tell me what you see? ‘Cause what I see is 21 listings as such:
1-Earrings, beads
2-Earrings, resin
3-Earrings, beads
4-Earrings, metalwork
7-Earrings, metalwork
8-Earrings, metalwork
9- Earrings, metalwork
10-Earrings, mass produced charms
12-Earrings, beads
13-Earrings, beads
14-Earrings, resin
15-Earrings, metalwork
16- Earrings, metalwork
17- Earrings, metalwork
18- Earrings, metalwork
19-Earrings, stones
20- Earrings, metalwork
21- Earrings, metalwork

So 10 out of 21 listings in the metalwork earrings category were indeed metalwork earrings. I’ve seen worse, but if YOU were a selling site would YOU be happy/satisfied knowing less than half your items are categorized incorrectly?

Oh and I’ve applied to over half a dozen Etsy street teams and I have gotten not ONE SINGLE response (last one I contacted was over two weeks ago). So these street teams I applied to are either dead or extremely rude. I don’t mind being rejected, but at least do me the courtesy of acknowledging my initial inquiry/contact to you.

However, Etsy is still much more beautiful and more maneuverable than ArtFire. It’s also less expensive than RubyLane.

I just hate to see the sloppiness that we’ve come to expect with eBay. Etsy was supposed to be so much more.

Paper Art

Have you seen these? Very cool.

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