price war

Monday, August 17, 2009

i have alluded to the fact that i am going to open an etsy shop in september, a place where my creative loose ends come together. it took some convincing that people would want to purchase my creative endeavors. ok, it took some serious poking and prodding from my precious husband, family and friends to convince me to just give etsy a try. i mean what is the worse thing that could happen, i don't sell anything......

the shop will mostly be small items and patterns, things that i can knit and sew quickly. and that are not too painful to make more than once. i have never been a sock knitter because you have to make two, and knitting 100 wire and bead candle holders for my brothers rehearsal dinner, just about did me in. you see, i hate making things more than once!

but my real struggle with etsy is what to charge for my work. the constant dilemma for all artists. i don't want to charge too much because i wont sell anything, but i also don't want to undercharge either. a very wise friend who paints fabulous pet portraits told me its easier to lower your prices rather than raise them. very good advice. in addition, i have looked at comparable items on etsy to get a sense of what price points, but alot of them are knit with less than desirable yarn, making the artist able to charge less. but i am a yarn snob (there i said it) and will only use the best quality of yarn. this adds to the overall cost of the item.

so i am at a bit of a cross roads, and am open to whatever suggestions you may have......


  1. My mentor,Doug said that if we don't put a reasonable price on our work...people will not value otherwords...we like to pay what is right and fair...and we are drawn to things with a hefty price tag...It separates craft from art...That is what I have found true in the studio...Good luck...Love...VAS

  2. pricing is always the most difficult for me and I tend to undervalue the results of my ming and hands. i finally just decided to put a value on things that i am comfortable with, depending on cost of supplies, time and effort - and how badly i want to sell it! i have been flabbergasted at what people have been willing to pay - and come back for more! - but i've learned a quality and one-of-a-kind product is highly desired and valued. good luck - i can hardly wait to see some of your items. you are one of the most creative women i know! :-)

  3. I think you're doing the right things to set your price points - looking at other vendors, considering time, materials, unique-ness of an item.

    Also, I think a lot of people who shop Etsy will value paying more for something made with high-quality yarn or fabric (can you tell I'm also a snob?). I certainly appreciate knowing something I'm purchasing has been made from a high quality material.

  4. congratulations, it´s really fun and very exciting - opening a new shop! I´m very curious about your items. :)
    I tryed the shop thing myself this year - but it´s difficult for me in Germany with etsy. the shipping is so high nobody would buy something. here in Germany we have a similar community, Dawanda, that works better.
    so good luck with your shop and have fun fun fun!

  5. Words from a savvy EntrePETneur: : : :

    1: I demand a Market! (is it wantd, needed, killed for (ha ha ha) if so then you can say cha-ching)
    2: Niche anyone? (who's in your crowd, big rollers = less thought over dollar bills & vice versa)
    3: Can I get some Service! (I am paying for what again and getting what in return, very important part)

    Final: Take all your costs and divide by the total number of hours it will take you to make the item, then kick it up 10%-20%, because at some point you'll want to run some sales right? Does this # help you break-even, if not then re-due, your int the game to break even, its called business and your there to make a profit!

    You can search the competition, but its like answering this question? an apple at Weigman's for a $1.00 or an apple at Walmart for 85 cents? It all comes down to who's your Niche Market, your service and demand!

  6. EntrePETneur cant type very well large gorilla on my computer cord, bad gorilla!

    "your not in the game to break-even, its called business and your there to make a PROFIT!"

  7. I'm obviously not much "in the know", but there may be people like me who would like to know what it takes to open an Etsy shop. Is it strictly online? What are the logistics involved? What does it take to get that special name? It sounds interesting and exciting...and also confusing. Fill us in as best you can....thanks!
    Love, Kay

  8. miss lucinda, i'm reading a lot tonight because i'm working on your book and love for you to be 'around' while i'm in the process. i am trying to channel your vibes!

    anyway, i think it's fantastic for you to open up shop. it is very difficult to come up with prices. but my piece of advice to you is to think from a different perspective, for example, you sew and knit so when you look at something, you say, hey i could make that, there's no way i'm buying that for $$$. but then there's me, who loves handmade but does not sew. in the least, therefore i will pay a pretty penny for darling goods (especially to someone with fantastic taste like you).. you have to remember that not everyone has time or talent to create things handmade. people want quality, they want to buy something original, they want to support crafters.

    be sure you add in your time, your mileage to buy supplies, and extra hassles of post office runs and such. there are always the little extras.

    so make the price worth your while. your goods do not have to be the lowest on the market to get sold, they have to be fair, high quality and loved. good customer service and cute packaging always helps. good luck!!!!