etsy...rhymes with betsy

Friday, February 26, 2010

I've been doing something uncharacteristic this week: reading etsy crafter/business-y blogs.

Usually this stuff is way too dry and calculated to hold my interest. But I'm trying to get refocused and organized with my stationery business/etsy store.

Two VERY exciting projects have popped up, catalyzing this renewed focus. (more to come on that, bien sur.)

"Etsy and the Culture of Cheap" (here) was a good post on valuing one's work. This is hard when you're just trying to cut even with supplies and time.

While there are sellers on Etsy who make a full-time living from their work...there are many more who view Etsy as an extension of their hobby. They knit scarves in their spare time, and someone suggested that they sell them on Etsy. These sellers don’t consider labor, profit, or many of the other costs of running a business when setting their prices because they don’t have to. And because these low prices occur on Etsy, more and more buyers expect them. Which creates a vicious cycle where sellers feel they need to lower their prices in order to sell.

And where does this vicious cycle stop? If it "stops with me" then I'm "stopping" myself right out of business, no?

The hardest part in all of this (for me, at least): knowing how much to charge for the intangibles, ie, time. I have no qualms charging for materials for obvious reasons...but I'm so scared of frightening someone away by charging too much for time. It's so nebulous. Besides, I'm just one of many acts in town, as they say. Such-and-such could certainly go elsewhere.

On top of this, the "BizLadies" column on design*sponge this week was "How to Price Your Work" (here).


I'm not writing this post as a precursor to raising my stationery prices or anything nutty. All this post is is (is is?) an feeble attempt at explaining my not-so-refined-personal-business-acumen thought process. [and trying to have one, at least.]

The point maybe is that you are compensated enough (subjective definition) so you feel it's "worth it" and don't lose the joy you have in your craft. Anyone out there hear me? (...'cause I can't seem to hear myself)


Grain of salt.

Some niceties on etsy, to distract you from the above silly jargon.

[comfort garden no.6, here]

[pretty blue glasses here]

[clover and white lace garland here]

Tennessee wall hook here

short, but oh my! so cute, here

Have a Grand Ole Weekend


  1. there's also a lot to be said for QUALITY. if you're using quality materials, have quality designs and provide quality customer service, it's totally appropriate that the price reflect that. and i think people can see that and appreciate it. raise those prices, girl ;)

  2. I hear you! I tried to sell my kids frames for awhile. They weren't anything fabulous, and yes, anyone could do them, but they did take so much of my time! I think the time is what people have a hard time grasping. Sanding, layers of paint, then finally adding the flair and the writing, and then packaging them. The supplies added up and so did my time. But I just didn't know how much to charge without scaring people away. Great post! I'll be interested to see what other people have to say.

  3. love the J.T. shout out.

  4. Leslie! I love your stationary!!!! AND I love that Tennessee wall hook you have posted! Hope you are doing well! Love, Erin


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