Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Work Smarter, Not Harder


Two blog posts I read this week have made me start thinking about my shop and what I can do to make it more successful.

The first was Miss Fickle Media's post about her 1,000 sale in which she outlined her Etsy history. She wrote about working "smarter, not harder" which sounds good to me. She did a lot of research of selling trends and the habits of top sellers. This led me to believe that it is time to do some research of my own. After some light research of a few top jewelry sellers I see that they each have between two and five very distinctive, very simple items that they sell over and over again. So, what can my item be? Yes, well, it is going to take me more than a few days to figure that one out.

The second blog post belonged to Littleput Books. She has some terrific tips for Etsy sellers on her blog. In particular, tip #10 stood out for me. Sell What You Love. She suggests you get rid of any item that does not represent you at your best. According to this advice, I have several items that I should toss from my shop. That is going to be really hard to do, because it has happened more than once that just as I was thinking I should get rid of an item, somebody bought it. Nevertheless, Littleput is a very successful seller, so I am going to compromise. All the items that don't seem to fit with my favorite things are going on sale and will not be renewed. When they expire, I will put them in my box marked "old stuff" to be scavenged for parts at some later date. My second "Sell What You Love" plan of attack is that I am just going to stop worrying about the price and make what I like (see the photo above. $135) To some extent I have been doing this with bracelets and wire wrapped necklaces in the last couple weeks, and while those items have not yet sold, they do have lots of hearts, so i must be on the right track.

Wish me luck.

11 comments:

jewelstreet said...

This is great advice! Both from the sellers you posted about and from yourself.

I totally agree that we should never sell something that we don't like. I also agree that we should make what we love and not worry about the sale price. I've had a couple of items that I worried about the price, and they sold anyway. It took some time but they still sold, and I sell copper so there. lol.

maia (glassbeach) said...

Lots of excellent points to ponder. I have a hard time with culling my stuff. I think you have a great idea about letting things expire and not renewing them. Let us know what your signature pieces are going to be!

Steph said...

maia - I don't know where to start to develop a signature piece! And then I look at someone like lorimarsha who only makes one of a kind pieces and most are over $50 a piece and she is selling well, so maybe that whole theory about an inexpensive signature piece is rubbish. Who knows what the right way to do it is.

msbelle said...

Wow, great advice. I read that in missficklemedia's blog too. I have yet to sell what I really like to make other than to my sisters whom I don't count. I agree with maia that it's hard to cull old stuff but if it doesn't sell, why keep it? Great advice. I'll have to listen to it.

eva said...

I loved your post. Me too, I try to make only things that I love to make. I`m of course, too spoiled, to force myself to do something I dislike :)
I haven`t done any research, although I browse sold items a lot. From there I have found all things I bought. But I haven`t analyzed my selling strategy. Maybe because, I don`t want to refer to Etsy as to business, but take it as a lot of fun and maybe some income.

Tricia said...

what pretty earrings! i wish i was an earrings gal, i just don't wear unless it's a special occasion!
you have been tagged!! come see!
if you're too busy to play, no worries!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Thank you for this good advice...I'm heading over to both blogs to read up!

suchprettycolors said...

thanks for such a great post...i'm going to take your tips to heart. :)

Nikole said...

Thanks for a wonderful post and for some inspiration. I recently pulled some items from my shop that I just wasn't happy with, and I have plans to do more pruning. Lately, I've gotten caught up in learning how to do all sorts of new things instead of focusing on what I love making. I've started asking myself if I would love to wear what I'm planning to make. If not, I skip it. Good luck!

Nikole said...

my weblog link didn't show up from my previous comment - it's http://clearframe.typepad.com

just in case you were wondering who was leaving a comment on your site :-)

missficklemedia.com said...

This was an interesting read, Steph!
Thanks for letting me know I helped someone!
There is so much more to learn,a lifelong process I guess, just like our work, huh?