It’s Shameless Commerce Tuesday (and the LAST day of Tax
Season!!). Today I’m officially announcing
two price increases for my Etsy shop, Pasque Flower Creations:
1.I have revised my Etsy shop policies to include
a 25% SURCHARGE for custom orders.
2.I will be raising prices on oven mitt listings
in my shop between now and May 1, 2014.
Custom orders are both a blessing and a curse – and they
are always a challenge! I had considered eliminating custom orders
altogether, but some of my best sellers were initially inspired by custom
orders, so-o-o-o I devised a Plan B.
I have found that custom orders require WAY
more time and energy to complete than “regular” orders. They often require shopping for special
fabrics and supplies (rarely on sale), photographing fabric options, and then
special ordering fabrics. Some also require
new design elements or construction techniques, and drafting new patterns which
may only be used once.
I am hoping the 25% surcharge will reduce my number of
custom orders, while not discouraging customers who realize that one of a kind
(OOAK) or special designs are worth more than something off the cyber
shelf. The surcharge will provide at
least SOME additional compensation for the extra time, energy, and out-of-pocket
costs required to complete custom orders.
The increase in oven mitt prices is mostly due to an
increase in the cost of high quality cotton fabrics coupled with an increase in
postal rates. It’s been a double whammy! High postage rates mean I need to spend
even more to get those higher cost
fabrics shipped to me. Also, some of
my best sellers use fabrics that are now out of print or in very limited supply
– again increasing my costs to keep them in stock.
AND my boss (that would be ME) decided that her employee (that would also be ME), a hard worker who has honed her skills making 800+ oven mitts over the past three years, and who consistently receives positive customer feedback, deserves to be paid more than a sweatshop worker.
to the curators of Etsy treasuries who featured items from my Etsy shops, Pasque Flower Creations and Aunt Pheba's Vintage, in treasuries during the past week. Mother's Day is less than a month away, and many of this week's treasuries centered around a Mother's Day theme. Sit back and enjoy some eye candy!
Kathy from Tapestry316 featured my purple and gold fleur de lis baby bib (Geaux LSU Tigers!) in her treasury, Spring Lavender. I always loved Springtime on the farm, with all the baby animals --- lambs, calves, piglets, and baby chicks. This wonderful art print featuring a mustang quarterhorse hiding her baby reminds me of those happy Spring days of my childhood.
Hamutal Benjo of hamutalbenjoceramics featured my green chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Not All Who Wander Are Lost. Hamutal makes unique ceramic home accessories. I love this spaghetti bowl -- perfect as a stand alone art piece, centerpiece, or perhaps a yarn bowl for knitters.
Ramune of RPlinen featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Mother's Day Gift. These beautiful handmade white linen napkins would be perfect for a family Easter feast or a formal dinner, and they are available in a variety of sizes.
Abigail Jayne of AbigailJayneArt featured my pink chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Easter Pink. I'm thinking this pretty cuff in satin and purple would make a lovely fashion statement at a prom.
Jennifer Ingala of BeautyByIngala also featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Mother's Day Treasures. I love this hauntingly beautiful original oil painting, Her Solo Journey. It's one of the wonderful fine art pieces in Jennifer's shop.
Mimiyu86 of HoneyRing featured my green chevron oven mitt in her treasury, White. This 925 silver ring is one of my favorite jewelry items from HoneyRing.
Hamutal Benjo of hamutalbenjoceramics featured my green and white chevron oven mitt in her treasury, It's Springtime! The treasury is beautifully curated in a monochromatic color scheme in lovely shades of green.
This unique ceramic silverware holder would be perfect for a breakfast nook -- and it would be heavy enough to anchor windblown table coverings at a picnic.
And last, but certainly not least, Sarah Leonard from ACatLikeCuriosity featured my hearts baby bib in her treasury, Heart-ful, I heard it was Siblings Day earlier this week, so this Sisters Warm the Heart Downloadable Art Print caught my eye while browsing through Sarah's shop.
Wishing all my Etsy "sisters" a great week and a Happy Easter / Passover.
On a sleepless night near the end of tax season (was it a
full moon, I wonder?), I decided to expand my online presence by opening a shop
on CraftIsArt.com – an alternative online marketplace for handmade items, fine art,
vintage and supplies.
At first glance it appears to be a smaller, cheap
imitation of Etsy that could use a little window dressing.
Then what, you may ask, attracted me to CraftIsArt?
Simply put, I weighed the pros and cons, and decided to give it a try.
Fewer fees. Sometimes I feel I'm being nickeled and dimed to death on Etsy, although the per item cost of listing, renewal, and selling fees is still less than the cost of a craft fair booth rental divided by number of items sold.
A premium CraftIsArt membership is $7.99 per month (or $79.99 per
year), but there are --
-No listing fees
-No sales fees
-No renewal fees
-Unlimited 90-day listings
Low risk. Since my Etsy fees run WAY over $7.99 per month, I
figured I had nothing (but $7.99 per month) to lose.
And it is another way to be found by search engines. SEO!
Less likely to be lost in the crowd. Etsy's new rule changes, allowing an influx of manufactured items "designed" by an artist or craftsperson to glut the formerly handmade/vintage marketplace, coupled with an amazing rate of annual growth in the number of sellers and products on Etsy, make it harder to stand out in a growing crowd.
I was also able to import my Etsy shop listings as a CVS
batch upload. (This sounds great in
theory, but it took over four hours to complete all the uploading, editing and
tweaking – and even then I lost Category designations I had manually entered
Lower traffic. The site does not generate nearly as much traffic as
It will be moredifficult tracking inventory in the two
I’ve noticed some serious search glitches. (For example I clicked on “Fiber Art” and
landed on paper scrapbook printables – not my definition of fiber art!)
CraftIsArt accepts PayPal, but it only accepts credit
card payments through ProPay ($39.95 annual fee) or Authorize.net. I’m still in the process of setting up the
ProPay account – definitely not a seamless process.
I have limited ability to rearrange my shop – and
“featured” items are just a random scrolling of listed items.
I still haven’t successfully uploaded a new banner, even
though I special ordered a cheap one that was supposed to be the required minimum 728 px. I ended up going to a totally different vendor - Plan B. I hope to get a new banner installed within a day or two. Setting up an Etsy shop was easier.
Shipping options are not seller-friendly, and they subtly push
sellers toward Free Shipping. (There's a separate Free Shipping box to check - or not - when listing each item.) I ignored
that nudge. Been there. Done that.
Will only do it again for special seasonal promos.
Despite the Cons, I decided there was little
financial risk, and a potential for increased online exposure for my
On Etsy, my store is a little urban boutique among other
boutiques. On CraftIsArt, my shop will be a
little small town virtual craft fair booth among other virtual craft fair booths. Etsy and CraftIsArt are different venues with (presumably) different shoppers.
It’s too early to tell whether I’ll get any substantial
sales on CraftIsArt. The jury may be out
for a few more months.
If I don’t get
at least 50 sales by the holidays, I may opt to use the CraftIsArt shop as a Bargain Basement --I'd remove slow-moving or aging items from my Etsy shop and list them on CraftIsArt. That would help keep my Etsy shop fresh, and limit
the potential problems of having the same inventory listed on both sites.
Have you tried other online marketplaces? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences.
This week I would like to extend a big THANK YOU to the curators of Etsy treasuries who featured items from my Etsy shops, Aunt Pheba's Vintage and Pasque Flower Creations, in their treasuries during the past week. A longing for Spring was evident in many of this week's treasuries, and I can truly relate. I have a bad case of Spring Fever.
Lauren Maddaford (buyer only) featured my green chevron oven mitt in her beautiful treasury, Green. Thank you, Lauren!
Judy of MisterPenQuin featured my roses on light blue oven mitts in her treasury, Spring Around the Corner. Spring may be just around the corner -- the forecast calls for temperatures above 60 by the end of the week.
This pretty shabby pink posy mini book from Judy's shop reminds me of apple blossoms, which I hope to see and smell in a few weeks.