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Sunday, January 31, 2016

My apparent concern for Etsy sellers

IT'S A GLORIOUS EVENING BECAUSE I HAVE HAD THE HOUSE TO MYSELF FOR THE LAST 5 HOURS! IT'S RAINING! IT'S STORMING! CRAFTS HAVE BEEN EXECUTED! OUR MASTER BEDROOM'S LONE STARK WALL HAS BEEN ADORNED! I STARTED WATCHING THE MOVIE "JOY" AND THEN STOPPED TO TAKE A SHOWER AND CHECK SOCIAL MEDIA FOR FAR, FAR TOO LONG! I EVEN HAD A MOMENT OF EXTREME SADNESS BECAUSE I MISSED MY BABIES TOO MUCH AS I WAS SCROLLING THROUGH PICTURES OF THEM WHILE DEEP INTO SAID SOCIAL MEDIA DROWNING! THE HEAT IS ON! I'M IN JAMMIES AND IT'S 6:24 PM! IT'S ALL JUST TOO MUCH!
Okay, get a grip Nicole! Get a grip!

Alright but on the real, our master bedroom is officially FINITO. Now, per the rule I set for myself, we can move onto the next room that needs help! I always say that every room in our house is 70% done after the initial decorating spree (note: initial decorating spree that we actually LIKED), so now it's time to go through and finish the ol' girl up before doing heavy duty work. Next up! A wood panel wall thing in this random architectural square cut out we have in our hallway (I want to do this), then the family room where curtains and a rug are needed. After that, Carter's room needs some love. It's not bad, but it's not great either - a trip to Hobby Lobby and a stroll down the super hero or Star Wars isle for him is needed. See? Nothing is that big of a deal but we've learned that when it comes to "not a big deal" projects, it is ALWAYS a big deal. Slow and steady seems to offer the best results for us Cisneros's!

After that, the heavy duties: bathrooms. Y'all, I just don't really care about bathrooms! Every seasoned homeowner tells us that we should make the bathrooms our next priority because, eek, they are so outdated. It's true they are ugly as heck, but you're in there for such a short period of time! Ours are extreeeeeemely tiny, which will be great on the pocket book as far as heavy duty projects go, but that fact always makes be like, "yeeeeeeah but they're tiiiiiiiiiiny. Why do we need to redo them? If we redo them I want to have legit tile showers, porcelin baths, nice counter tops! Do we really need to save up for all that?? Blah!" Anyhoo, that will happen but not until decor is finished up.

Then flooring if we're still in the mood to invest more into this sweet little house of ours. I really want to do it though but I also really think kitchen counter tops would be a very sound investment. MY MIND!

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Okay, this is so random, but I must speak. So the craft I did to finish off our bedroom was a series of stained-by-myself, heavy duty doughlas fur 2"x 6"x 10'-cut-into-thirds-boards with a carefully painted-on design that I copied from Pinterest after constructing a stencil on my kitchen table. The project was very fun and mounds cheaper than what we were going to buy from Hobby Lobby yesterday and I daresay, I like it more than what we were originally going to get. In my excitement, I went onto Etsy to see what these type things would sell for. In ABSOLUTELY no way was I interested in creating these things and selling them myself, but just, you know! I wanted to see how much I'd saved, I guess! The whole thing cost me $17 so I was just snooping around.

For heavens sakes. People were on there selling these time consuming, painfully-thought-out projects for SO CHEAP. This is not okay. Some seasoned sellers had priced themselves a little bit more reasonably, prices one could tell had been conjured up based on their own seller's formula (price of materials, hourly wage paid to themselves, brain power logistics, those type things), but some sellers, less seasoned sellers (myself at one time when I used to sell items I had sewn), were priced as low as $15-20! FIFTEEN AND TWENTY DOLLARS FOR A SET OF THREE BOARDS. There was one person on there for $5! Now yes, those prices do not reflect shipping charges, but come on.

I'm the number one human being to understand pricing low so that way you'll get more traffic and sales (forget about the numerous studies that state that if you price yourself fairly you will actually sell more regardless of the few extra dollars you're asking from people - good buyers prefer quality!), but THAT low? No. It's simply not okay. Say like I actually did want to start selling those boards I had made because, if I do say so myself, they're pretty great quality and Pinteresty (palm slap to the forehead. Not trying to be a douche). I would literally NEVER sell them on Etsy after seeing what I just saw! How could an actual formulated sale price compete with a $5 price tag?

And here's the thing, oh listeners to this rant: pricing so low does NO ONE any favors. Not you, the low-pricer, not the gal next to you trying to sell a similar product, not your "crafter's bottom line," not your gas tank which takes you to Home Depot to get the materials (and the post office, if that's how you do your shipping!), not the time you take away from your kids or hubby during whatever hours you choose to craft - IT DOES NO ONE ANY FAVORS!

I remember when I started selling these little ties that I would make for baby and toddler boys, I would read multiple craft blogs about this wild world of "handmade goods" (and still do!). One of the posts I didn't understand at the time was this VERY successful crafter's abhorrence for Etsy or Big Cartel sellers who priced themselves absurdly low. She said it made all the rest of the people who are making a living out of their hobbies look like a**holes. At the time, I was like, "Hey sista, a gals got to start somewhere," but that was the wrong thought. Truly. If I had actually done myself a favor and factored in all of the things you're supposed to factor into pricing, who knows, maybe I wouldn't have gotten over it because the return was sooooooooo low (well that, and hey, I like to change my mind ;).

It's just ludicrous! And disclaimer: in some instances, those prices I was saying up there ($5-20) were for boards that were slightly smaller or flimsier than the wood I had used, but still, for a set of three items? It's the art work, time, meticulousness, energy and all things FOCUSED that needs to be paid attention to when one is selling their goods. It's important!

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Okay! That's enough out of this ol' windbag over here! Now the babies and hubs are home and I shall take up my spot on the couch so that we can watch The Incredibles. Cheers to houses being decorated and Etsy sellers being nice to themselves (and the marketplace)!

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