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Selling on Etsy?

#1 2012-04-14 14:00:47

erin.cooper
Member
Registered: 2012-04-14
Posts: 3

Selling on Etsy?

I was thinking of selling some of my sculptures on Etsy, but I'm not sure what to price them at. My horse that I currently have at my gallery here is 9 1/2 inches at the withers(shoulders), but to the highest point of the neck its almost 12 1/2 in tall. 14 inches from nose to tail.

http://www.papiermache.co.uk/gallery/artist/610/

I'm also doing a wolf currently a work in progress in the painting stage.
It is 11 inches tall and also about 14 inches from nose to rear end, but its sitting down and has its tail wrapped around it so it seems a bit bulker than the horse. I have a WIP shot up on my DA gallery here:

http://shadowind.deviantart.com/#/d4w4670

I have had seen some interest from one of my friends in possibly buying the wolf already, but I really don't have a clue what to charge. I saw another artist on Etsy with similar sized and type of product and one of their horses cost $100 but other PM sculpts I've seen have been in the range of everywere from $100-$35ish

When I asked the woman at the post office about shipping for my horse she quoted me at $37 alone just to ship it to California (I'm in the USA northern Indiana area) BUT she said if I do different animals in different poses it could cost more or less depending on what size box it fits in or depending on were it is headed.

Anyways,I don't want to undervalue my work (i've been told I do that before) but I don't want to charge so much its unrealistic that someone would buy it either.

I as hoping that maybe some of you more experience papier mache clay sculpters could help me out.

Does anyone else on here sell their work?

What would you charge?

If you don't sell your work,What would you buy one of my sculpts (the horse or wolf) for?
If it was at $100+shipping do you think you would say well thats cool... but it costs way to much for PM sculpture?

~Erin aka Shadowind~

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#2 2012-04-14 14:35:28

dopapier
Moderator
From: UK
Registered: 2004-12-04
Posts: 749

Re: Selling on Etsy?

If you look further afield you will find that some PM artists, mainly those who's name has become well known, can charge high, even £1000+.  Most of us couldn't even consider that.  I have never sold, only give to those who fall in love with a particular piece.  Considering the work involved and the skill in your sky rider, I would say that £400 would not be too high.  If you rate your time at £10 per hour you will see how it can build up.  Of course, bear in mind that much of pm is drying time, which cannot be counted as work.
So, how long was the working hands-on time?  Any cost of materials?
Some price their work high in order to make it seem special and valuable.  I have seen some that are grossly overpriced for their quality and technique.
It is difficult if a friend wants something.  Do they insist on buying?  What value would they put on it?  Would they accept it as a gift?  Would you be prepared to give it as a gift?


I'm a PM addict

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#3 2012-04-14 15:54:17

erin.cooper
Member
Registered: 2012-04-14
Posts: 3

Re: Selling on Etsy?

Thanks so much!
hmmm you've definatly given me stuff to think about!

I had thought about giving him a lower price as he is a friend and fellow starving artist, but I'm not sure if I want to let it go for free entirely. I also thought that I might make something similar but smaller so it won't cost him as much, as he thought from the photo in my gallery it was smaller than it is, and wanted to give it as a gift for someone else.

I've been warned about just giving my work away to either friends and family on a regular basis, I've been told that people start to come to expect free art if you do that alot people will start making lots of unreasonable requests. I have a tendancy to be soft hearted and want to please people but I have been trying to be more proffessional when it comes to my art.

Not that I haven't ever done gift art or anything and not to seem heartless either, but I don't really have a "regular job" at the moment and I have aspirations of someday being able to support myself with my art. smile

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#4 2012-04-14 18:08:15

CatPerson
Moderator
From: Washington State, U.S.A.
Registered: 2006-01-09
Posts: 1307

Re: Selling on Etsy?

If YOU loved it in a shop window, how much would you pay for it?

Pricing seems to be a kind of trial-and-error experiment.  All the people who are used to shopping for cheap will probably say any named price is too high, so be sure not to go by their values.  This includes not only the Wal-Mart crowd, but wealthy people who can well afford the asking price, but they always want you to lower the price when they ask, because they think they're special. (I don't understand this, but I've seen it in action.)

Use David's advice as to time and materials.  If you keep a good record of how much actual time you spent to make it, you certainly don't want to charge less than $10/hr for it (esp after taxes!).  If it won't sell for a decent price, you either have to simplify the design, find a simpler way to make it, or make another type of object that doesn't take so much time.


If you've graduated from newspaper and flour glue to 100% cotton paper and Lineco's acid-neutral methyl cellulose adhesive, for example, you can not only ask more, but include the info in the description that all the materials are of archival quality.

You could also test the waters by offering a more simple design, but well-made, for a medium price and see what happens. If several people want it the first day, your price is too low.  If it sits there for months, the price is probably too high.  (At least, for today's economy, which is a consideration.)

Keep an eye on Etsy for other vendors' works that are similar in nature to yours, and see how long they are available.

If you've made something nice and are considering a price, ask yourself if you would make 20 of them at that price. Don't cheat yourself.

And, for what it is worth, here's a conversation that I heard personally at a Christmas bazaar.

The bazaar is held in November of every year at an old, stylish, well-kept home in a smaller town.  It is well-attended, and there are some higher-end items there.

While I was looking around, I heard someone asking about some of the objects.  The 'clerk' (the artists have to donate some time at the sale) said the creator of the works had a family emergency, and wasn't there at the time.  Just as I was leaving, the artist rushed in.  She was shocked that nothing of hers had sold during the morning, but quite a few had sold while she was gone.  The 'clerk' calmly told her that her prices were too LOW, and she had tripled them while the artist was gone.

Lesson:  If you don't value what you make, why should anyone else?

Sue

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#5 2012-04-14 19:03:07

erin.cooper
Member
Registered: 2012-04-14
Posts: 3

Re: Selling on Etsy?

Thanks so much Sue! That's very helpful, I can tell you've got alot of experience big_smile

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#6 2012-04-14 21:35:05

bmaskmaker
Member
From: Takoma Park, MD
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 93

Re: Selling on Etsy?

There's a similar story in the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell ... about a jewelry store in the midwest.   The new clerk misread the note, and instead of discounting the jewelry that had been set aside because it wasn't selling, they increased the price, and the jewelry started to sell.

: )

-- b

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#7 2012-04-29 09:55:03

trixyinaz
Member
From: Michigan, USA
Registered: 2005-08-15
Posts: 50

Re: Selling on Etsy?

I was just coming on here to see what you guys thought about selling on Etsy and if anyone has done it before.  I lost my job last month and haven't been able to find another one so I'm picking up PM again in hopes of making some money in the meantime.  You guys offer some great advise.  Thanks!

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#8 2012-05-24 05:37:08

scyllac14
Member
Registered: 2007-09-23
Posts: 19

Re: Selling on Etsy?

Coming very late to this discussion, but I think I have some different perspectives to add regarding how to price or value our work.

I only make things that I would love to have, therefore, when I price an item, I ask myself "how much would someone have to pay me to get me to give it up?".

I don't price my work according to the time spent, partly because I dislike bringing the "clock" into my creative space. I work quite slowly because I enjoy the process; my only urgency is to satisfy my vision, so no amount of time is too much. I couldn't in good conscience charge by the hour because I dawdle!

I use Etsy as a reference to see what "the market will bear". In other words, I look for other work of similar complexity (or difficulty), and use the average "sold" price of several comparable works to get an idea of market value.

I agree with an earlier reply to this thread, that you must become "known" to achieve higher prices, and "scarcity" adds value. When I took my first rooster (Shanghai Red) to the gallery, a fellow artist purchased him for $165.00 after 2 months of display. Many customers had seen Red, and liked him, and it was nearly a year before I took the second rooster (Silver Jack) to the gallery. He was purchased within 15 minutes of being unpacked, for $475.00. Once people see your work, liked it, and then wish they'd bought it...next time out they won't wait. Rooster three will be priced a bit higher (I'd quite like to keep him myself), and I'll see if he sells, and how quickly.

I think our own confidence is another factor in pricing. If you whole-heartedly believe in your work, it's beauty and technical expertise, you will be more comfortable asking higher prices. People who don't craft have a hard time valuing craft/art, and rely somewhat on the, "you get what you pay for" concept. In other words, expensive equals good; a higher price can add value to the buyer. I recommend keeping photos of all your work in a binder to you can see for yourself how your skills and creativity are growing...a great confidence builder.

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#9 2012-05-24 20:49:34

Jackie
Moderator
From: England
Registered: 2002-09-14
Posts: 389
Website

Re: Selling on Etsy?

That was really interesting Scylla. I can totally relate to you.....I also work very slowly and spend absolutely ages on each stage. People at my art group are always telling me that they could never "faff so much" with their work.

Good idea about looking on easy for price comparisons.


Jackie

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#10 2012-05-24 23:00:14

scyllac14
Member
Registered: 2007-09-23
Posts: 19

Re: Selling on Etsy?

Hi Jackie.

It’s fun to hear that we are similar in our love to “faff . I think of it as “savoring  the process; like enjoying eating ice cream, it doesn’t require patience, just a big enough bowl!

My take on the Art/Craft discussion relates to “savoring . When I am totally engrossed in creating a piece, I’m in a very passionate state. I’m engaged on all levels, emotional, sensual, technical, and intellectual. For me that is a very joyful state (which I savor). This aura of passionate connection is visible in our finished works; the ability to communicate that feeling to the viewer via our creations is what is meant by the word “art .

You cannot separate art from craft because they are simply facets of the same gem. Craft describes the expertise you work hard for, and can demonstrate with your technique in your particular medium(s). Art describes the passion that the artist feels for the creation and its birth-process. We work at technique/craft so that we can honor our passionate visions with exquisite craft. Some of us are most passionate over ideas, so those works could be described as more “intellectual ; some of us are more passionate about shapes and colors; I am quite passionate about my feelings of connection with plants and other living creatures. Having said that, I work with post consumer waste because I am also very passionate about the need to repurpose, reuse and recycle the goods we extract from the universe, which is an ideal rather than a shape or color. I like to think my work communicates on several levels.

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