(Closed) DIY Makes You Feel As If You Could Open Your Own Etsy Shop?

posted 4 years ago in DIY
Post # 3
Member
3771 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

Definitely on some projects, but I think there’s a big motivational difference in my mind between doing this because omg I want to do this for my wedding! versus hmm I’ll do this because someone will pay me.  I’m not sure I could put a price on my time that people would actually pay!!

 

Post # 4
Member
8981 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I had a soap shop on Etsy. It was a lot of fun but it was also an immense amount of work. The fun factor wore off very quickly.

 

Unless your heart is in business and not in anything else, stay away from owning an Etsy shop.

Post # 5
Member
2363 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Yes!   We’ve considered making our invitations to sell but they are so labour intensive I’m afraid we wouldn’t make deadlines.

Post # 6
Member
753 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I did but then I realized how much time I’d be spending on projects and decided I wouldn’t last long. I only spent the time because it was my own wedding. 

Post # 7
Member
2213 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@somerrae:  There’s a difference between knowing how to make something and finding a niche and being able to make a profitable product (including paying yourself for your time) that people will actually want to buy from you.  

There are SO MANY sellers on Etsy; if it was something you really wanted to do, the concern should start with “what can I make that stands out?” rather than “how will I keep up with my popular Etsy shop?”  Basically, I wouldn’t count your eggs before they hatch.

Take it from me:  even if you have a unique and quality product, that doesn’t mean the right people will find your shop (AKA the people looking for what you’re selling).

@Hyperventilate: +1!!!  I had a CP soap shop!  (And a sewn goods shop)

Post # 9
Member
8981 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

@DomesticDiva:  I learned a lot from my Etsy shop. I learned a lot about soap and making it “for the masses” so to speak. It was a fantastic experience and I was with a group of amazing people that I am still very much active in although now I am 100% a buyer and not a seller. I don’t regret opening my shop, but I was very unprepared for how labor intensive it was. I wouldn’t do it again, but I’m not sad I don’t do it anymore.

Post # 10
Member
1082 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@somerrae:  

I understand the feeling, but had a different reaction…. When I took on a couple of DIY projects and realized how easy most of them were, and how super cheap most of the materials were, it just made me angry at Etsy for charging crazy prices. I get that some people make a living off of selling their products, but it seems dishonest that some things are priced at SUCH a high profit…..

Some prices are getting better, but for example, when I first saw those personalized wire hangers on Etsy, the cheapest ones were $30, plus shipping. I bought the wire and a pack of hangers and made FIVE personalized hangers for something like $12 total. And they were pretty good, too!

Just seemed so rude to charge $30 for something that cost $2.40 plus less than 10 minutes of time….. I just get angry over things like that 🙁

Post # 11
Member
8981 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

@lovelove1028:  Because somebody’s time is free, right? That’s the problem with hand made goods. They cost money. Why do they cost money? Because somebody made them. This wasn’t a machine pumping out 200 an hour, this was one person with a pair of pliers making them one at a time. Time = Money. 10 minutes for yourself is free. Ten minutes for someone else is going to cost you. Just like you can go to conventions, look at for sale items on the counter like a pretty necklace or a bracelet and go, “Psshfft. I could make that and not pay 40 bucks for it! What a rip off!” But will you make it? Probably not. You may not have the skill or the ability to aquire the necessary ingredients to make it. Therefore, that’s 40 bucks well spent. You get the item you want (And likely wouldn’t make it yourself), and the artist gets paid.

 

It isn’t rude. If you see it as rude, you’re not appreciating hand made work. That’s cool, to each their own. But you’d be more than willing to hike up your prices if you were hypothetically selling those hangers, wouldn’t you?

ETA: I do not mean this as snark, but you may not have looked too hard. I just Etsy.commed “Personalized Hanger” and the entire front row is 13.99 with 9 bucks shipping to the US. I see one for 4.99, and another for 6.99. I am seeing some for 30 bucks, but not every single one is that expensive.

 

Post # 12
Member
2213 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@somerrae:  OK, well, that wasn’t really the tone that was implied from your OP, since you also said you could “easily” and were “inspired” to open your own Etsy shop.

Sorry you didn’t like my response, but you seemed pretty jazzed about the idea, and I was just sharing my experience.  I don’t really know how any stranger on an online forum is supposed to gauge your level of ambition (or, time and energy, as it were) based on your enthusiastic OP.  Also, most Etsy shop owners have a full time job and have to run a household.

 

Post # 13
Member
2213 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Hyperventilate:  What an awesome experience it sounds like you had with your shop!  Well, at least as a learning experience.  🙂  

Also, love your last response…it seems all too often handmade goods are undervalued for what they are (made by human hands instead of machines).  On top of that, I’ve found that there are so many people out there who don’t charge what their time and skills are worth; it makes me sad and makes consumers undervalue handmade goods as a whole.

Post # 14
Member
8981 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

@DomesticDiva:  People see Etsy as a “I can get good hand made stuff for cheap.” They see it like a flea market. Etsy is for hand made products, and because people perpetrate the “I want it for cheap because someone made it in their kitchen!” that just encourages sellers who go, “Well, no one want something I made, I better just throw a pre-made bird charm on a necklace and sell that for cheap since it’s what sells.”

Hand made costs money. If that bothers you, don’t buy hand-made. Go back to china factoried goods that you can get for dirt cheap. Like I said, I’m in a community of Etsy sellers. These people hand make everything and every dollar goes to feed their families and keep their lights on. People who go, “That’s outrageous to sell that for X dollars!” are part of the problem. Now, I’m not saying that overcharging is right. There are a lot of hand made goods I look at and go, “Jesus, that’s a lot of money.” Overcharging is insane and isn’t morally right, but charging for your time and materials, while it will be expensive, isn’t a big deal. 30 dollars for a customized hanger? I wouldn’t bat an eye. More than that? That’s getting into nono territory.

So, to end my rant: Yes. Hand made goods are devalued because many people (I’ve seen it especially on this website) want good stuff and good quality stuff, but they aren’t willing to pay for it. They want quality, but they want cheap. If hand made is not important to you, stay off Etsy.

Post # 16
Member
1082 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Hyperventilate:  I didn’t say time is free. I also said that the hangers I made took me less than 10 minutes, cost $2.40, and people were charging $30… so, subtract out the cost of materials, they’re making $27.60 for less than TEN minutes of work? :/ No, time is not free, but I don’t think it’s worth that much for 10 minutes.

I do appreciate handmade work. I just also appreciate fairness in pricing. As someone who has never once in my life bent a piece of wire to try to form it into any shape, I was still able to take store-bought wire and create a (very nice) hanger myself, FIRST TRY, in under 10 minutes. That’s not the kind of “skill” that I personally feel is worth that amount of money.

Also, I have sold them to people who approached me about it (I have not advertised or TRIED to sell them, but people have come to me and asked!) for the cost of the materials + shipping. Because, to me, it took negligible time, and was such an easy task that I’d feel dirty with myself for charging people for what was to me just a way to occupy my hands while watching TV.

There ARE definitely handmade items on Etsy that take much more talent and skill, and are most definitely worth the price and the time their crafters put into them!  But in my experiences with the DIY projects I’ve chosen to take on, they have proven to be easy, fairly effortless, and required no specialized skill; I have been able to complete (pretty well, I might add!) many of the projects by myself with no prior experience or skill. THOSE are the Etsy items that frustrate me because to me, it seeems like on some level they are taking advantage of people.

 

 

Also, please RE-READ my original comment: “Some prices are getting better, but for example, when I first saw those personalized wire hangers on Etsy, the cheapest ones were $30, plus shipping.”

PLEASE NOTE, that I said explicitly that prices are getting better, but “WHEN I FIRST SAW THOSE PERSONALIZED WIRE HANGERS ON ETSY….” they were $30 each.

 

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