Saturday, June 13, 2009

2 etz or not 2 etz?

Typical for me is being in two minds about a simple thing. In this case it's whether or not to attempt selling some of the silk bags at that huge web based market known as

I've been painting and sewing more of them recently. There still aren't a lot because each one takes some doing (as I've described before) but I see advantages and their opposite. Since the ladies themselves have little help to offer, in fact they don't seem to care, I thought I'd ask your opinion.

1. It's a bad time to hope for buyers of unnecessary fripperies.
2. It would boost my income with the loss of same that retirement will entail.
3. Is $60-$75 an unreasonable price for a 3"x5" wearable artwork?
4. How can I put a price on anything?
5. Do I write a story for each one?
6. Are 6 too few and 20 too many? (Now there are 6.)

A few weeks ago I established a 'store' spot and opened a PayPal account. I'm painting some larger bags (7"x9") which will be quilted, maybe beaded but definitely more substantial than the little ones. I'll post pictures as they're done.

Turning the blog into a commercial enterprise just isn't going to happen and you're always so supportive it's probably silly of me to ask for an honest opinion but that's what I'm doing. 2 etz or not 2 etz, that is the question. A little real world store run by some nice people may still be in my future.


CDP said...

I love your work, and I've often thought that you should be on Etsy. I think that price is very reasonable, but maybe you should also try to make some smaller things so you can offer something for people who can only spend $25 or so. I always look on Etsy first when I have gifts to buy. Let us know what you decide to do!

Lisa said...

I'm looking at my beautiful bad right now. I think you should try etsy. And your price does seem reasonable. I think six is a good start, too.

Lisa said...

Doh. It's a beautiful BAG. Sorry about that typo.

Lover of Life said...

I think nothing ventured, nothing gained. They are beautiful bags, and worth what you are charging. Start with the six you have and see how it goes. I am not buying anything that is disposable any more, but something that is unique would be a consideration, especially for a gift idea. I love the idea of a small story to go with the bags.

Seraphine said...

i say go for it. you make incredibly beautiful art.
6 is a good start. don't do 20, not all at once. market them as the unique, rare bags that they are. put SOLD by the ones you sell, as it will increase the value of the remaining bags.
and since you already have the account and paypal set up, i know you want to do it.

Liberality said...

I agree with Seraphine. Make them exclusive and those who have the money to spend will do so. If it doesn't work out now it may later so I say give it a go.

René Wing said...

Yes! You can always try it out and see how you like doing it. Then adjust as you go. I like CDP's idea of having some things at a lower price, but go with what each item is truly worth. And have the larger, higher priced items as well. I'm not sure about an individual story for each one... but definitely include an overall story, maybe illustrated. Stories sell things, for sure.

And how about the scarves too?

You know what they say, 2 etz are better than none. (oi, that was corny!)

susan said...

First, let me say thanks for responding so generously. I should have added that I'm afraid of turning myself into an unreliable factory.

cdp - I'm delighted you like the artwork. Your idea for making smaller things at a lower price is a good one, something I've noticed a number of Etsettes do, but I'm not sure I can without getting into the factory issue. I've made a few without the portraits, just patterns, that could be less expensive. I may try that.

lisa - I knew what you meant, you bag girl you :-)

lol - You're right, of course. I should try and see what happens. The real world galleries charge a 50% commission making it next to impossible for me to participate. Etsy's fees look good next to that.

sera - My feeling is that I should post the 6 to begin with but have another 6 ready so I don't feel pressured if I feel the need to spend two weeks reading or doing something else. (There are a few more Adventures percolating.) Yes, I do want to do it and I really want a little more freedom for both of us.

liberality - Wise words and I can still do a contest now and again for my friends :-)

rene - Cool. See my answer to CDP about the lower priced stuff, ie the simpler designs at same sizes but lower price. It's the cameos that really take the time. As far as the scarves go I'm glad you mentioned it so I can explain. I've looked at the painted silk on the site and most things offered are scarves. Some of them are very nice (my personal favorite is Morgansilks) and I don't want to go into direct competition. The scarves also entail a huge setup in the only open space we have in the apartment. The bags take time but much less space in my daily consciousness.

Tu es plein d'esprit :-)

Anonymous said...

Well, you certainly have a great product to sell. Now if only you can find a few folks who would willingly market or buy your wares, considering some have sampled them. I'm just sayin... good luck with this venture. Your silk paintings are as beautiful as they are unique.

Scarlet W. Blue said...

You have beautiful, unique work, and I would think there's a market for that. All you can do is try. My suggestion is to follow your heart, though.

Dr. Zaius said...

Marketing is always difficult. You might be able to get a better price for them if you filled them with illicit drugs, however. ;o)

linda said...

I would give it a go, I love your bags and wouldn't put up more than 6 just to test the can always add more...from what I understand, to be at the top of the search feature of etsy, you must be adding new things all the time so it does not pay you to put everything on at once....I would pay that for one easily although I don't usually spend that much on etsy, I will admit...I have always wondered how I would return something expensive....but that's me, it's fun to shop there, especially fun things...hope that helps but am not sure it will.. :>

good luck, love the banner....

susan said...

spartacus - Thanks. I really appreciate your kindness and good thoughts.

scarlet - I just don't want to paint myself into a corner, ya know :-)

linda - I'm so glad you noticed the banner since I was quite proud of myself for figuring out how to make one - plus, I used a photo taken from the balcony of our old favorite place.

Your suggestions are very helpful and I do think I'll try it but will wait until I have a few more than 6 just so I have some in reserve. My original plan was to not cash a check until I knew the buyer was happy but, since PayPal won't allow that, I'll just make it clear that I'll accept returns for any reason or none.

Seraphine said...

i don't think you'll have any returns.

Randal Graves said...

Absolutely give it a shot, but I like Dr. Zaius' idea. ;-)

okjimm said...

3. Is $60-$75 an unreasonable price for a 3"x5" wearable artwork?
4. How can I put a price on anything?

60-75 is actually a very fair price, in my opinion. My buddy, Billa Lang is in the hundreds$$ for some of his art photos... and they are non=-functional!

How can you price? Just multiple the price of your favorite six pack of beer by 30 and there you go! It would work for me.

The Crow said...

Go for it, Susan! I carry good thoughts, prayers to the universe, in my heart for your success!

Fly, fellow Corvid; fly!


susan said...

sera - One never knows, do one?

randal - I agree but I couldn't afford to.

okjimm - Or maybe multiply the cost of a case of Remy Martin for Crow. That definitely works for him :-)

the crow - Thanks for the good wishes. I'll do it one of these days in the not too distant future.

Steve Emery said...

I think you should put them out there if you do want them to find homes (or let their homes and future owners find them). The price seems quite reasonable to me.

And if they are out there a while before they get bought, that's just the universe working out the timing. And giving you time to replace your wares. And if people snap them up and holler for more, don't feel guilty being sporadic or "unreliable" (as you put it), but instead see them as things like blossoms, that come when they're ready, and surprise and delight when they do.

susan said...

steve - That's both practical and very positive advice. Thanks so much for your thoughtful response. I'll be doing it as soon as I can set it up in a way that suits me aesthetically.

Gary said...

I think you should test it out and assess in 6 months. Don't be shy to sell your lovely work and to ask a price that you feel good about. Think of it as a serendipitous way for these lovelies to find nice homes...

susan said...

gary - It's still under consideration and in the meantime I'm working on a few new things. Even if it's not Etsy it may be something else worth being ready for.