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      CommentAuthorSara 013
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2009
     (6985.1)
    Hallo, Whitechapel. I need your collective insight.

    I make stuff. Most of it is fairly useless, but what can ya do. I work with brass, copper, aluminum, leather, wood, and whatever else happens to be unlucky enough to be hanging around my apartment. I use small hand tools like hammers, files, a jeweler's saw, micro torch, metal punches, etc. I post a lot of my little creations to my flickr account and maybe to a couple forums on random occassions...

    ...and so now, a bunch of people have asked me if I sell the stuff, either through direct sales, eBay, or Etsy. My standard answer is "Um. No.... Er. ((blank look))." I'm being asked this more and more frequently, and I've come to realize that I have absolutely no idea how to sell stuff. All of my work is heavily subsidized by my, er, career (biomed engineer), I guess, so whatever I create at home during my free time was always just to give me something to do. But now people want to buy it, and I am at a bit of a loss.

    For all of you in Whitechapellandia....
    How do you put value on your work?
    How do you decide upon its price?
    Do you venture out and evaluate prices of similar objects and go from there?

    (I'm not asking "How much would you pay for ____?")

    Some artists have told me that you decide what your time is worth and go from there. The problem with that is that I don't exactly value my time that way; if I didn't work on this stuff, I would die from boredom. So, I guess I kinda do this because I have to.... (?) But just giving it away seems a bit foolish due to material costs. I've also been told that under-valuing your work will never get you any respect and, conversely, over-valuing your work will make you appear a bit insane and people will avoid you. So. Yeah. This is all too complicated for a simple girl like me. Advice?

    -----------
    If you're interested, here's a sampling of how I occupy my time:
    Necklaces - Example 1 Example 2 Example 3 Example 4
    Pendants (or Keychains) - One Two Three
    Time-free Watches - Thing 1 Thing 2
    Rings - This This 2
    USB Drives - Here Here 2 Here 3
    And miscellaneous things like earbuds, MP3 player cases, and other odd crap.
    • CommentAuthorIllogic
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2009
     (6985.2)
    Hmm, not that I have ever sold anything in my life (unless you count trading as a kid), but I'd say start with material costs, and then add some depending on size and time.
    If you like doing this kinda stuff maybe you should consider taking orders or something? It'd give you new things to work on, and it'd make people happy. Though it might make things complicated as well. For example if you take a contract and it turns out it's too complicated. Might be worth thinking about though?
  1.  (6985.3)
    I generally price based on cost of materials + a set hourly rate for the work put into it.
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      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2009
     (6985.4)
    How much "stock" do you have of each item? If one of a kind objects, They have Value, simply because no one else has one JUST LIKE THAT. So factor that in. Rounding to the five is always good. You don't want to mess with change. Haggling is also good. Remember, you can never RAISE the price, you can only lower it.

    Charging too little means "whatever, I don't care." Charging too much says "I AM TED WILLIAMS, THE GREATEST FUCKING HITTER WHO EVER LIVED!"

    I'd say materials plus time is a good formula to work with. Agreeing with Rootfirember. Pay yourself first and all that. Took you an hour of actual labor? Plus the actual stuff? I dunno. Ten, fifteen bucks? For something that cool, one of a kind, remember, you never step into the same river twice and all that, (put a bit of salesmanship into it, is what I'm saying) most people would pay pretty much whatever you tell them too. Which is one of the few good things about people.

    Also, check out "One Of A Kind" shows in your area. A friend of mine is a glass-blower and she does quite well at them.
  2.  (6985.5)
    Also look at what other people near you are charging, for an idea, and seconding upping the price for one of a kind items.
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      CommentAuthorSara 013
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2009
     (6985.6)
    Hmmmmm........ All very interesting, very helpful. Thank you.

    What I tinker with, it's all one of a kind - no "stock" - though I suppose I could come close to replicating stuff, if I had to / wanted to. Honestly, I just have zero perspective. Being a salaried creature for the past 12 years, the idea of having an hourly rate is foreign to me. Hope that doesn't sound too stupid. (A little stupid, I'm okay with.)

    mister hex - Charging too much says "I AM TED WILLIAMS, THE GREATEST FUCKING HITTER WHO EVER LIVED!"

    Crap.
    Need new business cards now.

    I know lots of people here have Etsy shops, and I absolutely adore shopping on Etsy,...
    ... anyone reading this have any Etsy advice or feedback?
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      CommentAuthorglukkake
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2009
     (6985.7)
    I highly recommend checking out the Etsy community section: http://community.etsy.com/ - their forums will be more helpful than here.

    I meant to start selling with my Etsy shop, but never got around to it - one of my biggest issues was not being able to photograph the products in an attractive way. Though you've already got that covered in spades! I've definitely seen people make a good living off it though and it has currently replaced most all but the most specialized of my online shopping.

    It's really inexpensive to start listing and getting an account is free, so you could easily try it with a few items now and then if it doesn't work out, you're only down a couple of dollars. I think listing each item, you have 3 months to sell it and after that, it's a $.60 charge.
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      CommentAuthorSara 013
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2009
     (6985.8)
    Thank you for pointing out their community forum...! I wouldn't have even thought of that.

    Thanks for the advice. ^__^