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 Post subject: Thinking about setting up small-scale business - advice?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:49 am 
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Saggy Butt

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 8:03 pm
Posts: 282
I'm currently a grad student about to finish my current program and take a couple years out of academia before applying for PhD stuff. I want to get some kind of mindless job with a decent hourly rate, and spend my evenings not deep in thought. Part of why I think I need time "out" is that I really miss doing crafts and creative projects, which I've had much less time for since moving away from my family home. I've recently started making necklaces and really enjoy it, and have begun to consider trying to sell them. I'd probably just set up an Etsy shop and maybe get involved in local craft fairs and the like, an old tradition in my family. I suppose I'm just nervous because I'd have to spend a decent amount of money on supplies in order to make enough items to sell. So, some questions:

How long does it take to get an Etsy page off the ground? Do people normally make barely any sales at first when they have no feedback or established name?

Is it necessary to constantly have things up for sale? How many should one aim for? Should I make a bunch of jewelry before even setting up a site, or should I just add things as I make them?

What are the best ways to advertise yourself?

What's the best way to figure out pricing? I suppose I could keep a book of how much of of each type of bead costs, add 20% or something, then add a small hourly wage? How do you price your items?

I'm mostly using fairly expensive but not top-notch materials. Stone, glass and recycled beads and filigrees, nothing too precious but also no plastic. Last night I made a necklace out of $20 worth of materials (favorite necklace ever!). Should I start off trying to make my items a bit cheaper so I can see what sorts of things sell? Do items of all price ranges sell on Etsy? I'm just wondering because I don't think I'd be as likely to drop $30+ on a piece of jewelry from a website as I'd be in a nice store or at an art fair. Thoughts?

Sorry for the scattered nature of these questions. Really any advice would be helpful!


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 Post subject: Re: Thinking about setting up small-scale business - advice?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:29 am 
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Asked Santa for a pony
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:29 pm
Posts: 3201
Location: Portland
It does take a bit of time to establish an Etsy shop. The best advice I can offer is read all of the materials Etsy has on starting a shop, and reading the Etsy forums a lot. You'll find information on the best ways to stock and organize your shop, and other topics unique to selling on etsy.

There are a few books like Craft, Inc. and Handmade Nation that you might find valuable. They'll go more into how you should price and promote your work, along with things like selling at craft fairs.

Keep in mind, there are a LOT of beaded jewelry businesses on Etsy. You might want to think a long time about a way to make your wares stand out against everything else.

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 Post subject: Re: Thinking about setting up small-scale business - advice?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:34 pm 
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Asked Santa for a pony
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:29 pm
Posts: 3201
Location: Portland
**Sorry, the book is The Handmade Marketplace. Don't know where that other title came from.

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