Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Years Resolutions...

I never make New Years Resolutions, but I am going to put this one out there so that hopefully I will make more of an effort.

For a while now I have been saying to myself that I should create more of an online presence for my pottery with the hope of creating more sales and therefore more revenue ($$$). The gallery sales have been slow to say the least, and I have to say that for the 3 sales that I was a part of this past fall, the numbers were not generally good. I did well at the studio sale, but then, I always do OK. But even then, the overall sales were down by at least 1/3, and my personal sales were a little less than normal as well.

SO, here it is. I will attempt to open an Etsy shop sometime before the summer of 2012, and if that works out and I sell enough via Etsy to pay for it, I would like to branch out to an actual website (not just a blog) that showcases my work. I don’t think the website is as vital to get going right away, as I don’t think I would use it for selling work directly. However, it could be a place to funnel people to the work for sale on Etsy. I am going to actually try and use my holidays this year so I should have a little more ME time to work on this goal. I have collected a few friends lately that are directly involved with website creation/design and marketing, so I may have to pick their brains over a beer or two…

I have the space that I will dedicate to this endeavor mostly finished at home, I just need to put up 1 more shelving unit to store all the work that is for sale so it doesn’t get all mixed up, get some decent lights for photographing items, and then  eventually get a decent table in there for wrapping orders (crossed fingers).

My one big obstacle will be my penchant for procrastination, and my fear of the unknown. I do tend to put things off if I am at all unsure about the outcome, or if the process is not clear from the beginning. I had done some research a while ago on setting up an Etsy store and a pay pal account etc, but as it was not something that was in my immediate plans, I did not really take it seriously. So that is something else I will have to do…research what my start up costs will be. I have no idea what it costs to sell stuff this way. I know that with Etsy, there is a per upload cost and a cost per sale, but I have not gone very far with the credit transactions and figuring out what my costs would be for Pay Pal etc. Then there is the shipping costs. I have no idea how to calculate shipping costs on a per item basis. If the customer is buying only 1 item, then that is easy, but if they buy multiples, then more items can fit in a box, and the cost for a bigger box may not equal the cost of shipping them individually. Should I standardize my shipping container sizes? Ie: 4 different box sizes and then work out what the average box would weigh when full of pottery and figure out the cost to ship each size. Do I ship via Canada Post or a company like Fed Ex, Purolater, or UPS? So many questions and not enough knowledge. I have actually only made one Etsy purchase, and my motivation was twofold. First, I really liked what I bought, and second, I wanted to know what the process was like. I could do the shipping thing like the merchant I purchased from. They had individual shipping costs noted for each item, but when it came time to ship them, he was charged a little less than what I paid, so he refunded that amount to my credit card. That is something else I will have to figure out, how to refund money once I have already processed the transaction.

So many questions….


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