Thursday, October 30, 2008

Double Standards?

There have been a few subjects that have come up in the Etsy forum lately that have gotten me thinking. These are not new subjects, they come up all the time, but in the past few days for some reason they have made me want to ask some of the respondents to the topics a few questions. Of course, being the forum chicken that I sometimes am, I've refrained from doing so there. So I'll just put them out here:

Is it possible that there are double standards with regards to shopping on Etsy, or for hand-crafted items in general, as opposed for shopping for just about everything else? I'm not talking about the whole "handmade" vs "mass produced", or the made in my country as opposed to some obscure, unknown, place. Rather, I'm referring specifically to a couple of subjects......prices, and shop variety.

On the subject of prices - I've seen some folks state that they will *never* buy from someone who's prices are too "low". Of course, there usually isn't a definition of what constitutes too low that follows these statements, so that imaginary threshold is likely very subjective. My question to those folks would be: Do you not shop for bargains in anything else that you purchase? Do you always pay full retail prices at the most exclusive boutiques you can find for your clothes? What about groceries? In almost every town there is usually more than one place to buy food. I would bet just about anything that every exact same item, or similar ones...different brands, are the exact same price in all locations where it was sold. Is that Skippy peanut butter a higher quality at Price Chopper than it is at Hannaford? Must be because it is 15% higher priced. Don't believe me...pick an item, any item, then go into each different store and notice the price. What about gas for your car? Do you always go to the station that has the highest price....because it must be better quality gas, right, because they are charging more for it than anyone else. Why is it that hand-crafted items are subjected to a different set of criteria?

Then, with regards to variety....this one bothers me even more than the pricing arguments.....which I guess I can kind of, sort of, maybe understand a tiny bit. But, not wanting to shop from a person who has variety in their store is just beyond my comprehension. These are the folks that I want to answer in the forum in big, bold, capital letters (yes, YELLING). I would love to know where it is that they shop for everything else that they ever purchase, and do they refuse to shop somewhere because the store has too many different things? My guess is that the drug stores in their town only sell drugs/medical related candy, no make-up, no magazines, no toys, etc. And they probably don't shop at any of the big-box retail stores either....and probably not grocery stores either. Actually, I can't think of many stores at all, even on-line ones, that don't have some sort of cross-product variety in them. That's on purpose! It's one of the basic retail and marketing principles.....have stuff for sale that will make someone want to shop at your establishment - different things appeal to different people. Just because someone came into your auto parts store because they wanted that nifty tire changer thing that only you have, who's to say that they might not also decide that they really need that package of beef jerkey and the set of singing bumblebees that you have there too? Maybe it was really the bees that brought them in....and then they decided that your nifty tire changer thing is something that they can't live without either. Since you don't know, you can't say for sure why they purchased from you. But of course, this scenario wouldn't really apply to you, since you don't believe in variety you wouldn't have tire changers, beef jerkey and singing bumblebees in your store, nor would you ever visit/shop at an establishment that did.

Oh, and if you haven't noticed....I have what most would term as "too low" prices on the "variety" of items in my shop....guess that's why these subjects/responses irk me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Customer Appreciation Days in my shop

It's Customer Appreciation Days in my Etsy shop:

Here are the details....that are also listed in my shop announcement:

First....I would like to thank everyone, in a special way, who has marked my shop as one of their Favorites:
  • Be my 700th "heart" and receive a $10 merchandise credit, to be used anytime before the end of this year. (I'll send you a convo and we can work out the details)
  • If you have already "hearted" my shop, before today, 10/25, get 20% off of your purchase from my shop before the end of the year. (I'll refund this credit, via PayPal, after your purchase)
Second....I would like to show my appreciation to my customers:
  • If you have been a previous customer, through either trade or purchase, receive a $5.00 credit toward your next purchase from me between now and the end of the year (I'll refund this, via PayPal, after the purchase)
  • Make a purchase, of over $5, between today and 11/1, and receive 10% off of that purchase, and a $5.00 credit to be used on your next purchase before the end of the year. (I'll refund via PayPal after the purchase)
  • Refer someone to my shop, and they spend $5.00 or more here, and you'll receive a $5.00 credit towards your next purchase before the end of the year (have them let me know in the Note to Seller, or via a convo who sent them my way) for an upcoming Giveaway from my shop starting November 1st. I'll post the details to this here on my blog on Friday night, 10/31

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I can't believe it's been that long

I know I hadn't updated here in quite a while, I just didn't realize it had been that long ago!

In some respects, nothing much has changed with regards to my business....some of the same items that were in my shop in February, are still there even today. Then again a lot has happened in the past few months. Here's just a brief synopsis:

My mom moved up here to NY from FL. My middle daughter graduated from law school, moved to VA and is still currently unemployed down there. My oldest daughter lost her job, but then recently found another one. My 8 year old, step-grandson is being home-schooled, and I watch him during the day while his dad and my daughter are at work. My son still lives at home. My oldest cat passed away at the age of 15 this past summer. My other cat had two litters of kittens since March....we kept the first litter (only two), and still have two of the most recent litter, of five, to adopt out. A member of my husband's family was arrested in August...causing an irreparable rift in the family. I took a break from crafting and selling, and from Etsy in general for a few months......I just wasn't sure I wanted to keep going. I'm currently looking for another full-time job because I absolutely hate the one I have. Unfortunately there isn't much out there, and I really wish I could work for myself....but I've kind of gotten used to having a house to live in and food to eat, and surviving on my crafting income would be an impossibility.

As I mentioned previously, I had taken a break for a few months from Etsy...especially from the forums and from creating new items. I'm back now, and hopefully things will start picking up soon because I really could use some extra income. As also mentioned, with two of my kids out of work at the same time I found myself helping them with their living expenses, at the cost of my own bills falling behind.....which further solidifies the need for me to keep staying at the job that I abhor more and more each day. Love the catch-22 that is my life.

OK...that's the past 8 months of my life in 500 words or less. I'll be back later today, with another post.....and some details on my Customer Appreciation Days efforts, and an upcoming blog reader stay tuned.