Anyone Making Their Own Products?

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fm1234
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31 May 12 07:25:59 am
I have a friend who is selling handcrafted jewelry online. She's operating almost exclusively via Facebook and word-of-mouth, but has reached a quandary inasmuch as orders are really taking off, but she's not making any money worth mentioning due to her prices being so low -- but, when she experiments with raising the prices, sales always drop off immediately.

Her stuff is very nice -- she made this apple tree pendant for me, which I ordered as a retirement present for my son's school principal:

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She just can't seem to get the pricing situation straightened out to the point where her business can go from a self-sustaining hobby to something at which she is making some real money for her work.

Any tips, resources etc. from others who are working with handcrafted stuff would be very much appreciated.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
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richelle_salehoo
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1 Jun 12 02:17:41 am
Hi Frank,

It could be that her customers are used to her products priced low that's why whenever she experiments with increasing the price it automatically turns them off.

Maybe she should explore other market venues apart from Facebook and common friends.

Like develop a branding for her products, since her pieces are unique it might be a good idea to focus on that.

Sorry I haven't really sold anything I have crafted myself apart from the cookies and brownies I used to bake and sell a few years back :)

Cheers!


Richelle

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fudjj
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1 Jun 12 03:42:49 am
Without knowing how much unique traffic Facebook is delivering her, Richelle's advice seems right on to me. It does seem that she is suffering from lack of exposure, so developing a wider online foot print wouldn't be bad thing.

Of course there is only so much any market will be prepared to pay for a product, but without testing the wider marketplace, that's something that would be far too hard to judge.

I like the idea of custom making the gear, there has to be a market there, but I think that avenue would require developing her own site and then marketing the living daylights out of it to get the level of interest in having custom work done up.


Mark (fudjj)

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fm1234
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1 Jun 12 10:28:26 pm
I think the issue is just the venue ... she tried eBay (and got slaughtered, of course) but Etsy has worked reasonably well for her, getting 10-20% higher prices for the same work. Her website has been a non-starter, but I think it has to do with the nature of the merchandise. Facebook produces the bulk of her sales, by far, but almost no margin; meanwhile she can work a flea market or other outside venue and clean up on a weekend (the problem there is that she has three small kids, so child care expenses tend to suck up the profits from the offline sales.)

I've talked with her about considering wholesaling to shops, which she's exploring now -- won't do much for her immediate margins, but with the product on shelves in beauty shops and similar places, it can act as a sort of agent generating custom orders for her based on the interest the premade pieces garner. Aside from that I'm at a loss on what to tell her to do about the FB conundrum of plummeting sales every time she raises her prices even a little. I've done some comparison shopping, and her FB prices are ridiculously low relative to what one finds in the wild. I paid $16 for the pendant above, including shipping, and that wasn't the "friend price" -- I asked her for a rush order so I could get it before the school year was out, and she charged me a whopping $2 extra over the original $14 net price. Just ridiculously cheap, but the resistance against any increase has proven to be fierce.

Thanks for the insights on both counts.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
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beachdisney
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2 Jun 12 12:50:25 pm
Perhaps you could point her to Pinterest.com. According to Addoway, it is the third largest social network and growing rapidly.

It is all about people who share common interests.

Nothing to lose.

Dale

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fm1234
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3 Jun 12 07:54:54 pm
Thank you for the tip, Dale. I'm an effective social marketer, except for the fact that I am lousy of keeping track of the newer sites -- I'm so good with Twitter, SU and other older (relatively older) social sites that the new ones tend to go under my radar.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna
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alice-salehoo
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4 Jun 12 08:59:31 pm
I second Pinterest, Frank!

Not only is the the site growing like crazy, but traffic from Pinterest to your website/listings converts better than Facebook and Twitter traffic.

Alice


Alice

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alice-salehoo
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4 Jun 12 09:14:00 pm
Frank, you might benefit from this post:

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It will give you a run down on Pinterest marketing :)


Alice

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fudjj
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5 Jun 12 04:03:21 am
I stumbled across Pinterest 6 or 7 weeks ago myself, it looked like a great platform for hand made type items, so good idea from Dale. Interesting to read what Alice said about the traffic conversion rate as well.

Maybe the odd 68 stang pinned on the wall might be worth trying mate lol


Mark (fudjj)

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fm1234
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5 Jun 12 08:41:13 pm
Thank you Alice, for the extra info. Copyblogger is always such a great resource.


Frank


"Failure is not when you fall down. Failure is when you don't get back up."

--J.J. Luna

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