Tag Archives: etsy

The road so far…

Carry on my wayward son

For there’ll be peace when you are done

Lay your weary head to rest

Now don’t you cry no more…

Yes, I love Supernatural, but that’s not why I thought the lyrics were fitting for this entry. It just kinda popped into my head when I came up with the title, which suits this entry quite well, as it’s a summary of what I’ve been doing lately, and what my plans for the near future are. It’s quite the long entry, and more for my own personal benefit, but if you’re interested, please do read on, as it covers a lot of topics.

First off, I’ve been working on my big project Ildora Quest. I’m very slow when it comes to drawing though, so it’s gonna take forever to really complete anything. Still without a properly working PC, it’s kinda hard doing anything big. Glad I have my trusted laptop though, with which I can still draw and create graphics. Anyway, I made a base that I’m quite happy with (for once), and started out doing a Kan’i, which was a lot of fun sketching, but such a drag to ink and color, haha. I’ve also been searching for fitting music, so it’s going forward, although very slowly.

Kan’i

I’ve also made my first tea cup candle, which was a lot of work, but also very fun, and it looks so cute standing on the table with a flame inside of it. I have 5 cups to work with, and am doing my best to complete them all. Maybe I’ll keep my prototype, as the tiniest cup is my favorite. Looking at them all though, I found out that I seem to go for flower patterns with gold, as they all 5 have that in common. It wasn’t even on purpose, but I’ll probably keep going for those kind of cups in the future, as they’re just really cute.

From my private Instagram account.
From my private Instagram account.

Working even more with recycling, I’ve pulled apart and cleaned some second hand jewelry, which I hope to find some good use for in new creations. I’ve also pulled apart some old children’s books, and would like to use some of the images from them for bookmarks. There’s Winnie the Pooh and stuff like that, really cute. Talking about bookmarks; I’m currently working on some anime ones, with Free!, Black Butler and Code Geass. I’ve prepared a lot of images from old anime magazines to be used in colorful bookmarks, so there will hopefully be a lot of different series to choose from soon.

Various bookmarks in the making

On the side, I’ve been drawing a little for no real reason at all, because why not? While watching some behind the scenes videos of the Hobbit, I felt the late night urge to draw Thranduil, but my problem is that when I’m tired, I’m almost the same as a drunk person, and it ended up rather, well… He got a nose job the next morning, ugh! Also, min.seya on Instragram had a little contest going on, with the theme ‘dream’, for which I did a drawing of my dog Arthur, as he is my dream come true. It was fun drawing something from a photo, and coloring it with pencils, which I haven’t done in years.

Thranduil – Before and after
From my private Instagram account.
From my private Instagram account.

Now on to the nasty stuff. I’m early retired, which is no secret, but it means that the money I get relies heavily on the salary of my boyfriend. Up until this month, I’ve gotten the same as when I wasn’t early retired, which was never much, but it was okay. It seems that my boyfriend is earning more money than calculated though, and now I get a lot less than before. That’s not good at all, especially not since we just bought a house, and are still painting and in need of some small furniture. I wish they would have just slammed me in the head with a sledgehammer, instead of sending a letter that actually arrived too late (thank you Post Nord, for doing an awful job yet again).

I don’t need to mention, that the above written stuff is a good reason for yet another depression, do I? My boyfriend keeps telling me, that we’ll be fine, and that he’s gonna work more to make up for the money lost. But first of all, I don’t want him to work more, because I barely get to see him (awake) as it is right now. And second, if he earns even more money, I will lose more, so it’s a lose/lose situation either way. I do think that we’ll survive with the little money we have after paying rent, bills, gas and loans, but if it all ends up in tragedy, we can always change his loan and pay a little less every month. It’s not something either of us want to do, because hey, who wants a loan to run for even longer than planned? But it’s an option, and having options is good.

So yeah, that’s what has been happening, and that’s our current situation. Because of that though, I’m now even more determined than ever, to get a little shop up and running. I’ve registered a shop on Storenvy, and will try once again to take some good photos of my handmade goods to sell. Once my current stuff expires on Etsy, I will upload it to Storenvy, but everything new I create from now will go directly on Storenvy. It was our plan to buy a light box this month, but now we don’t have the money for one, so I’ll try and see what I can do instead, because good photos is half the sale!

Talking about photos… There’s a camera my boyfriend wants, and is currently saving up for, and if we can get his old GPS sold, he’ll have enough money for it. When he has it, he wants to take small jobs from friends and family, as they constantly keep asking him to come to their parties and happenings to take photos, but his current camera is just too old and clumsy for that. What does that have to do with my plans? Now, when he has his Olympus, and I have my PC back, I’m gonna re-do his website, in order for him to be able to update it himself, and hopefully get a small business up and running, while doing his favorite thing. I’ve also got the idea of signing him up for Patreon, and offer royalty free stock images there, as a part of keeping him motivated, and learn some new techniques in the process. I’m not sure about how to do that yet, but I’ll look into it, as he seems genuinely interested.

Phew, that was it, basically. I’m setting up the next entry for automatic posting now that I have time, and my PC seems to work for a while. It’s gonna be about motivation, as it’s something I think about a lot.

Etsy – My way or the highway

As you might already know, I’m selling my handmade jewelry on Etsy, and have done so since August. I found it to be a bit tedious to upload photos and write descriptions and tags every time, when most of the text is basically the same, but that’s part of it, so I’ll not complain about that. What I’d like to complain about is the price I’ve had to pay up until now, almost five months later. I’ve made two sales, and of course had to pay the listing fees, as well as the commission fees for them. Some of my listings have now updated, meaning that I had to pay their listing fees for another four months.

That’s all fine and well, but to be honest, I think Etsy is screwing me over with their prices. Up until now, I’ve paid $15 in fees and commissions, for the above mentioned sales and listings. Most of my listings have not been up for four months yet, and thus haven’t updated, so we’re not talking about all my stuff. I don’t know how it has become so expensive, as I can’t find any billing information on Etsy, other than the total of what I have to pay them. I don’t make many sales, as you can probably see, because I’m an idiot when it comes to marketing, my photos aren’t that great (yet), and I’ve had no time nor motivation because of us moving into a house that needs more attention right now.

Looking forward, I don’t see it changing anytime soon. Etsy will keep throwing bills at me for things I can’t seem to figure out, and as I’ve already lost half of my profits to them, I don’t feel very comfortable using their services anymore. Yes, I’ll quit Etsy when my current listings have expired. Some expire in January, others just got updated and will expire in April. By then, I’ll have to find out what else I can do, to keep myself on the market, and hopefully make a profit with my crafting, so that I can keep buying materials.

Since yesterday afternoon, I’ve been looking into various platforms that only require me to pay a commission for every sale made. That means no listing fees, which I would have to pay even if I don’t sell anything, like right now with my very few sales, and little to no time for marketing. A friend is totally into Storenvy (you now who you are), and keeps mentioning it every time we have a conversation about selling platforms, so I looked a bit more into it than last time I was looking for a place to sell.

The thing about Storenvy is, that you can create a shop there, without having to pay anything at all. No listing fees, and no commission fees. Of course, there are the PayPal fees, but they are not part of the shop, as it’s a third party site with their own fees. But – and there is always a ‘but’ when it’s free – it would mean no exposure for my items on their site. To get exposure, I’d need to pay a 10% commission fee per item sold, which is quite a lot of money. To cover the 10% fee, I’d need to raise my prices by the amount lost, as well as PayPal fees of course, which can be up to 3.4%. Let’s do some math!

Selling a regular bottle charm directly with only materials and work time included would make it cost $10, so that will be the base price for my item in this example. Let’s say I put it up on Storenvy, and decide to be included in their marketplace, that’s + 10% = $11. I get my payment for it via PayPal, so we need to include their highest fee as well, that’s $11 + 3.4% = $11.37. I also need to buy something to put it in for shipping, and for a bottle charm, I’d need a small box for $0.70 to put the bottle in, and a bigger box for $1.40 when shipping. $11.37 + $0.70 + $1.40 = $13.47. That’s the amount the customer would have to pay, in order for me to cover all my costs, and still make a profit.

Compared to other people selling similar items as me, that’s actually a very fair price. But then again, if I cost the same as the others, will the customer pick me? Maybe, maybe not. Of course, that’s also the risk on Etsy, where the customer gets the wares of other shops thrown in their faces when they browse mine. It can’t be helped on an open platform that hosts many shops, and the creators of the sites want a profit too, which is very understandable. Having that in mind, a 10% commission fee is still a lot of money, as I do everything myself, from creating the item, to selling and shipping it. But then again, I could get some much needed exposure, support the platform with sales only (no listing fees), and it would still be easier than hosting a shop myself.

Yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about starting my own eCommerce business, as I’d be able to sell for cheaper prices when doing so. The thing is though, that I don’t have the customer base to start off on my own. No one would find me, as I’m still an idiot when it comes to marketing, don’t know that much about SEO, and the whole internet with tons of shops would work against me. I’m neither big or good enough for that right now, and maybe never will be. But I’d really like to learn how to create a shop someday, if just for giggles.

Well anyway, I found out, that Storenvy has a counterpart called Tictail. They basically offer the same services for the same fees, with small differences of course. Are those differences relevant to me? Not really, at least not at this point. So to me, it’s only a matter of which one of those offers more for my money, a.k.a. the 10% sales commission. Storenvy has a wider audience than Tictail, which means more exposure. Also, customers would want to buy from a platform they know and trust already. They both support PayPal, which is very important to me, as it’s been bothering me that Etsy accepts PayPal for MY payments to THEM, but when THEY pay ME, it goes directly on to my bank account, and I have a hard time distinguishing my profits from my grocery money.

Let’s boil it down. Etsy keeps eating my funds, and thus I want to leave them. The best alternative would seem to be Storenvy. I’d have to raise my prices a bit, but not enough for my items to become too expensive to sell. So yeah, I’m probably gonna move to Storenvy over the next four months, and see how that goes. At least I can’t lose money there while not selling anything, which is the biggest plus for me right now.

Also a bit on topic: I’ll be changing my Instagram account @colorpieces as soon as I have more time. Right now, it only includes my Etsy listings, but I would like for it to become a creative sales account. This means, that I’ll include listings as usual, but also other stuff I have up for sale, like for example my patterns and designs on sites like Redbubble and Society6. I’m also thinking about continuing with my adoptables on DA, although it was my plan to close down that account. I don’t know about that one yet, but if I continue, I would like to include my adoptables on Instagram. Ghosty might also move there, as I have four accounts right now, and Instagram seems to freak out after three. I haven’t updated Ghosty in a few weeks, which I’m sorry for, but I simply don’t have the time to do everything I planned, and as he’s not a popular (dead) guy, he’s not on the top of my list right now.

I’m sorry for this long post, but deciding what to do after Etsy felt easier to me, having my thoughts black on white. I’m aware that probably no one is gonna read this anyway, as I can see in my Google Analytics, that my anime reviews seem to drag more visitors on here than my personal life does, which is understandable, knowing that I’m quite the boring shit. But no worries, I’ll keep writing reviews… and boring shit like this post 😀

Planning! What’s going on?

Well, Arthur is growing big, and although he is still far from clean, he’s doing really well. Apart from that though, nothing seems to be going right these days. I’m suffering from severe depression and anxiety, partly because I have a meeting with a psychologist today, that I knew nothing about 3 days ago. Yep, the state is at it again with their bad planning and timing. I’m not looking forward to it at all, but I have to go. I just hope it ends positive for me, if I may be so selfish to say that.

Because of all that’s happening right now, I haven’t been able to tend to my Etsy shop, which is sad, I know. Today though, I’ll open a 10% discount coupon, but only on Instagram, so head on over to my Etsy shop account there, and follow me to see when the coupon goes live. It will be valid for a month, so go grab some early Christmas gifts, or just treat yourself! I also have some new necklaces I’d like to list when I have more time.

We’re also slowly counting down the days to when we move. Currently, 52 days are left. While it feels kind of good to see the number of days go down, it also feels awful, as I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay ‘sane’ until we reach 0. According to the housing association, our upstairs neighbors have been evicted, but nothing is happening, and I doubt the truth of their words. The noise every day is unbearable, but at least we seem to have silent nights now, so I guess they did get some sort of threat or last warning.

To get through these hard last months before we move, I try my best to keep my mind off these things. I TRY! I’ve started drawing a bit again, small ghosts in various situations. I’ve showed them to Nao on Instagram, and she seems to get a laugh out of them every time she gets one. She seems quite sure, that others would like them too, so I’m planning on scanning the sketches and re-create them as vector images. I want to make them an online ‘comic’ of sorts, offer them as prints on Redbubble and Society6, and eventually offer various small stuff with them on, like buttons and stickers. It would be fun, and keep me occupied for years to come. It’s gonna take a while until something goes online though, as I don’t plan on starting anything big before we’ve moved and settled down in the new place. But planning feels good, and it never hurts to be prepared! No, I don’t play the new WoW expansion, go away… But I sure love Illidan!

I know this post is neither interesting nor informative, but I have so little time at the PC these days, that I can’t really do much. I just wanted to say that I’m not dead, and that I’m working on both myself and some other stuff. There’s always something to do!