Friday, August 21, 2009

Etsy, I'm Not On Sale!

As some of you know, I've had a Love-Hate relationship with Etsy. The things I love about etsy are the ease with which you can open an online shop, the assistant tools etsy offers to help you get started, and the encouragement and love shown to etsy sellers on a regular basis. What I don't like about etsy is that so many sellers sell their wares so DANG cheap. I think this practice only serves to cheapen etsy's reputation as a whole. I lose faith in etsy sellers on a regular basis when I see something I know takes an hour or more to make, and the seller is charging $10.00. Now that makes no sense to me.

As an artist and craftsperson, I work hard to price my items according to the time I spend making them. I quit my job working for someone else where I was paid handsomely for my time. In order to make ends meet by working from my home studio, I've had to think long and hard about what I'm worth, about what to pay ME! Believe me, when I take into consideration the materials I've bought and the time spent shopping, the label that goes onto the finished product, the business card hangtag, the marketing, let alone the actual time in making the product, AND the time it takes to take a few reasonable photos and then list the product on Etsy... How in the world could that ever be done for a $10.00 sales price, and, more importantly, how could I ever feel good about what I'm doing, that I'm even making what I'm worth???

This lesson was brought home to me this week when the etsy designer I "hired" to design my logo, business card, product tag and labels suddenly closed up shop, and hung a closed sign on her etsy shop door. No forewarning, and no concession to the fact I'm in need of a few more designs. Just a response of "Closed, and no more using your design because it's my 'art' and to do so would be copyright infringement". No reasonable response to my offer of buying the rights to my design. Okay, I know... pay peanuts, get monkeys. I guess I'm guilty of my own foolish pleasure here. I was so thrilled to get my design for such a deal... now I'm really paying for it because I lose out on something I love.

So, the moral here is to spend a little more and get the quality you deserve. If you pay bargain basement prices, expect to be treated like a bargain basement shopper. Pay for quality and get quality. Let me tell you that if you spend the money for one of my products, you will get something that's completely unique, beautifully made, with exquisite attention to detail. And, if I were to ever close up shop, I'd never shut the door in your face. My integrity is more important to me than that...

7 comments:

Karin said...

I could not agree more!

sandra Lee said...

That is so horrible and sad and I also agree with you!

Valerie said...

Thanks for commiserating Sandra. And thank you too, Karin. Oh, I know, I've been so sad about loosing my sweet Val's Art Studio logo art. But this has propelled me into working with a new, fabulous designer, my friend Trisha from London. Trisha is so above board and creative, and I know she will help me find the way to a new design that I will love equally as well. It's just the learning of the lesson that makes things like this so painful... sigh!

Cindy said...

Hi Val
Gosh sorry to hear about what happened. I recently read another blog where the artist was describing the same problem (about Etsy sellers underpricing). I should send the link. Maybe something great will come of this...like a wonderful new logo! I agree, what you already have is adorable...but who knows what your friend will com up with! If you need a reference for business card design, there is someone amazing I worked with recently on Etsy..she is VERY professional. Have a great weekend.

Valerie said...

Thank you Cindy. I'd love to read the other blog post. I know Trish will come through in a big way for me. Being a graphic designer and a graphics creator has been her whole life's work. I should have started with her in the first place!

Tamerie Shriver said...

I agree with you completely. I think it's why I hesitate to sell on Etsy. I've seen way too many underpriced items to compete. I KNOW what I make is of the highest quality (just like you) and no way am I selling it for some ridiculously low price. It undervalues all of us as artists and artisans. Although I do understand wanting to get a bargain, I don't think handcrafted items of any kind is the place to find them. That's what Target and TJ Max is for. It's too bad you lost your design, but I bet the new one that Trisha comes up with will be even better. Can't wait to see it!

Sabine said...

Val - I am a graphic designer and if you had paid that artist for your design, then it is yours. There was a legal exchange of money for the design. Did that person put a time limit of use on the design? I doubt it. So you own it.

If you feel that your dealings with this person had spoiled your logo for you, I would be happy to design a new look for you - gratis... annrishell@gmail.com

Ann (Sabine is my daughter)