Mmmmm. My house smells like Chex Mix! That must mean the holidays are upon us. Yesterday I made more Chex Mix (this is a two-batch season) and I have a bit to mail out but mostly this is for the locals. I saw Cinnamon Chex on the shelf and so put some of that in this time, and after eating some hot right from the oven last night, I can say… TASTY! Also, this batch is gluten-free, but not vegan (I couldn’t find the vegan Worcestershire sauce). I’ll try better on that next year (sorry, vegan friends…).
… what else did I do yesterday? Wound up yarn for dyeing. Fired the kiln. It’s not quite cool enough to open yet, as I didn’t get it started until after noon. It needs a couple hours more for cooling off. I’m meeting friends for lunch and hopefully it’ll be ready to open by the time I get back. This firing was almost 100% … no, I think it was 100% custom work.
I also worked on the back end of the blog a little bit, playing with posts and the new layout. This theme isn’t very wide, due to the two sidebars, so all of my “Treasury Tuesday” posts are wonky now. And of course I have them pre-blogged through April, because (and not to toot my own horn) but I’m in a lot of treasuries. So I cleaned them all up, deleted the ones where the item had sold and I doubt my ability to replace it any time soon, and changed the format a bit. That got me down to the beginning of February. My idea is to catch up to myself, and then make the posts about the treasuries I’ve been in during the last week.
Speaking of Etsy, I may be growing out of it somewhat. Well, that makes me sound too big. I’m getting constrained, put it that way. Like when Alice put on the gloves in Rabbit’s house and grew to be the size of the house, only still trapped inside. I’ve got one foot in the chimney and my head is pressing against the rafters. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, not just yesterday, although it was on my mind since I was watching that lace dry.
Good things about Etsy
– I don’t have to worry about shop format
– I get a lot of free advertising by being in treasuries
– it integrates relatively easily with Facebook and Twitter, for shout-outs
– a larger customer base than I might have on my own, simply due to people doing key-word searches
– while it does get more expensive the more you list and sell simply due to per-item/transaction fees, the money I’m spending on that is equal to or less than what I’d spend on my own site (not including the advertising I’d then have to do)
Things that would make me look elsewhere for a shop
– only ten categories allowed. Where do I put my lip balm? Hand lotion? Lace yarn?
– category names can only be 24 characters long. How random is that? And frustrating, too, if you want to make it look like “Ceramics: Mugs and Soap Dishes” because that’s 31 characters. Also they don’t allow a colon to be used in shop names, so… it winds up looking like “Ceramic/ Mugs,SoapDishes” and that just makes me twitch every time I see it.
– payments. You can use PayPal, or other; I want to leave the “other” option open for things like cash sales locally, or gift certificates. But there’s no way to tell people what “other” is for other than in your shop policies, which nobody reads, and I’ve wound up sending a lot of people PayPal invoices because they choose “other” thinking they can pay with a credit card, or with a check. Half the time when that happens, I wind up losing the sale because the person just gives up and never gets back to me. If I were on my own site, I should be able to still offer PayPal, but offer “in store pickup” or “cash” as well.
– shipping. Shipping KILLS me with the stupid. Etsy charges by item, not by weight. So I have to … guess. I’ve pretty much got the single-item price down by now, but it’s the multiples that kill me. Either I wind up eating a lot of shipping, or I wind up refunding, and I’d really like it if it just… did it by weight. I mean, there is a sweet spot where the weight of what someone is buying (when buying multiples) works out to the per-item price; but more oft than not it doesn’t. And that just bothers me, possibly because I know there’s an easier way – charge by weight per zone! Which I could do if I had my own shopping cart program. Gah.
I’m thinking that ultimately, I’ll have a little bit on Etsy (my most popular items, holiday items, etc) and a little bit on Wild Iris (stuff I sell through them, exclusive-to-them items) but then I’ll have the bulk of what I do on my own HaldeCraft shop site. I’ve already bought the domain name (did that when I started HaldeCraft, just so nobody else snatched it up) but I haven’t done anything with it. That might turn into a 2012 business plan.
OK… enough rambling here! I need to go get some yarn dyed before meeting friends for lunch. Friends who would probably appreciate it if I showered! Wacky.