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nstarleather

Selling on Etsy- clue me in? Please.

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Your money = your call.  That's the point.. :dunno:

 

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I dont think that was all you were "pointing" out. 

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I think that assuming Americans or thier European forefathers are the hieght of creativity and craftsmanship is foolish, arrogant and or ignorant. The chinese, Japanese and many other cultures had wonderful art, craft and architecture when much of europe was still howling at the moon.

That is not to knock our american dependence/bent on our European influence and I hold it dear but truth is we didnt invent good solid work or good art or great craftsman. They can be found in every great culture.  Ancient persia? China?

Is there Chinese junk. Yup .. But not because the Chinese dont have people capable of more but for all the same reasons Americans may produce less than stellar work ... A company decision said we can make 10 cents more a unit by doing it like this. So that is how they do it. 

To make this germain to this discussion ... I dont have to make those compromises as an individual craftsman. So I can hopefully make a better product. 

I too would choose when i can to buy American and would pay a bit extra to do it but then make sure your standard is such that the decision is an easy one.

I have luckily worked for, worked with and had work for me wonderfull artist and craftsman from many parts of the world. I was truly blessed.

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9 hours ago, JLSleather said:

The HD stuff IS funny.  "Buy American"....is a bit silly when you IMPORT parts. Truth is, unless you are Cheyenne, Souix, Navajo, or other "native" american, then you are an immigrant.

 

 

Wrong they are immigrants as well. Aboriginal American is the correct term. They were here first, but they crossed a land bridge during the last ice age to get here.

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If you go back far enough, we are all immigrants.   To oversimplify, natives are just people who have lived there a bit longer than others.  

As for my pedigree, on my dad's side from his grandad back, I've traced them living in the same village for at least eight generations (all confusingly, had the same first and middle names).  Another branch for a mere 6 (again, limited name use).

As to quality, wrapping something up in a flag does not automatically make it better quality.    No doubt there are people in Mexico/China/Outer Hebrides making high standard/quality items, and some American folk making carp stuff (IMHO).   

When I were a young gal, I remember being told that American stuff might look glamorous, but the quality was poor (don't shout at me, that's what we were told at the time).   

I can't deny that those opinions have coloured my attitude in the past when buying stuff.    Since then I have learned that origin is seldom a reliable guide to quality, and cheap tat is cheap tat, wherever it lives, and however it dresses itself.

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8 hours ago, AEMcClain said:

Wrong they are immigrants as well. Aboriginal American is the correct term. They were here first, but they crossed a land bridge during the last ice age to get here.

I believe you are correct.  There goes another myth we've been 'sold' ;)

 

6 hours ago, LumpenDoodle2 said:

If you go back far enough, we are all immigrants.   ...As to quality, wrapping something up in a flag does not automatically make it better quality.    

 

You said that WAY better than me.  The reason any of that has ANYthing to do with cutesy ( or any other site like that) is this "wrapping in a flag" does influence pricing and such.  

Without going into that (since, I already said I dont' really care what someone sells, where they sell it, or for how much)....

In the end, I pay no attention to nationality.  Or gender.  Or age.  Etc.   Just show me what you have for sale, and how much you want, and how long it will take to get it to me.  That's all that matters.  I don't want to read long stories about how you learned, how long you've been doing it, or how your sister got pregnant.  None of that has anything to do with the item you're selling.

And THIS is the basis of cutesy.  ACRES of stuff which I can buy on any day on ebay for $1.  But it's everywhere on cutesy for $4 - $8 each, complete with a big story about ... whatever.  ANd in the "ingredients" section. "love" :rofl:  Now, WHY people dont' just go to ebay and buy that SAME thing for $1, :dunno:

I look at teh GOODS.  ANd I welcome people comparing mine as well.  I do not pay anyone by the hour, so telling me you spent 4 days walking to get the leather and spent 10 more watching y-tube videos gets you nowhere.  I want to see the thing, and the price - and then I'll pay it or not.

 

 

 

 

Edited by JLSleather

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Another thing that no one seems to think about or care about is all the requirements both environmental and personal safety/benefits that US based companies have to conform to as compared to the Chinese competitors. Personally I don't think they should be allowed to import anything if it is not verified that the manufacturer meets the same requirements as the importing country.

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The best thing is that, in a forum like this we can all help each other when we are able, and some will become the next artisan extraordinaire and some will learn how to make their products competitive with any in the world. I only hope in my time to be able to help some reach their goals a little bit easier. OK I off my soapbox now:rolleyes:.

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On 6/22/2016 at 2:44 PM, Boriqua said:

I know for a fact that the motorcycle bags I make KILL most of the high priced store bought brands in terms of quality ... Harley gets to sell some of that junk at a premium is a testament to marketing genius. My holsters .. eh .. I will put them up against galco construction and fit wise and I think mine are prettier and I charge less. Of course I dont have their overhead.

Actually, Alex, when I said they're "better", i wasn't referring to the HOLSTERS, i  was talking about the SELLING of holsters.  If the intent is to make holsters, then I'd say there are a number of boys around this site making "better' holsters.  But not many of us have that sales volume.

Bit of a ZOO over there at the moment.  Payments not going through, sometimes 'stalled' for days.  Paypal payments still working, or seem to be, but the processor for etsy got issues for a week now.

BUNCH of people ranting and going on about what they'll "do" about it.  So, of course I had to ask just WHAT will you do?  Some are always "going to leave", or "sell somewhere else".. blahblah. 

Now, if you push it in their face just a bit, a fella "COULD" get banned from the forums over there. Don't ask me how I know ... :)

 

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Just for the record... still not one etsy sale.  Though my selection is still very limited.

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Funny... know how sites like to show you "you might also like..." when you bought something?  Cutesy now showing me holsters done by others using my designs, and SIDES of HO for $350 per side.  I didn't know anybody even sold sides over there, but there it is ...

Oh, uhhh.. you fella know not to pay $350 per side, right? ;)

 

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14 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

Funny... know how sites like to show you "you might also like..." when you bought something?  Cutesy now showing me holsters done by others using my designs, and SIDES of HO for $350 per side.  I didn't know anybody even sold sides over there, but there it is ...

Oh, uhhh.. you fella know not to pay $350 per side, right? ;)

 

Next up they are going to showing ads to buy videos on how to make your holsters with your designs.  

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:rofl:

I think tha's a subscription you gotta sign up for.  You know... one of them people who's out "to help other leather workers", 'cept you gotta pay and subscribe ;)

 

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I have pretty much decided to let my Etsy shop go in the coming weeks.  I just got an invitation of the Handmade at Amazon team (they have finally opened up categories that actually apply to what we do) and I am in the process of getting things listed.  And at Handmade at Amazon you can even set up your items for customization with a total of up to 10 options to choose from (if you need that many).  Once I get it set and the listings up and going Etsy can kiss my "rear view mirror". B)

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Well,, certainly read the 'fine print' before rushing in.  I think A.H. says something about you give them the right to manufacture your design ....

 

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And I think the investors meetings have brought up issues like U.S. patented items originally listed in Amazon being made in other countries by others, and sold again on Amazon, competing with the original mfr. and patentor.  Who also, btw, gets to eat the negative reviews when the counterfeit item fails for the buyer.  Neither of which do anything but improve Amazon's bottom line.... but when they do shut down a counterfeiter, they just open another "store" selling same items under a different name.  

Myself, I don't wish to compete in that arena.  Thanks.

YinTx

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You only give Amazon some additional access rights if you have THEM do the fulfillment; if you do it all  yourself then they just charge you the simple fees for processing and whatever (which every one of the online outlets does now) and you move on.  The advantage is that you have access to the same pool of customers as the normal Amazon platform because it all comes out in the searches for products.  I spent many months on this one and have been researching their program since they first announced it; they just didn't have very many categories opened up for sellers but they have grown that exponentially now.  You also don't have ANY listing fees and your listings don't expire, ever.  Their fine print is actually the most straight forward one I have seen in quite awhile; even friendlier than the Etsy world. And, in case it was missed in the original post I made, this is for the Handmade section, not the general sellers section.  The handmade section requires that YOU make the item and that it made entirely by hand.  They prohibit the use of any pre-fabricated kits (so those who give Tandy and the other suppliers their money for pre-cut/packaged kits can stay on Etsy where they have cheapened the term of handmade) and will promptly ban any shop that violates that concept.  I had to actually provide detailed descriptions of every step of my process and include imagery that supported the very process and you have to give them details.  They also do not allow the marketing of anything that could infringe upon the trademark or copyright of another and anyone found to be in violation will be shut down and reported.  The example referred to by YinTx is what you find all over eBay and several other outlets, to include Etsy (and it is loaded with it, just look around and pay close attention to what you are looking at) and Etsy now even refuses to assist their sellers who have reported another shop that has hijacked their products through the process of creating redirect links to another shop that collects payment yet never delivers a product.  They pretty much wash their hands of any responsibility in several of the many things that they claim to support through their seller protection policy.  That is the market that I want no further association with.

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Fair enough.. just repeating something I heard, figured it was worth looking into.  Sounds like you know far more about it than me (which wouldn't be difficult).  Good luck!

 

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What is amazons definition of handmade? Do they consider sewing machines and clickers and electric burnishers acceptable for handmade? Just curious. 

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6 hours ago, MADMAX22 said:

What is amazons definition of handmade? Do they consider sewing machines and clickers and electric burnishers acceptable for handmade? Just curious. 

Good question.

I would imagine that they are going to have to allow some use of machines, because Amazon Handmade is not just talking leatherwork here:  Can a potter use an electric wheel?  How about someone working with wood, do they have to start with an axe or hand-saw in the woods, or can they purchase a block of wood that someone else cut with a chainsaw?  Can a jeweler use a rock tumbler or does the sanding and polishing have to be done by hand?

There are a lot of crafters who just have to use machines and such.

 IMO just making sure that the company or person who made the item is the one selling it would be step up from what ETSY is currently doing.

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That "hand made" thing is misused to no end -- has been for a long time.  

I don't think it should exclude the use of tools.  150 years ago, people  "hand made" furniture using various versions of knives.  Some were called 'gouges', some 'planers', but they're still knives.

On the other end, I recently saw a web site selling "hand tooled" leather belts.  I've seen the embossing wheels those belts come out of.  After embossing under a wheel, someone went along and took a seeder tool (or maybe a small round background tool) and BOPPED it every so often,  So, LEGALLY, it IS "hand tooled", since "hand tooled" doesn't claim it was ENTIRELY done by hand.  You couldn't sue for false claims.  

One nutbag over at etsy contacted me to say "you didn't grow the cows!" (which is true, by the way).  By her reasoning, since I didn't do my belts "from scratch" - meaning cattle raising - then NOTHING is REALLY ever entirely 'hand made".  I say NUTBAG both because this is idiotic, and because I hadn't said anything to her at all, and thus there was no reason to tell me anything at all :crazy:

Etsy stretches it a bit, but they're hardly alone. I HAVE seen the 'official' story over there -- if you have an IDEA, you can get someone else to make it and you can sell it as handmade BY YOU.

People seem to FORGET THE POINT of handmade.  THE POINT is it is SUPPOSED TO BE "better".  Handmade is supposed to have an increased attention to detail - some skill which is not normally found in the "not hand made" article.  A "hands on" approach meaning you have personally overseen each step of the construction.... and tended to any imperfections found in this inspection.

Sadly, It is NOT necessarily "better"... I've seen some real CRAP "hand made" by "artists". In fact, I'll say it -- I've MADE some of that crap.  My first 6, or 8, or 10 projects got laid out and looked at, considered for where to improve, and then thrown in the trash (which was where they belonged). But I didn't stick a "hand made" sticker on it and sell it anyway.  SO many people doing that -- that some people think if there aren't visible flaws, then it must NOT be hand made!  The POINT of hand made is to NOT have those manufacturing flaws!

But don't wind yourself up over cutesy.  Latest report, over 1.6 million sellers there.  About every item for sale was "hand crafted with love from my own little hands in my home where I stay with Grandma and two kitties" (and there may well be a picture of the kitties).  But a quick search on ebay often finds 1000 of the same thing for sale for about 40% of the cutesy price ...

 

Edited by JLSleather

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I personally have no issues with using sewing machines and strap cutters and various other equipment, heck the hides themselves go thru machines to get produced in the first place even before the amish get them to do there handmade items. 

I was just wondering what amazon's  requirement was. I think if they actually stick to the requirements it sounds like they have initially setup it will be pretty good. I remember the days of ebay before the drop ship items from china showed up. 

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Read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veblen_good

then look at this: https://www.etsy.com/no-en/shop/MataraCustomLeather?ref=l2-shopheader-name

(random pick, nothing personal)

I find this amusing: https://www.etsy.com/no-en/listing/47814234/black-leather-cuff-wristband-2-inch-wide?ref=shop_home_active_4

" A full 12 steps goes into making this simple sexy cuff "   .... really, a full 12 steps, huh?

Let's see, bevel 1 side, the 2nd .. that's 4 steps, slick the edges, another 4, whack in the buttons .... 

 

In short; if your shit doesn't sell, increase the price, and hope for the Veblen effect.

 

Rgds, A

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22 minutes ago, ArildS said:

Of course it's in Brooklyn.....

Actually some of his stuff looks nice, though that bracelet in particular should never be $50...my wholesale on a 2" cuff is literally under 1/10th that price... though I'd say it's more like 2 steps (cut and set snaps for mine).

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