The last three weeks, I ran a sale for my Etsy store and in a word- fail. Okay, I had one sale. So I suppose it was not a complete fail. I have ran sales before with no return, I think what made this one worse was I spent actual money on advertising on Facebook and on Etsy. I ran two different ad types on Facebook and had 13 clicks to my store but no purchases.
It is discouraging. I don't even know how to make my business better. Maybe my jewelry sucks. But I don't think so since I do very positive reviews on my sales (more than I do for my books). I have had my store for five years and had 40 sales, an average of 8 sales per year. I want to do better. I don't understand why I don't do better.
I am in competition with the world.
I don't pay myself a wage, not even minimum wage. I tried pricing my items the right way. I decided on minimum wage. And I kept notes of how long something would take me to make then I added approximate costs of materials. I did those with about 15 items and nothing sold. A year later, I wound dropping all the prices on those items. Make sure you know, I don't pay myself a wage.
My prices are reasonable. My items are unique. I value customer service and it has already screwed me over twice, but I still push the customer service. I charge one price for shipping and you can buy as much as you want and pay one price (notice that will eventually cut into my money). I don't make a profit off my store...
We are a country that does not make things, we are a country that buys things- things that are cheap and from China. And yet, at the same time, there are those who are screaming about the obscene profits corporations make while they buy their junk at Wal-Mart or some department store. Just because they are expensive doesn't mean it's worth anything more. And here I am selling quality for just as inexpensive because I got to keep my prices low to sell.
A couple of years ago, I went to Gabriel Brothers because they were having a sidewalk sale. You could get a bag of jewelry for $5. This was perfect for me because I am upcycler/recycler in addition to making new things. There was this one necklace that was sold at Express and it was broken. MSRP was $40 and it was made in China. I took the rhinestones and made a new necklace and I have mine priced for half as much and I know it will last for a lot longer as well.
I have considered pushing the American made angle. But what good what would that do? No one wants American made items. How I see the world is everyone wants to be like everyone else and pay nothing for it all while protesting the way the world is.
Just so you know I am not a corporation. If you were to do the math, I am so far red, I am touching the center of the earth. Just so you know I am an American and I make jewelry. Just so you know I price way lower than I should and I honestly feel like I deserve to sell my items at a higher price.
You want to send a message to the big bad corporations, why not buy from Americans selling their wares online?
The more you buy from us little guys, eventually we have to pay taxes. The more you buy from us, maybe we could hire someone or spend our earnings in advertising or buying more supplies from other American companies. The more you buy from us, the more the Post Office, Fed Ex, and UPS make.
Final thought... you want the world to change? It starts with you. You make the decision to shop for your jewelry from me or Walmart. You make the choice to shop at Ikea or the local carpenter. Those people in DC will not change anything and they really don't care about you. So you want change, you want a revolution then it starts with you, all of us.
And I'm not going to quit, I just have to figure out how to sell more on my own because no one else is going to help me. Like always, I have to do it on my own.