Author Topic: How do you tell a friend her prices are too high?  (Read 4216 times)

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Dindrane

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Re: How do you tell a friend her prices are too high?
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2010, 05:16:57 PM »
I haven't actually purchased very much from Etsy, but I can tell you the things that are likely to influence me to buy something.  Bethalize made some really good points.

One thing I see a lot on Etsy are people who take pictures that are really not very good.  Even aside from an artistic standpoint, they're dark, they're blurry, they don't really show the item in question fully.  I don't want to buy anything that I haven't been able to see in person unless there have at least been some good pictures showing me the whole thing.  So a close up of a necklace that only shows the front and a description of the back isn't going to cut it for me.  I want to see the whole thing.

The other thing is that how artistic a picture of a product is really makes a difference.  It doesn't make a huge difference, but if I'm comparing two similar products, and both of them have good quality pictures that show the product in various ways, I'm going to be more attracted to the product that has the more aesthetically pleasing pictures.

Finally, the description and the tags are really important.  Etsy searches can turn up thousands of hits.  And some people really don't tag their items very effectively, so they show up in categories where I wouldn't think to look at them.  The description is really key, too, because that and the picture are all I have to go off of.  I want dimensions, I want the size of any defining elements, I want colors, I want to know if you're open to customizing that piece.  But perhaps most importantly, I want to know why you think I should buy it for the price you've set.  Not because you say it's high quality or unique or anything else like that -- give me definite, measurable reasons (like telling me you use real gold or something).  Tell me what distinguishes it from the cheaper options, even if you think it should be obvious from the picture.

That's all advice you can give your friend, but I don't think you should tell her she's charging too much.  There's really not much point in attempting to sell handicrafts if you can't pay for the materials and a decent profit.  Some people like to sell stuff like that simply to sustain the hobby (so they're basically discounting the cost of their own labor and selling it for the cost of materials), but that doesn't mean that someone who is including a profit margin is charging too much.


dragonflies

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Re: How do you tell a friend her prices are too high?
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2010, 05:35:17 PM »
On etsy under community - there are a lot of forum and chats on how to get her store moving.

Maybe she should market a line of kids hair clips?  I don't buy hair clips for myself but I do for my DD.  I have a lot of friends like me.  This would help her gain clients (and feedback) and kids hair clips aren't as expensive as adult hair clips or what about doing bridal?


June24

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Re: How do you tell a friend her prices are too high?
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2010, 09:39:51 PM »
OP, I don't think you should tell her it's too expensive; it's really not if the quality is very good. I've paid up to $100 for swarovski hair clips before, and I know several people who enjoy this sort of thing.

Would you mind PMing me the link to her etsy or ebay store? I'm always on the lookout for fun and unique clips.

blarg314

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Re: How do you tell a friend her prices are too high?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2010, 11:13:06 PM »

This is often a problem with doing handi-crafts for sale - people are rarely willing to pay what good hand made items are actually worth, in materials + skill + effort. After all, you can buy a hairclip for $2.99 at the drugstore - why would you pay $50 for one?

Now there are people who pay $50 for a hairclip, but that's not a large market, and you have to market directly towards upscale buyers, which is not necessarily what an general internet store does.

As far as advice goes, if she asks for advice, you can tell her, tactfully. If she complains to you about not selling stuff, you're also good to offering advice. I wouldn't say point blank that the stuff is too expensive - rather suggest that the economy is tight, and she may want to offer some cheaper items as well.

June24

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Re: How do you tell a friend her prices are too high?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2010, 12:07:52 AM »
Another idea: has she tried marketing to local dance schools or performing arts groups? When I danced ballet, a bunch of us liked to get unique and different hair accessories. Dancers who are going away to competitions may also be willing to invest in nice hair accessories as part of their costume. I really don't think that ebay is the best place to market this sort of pricier item - quality is best noticed live; on ebay she's competing with hundreds of other sellers who have their stuff listed for 99 cents. Your friend's creations may be of higher quality, but that may not come across in pictures.

TootsNYC

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Re: How do you tell a friend her prices are too high?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2010, 12:08:56 AM »
How about when she tells you that she's bummed about pieces not moving you offer some suggestions?  Rather than say her prices are too high why not suggest she make some pieces that are lower cost to get new people to try her stuff?  Also suggest some promotions where people buying more than one piece can get the subsequent ones at a discount.

Depending on the piece $20 could be pretty reasonable for a hair accessory--$35 in my opinion is getting a bit high and I'd expect something quite elaborate. 

This you could do.

And you could suggest it as a market experiment--to test the waters a little bit.

And, if she replies that she can't lower her prices because of materials, etc., then you can say, "The market is going to keep its own opinion; people will only spend the amount they're willing. Right now, they don't seem to be willing."

And you could suggest that she consult the forums on Etsy and so on.

And last of all, you can say, "I'm sorry it's so hard for you. But we keep having the same conversation over and over. I don't think I can be of any more help, and it's getting hard to simply listen to you vent. Can we talk about movies?"

blarg314

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Re: How do you tell a friend her prices are too high?
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2010, 11:30:27 PM »

I think my advice would depend on how the prices related to the product, too. I can see several situations

1) She is charging more for the product that it's actually worth - ie, products of this quality and type generally sell for less than she wants. This is not uncommon for novice sellers, and you can advise her to check out market prices and compare to her own expectations.

2) She is charging what the products are worth, when you add up materials, quality, and skill in making. However, her marketing is poor, or she's selling in the wrong venue. Then you can suggest how to make the sell better, or to look at other marketing options, or to have some lower end introductory items.

3) She is charging what the products are worth, but there isn't a very large market for luxury hair clips. In that case, she's basically stuck unless she changes what she is selling.

I'm not that familiar with Etsy, so I'm not sure what sort of sales throughput you actually expect - but if it's a popular type of item, or a really unusual one, she may simply not expect to sell very much.

ydpubs

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Re: How do you tell a friend her prices are too high?
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2010, 12:17:33 AM »
I have a very good friend on Etsy who sells hair clips and accessories in your friend's price range and she is selling them like crazy. Her stuff is flying off the site. BUT she's been going at this business for 4-5 years now. Your friend just needs to market, find her niche and get her name out there and perhaps make some less expensive items to generate interest, not lower prices on her higher end stuff.

I don't think it is a good idea to tell her her prices are too high or that no one is paying that much for hair clips since as high dudgeon said and I know from my friend, there are people making and selling these items in this price range.

Also, I don't get why it matters how long ago she got her materials or how much she's accumulated through time. They still cost money and will cost more money still to be replenished in the future so she should figure their cost in to the items she made. That would be like tellilng someone: Hey you got that gold 20 years ago, you can't charge that much, it's old gold. Well, it's still gold. I paid for it and so what if its old? It's not like food where it could go bad and of course you can't get your money back.
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LadyClaire

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Re: How do you tell a friend her prices are too high?
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2010, 08:21:38 AM »
I haven't actually purchased very much from Etsy, but I can tell you the things that are likely to influence me to buy something.  Bethalize made some really good points.

One thing I see a lot on Etsy are people who take pictures that are really not very good.  Even aside from an artistic standpoint, they're dark, they're blurry, they don't really show the item in question fully.  I don't want to buy anything that I haven't been able to see in person unless there have at least been some good pictures showing me the whole thing.  So a close up of a necklace that only shows the front and a description of the back isn't going to cut it for me.  I want to see the whole thing.

The other thing is that how artistic a picture of a product is really makes a difference.  It doesn't make a huge difference, but if I'm comparing two similar products, and both of them have good quality pictures that show the product in various ways, I'm going to be more attracted to the product that has the more aesthetically pleasing pictures.

Finally, the description and the tags are really important.  Etsy searches can turn up thousands of hits.  And some people really don't tag their items very effectively, so they show up in categories where I wouldn't think to look at them.  The description is really key, too, because that and the picture are all I have to go off of.  I want dimensions, I want the size of any defining elements, I want colors, I want to know if you're open to customizing that piece.  But perhaps most importantly, I want to know why you think I should buy it for the price you've set.  Not because you say it's high quality or unique or anything else like that -- give me definite, measurable reasons (like telling me you use real gold or something).  Tell me what distinguishes it from the cheaper options, even if you think it should be obvious from the picture.

That's all advice you can give your friend, but I don't think you should tell her she's charging too much.  There's really not much point in attempting to sell handicrafts if you can't pay for the materials and a decent profit.  Some people like to sell stuff like that simply to sustain the hobby (so they're basically discounting the cost of their own labor and selling it for the cost of materials), but that doesn't mean that someone who is including a profit margin is charging too much.

POD to this entire post. As an Etsy seller (and I sell some hair accessories, and they've always sold very well), this is all very good advice for your friend.

LadyClaire

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Re: How do you tell a friend her prices are too high?
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2010, 08:31:07 AM »

I think my advice would depend on how the prices related to the product, too. I can see several situations

1) She is charging more for the product that it's actually worth - ie, products of this quality and type generally sell for less than she wants. This is not uncommon for novice sellers, and you can advise her to check out market prices and compare to her own expectations.

2) She is charging what the products are worth, when you add up materials, quality, and skill in making. However, her marketing is poor, or she's selling in the wrong venue. Then you can suggest how to make the sell better, or to look at other marketing options, or to have some lower end introductory items.

3) She is charging what the products are worth, but there isn't a very large market for luxury hair clips. In that case, she's basically stuck unless she changes what she is selling.

I'm not that familiar with Etsy, so I'm not sure what sort of sales throughput you actually expect - but if it's a popular type of item, or a really unusual one, she may simply not expect to sell very much.

You'd be surprised with how well luxury hair clips can sell, IF the right group finds them. There are website forums for women with long hair, and hair accessories are often the topic of discussion. There are particular etsy sellers who are known to the posters, and they will pay a lot of money for a nicely made hair accessory.

I found this out when my hair sticks got posted one of their forums and a member linked me to the post. I had a repeat customer for a while who would buy nearly every hair stick I listed, and my hair sticks run between $25 and $50 apiece.

mechtilde

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Re: How do you tell a friend her prices are too high?
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2010, 08:38:42 AM »
Could you maybe suggest that she try a wider range of products- maybe some simpler clips which are less work at the bottom end, and some higher priced items at the top- bridal/bridesmaid/fascinators.
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