11.21.2010

As If I Didn't Have Packing to Tend To

I decided I needed to post about what's been swimming around my head, all because of requests for these:





Above are versions of the necklace I showed you in this post. I've gotten a few requests for them to be listed for sale on-line, but can't do so without a bit of an explanation - if only for my own sake. You can feel free to skip the explanation that will follow below. Because although I'll try to keep it short, keeping it short has never been my strong suit. If all you want to do is order one of the necklaces above and say poo to the explanation, here's what you need to know:

There are three necklaces available - one black and two citrus. They're each made of a string of seven chunky, matte resin cubes that hang in the center of silver-tone chain which closes with a lobster clasp. Each necklace is 30 inches long - the same length as the one I'm wearing in that photo. They're $38 each with free shipping worldwide. If you're interested in purchasing one, leave your e-mail address for me in the comment section of this post, along with the color that you're interested in. Please check the comments (if there are any) above yours if you leave one to see what's been claimed. I'll e-mail you a Paypal invoice which can be paid for by credit card and send your order out on November 27th (or, following that date, immediately after you place the order).

So... on to the stuff that's been swimming around in my head. This is the part most of you will want to skip. For years, I've struggled with the issue of pricing my jewelry. It's been hard for me to find a balance between the prices I charge on etsy, the prices I charge at markets and trunk shows, and the prices that the retail shops charge for my designs. You'd think the jewelry should be priced the same no matter where it's being sold. At least I'd think so. But it's not that easy.

The earrings I post in my etsy shop are usually priced between $15 and $18. Necklaces (when they actually make their way into the shop) are usually $25. This is noticeably less than the usual $28 - $32 price tag for earrings and $38 - $42 price tag for necklaces that you'll find in retail shops. Here's why. First, I've gotten into the habit of only listing older designs in my etsy shop. The pieces I post there are usually a season old (may I suggest that you think of them not as "old" but as aged, like a fine wine?). They may be designs that have been on consignment at a retail shop that never sold so I've retrieved them. They may be pieces in a style that I over-produced and therefore have a few remaining after a few months of having them in retail shops have passed. Whatever the reason, these pieces have lingered for a bit, so I essentially mark them down when I post them in my etsy shop.

There are things to consider about the nature of my on-line shop, too, that play a role in my etsy pricing. I don't accept returns or exchanges for my etsy shop sales. Certainly, if a customer is truly disappointed with a pair of earrings or a necklace that he/she orders from my etsy shop, I'll do what I can to make the customer happy. But it's not as easy as walking into a boutique and swapping one pair of earrings for another. The opportunity to exchange something if it doesn't work out (especially when gift-giving) is just one of several benefits to boutique shopping that I can't offer in my on-line shop - there's also the ability to choose from a rather wide variety of current designs, the chance to get the help/opinion of a shop gal, and the ability to touch and try on pieces before making a decision. The point is that while shopping on-line is convenient, I think there are lots of pluses to buying jewelry in a boutique setting that make the experience a little more valuable than purchasing on-line. These pluses are also a factor in the discrepancy between my retail and on-line prices.

The thing is, I've recently become interested in posting my current designs in my etsy shop, and I've gotten several requests from customers to do so. But I'm worried that without some explanation, my etsy shop customers will be turned off by the prices I need to charge for these super current pieces. I can't in good conscience list pieces in my etsy shop at a lower price than comparable pieces that are currently available at boutiques. I would never want to undercut the store owners who have been so good to me and to my sulu-design line. And honestly, these current styles have been selling well enought that I don't think there will be any leftovers to list in my etsy shop in a few months. I'd like to be able to offer them now to those of you who are interested in purchasing them but who don't live near a boutique that carries my line. So I'm going try offering new designs on-line at their retail prices. We'll see how this goes. If it goes smoothly, you may see current designs in the sulu-design etsy shop in the future at full retail price. No matter how it goes, you'll definitely continue to see older pieces at the on-line prices that you're used to.

If you made it this far, bless you. Any input is appreciated, but not expected. Okay... Must. Go. Pack.

7 comments:

Belinda said...

I would love to buy the black one. My email/paypal address is bandresson@hotmail.com

Thanks!

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

Pricing is the #1 most difficult part of this whole thing. I only do group shows and inevitably there is another artist who NEEDS to consult on a pricing issue.

Besides shows + my Etsy shop I only sell in one gallery + with a 60/40 cut it would be nice to raise my prices, but it's really not fair. But the way I look at it, I make my delivery + they send me a check every month. My work sells + I do very little, no packaging, no trips to the PO, so there is the pay-off.

Kim said...

Oh hooray! I'd like a citrus one. My e-mail address is yarnyoldkim@gmail.com.

Mariss said...

Well explained and it makes complete sense! Your fans will support your decision and should appreciate your concern for their understanding.

The necklaces are gorgeous. I'm more of a necklace gal than an earring gal (sometimes earrings hurt my ears), so I'm always looking in interest to those collections :)

Artsy Momma said...

You are so sweet! Pricing is a tough issue. I always have the problem of pricing online versus in the consignment shops. I a lot of the time lose profit from the consignment shops if I priced everything the same across the board. Online selling is great but it does present its own challenges that we all have to figure out and navigate the best we can. Thank you for letting us in on your process. It helps others who are new in the biz. You wise one you *smile* Have fun packing!!!

lealou said...

Um can you make another black one please? :) I would love one!

Also I would love to see your latest designs on etsy! I don't think people would be turned off by pricing at all. It's all beautiful and I think people would be happy to pay what you've set them at.

I hope you had a great thanksgiving!

amandajean said...

it's good to hear your thoughts....and open up the eyes of us who don't run a shop ourselves. i think since you so clearly explained it, i think you SHOULD share your new designs here at a higher price. it makes good sense if you ask me!

hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving with your family!!!