Author Topic: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol  (Read 6137 times)

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Offline thepeasantpailfull

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2012, 11:34:08 AM »
i will say two things,one just briefly playing the devils advocate if you will. i've really heard worse things from people about sales on etsy. it amazes me how undramatic this place is by comparison. i never even realized how dramatic etsy was until i came here.

(off topic that handmade defined is getting particularly icky there)

So try not to worry too much.  ;)

Now,once if ever i get a shop going rest assured I won't leave after two weeks. i know it can take months if not years for a new business to grow. i think that is the thing with many crafters,the fact that its still a true business in the end is not the first thought. Not that I'm that experienced,but the first thought is that this is my craft and everyone should love it,of course myself included. But i know it takes time and effort.

I really do like the new format and the pictures work again,thank you a lot. I especially like that I can share my pictures without a shop or even a blog;though i may get one later i don't have one now. Its nice to get an opinion before I consider selling something. That gallery especially is something i think no other selling site has,at least that i know of now.

Things are getting better too,it will turn around i agree.

Offline iKnitQuiltSew

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2012, 11:45:27 AM »
Sometimes we all need a kick in the pants!  Reality is that NO ONE is an overnight success...  even the really successful folks, regardless of their line of work, were not overnight successes.  If it's worth having, it's worth working for!

I just sold a quilt on a custom order.  This is my third sale this year.  The lady contacted me, stating that she had seen my work over a year ago somewhere on the web, and wrote down my name, and was so happy that I was still in business now that she can afford to commission a quilt.   The  implication is that this customer saved up for a year to make a purchase!  How incredible is that!

Money is incredibly tight and customers are looking for high value when they decide to part with those all-to-scarce dollars.  And I do believe that a lot of people are shopping and then saving and then returning to make a purchase.

There is nothing "for sure" in running your own business.  Perhaps the greatest aspect any business owner can have is faith in themselves, and this goes triple for anyone in the arts.  The best thing you can do for yourself is to let the globe know that you're here and you're not going anywhere.

Boy, I typed a lot of words to say, "Hang in there!"

Offline Uniqlets

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2012, 12:18:30 PM »
Okay, here's my prediction.  In time, everyone will be complaining about not being able to make things quickly enough to keep up with the orders.  My sales are slow, but I know that it is because I do not do nearly enough to gain exposure for my work.  That is my problem and I will change it.  I also know that I must continue to do what I can to know what my intended customer wants and to reflect that in my designs.  It is all a process and any process takes time and effort. 
With the wonderful group here and the incredible work that Andrew and Kimberly put into this entire endeavor, it is all bound to take off like wildfire. 

Nancy Pace

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2012, 04:22:09 PM »
Lisa, I love your prediction!!! I am getting my own tent this year, I borrowed one last year, no $$$ ,I may have to sell some furniture or have a rummage sale,what I always do when I am in a pinch,lol! I am going to do outside shows, art and wine festivals and any high end art show that will take me, and I can afford, they are pricey.
Teresa, I was not meaning to kick you in the pants Darlin' I meant to help you:)
I do much better selling in person, and when I had a website, people would shop there and not buy then come  meet me in person ,buy from me, then later buy from me on-line. I think it's hard to trust. You have nice things, I really admire the Red Posie brooch!
We can all benefit if we stay the course and be positive:)

Offline RiverRockArts

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2012, 06:09:53 PM »
I was just feeling down in the dumps when I posted. I KNOW how hard you guys work to keep this place together. I KNOW with my own store how fickle sales can be. I am currently in a rough patch again (former business partner is up to no good  >:() but I am determined to stay open. So I will continue on and try to promote as much as humanly possible. And not just my shop, but other shops and the site as a whole. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

Same here.  We all have those days.  I know it's not much a day when you look at it that way, but I really need to make a profit this year because  I don't want the government coming back to me sand saying I am not a business because of another loss.  I really only started selling in November, but they look at it the year you started organizing.  If not for that, I would not be so concerned.  It took a while to get everything together with the time I had.  Maybe I am worrying about that for nothing, but what I was told about that did not sound good for a new business, especially a one person part-time one. 

I have no intention of giving up and closing shop.  I think it is just a matter of time, but I hope you can understand why I am concerned about at least making a small profit this year...even a penny. :)  I appreciate everything you do, Andrew and Kimberly, but I was having one of those days and was venting.  I will keep at it and list new items as I get them made and hope for the best.  I will continue to promote wherever possible, make highlights, etc.  I can't wait until I get some time off the day job to be able to spend more time on making my items, researching more shipping location costs, and getting my items listed.  Thank you everyone who responded for the encouragement and advice.  Sorry for the vent.

Offline chainmaille

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2012, 06:36:29 PM »
River I am probably venting a bit as well. I just know how much work it takes to do what we do and it is disheartening to hear negativity. The whole creation of the forum, shop, and blog over the last 3 years has at times put incredible strain on our family and on Kimberly and I especially. There has been fights, sleepless nights, thoughts of giving up. So I understand the frustration. My elation lately has been that things are actually doing quite well. The site is really coming together now. We need to complete the chat and then go onto a list of fixes and improvements. The list is relatively easy for the most part, although we have a few tough items to get through.
As far as the government thinking your running a losing cause, I've never heard of that. I think most people including the government know that businesses typically do not show a profit for at least 5 years. Unless you took a government loan to open up, I wouldn't be concerned with that at all. If you set up a sole proprietorship, I wouldn't hesitate to show the loss. It will help you on your return.

Offline Blue Highways

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2012, 06:39:25 PM »
You're right RRA. We do all have those days and we're all here to support and encourage in times like that/this.
As for the IRS, a girlfriend and I were talking about that very thing recently and I found:
Quote
you must prove to the IRS that you're trying -- not necessarily succeeding -- to make a profit with your venture. The IRS uses several different criteria for deciding whether or not your business truly has a profit motive.
The "3-of-5" test. One popular test for determining profit motive is called the "3-of-5" test. If your business made a profit in any three out of the past five consecutive years, it is presumed to have a profit motive. This means that if you claim a loss for the third straight year after starting your business, you may be inviting an audit.
Other ways to prove your business is legitimate. While the IRS gives a lot of weight to the 3-of-5 test, it is not conclusive. You can use virtually any kind of evidence to show that you're trying to make money. Business cards, a well-maintained set of books, a separate business bank account, current business licenses and permits, and advertising or other marketing efforts will all help to persuade an IRS auditor that your activity really is a business.
Chin up. We're all on this ride together

Offline RiverRockArts

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2012, 06:40:43 PM »
I wrote the previous post before reading through all the other posts.  Thanks, Andrew, for writing about your experience when you first started out.  That helped me put things more into perspective.  Maybe I am just worrying too much...after all, we still have Christmas at the end of the year. :)  Last year I had barely started selling and didn't have much made.  This year I will be ready for all those shoppers.  I am trying to come up with some new ideas for items...maybe some smaller items like ceramic pendants?  There's a lot of possibilities...just need to find the time to work on some of them.  I have a lot of ideas.

This is the shop I promote the most and try to get people to come here instead of the other sites I have listings on because this is the one I feel is the best, and not just for the shop part of it.  I also like the community on this site...that's important too.  I found a lot of caring people in the forums here.  Please ignore the temporary insanity of the venting post.  Well, time to get back to work and to stop with the gloomy thoughts. :)

Offline RiverRockArts

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2012, 06:48:11 PM »
Thanks, Andrew.  That government thing really had me worried.  I'm glad you never heard of that.  Maybe whoever said that to me didn't know what they were talking about. I sure hope so.  I am an accountant but not a tax accountant, so I am not up on the tax rules...only learned enough to pass the tax part of the exam and do my own taxes. :)  I took out no loans...my business is all self-funded from my savings.  I want to keep it loan free, so I only do what I can do and add what I can add as I am able. 

Offline Blue Highways

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2012, 06:52:40 PM »
check out 2 posts down...it explains better what you were worried about, we posted at the same time so you probably missed it

Offline RiverRockArts

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2012, 07:01:21 PM »
You're right RRA. We do all have those days and we're all here to support and encourage in times like that/this.
As for the IRS, a girlfriend and I were talking about that very thing recently and I found:
Quote
you must prove to the IRS that you're trying -- not necessarily succeeding -- to make a profit with your venture. The IRS uses several different criteria for deciding whether or not your business truly has a profit motive.
The "3-of-5" test. One popular test for determining profit motive is called the "3-of-5" test. If your business made a profit in any three out of the past five consecutive years, it is presumed to have a profit motive. This means that if you claim a loss for the third straight year after starting your business, you may be inviting an audit.
Other ways to prove your business is legitimate. While the IRS gives a lot of weight to the 3-of-5 test, it is not conclusive. You can use virtually any kind of evidence to show that you're trying to make money. Business cards, a well-maintained set of books, a separate business bank account, current business licenses and permits, and advertising or other marketing efforts will all help to persuade an IRS auditor that your activity really is a business.
Chin up. We're all on this ride together

The 3 of 5 rules is what I was referring to.  2012 will be my third year according to the government if they look at me having organizational expenses at the end of 2010.  I only started working on organizing that November and didn't get the sales tax number (the final piece I needed before I could start selling) until the middle of last summer because of the slowness of the government.  Then I had to get more items made before I had enough to start listing, which took until November of last year.  Most of last year was taken up by getting supplies (wholesaler is only open when I am working, so had to have a weekday off to get them) and then the workroom took forever to get finished because of an issue with a contractor.  After too much time went buy and the contractor did nothing, I hirred a different one who did a great job.  I was working at the kitchen counter most of that time, so things didn't go as fast as if I had room to put things and not have to clean up afterward.  It was a partially dug out crawl space room that had to be waterproofed and redone because it was done incorrectly originally.  Now that that is all over, I hope this year I can show even a very small profit. 

Offline MakinTheBest

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2012, 02:43:26 PM »
So much to think about!  I know people are frustrated and so are we.  We live in a fairly small town and makes me so sad to drive through and see all the closed businesses.  We have been working our personal business for quite a while before starting the forum and shop and understand the frustration.  The market is tough, despite the government claiming improvements, and people are either still struggling or just now climbing out of the hole.  Gas prices keep climbing and it has been shown, can't remember where, that for every $1 raise in gas it keeps $3Billion out of the local economy.  Basically, people are holding onto their money and we tend to sell the extras that people just are not buying as quickly.


The good thing is that things go in cycles, and if things are improving then we can only cycle up!  Bottom line, keep pushing yourself and look for creative ways to get your products in front of buyers and Andrew and I will keep pushing from our end!

Offline RiverRockArts

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2012, 03:37:14 PM »
Kimberly,

I don't care what the government claims, I never believe them anyway. Don't get me started on them. :)  I agree with you that we sell the extras, but even in hard times there seems to always be some people who have the money to buy.  We just have to find them.  We can always hope for Christmas when everyone seem to buy. :)  I will be ready for that this year.  What do you think about ceramic pendants?  I am tossing around ideas for smaller items.

Offline MakinTheBest

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2012, 04:35:37 PM »
Kimberly,

I don't care what the government claims, I never believe them anyway. Don't get me started on them. :)  I agree with you that we sell the extras, but even in hard times there seems to always be some people who have the money to buy.  We just have to find them.  We can always hope for Christmas when everyone seem to buy. :)  I will be ready for that this year.  What do you think about ceramic pendants?  I am tossing around ideas for smaller items.


 i love the idea of pendants!  Your mugs and stuff are beautiful beyond belief, but your price points are definitely higher.  Maybe pendants could fill that need and gain you customers that want to shop a lower price and come back later when they are ready to spend bigger bucks.

Luv2ScrapForU

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Re: Huge amount of views/no sales. Does my shop stink?? lol
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2012, 07:07:32 PM »
What about cards? Do people just not buy cards anymore? :(