Editorial: Show Me the Money?!

25 Feb

Looking around in the supplies section and paper goods I noticed alot of shops with prices of $1.00 (what’s even more scary is that many are cheaper which means they probably PAY to sell an item but that is a whole other issue)

My question is how on earth can that be worth the effort?

$1.00 Purchase Price

-.20 Etsy Listing Fee
-.04 Etsy 3.5% Selling Fee
-.30 Paypal Transaction Fee
-.03 Paypal 2.9% Selling Fee

= .43
Is that worth the time to package up the item, envelopes, cello bags, then gas to drive to the post office?

Do shops just want sales and try to focus on the bigger issue of the final selling prices coming in not considering the business fees that come back out of it? But even if you sold 5 items you still only make $2.15 I think sweat shop employees make more money.



8 Responses to “Editorial: Show Me the Money?!”

  1. Pinky February 25, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    Loss leader maybe? I don’t get it either.

  2. koko February 25, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    never understood it either…..maybe to get easy sales numbers under their id?

  3. forum rubbernecker February 25, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    The supplies, I can see, but anything handmade, I cannot stand to see sold that low. Of course, there are some cases where the “maker” needs to do very little work–the most glaring example I can think of being cards or tags made with commercially made rubber stamps. I am sure there is an art to it, but I have never understood this phenomenon of just stamping someone else’s design on a piece of paper. If I want to make 43 cents per item, I will move to another country. I once did a $75.00 custom order in an hour and my profit was probably $45.00, which is more along the lines of what talent and skill are worth.

  4. Stephanie February 25, 2009 at 7:58 pm #

    Quality – vs – Price. People want cheap. That’s what pushed me out of the soap market.

  5. bootyful February 26, 2009 at 4:13 am #

    Even with supplies, don’t forget the time it takes to take pics or scan your item and write up a listing, as well as the shipping time and costs. And of course, dealing with the transaction itself – receiving the email(s), checking that the payment came through, leaving feedback, answering questions. To sell a single one-dollar item which will earn you 43 cents? Even if the item didn’t cost a penny to you, there’s no way that selling something for a dollar on Etsy is worthwhile money-wise.

    Having said that, I have a couple of dollar supply items in my store, and I’ll tell you why. Partly I just want to get rid of them and I don’t want to throw them away, but mainly I think that it’s good to have a broad range of pricing in a store. I don’t expect to sell them as a standalone item; the shipping cost (which includes packaging costs) makes them too expensive. However, they ship free with other items so I figure some day someone will add one to an order and I’ll be happy knowing they went somewhere where they might get used. If they don’t sell, I may put them together in a grab bag for a few bucks but I don’t think I’ll renew them at a dollar.

  6. Brenda February 26, 2009 at 5:18 am #

    A higher percentage of people want CHEAP. They dont care what it is, who made it, where it was made, they just want it CHEAP!

  7. wut February 26, 2009 at 7:08 am #

    I frequently see supplies from the same public retailers that I buy from.

    e.g. a 4pc set on etsy for $.99, but you could get 100 pc from the retailer for $2.

    If they have an average order of 10+ sets, maybe they make a profit. The buyer still gets screwed over by paying a premium price for some cheap junk straight out of China.

  8. Anne Marie @ Totally SV April 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

    Pinky, I was going to say that too! šŸ™‚ A loss leader, so they make a loss on it but it brings people to their shop. also some people dont do it for money but just for the love of crafting

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