Quotidian Update 3.22.xii.b

Teddy is a little rapscallion. Actually he isn’t, but… Yesterday my friend Elizabeth and I took a beautiful walk out to the Refuge. The light was dazzling, the sky bright blue, no wind, temps in the high 40s, pretty near perfect in my book for a late fall day without snow. It was Teddy’s first walk in a year with ANOTHER PERSON! OH MY GOD! He even had to ride IN THE BACK OF BELLA for the first time EVER! Naturally, he was over-the-top happy to see Elizabeth, and periodically had to tell us both how happy he was by jumping up for a hug. We all had a great time and a fun conversation, all worthy of that gorgeous moment in the Big Empty.

It’s been a good season in my little Etsy Shop. I’ve sold a lot of stuff, mostly cards. As I didn’t KNOW there was a “statement” feature on the site, I never looked at it. I found it a few days ago and opened the link and saw that — not even considering what it costs to have cards printed — I had been operating in the red, but now I’m in the black again (huh?). I have not figured out HOW that happens, but there it is. I sold $54 in cards in one order a few days ago and netted only $27. What???? So, thinking that my business model is obviously flawed, I saw that what’s going on now is that I’m taking a little course — an independent study — in retail management. I also decided that since I DO sell things, I might want to get better at it, like not accidentally buy two shipping labels for one order (though the PO DOES refund me). Etsy’s statement is clear, complete and informative and a good place for me to start. I saw that fees and taxes take about 30% of my sales, 2/3 of that is shipping. My shop policy is free shipping which we know is not free shipping. I just set it up that way because when I shop online I like to know straight up front what I’m going to pay.

I also realized that whenever my printer has a sale, I should stock up. From that I realized that retail is just a big gamble, just as Louise, who runs the museum where my paintings and stuff are for sale right now, said not long ago. She and her husband owned a store for a long time.

Paintings are unlikely to sell through my Etsy Shop, but they show my work to people and that’s probably a good thing. And, next year, I should have a stock of Christmas cards by Halloween even though, judging by this year, people don’t really get moving on that until then. Then I asked myself the question, “Is it worth it?” and the answer was clear, yes. It’s not just a store, it’s a way for me to get paid and to arrange shipping very, very easily. Most of my income has come from custom orders for garden signs. I guess my job this winter is to get ready for that by building up a stock of garden signs. At the very least it keeps me off the streets… 😉

I’m grateful for advice, by the way. Thanks for reading my “thinking out loud.”


16 thoughts on “Quotidian Update 3.22.xii.b

  1. I think if I was able to do for a walk with you in the Big Empty I’d probably be over the top happy and jumping up and down too! I’d probably give an exuberant hug as well! The whole selling my stuff through Esty just didn’t seem worth the hassle. I suppose some day I might give it a try but it just doesn’t appeal to me… I hope your revised business plan makes you a little more money.

    • I would love it if you could take a walk with me in the Big Empty. It’s a very magical thing.

      I attempted Etsy some 8 years ago and wasn’t impressed. Right now, with so few other opportunities, and Etsy having made major improvements, I’m tentatively pleased with it — so far. Time will tell. When the world opens up again and other opportunities reappear (shows and galleries) then maybe I’ll give it up. But just the fact that so many people who have livestock guardian dogs like Bear have bought my Christmas cards has made it really sweet, whether I broke even or not. ❤

  2. I guess in the end you are paying for the convenience of not dealing with the sales tax and shipping and all that. I can see how that would be worth something! Raising your prices is another option. I think it’s cool you are selling cards – how nice that people are writing cards and communicating in that way. ❤️ (I love how you slip in the RDP 😁)

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