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Help with pricing on expensive items

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Inactive Etsy Member 9:06am Apr 9, 2012 EDT
Hi all,

I have so appreciated all of your advice recently as I am just starting my shop! I am back for some more advice now about pricing.

I refurbish antique leaded window frames and turn them into vintage-style mirrors. My shop is quite small at this time, as the process to make each mirror takes quite some time (minimum 30 hours). I posted my third mirror yesterday, and hope to have up to five by the end of the month. Still, I've had a lot of trouble getting many views or likes (let alone sales--I've had none), I think partly because the shop is so small, and partly because the items are so expensive.

Others have suggested that I post more items at lower price-points, and I am thinking through some ideas for how to make smaller mirrors or similar products, but I don't want to pursue anything new until I know that it will turn out well. So, I'm thinking the other option to get a sale is to lower the price of my items.

Currently I have listed my mirrors at $350 for the smallest mirror, and $375 for the larger mirrors. I know this is quite expensive, but I didn't think I could feasibly price them any lower. Leaded windows like mine sell for upwards of $300-$400 (and that's before I refurbish them!) and I had to buy in bulk and get a lucky deal to buy them at a lower price than that. Adding in the cost of tools and the amount of time I put into them, I really don't make a huge profit even at the prices I am posting them.

But still...no sales. So I am wondering if I should be lowering my prices? Or should I just wait it out and keep trying to promote them?

Thanks for your wisdom about this! I am so grateful for all of your advice!

16 Responses

no, don't lower them. But realize that you only have three items in your shop, which is not enough to grab people's attention. And know that there is no such thing as guaranteeing something will work before you start.

You really do need to add inventory if you want an online shop to gain traction. It doesn't pay to promote a shop with only a few items. You'll get as much promotion out of adding new pieces. They don't have to be as large or elaborate as the ones you currently have -- in other words, adding lower price point items is a strategy that not only diversifies your offerings in terms of cost, but also adds inventory in a way that is less labor/ cost intensive for you. You don't have to add small items, you can only sell expensive pieces if you like -- but the trade off is that it will take you longer to make them.
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Inactive Etsy Member 9:15am Apr 9, 2012 EDT
lowering prices is never a good idea, you only lose money and dont get paid for your time. its best to offer more items for sale, and to advertise your business to help get more sales. you really cant "wait and see" and avoid making more product and investing time and money, you can only get out of a business , what you put into it
Your work is gorgeous. You just opened, so it's not unusual that you haven't sold yet. An etsy shop is a process - it takes a good amount of stock, a facebook business page or other promotion, networking, advertising.... it doesn't happen immed. It's very hard to be seen among 9 million listings with only a handful of items.

It's not your price - I wouldn't lower it. But what does your shop say when i visit? I see a name that doesn't say what your craft is, an avatar that's a disconnect from your product.

You could be successful here, and I understand that your raw materials and time limit your stock levels, but having just a few items make it much, much harder.

As a new Seller you might want to consider buying a tiny something from another Etsy seller,even if it is a bar of Handmade Soap, at least it will provide at least one positive Feedback for your shop, and also familiarize you with the checkout system in case you have to Guide a Buyer some Day...
Even one Feedback helps...
If you've been reading the forums, you'll see that sales are REALLY slow for many sellers this time of year (tax season, spring break, etc.). Not only did you open during a tough season, but you've only been open a few weeks. Many sellers don't make a sale for months and months, and I think with high-priced items, it can be much longer.

Although your mirrors are gorgeous, I'm not sure etsy is where buyers will look for these items, especially at a high price. Your target audience of buyers is therefore quite small, made even smaller by people who are willing to spend that amount of money (as well as high shipping).

I suggest you wait it out, and continue promoting. If your profit margin is low already, why lower prices just to get a sale under your belt?

Have you tried doing local home shows or antique markets? Your profile doesn't indicate where you live, but there are a few in my area that would be ideal for you.
I'd like to see a close-up of the craftsmanship, as well. You might think about experimenting with your photo angles and propping. I know it's challenging to shoot mirrors, but give it a try.

Did you pack and weigh a piece to arrive at the shipping rate? Is $35 enough to cover your costs? If i were buying something this breakable, I'd want to know (in the listing) that it would be super-well-packed to travel, what method it would ship, and know that it was insured.

You have only had them listed for just over a week -- so far too soon to be double-guessing your prices. It can take sellers of low-priced items much longer than this to make their first sale

Selling higher-priced items will take longer than selling under $25 items --but so it does off-line too

Keep working on adding to your inventory, price at a level which gives you an adequate profit, promote well -- and you will get buyers for your mirrors
I have been creating art for about 10 years and have found pricing to be the most difficult part. I came to the realization that the best practice was to price everything fairly and do not lower them because then the only person that is not getting a fair shake is me.

I agree with others here, add more items and have different price points. I added several items last week and got 176 views and 2 sales in one day.

Best of luck to you.
I guess I'd have to disagree that this is a slow season. Plenty of shops are selling briskly, and spring is a great time for home decor.

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