Thursday, 7 June 2012

Big FAT Zero

I love books and so to illustrate my blog post today I have chosen a selection of notebooks and journals, some are mine, but there are a few from other Folksy sellers too.  I hope you like what I have selected. Don't forget to click on the photo to take you directly to the item in the shop. Enjoy!

Right, here we go!  When sales are low or non-existent I sometimes feel like chucking in the towel, and donating all my stock of beautiful items to a charity shop.  This way I can have all my storage boxes empty again, and I can start filling them with a new range of gorgeous items!  It also has the added bonus of making some charity shop happy, hopefully with some sales that will boost their funds.

I haven’t got as far as deciding which charity to support.  We have lots of charity shops in our high street, so there are quite a few to choose from!  I have no idea how they would feel about being given a huge range of handmade goods, because I have not approached any of them yet!  I still keep hoping for that elusive sale!  I have a varied range of bags, purses, notebooks, pencil cases and journals in my shop, and even if I say so myself they are all well made, reasonably priced and I offer FREE UK postage.

Sometimes I feel this lack of sales is a failure in me to promote my shop and the items on the WWW, but I do try, honestly, really, to get the items out there – Pinterest, Facebook, Craftjuice, Flickr, etc.  But, I assume my promoting is just not up to scratch.  I know a lot of sellers have more than one outlet for their sales.  I have set up a shop on Etsy, but sales to date have been a big fat zero (and this is the case for Folksy this month too!)  Admittedly, I do find promoting the Etsy shop difficult.  I find Etsy very confusing and worrying, so I spend as little time as possible on the site.  I am much more comfortable with Folksy which I have got to know quite well over the last six months or so.

I know there are other ways to promote your shop and I have read and looked into other possibilities, but it worries me that I am going to be spending even more time on the Computer than I want too.  Even now I feel I spend far too much time – so much so, that I struggle to find the time to do all the crafting that I want to do!

So, that brings me back to the charity shop idea!  Actually, perhaps I should have more giveaways.  My recent Facebook giveaway to celebrate 100 likes seemed to give such pleasure and delight to the winner.  If I can make more people happy by giving away my items, then it makes sense to have more giveaways!  What do you think?

If I had more room for storing my stash of beauties, the lack of sales wouldn’t be such a problem – I am only desperate to sell my items because I’m at my limit with storage!  However, I also seem to have come to a crossroads – not knowing which way to go.  I have a few projects in production and my aim is to finish them, but after that I have no idea what to do.  It’s not that I lack inspiration or ideas, but mostly because items are not selling in my shop, I don’t want to keep filling the shop with yet more items that are not going to sell.  Do you see my dilemma?

I had a good month in May for sales, but strangely enough I sold no more than in April which I found to be quite a tough month!  Am I obsessed with sales?  Does this come across in this post?  I don’t want to be.  I just want to carry on enjoying what I do, and find an outlet for the items so that I can make more.  I love what I do – I really do, but this lack of reward for my efforts (a sale) can be quite disheartening!  Perhaps we all feel like this – what is the answer?

I have considered using other websites for selling.  I also have considered selling on Facebook and perhaps even setting up my own website.  But it all comes back to time, who has the time for all this work promoting?  My items are not quick to make, they take time, patience, perseverance and creativity!  I don’t know what the answer is, do you?



Top to Bottom: Handmade by Edwina, Dab and a dash, Handmade by Edwina, Sew Amy, Handmade by Edwina, Ritzy Swish, Whimsy Woo Designs, Kate Bowles, Handmade by Edwina


  1. I understand your frustration.Sometimes promoting takes away the fun of making.
    I now do a week of making and then a week of promoting what i have make.I am enjoying it more this way and feel bit more in control.
    Don't give up your work is beautiful.
    Thank you for including one of my journals.

    {Dab and a dash.}

  2. Thank you for including my little books in your blog.
    Your books are so pretty ... please don't give them away.

  3. I know the feeling from when I was on Folksy and from what I remember, the summer months were always extremely quiet! It is very frustrating but online selling is hard work. Can you do more face to face craft fairs? Also, have you heard of 'Hike Those Likes' on Facebook? Seems like a good way to get more likes and to get your page seen!

  4. Dear Edwina, we have the same problem! We've got our own website, a shop on Folksy which hasn't sold anything yet and I am in the process of opening up one on Etsy. We've also done the usual thing of local craft fairs etc. My own personal opinion is that it's a very odd time - people just don't seem to have that much spare cash and I do also think it takes another craftsperson to understand just how much time, effort + love that goes into every item we create. Your items are gorgeous - please don't give up! Not sure whereabouts you are based but there is a big event on at the Gaydon Motor Museum on Sunday 1st July - we will be there with our Fat Fairy Jewellery and the organisers do still have some room if you are interested?
    love Ellen x

  5. Hi Edwina...I really know what you mean, reading this post is like reading my own thoughts! Its uncanny! I started my shop on Folksy 2 months ago and its not going as well as I hoped. I've tried really hard to promote (although not on Twitter yet as have a feeling I won't understand it!) and seem to end up on the computer all the time and not making things. All I have to show for it is a painful crick in my neck.
    Your items are beautiful and look very well made, it seems a shame to give them away, although I'm sure the charities would be thrilled! Maybe its just quiet in the summer? I don't know as I've not got anything to compare it to as I've just started. Your giveaway was a great idea, maybe I should try it...I've only got 20 likes so you're way ahead!
    I really hope things improve for you soon :)
    Chris (from Chris made this)

  6. Don't give up Edwina. Your notebooks and journals are beautiful.
    Join us on the daily listing thread on the Craftyfolk team on Etsy. I see you are member - I don't think I've seen you on there.

    None of us really like promoting but it's a necessary evil! Do you get many visits coming straight from Google? Make sure that all your photos of your items have a different name but which is relevant to the item. That way they come up on google searches better. eg Handmade journal purple, embroidered notebook pink, etc etc. I do it with my stuff calling them kindle sleeves, or cases or covers etc and the name of the fabric. I get a lot of visits direct from Google because of this. Time consuming to start with to rename your pictures but worth it.

    Shirley x

  7. Hi

    I've had so few sales on folksy or etsy recently but I've started selling paper goods rather jewellery. I think that people really want to see and feel things like that in the flesh especially if they're buying for themself... I would imagine the same is true of your journals? I love the Kate Bowles work and I bought a customised one for my other half recently.

    As for what I do when I get no sales- I do things like make a swing in the garden, make a dress, jewellery or something for myself as I'm my best customer!

    Kate x

  8. I can only echo what others have said. I had a little bit of success selling my items as charity items in aid of the alzheimers society on ebay. The money goes straight to the charity and you don't have to pay charges to ebay if your item sells, so you might want to consider that if you want to go the charity route (you can choose your own charity). It has the added advantage of being a little bit of publicity too.
    I think it's tough selling hand made items, there seem to be far more sellers than buyers, but I also have a feeling that people are gradually turning away from cheap mass produced and looking for something more, so it may just be a matter of hanging in there.

  9. Don't get disheartened at low sales. We are in a very difficult climate and everyone is watching their cash, or lack of it. Sometimes it's hard not to take it personally. Are my items what people want? Are my photos clear enough? Are my prices too high? Am i promoting enough? Many questions that i'm sure we all ask ourself but it was good once and it will be again.
    Carol x

  10. Morning! Have nominated you for a Versatile Blog award